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James Belushi
Eddie Izzard
Janeane Garofalo
Kiefer Sutherland.
Steve 'Spaz' Williams.
Ed Decter
Mark Gibson.
Running Time
82 minutes

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Nightmare, The
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Man With A Movie Camera
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The Wild
Madagascar mimicry makes for a better comedy.

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Samson the lion (Sutherland) is head honcho at his home at the New York City zoo, but when his son is accidentally shipped off to Africa, he and his friends (a giraffe, an anaconda, a koala and a squirrel) set off in pursuit. However, Samson has a secret: he’s never been to the wild before.

The Wild
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Like buses, shoes and Geordie TV presenters, CG-critter movies often come in pairs. Two ant movies, two fish movies… and now we have two films about animals from the Central Park zoo going to Africa. Coming second must have helped Disney’s The Wild, though, as it’s marginally better than last year’s Madagascar, with a better (if less starry) cast voicing a set of characters who are more rounded, each granted their own moment of screen glory.
You wouldn’t guess this from the first act, though. Despite starting well with a lion’s bedtime story about a hunt for wildebeest that references The Lion King, the opening zoo scenes are lacklustre, full of beautifully animated characters doing little against inexcusably flat backgrounds.
Things improve immeasurably when our heroes travel to Africa — it’s as if the writers suddenly woke up. Samson (Kiefer Sutherland) gets in touch with his wild side; Nigel the koala (Eddie Izzard) suddenly becomes funny; William Shatner voices a wildebeest prophet with a demented plan to move his herd to the top of the food chain; and a pair of secret-agent chameleons supply the best gags in the final ten minutes. It’s a late rally, but strong enough to survive even the ill-advised last-minute dance routine...

The Wild roars back from a rocky opening act to a storming last reel, just managing to claw its way above comparisons with Madagascar.

Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Wild
Empire Star Rating

Wildly mild

A fairly generous review by empire i think. Like the previous review said; if you liked madagscar then this is on a par, although saying that its the last half hour that saves it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chiefjedi66 at 21:17, 05 June 2006 | Report This Post

RE: The Wild

took a group of youngsters with learning disabilities to see this film and though it should be accessible for kids - particularly kids with some sort of impairment - it wasn't. It was dull, repetitious and had no story that I could discern... at least, one that had some depth. Wafer thin, I believe, is the common vernacular. The kids fidgeted, moaned and generally behaved as if they were bored. We all were. Do not take your child. Do not go. This is pants.  ... More

Posted by poisonfrog at 11:22, 29 May 2006 | Report This Post

The Waste

I didn't have high hopes going into this movie. This means that hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised and it wouldn't be as bad as I first thought. Sadly not. The comparisons with Madagascar are glaringly obvious; bunch of odd ball talking animals all happy in New York zoo, except one that wants out and the rest follow, and end up on a tropical island far away from home. Having just written that, the movies sound identical! Well, they're not quite. I was not a big fan of Madagascar, bu... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by monkeyhouse at 04:19, 26 May 2006 | Report This Post

RE: Wildly rubbish

I've heard some people say that this is better than Madagascar. I've seen the trailer quite a few times, and I'm not sure. Think I'll have to see it anyway, just because it's an animation. ... More

Posted by AgentGoth at 09:09, 24 May 2006 | Report This Post

Wildly rubbish

Although empire have given this a positive review, i disagree. I saw this in america a few weeks ago and it was crap. Well, if you liked Madagascar, you should have no problem with this. Grade: D+ ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by premierbaron at 16:19, 22 May 2006 | Report This Post

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