I laughed. I really did. And I really tried to like this movie…but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t enjoy this film because the story was hackneyed and poorly written. The penguins were hilarious (“Don’t give me excuses, give me results!”), as were the chimpanzees (“If you have any poo, fling it now.”) and the lemurs were great. The king lemur (voiced by Ali G who credits himself here as Sasha Baron Cohen…must be his “real” name) was absolutely hilarious (“They are just a bunch of pansies. Let’s go meet the pansies!”). He reminded me of Dijon from Duck Tales: The Movie – Treasure of the Lost Lamp.

Everybody’s individual performance (I especially enjoyed David Schwimmer’s hypochondriac giraffe “Nature! It’s all over me! Get if off!”) was incredible and the visuals were stunning…but the story/concept just didn’t gel together for me. I had the same problem with Shark Tale and I wish Dreamworks would hurry up and change their story/concept development process…because as funny as these movies are, they’re not leaving me with a happy feeling at the end…mostly because I end up not caring for the main characters introduced.

Oh, there was one moment during the movie where I had an intense epiphany…because the movie doesn’t outright portray humans as evil (the animals miss the safety, comfort and simplicity of zoo-life)…and at one point I found myself thinking: if animals had the complex thought-processes the movie suggests them to have (mainly the concept of friendsship) based on their life in captivity, then the humans mistakenly shipping them to the wild was a bad idea because it throws the friendship between herbivores and carnivores into a panic…but the humans never considered that the lion and the zebra would be friends and that restoring the balance of nature might destroy that “beautiful” (I put it in quotes and just shudder at calling it that) friendship. Wow…ok, I just lost my mind thinking so intensely about this movie…if you find it, please mail it back. Thanks.

Conclusion: See the movie for the penguins, the chimpanzees, the lemurs and the fact that it’s under 2-hours long. Beyond that…there’s no reason to see it because the story sucks. But I guess good comedy is a good enough reason to watch a movie with a bad-story…but that makes me feel dirty or something.

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