On the weekend it opened, I took my 9 year old nephew to see Madagascar. The first thing I feel compelled to say is that he loved it. He laughed at all the jokes and gasped when he was supposed to gasp. Most of the kids in the audience (and there were lots of the little buggers) seemed to enjoy themselves. However, it appeared to me that the adults in the crowd didn't enjoy it as much as the kids. I had such high expectations for this movie because the ads said critics were hailing it as this season's Shrek. I loved, loved, loved Shrek. But Madagascar had problems that Shrek didn't have. The biggest problem I saw was the pacing. The film seemed to hurry up just to wait, if you know what I mean. Basically, the action would be really quite fast paced (sometimes a little too fast) and then it would slow down to the point where nothing was happening at all. Now, I'm all for quiet, intimate moments between characters, a little falling action to relieve the tension of a film, but that's not what Madagascar was doing. The voice talent was excellent, however. I really enjoyed Ben Stiller and David Schwimmer especially. Those two men have great cartoon character voices! And they make a great team. The plot is cute and interesting, and makes some interesting points about being out of your element, and about friendship.
One note about the animation. It is awesome! There are some really beautiful scenes. Modern animation is amazing. Although I'm still a fan of the old school animation, I can't help being amazed at what they can do now.
Anyway, it's an interesting and fun movie and if you have kids, you should definately take them.