What was the last movie update I offered? Did I mention seeing Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy last weekend? Well, I did see, and I was pretty well amused though I think I missed a ton of in-jokes, having never read the book(s).

Today, I went to see the movie I’ve been anticipating for over six months. No, not Episode III: I saw Madagascar. The penguins are psychotic! Come on, who doesn’t love that? It wasn’t the greatest movie I’ve seen all year, and it won’t be my favorite animated movie of all time or anything, but it still made me laugh. I mean, there were animated monkeys making Tom Wolfe references.

I think, though, that Madagascar had problems that were, in a way, similar to those of Shark Tale. I feel like animated films in the post-Shrek age are kind of struggling to figure themselves out. No one seems to make animated films just for kids anymore — which is fine, obviously I benefit from that — but they also don’t make them just for adults. So there’s a balance that must be kept between entertaining the kids and keeping the adults engaged, and I feel like some movies (like this one) are almost written by two teams in some parts, one team with an eye to the kids and one with an eye to the parents. So you get ridiculous fantasy-like plots with the occasional punchline thrown in at a grown-up level, and it sort of breaks the movie apart. Now, I think Madagascar did this better than several others I’ve seen recently, but it definitely made a choice to try and appeal up more than down. This makes it hard for me to say what I think of the movie as a whole, because it’s a little bit difficult to judge it based on the old criterion of “did it accomplish what it set out to do?” I think maybe the adults laughed more than the kids, but they didn’t laugh enough to want to see it again, so… I don’t know.

But I still love Ben Stiller.

This was movie #35 in the theater for the year, or #44 total.

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