Madagascar

2005, DreamWorks

Talking animals don't fare all that well in Madagascar. Most of the characters are too loud and brash to be enjoyable, the animation style is unappealing, and the story is too thin to keep the adults satisfied. Despite this, it was a box office success that gave birth to a franchise.

   

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Madagascar Escape 2 Africa

2008, DreamWorks

The first Madagascar sequel was generally on par with the original. The main characters were still rather annoying, and some of the newcomers were nearly Jar Jar Binks unbearable, although the monkeys provided a few chuckles, and the penguins proved to be worthy of additional attention. Technically, the animation was somewhat improved.

   

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Madagascar 3 Europe's Most Wanted

2012, DreamWorks

The third trip back to the well didn't shift the score one way or the other; it was all just more of the same. The penguins continued to be the real stars of the franchise.

   

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Penguins of Madagascar

2014, DreamWorks

Although animation sidekicks often flounder on their own (think Minions), separating the penguins from the rest of the zoo animals proved to be a smart move, resulting in possibly the best film of the franchise—in spite of being a spin-off—although it's only a marginal improvement. At the very least, the nearly continuous slapstick action will surely keep the kids happy, while the colorful animation is the best of the lot—although it still falls short of the quality found in other franchises, inexplicably.

   

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