films seen
average score
Alive and kicking



1998 / 83m - USA
Comedy, Adventure - Animation
Antz poster

If you've ever wanted to watch an animated Woody Allen film, this is probably as close as you'll get. It's a weird thing to say about a CG animation from Dreamworks, but apparently such is the effect of casting Allen as the lead voice actor. He can weigh on a film using just his voice, aptly illustrated by the opening monologue.

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When he's not onscreen though, the film quickly devolves into a more typical US CG animation. Rudimentary characters, poor comedy and an adventure that feels lifeless and predictable. It's an awkward back and forth between two very different types of comedy that doesn't quite work, but at least makes Antz a bit more interesting compared to most of its peers.

There are also some elements that you wouldn't quite expect, like the rather gruesome battle scene and one of the secondary characters dying. This is hardly earth-shattering cinema, but US animation tends to be so docile and clean that it does feel somewhat refreshing. The film itself is not a big success, but at least there were some interesting bits to chew on.

Penguins of Madagascar

2014 / 92m - USA
Comedy - Animation
Penguins of Madagascar poster

Truth be told, I didn't expect a lot from this film. I've been going through DreamWorks' animation back catalog and most of these films are rather depressing. What makes Penguins of Madagascar even worse is that it takes the worst side characters of the Madagascar series and gives them their own spin-off.

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What did surprise me was the shameless cheapness of the film. As much as I dislike US animation, at least most of these films have a certain standard when it comes to technical quality. Penguins of Madagascar pretty much looks like a TV project. There's little detail, the settings are crude and the animation is poor. And that leaves pretty much nothing to enjoy.

The comedy is so incredibly dumb and predictable, the plot is boring and inconsequential, the voice acting mostly just loud. That seems to be the standard modus operandi of most of these films in fact. Just make it loud and busy and people will laugh at it. Not really my kind of comedy I'm afraid.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted poster

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

2008 / 89m - USA
Comedy - Animation
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa poster


2005 / 86m - USA
Comedy, Adventure - Animation
Madagascar poster