"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.