I finished not enjoying Dreamworks’ Madagascar today. Visually, it was extraordinary: lush colors, great textures and interestingly stylized. But nearly every shot was full of overacting, unnecessary dialogue, and slapstick humor. Any of those qualities are useful in moderation, but annoying if overused. The commentary explained that a primary inspiration for the film was old Tex Avery cartoons. Fair enough, but what made his old cartoons so fun was that while there was plenty of slapstick and absurdity, it felt like it was breaking out from a reluctantness to act that way. Avery cartoons knew moderation. Madagascar knows no moderation. Almost every character is a frantically animated neurosis. And through their almost continual dialogue, it rarely felt like the characters were communicating. The words rang hollow and pathetic, like those from a person who babbles needlessly because silence scares him. If the studio hadn’t been concerned with squeezing every word out of their high paid celebrity voices, they would have realized that many scenes could have communicated better without talking. And in these moments of silence, it would allow the characters to actually feel like animals. But that is the sophisticated strategy. Madagascar: an exhausting animated adventure of nonstop pointless dialogue and over-the-top sight gags.

In an unrelated note, I finally changed the strings on my guitar and I am amazed by how different it sounds. Now if I could only play the thing…

December 13th, 2005. Categories / Uncategorized

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