It’s a world where lions and hippos get to walk upright on their hind legs, and, perhaps unfairly, giraffes and zebras still have no hands for gesturing; a lion can dance as gracefully as a ballerina, perhaps even better; a giraffe can fall in love with a hippo; a zebra can crack jokes like a black man; and all animals speak the same language, ours.
It’s an entertaining world if your imagination is able to run loose, more so if you watch it with your kids, and an easily entertained crowd.
(Warning: following contains spoilers (even though the movie doesn’t need one) and loads of craps.)
Four urban animals (a lion, a zebra, a hippo and a giraffe) that were stranded in an island a long, long time ago (like in its prequel), finally got to go home in an airplane that was piloted by none other than the birds that can’t fly, penguins.
Right at a few thousand feet above Africa, the fuel of the airplane ran dry and they bungee-jumped and crash-landed into no other place than the birthplace of our main character, the lion. There he was happily reunited with his long lost parents and his clan, who all had great looking hair that Elvis would be proud of. The zebra found his brothers who all had the same number of black and white stripes, same pattern, same hair, same height, same legs, same tone of voice, same humour, same … same everything. The hippo found her clan where being big and very big were beautiful. And the giraffe found his mates who, to his horror, didn’t have a doctor amongst them.
With their new found family, a scenic water place as their home and the protection of the place being a reserve, all was well and rosy, until they need some twists and turns to stretch it to a 90 minutes affair.
The lion was conned and banished from the clan, along with his mother and father, who happened to be the alpha lion. The zebra found out he’s not unique, and all of a sudden had an identity crisis. The giraffe found a brown spot (amongst many others) behind his neck and thought he had only a few more days to live. The hippo … well, she’s happy, gotten to date a six-abs hunk with cute butts.
But all’s not lost (except for our times). God, or in this case, the movie makers, always had something uplifting spiritually saved for the last for those with bravery and perseverance, to stay until the end of the movie.
The waterhole at the reserve was running dry. And nobody had, or should have, a clue regarding what to do, except for our heroes.
The lion saw a chance to redeem himself and his parents, and boldly took up the challenge. After convincing his zebra friend that uniqueness was all in the mind and not in the eyes (he’s white stripes with black, as opposed to the black stripes with white of the other zebras), they ventured into the wilderness to remove the block in nature’s water piping.
As sure as the ozone layer was getting bigger and bigger day by day, they found out the source of the problem and its perpetrators – us human, who does not spare thoughts for other inhabitants on the earth, and claims ownership on everything that is on it.
At the end, with some smooth dancing moves, a father and son collaboration, a wing-flapping airplane, some great stunts from a giraffe and a hippo, a few penguins and loads of monkeys, they saved the day, and their waterhole, and a fish who was able to hold his breath on dry land longer, way, way longer, than I can hold mine in the water.
Our heroes returned as heroes to the reserve and decided that the reserve would be their home and lived happily ever after. And the penguin leader wed his beloved wooden bobblehead doll.
And if you find yourself leaving the cinema twisting your butt while humming “I like to move it, move it …”, you’re probably enjoying a bit too much of the movie. If you leave doubting the logic in a shark’s ability to hop from the sea to the beach, through the forest, up the mountain, and into a volcano; or the technically able mind of the penguins, or their organizing skills, or their shrewdness on the negotiation table; or how a zebra could switch on an iPod with his hooves, you’re probably not loosening enough the rein on your imagination to enjoy the movie.
I never had any control over my imagination, and my kids liked it, so I found it to be an enjoyable experience.
I like to Move It, Move It …