Mark Steyn hits with dead-on accuracy the problem with todays kid movies in this review of Madagascar. Hollywood seems finally to have gotten the message that "G" or "PG" movies targeted at children can produce the big bucks. The problem is--with some notable exceptions like The Incredibles Hollywood is lazy about the way such movies are now produced. We took our two kids to a matinee viewing of Madagascar and, for our $30 we were treated to a plot that was unimaginative and characters that were (with the exception of the lemur Steyn notes and the penguins--all minor characters) uninspired.
Peters discussion below of Kipling reminds me of how enthralled the kindergarten kids I taught last year were of Kipling stories and, of course, the Chuck Jones animated version of Riki Tiki Tavi (despite its somewhat outdated animation). All of this just goes to show that there is no substitute for good writing and a good story. Corny jokes about bodily functions can only be recycled so many times. Next time Dreamworks puts out a kids movie, well save our $30 and rent the DVD after reading Steyns review! Still, were looking forward to the release of Disneys The Chronicles of Narnia this Christmas.