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3.6 out of 5 stars
The Wild
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76 of 89 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 24, 2006
After going to "The Wild" this weekend with my two kids, I gotta say I don't understand all the bashing of Disney and this film? Maybe "The Wild" isn't on par with "The Lion King" or "Toy Story", but it's far from being a snoozer like "Chicken Little" or "Home on the Range". There may be similar characters in both "Madagascar" and "The Wild", but each film stands on it's own, and both are pretty enjoyable. "The Wild" was a lot of fun, had some laugh out loud moments, and featured some fantastic animation. The soundtrack was fun, and while the songs may be older, who cares, they fit the spirit of the movie. Eddie Izzard's koala bear steals the film, and had my son and daughter laughing all afternoon. I am not sure what some of these other movie goers were expecting from "The Wild" and why it was such a major disappointment, but I say that if you enjoyed "Madagascar" then you will like "The Wild" too. Anything featuring the voices of Keifer Sutherland and William Shatner is worth taking a look at.
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54 of 69 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 13, 2006
They say Hollywood is a "race for second place," so you might say that DISNEY'S "THE WILD" is first to be second. Talking animals from an NYC zoo, ending up in an exotic foreign place, facing their fears to become better...talking animals. If this sounds familiar you may have already seen it DREAMWORKS' MADAGASCAR released less than a year ago. I'm not pointing fingers here, Disney has been supposedly working on this for 9 years, but THE WILD comes across as a "second-hand lion," watered down and "toothless."

The only differences, apart from the film and production company names, are style and voice casting. Whereas MADAGASCAR'S visual style is more cartoonish, THE WILD's approach is ultra-realistic in details. While Madagascar had characters voiced by Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and David Schwimmer, the voice casting for THE WILD is up to Disney's high standards: Respected leader SAMSON (guess HIS species) is voiced by Kiefer Sutherland , street savy Benny the Squirrel by Jim Belushi, dim-witted Larry the Snake by Richard Kind (of "the Producers") and Janeane Garofalo as Bridget the Giraffe. Don Cherry, Canadian hockey announcer cameos as the penguin MC. One possible breakout character is Nigel the British kolala, voiced by Eddie Fizzard, trying to shed his cuddly image, later becoming idol to a pack of wildebeests along with their choreographing leader dancing to the beat of different drum, Kazar, voiced brilliantly-straight by William Shatner (who provides voice for another animated animal in the upcoming "Over the Hedge.")

The WILD'S Director Steve Williams and producer Clint Goldman helped to revolutionize CG character animation during their long association with ILM ("The Mask," "Jurassic Park," "Terminator 2"), and were responsible for the popular Blockbuster commercials featuring Carl the rabbit and Ray the guinea pig. The film is scored by Academy-nominated composer Alan Silvestri ( known for the" Back to the Future Trilogy," and "Polar Express"), the soundtrack is also filled with familiar tunes by such r recording artists EVERLIFE, COLDPLAY, LIFEHOUSE, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Other new material provided by ex-"Monty Python" member Eric Idle and fellow songwriter John Du Prez, the team responsible for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, "SPAMALOT" writing and performing the song, "Really Nice Day" for THE WILD.

As the animals embark on a dangerous journey to rescue one of their own, THE WILD, like its DREAMWORKS counterpart, is suitable for children with themes of teamwork, friendship and father-son relationships ( Samson's son's desire to get out of his father's shadow and have his own adventures). Overall it comes down to this: If you haven't seen MADAGASCAR you will enjoy this film infinitely more.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2006
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I don't really care what these other people are saying, this movie was really good. It's the perfect movie for young children to watch with adults, or kids of any age. It's very entertaining and a success as a animated movie (better than Madagascar).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2006
The movie was so awesome! Samson (Kiefer Sutherland, 24), Benny (Jim Belushi, According To Jim), Nigel (Eddie Izzard), Bridget (Jeaneane Garofalo), and Larry (Richard Kind) are living in New York City with their little cub of family adventure sekking lion cub Ryan (Greg Cipes, Teen Titans) to live in New York Central Park Zoo. Ryan gets lost in those green boxes and ships them to Africa. Samson, Larry, Bridget, Nigel and Benny are searching for Ryan and be able to take on the most firecest wildebeest Kazar (William Shatner, Over The Hedge) to save Ryan.

Okay. 10 reasons why I love this movie:

