Directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath, starring the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and Tom McGrath.

Alex the Lion (Stiller) is the king of Central Park Zoo, where he has lived all of his life. His friends Marty the Zebra (Rock), Melman the Giraffe (Schwimmer) and Gloria the Hippo (Pinkett Smith) know nothing of life in the wild, only for the fact that it exists. On his 10th birthday, Marty makes a wish and acts on it. He wants to see the wild. With a little inspiration from some plotting penguins, he leaves the zoo one night, planning to return before morning.

On discovering that Marty is missing, his friends also leave the zoo in search of the wandering zebra. En route to Africa, the four get washed up on the wild island of Madagascar. With no humans to feed them, they experience the wonders of living in the wild, face new threats and learn a lot about their friendship.

'Madagascar' is the latest in computer animated films, brought to us by the makers of 'Shrek'. In its own right 'Madagascar' is fantastic entertainment for children, but for adults it's incomparable to the allegorical 'Shrek' which reached new levels of sophistication, in both story and computer animation. But it will keep you laughing.

The four prodigious penguins trying to reach Antarctica for some frozen sushi are fantastic. From sabotaging the ship, through to taking the humans hostage and applying their sunscreen, they are one of the highlights of the film.

'Madagascar' is bursting with energy, from the lively, recognisable tunes to the adventure-ready Marty. It's a quick-moving, simple tale of the jungle, driven by humour and will keep children of all ages entertained.

Patricia O'Callaghan