Soundtracks to animated films generally give composers a chance to indulge their more whimsical side. Such is the case with MADAGASCAR, a movie whose plot revolves around four animals breaking out of the Central Park Zoo and mistakenly ending up in the wilds of Madagascar. Hans Zimmer is the principal composer for the score, though he only ends up flying solo on a pair of tunes--a lush, straightforward remake of "Born Free," and "Zoosters Breakout," a piece dominated by darting string sections and the occasional brass splash.
Zimmer is joined by James S. Levine on "Beacon of Liberty," with its mix of orchestral fanfare and a chugging bass line. Joined by Heitor Pereira and Ryeland Allison on "Friends," Zimmer and Levine come up with a whimsical theme that incorporates carefree whistling, a hint of ukulele, and a happy-go-lucky cadence. Familiar old tunes by the Ventures, the Bee Gees, and Earth, Wind & Fire are on hand, but pride of place goes to the hilarious remake of the Reel 2 Reel dance smash "I Like to Move It," rendered by Sacha Baron Cohen (AKA Ali G) in character as King Julian the Lemur.