10. New York City

9. The Dancing Scene at the end of the film

8. Searching for Ryan

7. Comedy

6. Drama

5. Adventure

4. Difference between Finding Nemo, Madagascar and The Lion King

3. The animals running around New York City

2. Good for kids and adults, even teenagers

1. Favorite Character in the movie: Ryan

This movie was so amazing and awesome. Finding Nemo, The Lion King and Madagascar mixed together in one movie that will be charted on the Hit Movie List of 2006. This movie will beat out many films in 2006 like, Hoodwinked, Doogal, Curious George, Over The Hedge and Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. The Wild will be the No.1 Disney Animated Movie of 2006. You should see it in theatres and if you haven't seen it in theatres yet, it will be your chance to get it on DVD soon.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2006
Format: DVD
I expect QUALITY from Disney, and I didn't see quality with this film. It felt like a runner-up knockoff, and not something that anyone actually invested time or effort in. Ok, the animation was interesting, but not interesting enough to hold me for the entire length. It had a few laugh out loud moments, but for the most part, I was bored. And the sound mix on the DVD is awful -- the music swamps the dialogue through much of the movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2007
Format: DVD
First time I watched it with my 4-yr. old grandson drew me in with the relationships (father/son, romantic squirrel/giraffe).Watched it alone and found the technical aspect beats Madagascar with its stiff, jerky character movements. Great subplots and never a dull moment...great running gag( the koala bear doll ) even infected our grandkids who remember every characters name and repeat "I'm so cuddly I like You". Funny movie for adults...highly recommended.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Samson (Keifer Sutherland) and his son Ryan (Greg Cipes) live a comfortable life in the New York Zoo. They stay in their enclosure during the day, but at night they have the run of the zoo, hang out, and even play games with their friends.

Ryan has a problem, however. He hasn't developed his roar. Samson has told him lots of stories about his life in "The Wild," but they aren't helping Ryan. Every time he tries, it sounds more like a cat then a lion.

Fed up with not meeting his dad's expectations, he decides to stow away in a crate bound for Africa. At the last minute, Samson discovers what's going on and sets out to rescue his son. Helping him in his quest are Benny the Squirrel (Jim Belushi), Nigel the Koala Bear (Eddie Izzard), Bridget the Giraffe (Janeane Garofalo), and Larry the Snake (Richard Kind).

Their quest takes them from the streets to New York to an island off the coast of Africa. Along the way, Samson's secret will be revealed and the gang will face a volcano and a dangerous pack of wildebeests led by Kazar (William Shatner).

Unfortunately, I missed this movie in the theaters. The movie is absolutely hysterical. I watched it with a couple friends, and the three of us laughed the entire way through. Yes, there are some absurd situations, but most of the humor comes from the snappy dialog. The jokes are quick, and it takes a couple watches to get them all.

The movie has been compared to DreamWorks's Madagascar, but I didn't see it. What I can tell you is, while this movie has some familiar plots, it kept me entertained from start to finish with a couple twists along the way. The actors do a great job with the characters, and the animation is top notch.

I am truly sorry I missed this gem on the big screen but am glad I bought it. I'll be enjoying this one for years to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2006
Safe for the family without being lame. Very hard to do. Funny and well done movie. Thank you for this one, Disney.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
I wanted to see this movie since the day it came out but lost the chance like some others. I wanted to see it for Eddie Izzard and for the fact that Madagascar stole their idea and got their film out first. How is this film going to be any different from Madagascar? Disney and Dream Works are in direct competition. The Wild was in production for quite sometime due to the fallout of Pixar and the discovery of a new animation team to finish the film. It just so happens that Madagascar was rushed and released before The Wild, making Disney look like the bad guy. That being said I have to be honest and say the two are similar..... By premise only. Both films obviously contain a group of animals escaping the New York Zoo to go to the wild. That alone leaves plenty of room for creativity and The Wild accomplishes just that. Some feel that this film should have gone straight to DVD because it was aimed at 5 year olds which isn't a bad thing but definitely not for the theater crowd and probably for the kid's parents.

I have to admit that the story was a bit crazy and aloof at times but I got quickly over it. I enjoyed this film from beginning to end with my kids. Its quite good, full of jokes, has an amazing attention to detail and visually stunning. I actually found myself laughing at some parts of this film. Plus the movie includes morals and lessons to be learned for the kiddies. I did however LOVE Eddie's performance as Nigel. That really was one of the only redeeming qualities of this movie.

The Wild didn't FEEL like a typical Disney movie, kind of like 'Home on the Range'. It's like Disney is trying to jump into the Shrek/Ice Age market. The problem is that I don't want that from Disney. They should seriously reconsider on sticking to the Lion King and Little Mermaid animation because that's what they do best. There's is nothing wrong on going back to your own roots and I believe a lot of parents would agree with me when I say that they should head back to "Classic Disney."

Many are probably are reluctant to see this film given the timing. But I urge you to give The Wild a chance and you just might be surprised.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2006
I'm seeing a lot of critics compare this to last year's similarly-toned "Madagascar." It may be true that this film's timing is unfortunate coming on the heals of that DreamWorks flick, but to call this a rip-off, or even call them the same, is like comparing "Shark Tale" to "Finding Nemo" just because they are both about fish. Okay, this and "Madagascar" have something in common in that they both are about the animals breaking out of where they are kept, but that's about it. "The Wild" is funnier and has a nice under-current of plot about a father and son; something kids don't get to see a lot of, at least in live action movies (the father is always a dead-beat dad, or an alcoholic, or a criminal or abusive, or all those things). Just as Disney's "Nemo" was far-sharper, funnier and more heartwarming than DreamWorks' "Shark Tale," so is Disney's "The Wild" compared to DreamWorks' "Madagascar."

"The Wild" may not be a classic, and it may have elements that have been done before, but its well animated, kids will love it (they like anything colorful and fast paced), and consider this: Critics always gripe that, if they aren't going to come up with an original idea, movie studios should stop trying to remake or copy good movies, but remake bad ones and make them better. Here ya go.
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