3 reasons why I don’t like the next Dreamworks Madagascar animation

The third of animation of the Madagascar serie produced by Dreamworks will soon hit theatres, and while I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be another hit, I just can’t help feeling sad about it (and it’s not because we, Malagasy people, usually are jealous about other people who succeed). Let’s see some reasons why I’m sad about it:

  • I just re-read one note I wrote in 2008, when the “Madagascar, escape to Africa” aired. It generated $63.5 million in one week-end from 4065 theaters. As opposed to that impressive figure,for the 2007 season, Madagascar-tourism industry generated 586,7 billion FMG ($58 million if $1=10000Fmg=2000Ariary). How can you not be sad seeing those figures, when one movie is generating more, in one weekend, than thousands of people in the tourism sector of a whole country can even realize in one year. Given how bad the tourism sector is now in Madagascar (read: in terms of number of tourists, not in terms of offerings), chances are that this comparison would even get worse for this third Madagascar serie,
  •  Madagascar, the movie, has brilliantly succeeded in convincing the whole world that Madagascar (the island) has Lions, Hippos, Giraffes, Zebras, as well as Penguins. I do admit those characters are cute (and I just love King Julian), but when 80% of Madagascar’s flora and fauna are endemic to the island- the animation movie could still find a way to do some casting error by putting characters that don’t even exist here. I don’t know about you but it’s becoming cumbersome to mention that I’m coming from Madagascar- especially when I have to mention “the island, not the movie”, not to mention the tourists who want to see those animals when they land here (well, at least Lemurs actually exist and we have lot of species)
  • twitter, oh twitter: I’m an avid user of twitter and a follower of the #madagascar hashtag where Madagascar island lovers share news and infos about the country. Unfortunately, every Madagascar animation movie lover is going to flood that #Madagascar hashtag with quotes from the animation. Crap. Dreamworks, this is my plea to you: at least, please have your Madagascar animation fans use another hashtag for talking about this movie. Invite them to use some #mgeurope hshtag (or whatever nicely-marketing-oriented twitter hashtag). I bet your PR guys could even support it by saying that Dreamworks is the pioneer in leveraging Twitter to get some buzz out there when launching a movie. Come’on, you’ve got lot of creative people who can make it.

It just doesn’t feel right to know that while Madagascar has already hard times dealing with day-to-day issues (and this never-ending turmoil),  the next Madagascar animation boxoffice will be showing-off with a lot of success (which is fine) made out of our island’s name while we only collect the “collateral damages” . But, Dreamworks, from your plans, the Madagascar serie is going to be another cash cow for Dreamworks for the next years to come, and while you’re still busy opening facilities in Asia while launching Madagascar 3, I’m sure you can find ways to properly address those “collateral damages”.

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  • Esvian

    If i may chip in here (i posted this in the wrong thread)
    In my humble opinion dear sir, you dig on this topic far too deep. First
    of all there are no copyrights for names of countries, the movie
    characters went there. Only weak minded people would believe that a
    movie for kids has ANY resemblance to reality. If anything you should be
    grateful for all the publicity that the island gains. Think of all the
    people that wonders about the island, searches for things about it and
    ultimately traveling there! Me and mi girlfriend are planning to go to
    Madagascar, not for the movies(which we really enjoyed) but for the
    stunning landscape that we have seen on pictures…. and we wondered
    about the place ironically because of the movies =) and no we are not
    expecting lions, hippos or penguins for that matter.
    Greetings