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Still shot from the movie: Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar

Leaping Lemurs! This documentary looks at the amazing creatures that inhabit the island of Madagascar.

Overall Grade: A-
Violence: A-
Sexual Content: A
Language: A
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Release Date: 04 Apr 2014
Run Time: 41
MPAA Rating: G


In-Depth Review

Hey! Where are those ridiculous lemurs and sassy penguins? Oops… maybe you first saw this title and made the same mistake I did. No, this isn’t another animated spectacle featuring escaped zoo animals with psychological hang-ups. Instead this is pure documentary material that will actually teach audiences about the incredible lemur and its unique home of Madagascar.

Narrated by the iconic documentary voice of Morgan Freeman, this movie is a visual feast of jumping, dancing, hanging and flying lemurs—thought to be one of the oldest species of mammals on earth. We also meet Dr. Patricia Wright, an American researcher who was determined to find a Greater Bamboo Lemur, a sub-species thought to be extinct.

Unlike other documentaries focused on cute, furry critters Island of Lemurs: Madagascar doesn’t get carried away with goofy jokes and a silly musical score. Instead it uses its scant 39 minutes to seriously educate its audience about these animals, which are still facing threats due to deforestation across the island. And, thanks to a lack of unnecessary objectionable content, this film is very accessible to all ages. Some very young children may have questions as to why the lemur’s home is endangered (we see people burning trees and clearing land) but there are no explicit visual details.

I had the privilege of seeing Island of Lemurs: Madagascar on an IMAX screen, but the information will still be just as relevant in a smaller size. Perhaps my only criticism is that I could have sat watching these endearing creatures a little longer and would have enjoyed more detailed information—especially about their future prognosis.

Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...

Discussion of the deforestation of Madagascar through burning. We see people burning foliage. A couple of lemurs are sedated and fitted with radio collars.
Sexual Content:
Lemurs are introduced to one another in the wild and it is explained that it is hoped they will mate and repopulate.
No profanities noted.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
No alcohol, tobacco or drug use noted.

Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...

Learn more about lemurs.

From the Studio:

” The film reunites Freeman with (writer) Drew Fellman, who also wrote and produced the 2011 IMAX 3D documentary “Born to Be Wild 3D,” and director David Douglas, who served as director of photography on that film.” - Warner Brothers

Video alternatives

This movie features the same writer, director and narrator as the documentary Born to Be Wild, also shot in IMAX 3D. Lemurs also make an appearance in the animated movie Madagascar.


Home Video Notes

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar releases to home video on March 31, 2015.

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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