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Madagascar: A Little Wild Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Shaylin Becton, Tucker Chandler, Luke Lowe
Madagascar became a successful animated franchise for DreamWorks because the animal characters having adventures in the big city were, ironically, very human. It also helps that some celebrity voices, including Chris Rock, put in memorable performances. So it seemed inevitable that kid versions of Alex, Gloria, Marty and Melman would appear for a kids’ series. Madagascar: A Little Wild premieres on both Hulu and Peacock (it’s a Hulu Original, however) and does just that.
Opening Shot: A photo of the famous “Dancing Clock” at the Central Park Zoo is briefly shown before we see a rescue habitat and its keeper Kate (Jasmine Gatewood) talking to the visitors at the zoo.
The Gist: The rescue habitat contains four familiar faces to fans of the Madagascar films, albeit now in kid form: Alex (Tucker Chandler), a lion who lives to perform and wants to be an actor; Marty (Amir O’Neil), a zebra who is not only Alex’s “main mammal,” but also extremely practical; Gloria (Shaylin Becton), a hippo who is light on her feet and loves to dance; and Melman (Luke Lowe), a giraffe who loves neatness, cleanliness and order. The four of them love staying at the zoo, but they venture out into New York for various adventures, either popping out via an underground tunnel or an over-trees zipline.
In the first episode, a regular visitor of the habitat leaves his teddy bear behind, and the four buddies decide to go through the park to try to find him. So, after they pay the toll to monkeys Pickles (Candace Kozak) and Dave, they pop out of a fountain and set out to look. In order to disguise themselves, they don a bunch of cheesy souvenirs off a vendor cart.
They get help from their talkative pigeon buddy Ant’eny (Eric Peterson) and a ranger horse named Sergeant Hoof (Da’vine Joy Randolph); the second helper is especially important to Marty, who wants to become the first zebra ranger. When they finally get the bear back to the kid, who is busy racing his toy sailboat, it actually lands in the arms of a toddler. The kid decides to let the toddler keep it. When Marty thinks he failed in his mission, Sergeant Hoof reminds Marty that the mission was to get the bear back to its rightful owner.
What Shows Will It Remind You Of? Well, since it’s based on the Madagascar movie characters, we’ll go with that.
Our Take: Madagascar: A Little Wild is a pretty inoffensive cartoon to show the little ones. The reason why the Madagascar franchise is so popular is that the main four characters — Marty, Alex, Gloria and Melman — have such realistic human personalities, and the series tries to convert those personalities to kid versions of those characters. For the most part, executive producer Johanna Stein and her writers are able to accomplish this. But there’s nothing about the show that’s going to make you say, “Hey, I want to watch this over and over with my kid!”
There are some recurring jokes in each episodes, like pigeons in the tunnel out of the zoo doing something episode related, and the old married couple who almost seem to make the friends, but just act befuddled. The quartet seem to be jonesing for dumplings in every episode. The idea that these animals are wandering the city barely disguised and are undetected is something that only a seven year old will watch at face value.
But the show is pleasant enough, with the kid versions of the quartet displaying their individual personality quirks well, the brash Ant’ney giving some New Yawk swagger to the show, and an animation style that’s up to DreamWorks Animation’s usual standard. It’s nominally educational, showing kids how great it is to have friends who are resourceful and like to go on adventures together. But it doesn’t feel like a show a kid will watch more than once or twice, and it doesn’t really have anything their parents can latch onto in order to keep them from doing something else while it’s on.
What Age Group Is It For?: Probably 5 and up. My 5 1/2-year-old daughter seemed to like it, but who knows how long that will last?
Parting Shot: The gang settle down to watch the baby hedgehog cam on the TV in Kate’s office. Then they find a dumpling take-out menu that makes them all very happy.
Sleeper Star: Amir O’Neil has pretty big shoes to fill; Chris Rock is likely the voice people remember most from the movies. But Amir is more than up to the task; he does a nice job as kid Marty, a very moral zebra.
Most Pilot-y Line: As they track the teddy bear’s owner onto a carousel, a girl grabs Marty because she thinks he’s part of the ride and won’t let go when the ride is over.
Our Call: STREAM IT. Like we said, Madagascar: A Little Wild is pretty inoffensive stuff, and if your kid is into the movies, he or she might get into the series. But it’s one of those shows that’s definitely hit or miss and not particularly memorable.
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