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Review: Lemurs cute, cuddly and close to in trouble in 'Madagascar'

In the world of movies, Hollywood studios co-opted the IMAX format for their big blockbusters to bring more rattle and hum to their big screen releases.

"Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" explores the trials and tribulations of that primate.
Warner Bros.

In some cases it works to great effect (The Dark Knight Rising) and in others, it’s not difficult to wonder why they bothered.

But IMAX, when used properly, such as in the case of Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, complements a film to even greater effect.

The large format has always enhanced the feeling of wonderment of movies and Madagascar, which opens Friday (April 4) at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland is no exception. Contextually, most of the large format documentaries rarely differ that much.

They take you to an animal’s habitat, talk about what they do there, whether they are in danger and what’s being done to protect them.

The secret to success lays in how the film is shot and whether the story is compelling. For Lemurs – the creatures made a legend in the Madagascar animated films – it’s all there. Morgan Freeman’s always soothing voice provides narration.

Add to the mix a noted scientist in Dr. Patricia Wright, who provides just enough background and the filmmakers have created a compelling film.

Movie: Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Director: David Douglas
Cast: Morgan Freeman narrates, Dr. Patricia Wright and a host precious primates
Studio: Warner Bros.
Rated: G
Running time: 39 minutes
George’s rating: 3.5-of-5
Playing locally at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Admission is $11 for adults and $9 for children.