masterpiece for children that adults will enjoy watching as well.
It may seem
a bit dated since the
movie came out several years ago, but nothing is ever really
dated since you can always get them on DVD. Having a 3-year-old,
I've just seen this, and wow what a breath of fresh air from the
usual children’s programs that mainly focus on politically correct
The main theme
of the story focuses on several zoo animals. Zoo animals who have
become dependent on humans (aka Government) for their existence.
At the same time they've developed a sense of entitlement and superiority.
A brilliant scene highlighting the superiority assumed and felt
by the main character Alex the Lion is when, upon encountering some
wild animals, he talks to them in a condescending tone as if they
were too stupid to understand if he didn't speak very basically
to them. Alex the lion also refers to himself as the King of New
The zoo animals,
trying to return to New York from Madagascar, survive a plane crash
due to the heroics and preparedness of the Penguins, and are now
thrust into the wilds of Africa. Their immediate response is to
seek out humans to take care of them. By the end of the movie, they
have learned they can face the challenges that come with self-reliance.
They choose freedom over returning to the zoo and realize they can
make it on their own without humans to fulfill their needs.
There are several
other sub-themes that are dear to Libertarians, such as the way
King Julien, the lemur, is portrayed. A self-important, self-absorbed
monarch who has little regard for anyone else, and believes his
ideas must always be right because he conceived them and is quick
to take credit where none is due. The zebra who wants to be an individual.
The union-organizing monkeys who resort to blackmail to get their
ridiculous demands met. Plus several more I'll leave to the reader
to discover. Nearly every concept in the movie is portrayed from
a Libertarian perspective.
of the masterful dialogue occurs between the capitalist penguin
and the statist Alex the lion, showing the mindset of each. The
penguin has a pragmatic can-do attitude, but is quick to relinquish
control if someone else has a better idea, while Alex needs some
sort of authority figure to take control and make decisions for
him. A: "Who made you king of the plane wreck?" P: "Excuse
me. Fine you can be in charge. You fix the plane." A: "Who
gives you the authority to put me in charge?" P: "Okay
then, I'll remain in charge."
The movie even
takes a little jab at the TSA when King Julien exclaims, "He's
carrying scissors and hand cream" when Mort is trying to get
on the plane. An overreaction follows.
lingering question which I'll leave the reader to ponder. Are the
capitalist penguins unethical when they steal the jeeps, or are
they just reclaiming resources from the humans?
Washburn [send him mail]
lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife, Jill, and 3-year-old baby daughter,
Olivia. He has worked as a full-time realtor for the last 14 years.