Madagascar (2005)


Concept featured in film: Predator/Prey; Carnivores

Location of clip:


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: In this scene, Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria are attempting to fit into the "wild" after having been raised in the New York City Zoo. Alex is performing his "act" for the Madagascar monkeys when he suddenly is overwhelmed by his hunger. He starts to visualize his audience members as the steaks that he was fed in the zoo. Suddenly, he is on top of his zebra friend Marty, biting his butt. The wild monkeys convey to the group of friends that Alex is different from them, needing meat to survive. They explain that all of the rest of them are the meat that he would eat in the wild. The monkeys tell the group that Alex should be on a different part of the island with the rest of the meat eaters. Alex is traumatized by this experience and isolates himself from his friends.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: Growing up in a zoo, these animals are not accustomed to surviving in the wild. Alex believes that his meals are simply brought to him the same as all of the other zoo animals. He doesn't realize that his meals are actually other animals. The realization that he needs to hunt for his food is a foreign concept until he is immersed in the wild and is overwhelmed by his hunger. His wild-side then shows through: he is a carnivore and his friends are the meat that he eats.

Suggestions to Teachers:

1. The teacher should ask the students to think about the following questions while viewing the clip:

a. What do lions eat? What do zebras and giraffes eat? What do hippopotamuses eat?

b. What is an animal that eats other animals called? What is an animal that eats plants called? What are humans called? What other omnivores are there?

c. Why couldn't Alex hang out with his friends on the island?

2. Have the students investigate into food chains by performing the exercise described at the following link:
The students will take the role of either a grasshopper, a frog, or a hawk. They will attempt to fill the "stomachs" using bags of popcorn.

3. Have the students research animal rescue groups and what is done when an animal has been rehabilitated and re-released into the wild. Certain steps need to be taken in order for the animal to be ready to survive in the wild again. What types of foods are fed to the animal while it is being rehabbed? How is the natural habitat simulated while being rehabbed? What other practices can you find that are simulated for a wild animal so that it can be returned to nature?