Friday, June 03, 2005

Madagascar

"Some friends bring ruin on us, but a true friend is more loyal than a brother." Proverbs 18:24

Although there is nothing too special about Madagascar that hasn't been seen in animated and children's movies before, it does bring back the theme of friendship in the best and the worst of times.

See if you can follow this: Alex the Lion (voiced by Ben Stiller) and Marty the Zebra (voiced by Chris Rock) begin this film as good friends at the zoo; then become estranged when they land on Madagascar; then come back together when a tribe of lemurs bring them to their home; then become predator-and-prey when Alex sees all his friends as food; then finally become friends again when Marty won't give up on a ten-year friendship. It's back and forth and back and forth, but the basic theme comes out in the end: friendship knows no limits or boundaries when it's really real.

Perhaps there might be a bright spot to the fact that this theme has been tried so many times on the silver screen: true friendship is a real gift of God. In such an individualistic age, I believe God wants us to rediscover the priceless value of community and friendship.

The hero of Madagascar? It's Marty, who choose to rekindle friendship despite the odds. He shows us it may be easy to be a friend in the good times, but it's much harder to keep it intact when the going gets rough (and when you might be "eaten" if you get to close).

In John 15, Jesus speaks a lot about real friendship. To Christ, friendship is "to lay down one's life for another." (v. 13). Marty the Zebra is a friend in the spirit of Christ in this film, and an example for all of us to follow.

The friendship theme might be an old movie formula, but it's a theme worth the repeat.

4 comments:

ProverbialMike said...

Loved this movie but I'm a sucker for Pixar. I really liked the way the artists rendered NYC perfectly right down to the lights in Grand Central and the signposts around the Central Park Zoo.

Moreover, I agree with much of what you say about the movie. I like the Hippo character voiced by Jada Pinkett Smith who is always the friend who pushes you to places where you don't want to go. My friends often say "Who will be the voice of reason this week?" as we each take on this role in each other's lives often.

Jarzembowski said...

Well said. The Hippo and the Giraffe characters in "Madagascar" are truly supportive friends, and often times we forget just how important those supportive people are in our lives.

That's a lesson in making sure we take stock of ALL the relationships we have in life, beyond even our friends. Who has the Lord placed before us this day that I might have never noticed? Who is that 'hippo' or 'giraffe' for us. Let's pray for them too.

Anonymous said...

I think that sometimes God will put someone in our life for a reason that maybe we did not see at first, and then when we look back on our personal experiences with that person, the lessons gained through those experiences are ones that will remain etched in our hearts and lives forever,and that is just incredibly awesome to think about.
I like going back to the old saying/poem that goes something like people come in to our lives, some are quick to go, and others stay a lifetime, and either way, they leave footprints in our hearts, and we are never the same.
I feel blessed to have the gift of true friendship, and thank God for these wonderful influences in my journey through life. I am learning through others, who truly care deeply for me.

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