Merry Madagascar

Merry Madagascar
Based on Characters by
Tom McGrath
Eric Darnell
Written by Eric Darnell
Tom McGrath
David Soren
Directed by David Soren
Starring Ben Stiller
Chris Rock
David Schwimmer
Jada Pinkett Smith
Danny Jacobs
Cedric the Entertainer
Andy Richter
Tom McGrath
Chris Miller
Jim Cummings
Nina Dobrev
Christopher Knights
Carl Reiner
Theme music composer Heitor Pereira
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Joe M. Aguilar
Mireille Soria
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) DreamWorks Animation
Pacific Data Images
Distributor NBCUniversal Television Distribution (current)
Original network NBC
Original release
  • November 17, 2009 (2009-11-17)

Merry Madagascar is a Christmas special first broadcast on the NBC network on November 17, 2009,[1] which starred the characters from the Madagascar film series. The story appears to take place sometime between the first and second film. It features many of the same voices from the film (except Sacha Baron Cohen, who was replaced by Danny Jacobs, who voices Julien in The Penguins of Madagascar TV series), including Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith. Carl Reiner provided the voice of Santa Claus.


As the story begins, Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer), and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) attempt to escape Madagascar and return to New York City using a hot air balloon they built, only to be thwarted by the lemur population, led by King Julien (Danny Jacobs), who mistake them for the "red night goblin" that visits every year at this time, the 24th of "Julianuary". Immediately after that, the "red night goblin" appears and begins showering the island with coals. Evading the barrage, Alex manages to shoot it down, but the four friends discover that the "red night goblin" was, in fact, Santa Claus, it becomes clear that Santa was merely throwing coal at Julien for obviously being naughty. Unfortunately, upon meeting Santa, the group realizes the crash has left Jolly St. Nick with amnesia, unaware of his responsibilities. Julien comments around this time that he has "another hat on," indicating the large bump on his head.

Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria huddle together and come up with a plan: deliver all the presents for Santa and then use the sleigh to get them back to New York. Unfortunately, the reindeer refuse to take orders from anyone other than Santa, and it is revealed that they have a rivalry against the penguins. The penguins accuse the reindeer of hijacking Santa and his workshop, which had originally been at the South Pole. Before the two species can fight, Private falls in love with Cupid (Nina Dobrev), a female reindeer. Skipper slaps him out of his daze. The team is then forced to use the penguins, who use Santa’s magic dust to enable the otherwise flightless birds to take wing. They take off and leave Santa behind with the lemurs, who are presenting gifts for Julien in celebration of Merry Julianuary. As Santa searches for a gift, he discovers his ability to make toys, much to the amazement of the lemurs. He soon crafts gifts for all of them to enjoy, much to Julien’s anger since the focus is supposed to be on him, and decrees that all the lemurs' gifts are now his, much to the lemurs' disappointment.

Meanwhile, the animals make their first attempt at a delivery and instead manage to make a mess of everything – getting stuck in chimneys, breaking windows, getting lost, etc. Realizing the full scope of the task at hand, they decide to instead drop the toys off at the post office and make their way back to New York. However, after crashing into an apartment and unintentionally bringing joy to a little girl (Willow Smith), they reverse course, change plans, and continue the deliveries, despite the weather, the cacti and thin ice.

Back on Madagascar, Julien is quietly going through his mound of gifts alone in the crashed plane, feeling depressed. Santa shows up to apologize for ruining Julien's Julianuary and suggests that giving someone a gift might change Julien’s mood. After giving one to his friend, the dead co-pilot, whom Julien calls Amelia on the plane, Julien discovers that is indeed the solution. As a result, he hands out gifts to all the other lemurs. However, all the gifts are coconuts.

As the night nears its end, Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria discover that they and the penguins only have enough magic dust to make one last trip, either back to their home in New York or back to Madagascar, where Santa remains stranded. Regrettably, putting aside their personal wishes, they return to Madagascar. However, when the penguins begin to run out of dust, they crash onto the beach and running over Santa by mistake. However, the crash also has the effect of restoring Santa’s memory, and he thanks the animals for making his deliveries for him.

Santa discovers one last bag meant for Liechtenstein and, to make the delivery in time, switches to a reserve tank of magic dust that the animals had overlooked. He flies away with his reindeer leading the charge before the animals can manage to ask for a ride to New York, in addition to telling Julien that he's off the "naughty list," which angers Julien, who says "I am the naughty list", but he is also confused by this and asks Maurice what the naughty list is. Despite still being stranded on Madagascar [which is right back where they started], the animals, with the holiday spirit filling them, decide to make the best of the situation and create their own Christmas along with the lemurs on Madagascar. However, Julien (still wanting to get back on the naughty list) hits Alex with a coconut, causing a large lump on the lion's head. When his friends ask if he's all right, he asks, "Who's Alex?", making Marty, Gloria and Melman groan in despair. The special ends with Mort yelling "Merry Christmas and Happy Julianuary, everybody!" and then he's hit with a coconut.


Note: Rico the penguin appears, but John DiMaggio recorded no lines for him.


Merry Madagascar was nominated for six Annie Awards and won one award for Storyboarding in a Television Production.[2]

Result Award Winner/Nominee Recipient(s)
Nominated Best Animated Television Production DreamWorks Animation
Nominated Character Animation in a Television Production Kevan Shorey
Nominated Character Design in a Television Production Craig Kellman
Won Storyboarding in a Television Production Robert Koo
Nominated Voice Acting in a Television Production Danny Jacobs (Voice of King Julien)
Nominated Willow Smith (Voice of Abby)

Home media

Merry Madagascar was released on DVD in the United States on November 18, 2009, exclusively at Walmart stores,[3] and it was widely released on October 11, 2011.[4] The special was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 30, 2012, as part of compilation titled Dreamworks Holiday Classics.[5][6] It was re-released on DVD on October 1, 2013 along with Shrek the Halls, Kung Fu Panda Holiday, Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury, and The Croods.


In 2011, as part of a strategic partnership between DreamWorks Animation and Gaylord Hotels, Merry Madagascar was presented as the theme of the ICE! exhibit at Gaylord's hotels in Nashville and Maryland. In this presentation, the plot of the film is told through a series of ice sculptures that visitors walk past.[7]


  1. J. McLean, Thomas (October 1, 2009). "NBC Airs DreamWorks Holiday Specials". Animation Magazine. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  2. "37th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". The Annie Awards. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
  3. "Walmart and DreamWorks Animation Offer Exclusive Merry Madagascar DVD and Holiday Items in Walmart Stores". PR Newswire. November 3, 2009. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  4. "Merry Madagascar (2009)". Amazon. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  5. "Dreamworks Holiday Classics: Merry Madagascar / Shrek The Halls / Dragons: Gift Of The Night Fury (Blu-ray + DVD) (Widescreen)". Wallmart. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  6. "Dreamworks Holiday Classics Blu-ray". Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  7. "THIS CHRISTMAS, 'SHREK THE HALLS' AND GET 'MERRY MADAGASCAR' AT GAYLORD HOTELS". Gaylord Hotels. July 19, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
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