Uploaded on Oct 28, 2008
WE LOVE TO MOVE IT, MOVE IT!
In the summer of 2005, Madagascar scored big with both domestic and
international audiences, racking up more than half-a-billion at the worldwide box office,
making it the top family comedy of the year. Once the fancy-footed lion, a quick talking
zebra, an anxiety-ridden giraffe and a smart n saucy hippo were released into theaters
around the globe, these four New York friends—better known as Alex, Marty, Melman
and Gloria—became the most popular quartet of the season.
Writer/director Eric Darnell remembers being relieved by the reception of
Madagascar, but not really that surprised. He says, Madagascar was a success
because it had these entertaining and enjoyable characters that people could identify
with—they also connected with them on a human level. And despite their flaws, their
issues, their anxieties, whatever problems they may be facing, you always empathize with
them and want them to come through.
Writer/director Tom McGrath continues, We just fell in love with the characters
that we created along with Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett
Smith—and clearly, everyone else did, too. We had this great ensemble cast that we just
totally loved. We took on the theme of civility versus savagery and turned that into a
friendship story about these zoo animals, when their bonds were tested once they got into
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Production Information 3
the wild. Even at the time we ended the first movie—before it became this huge hit—we
were thinking that we could do so much more with these characters.
Producer Mireille Soria also reasons, There is something about the design that
people love. And I think thats part of it—theyre very graphic—along with being smart
and funny. The first movie was about the importance of friendship and what it means to
be a good friend. One of the things that is so great about New York is its diversity, and
that is reflected in our group—a lion, a giraffe, a zebra and a hippo who are best friends.
And that was something we thought we could explore even further. And we could also
will.i.am comments, Madagascar is one of our favorite movies. I think Ive
seen it, like, 500 times. We were in Johannesburg, in the airport, and our tour manager
says, Cmon, guys, we gotta move it, move it! Like the crew, everybody, we use move
it, move it all the time. Its like our whole familys favorite movie by far.
Once signed, it was a natural progression that will should collaborate with
Oscar®-winning composer Hans Zimmer on the Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa score
and songs, duties which he also assumedsort of on the spot.
The recording artist found himself in the voiceover studio (as any actor would
voicing an animated character). The moment when his character rises out of the water
and first glimpses Gloria was on the page in front of him. will.i.am thought it would be
fun to rhyme something—and someone in the session suggested that this special first
moment should feature a song.
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