I usually really dig these mega-release family pictures loaded with snarky asides to the parents forced to bring their kids. And, indeed, I was enthralled by the first half hour. Seeing the Lion, Zebra, Hippo and (especially) Giraffe run around a surprisingly accurate New York City (Temple Emanu-El is in, like, 15 shots!) is a hoot and a half. Then, as we moved into act two, I started getting exhausted. And fidgety. The movie just became way to manic for me — and I got really anxious. I actually had to turn the DVD off for a few hours. It was a visceral reaction — too loud, too much slapstick, too much quick-cutting. Maybe I’m getting old. Y’know, I’m sure they didn’t mean it, but there is a remarkable philosophical undercurrent to this film about Nature/Nurture and, in a way, society reversing natural tendencies. (I mean, a Lion and a Zebra are friends?!) When Lion tries to eat Zebra, it actually made me a little sad. Not because I cared about the Zebra, but for the young kids going to see this movie having to face facts about the fallacy of fun anthropomorphized animals.
July 31, 2006
November 27, 2011
January 30, 2016
March 11, 2004
Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.
He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.