Madagascar (2005)


Concept featured in film: Jungle Dynamics; terriroty

Location of clip:


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: In this scene, Marty is trying to convince Alex to snap out of his bad mood and come with them back to New York. Alex is unwilling to listen. Unbeknownst to Marty, as he is talking to Alex, more carnivores are gathering around him, expecting to have some "lunch". Melman and Gloria attempt to rescue Marty, but they too are overwhelmed by the hyenas. Just then, Alex stands atop a large rock and ROARS his loin roar. This sound followed by his "mine" statements make the hyenas step away from the herbivores and eventaully run away in fear as the "king" of the jungle has staked his claim.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: Every habitat has a hierarchy of some sort defining the "king" as the strongest, most powerful animal in the habitat. It is well known that the male lion is considered the king of the jungle and typically all other animals must allow the king his choice of territory and food. The pecking order is typically established by competition and after that maintained by a sort of repect. In this clip, the hyenas know that they should not challenge a lion for territory or food.

Suggestions to Teachers:

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

a. What does Marty represent to the hyenas? Does he represent the same to Alex? What if Alex wasn't his friend?

b. Why do the hyenas withdrawl when Alex claims his friends as his?

c. Can you name the "king" of some other habitats?

2. The students could act out a habitat. Put different parts/ habitatnts of a habitat in a bag. Have the students pick out of the bag what creature they will act out. Have the students vote on who should be the "king" and why. Then, have the students rank the animals from top to bottom from there. Next, hand out a plate of cookies, brownies, or different candies; the king gets his first, followed in the order that the students have chosen. Have the students discuss how it felt to watch the more powerful animals get to pick at the food first. Did they start salivating??

3. Have the students discuss carrying capacity and relate it to the most dominant animal getting first pick of the food. What does this do for the lowest animal on the list if the carrying capacity is overcome? What happens to sick or weak animals in nature? Now relate this to the human population. Who is the most "dominant" human? Who is on the bottom of the list? Does this dominant person get more advantages than the poorest humans? Have a debate over whether we should attempt to care for the sick and weak in order for them to have the same opportunity or is we should promote a "dog-eat-dog" society where the stronger get pick of the resources.