Africa is Not a Country
Just recently, I took my son and his best buddy to watch Madagascar Escape 2 Africa. It seems there are quite a number of folks in America who think Africa is a country. Gloria, the curvaceous hippo is in contention with Sarah Palin for the Mama Shujaa 2008 Seriously Uninformed Character Award.
Picture this scene: Moto Moto, the massive watering-hole womanizer swaggers over to Gloria as she lounges on a cool rock somewhere in Africa, sipping a Martini. L.U.V. is on his mind and with a name like Moto Moto you’d expect more than the thought-terminating platitudes that issue from his bulbous lips. You learn very quickly that he is all mass, no substance.
Miss Thing on the other hand has got it going on. She knows the meaning of his name: Moto Moto means Hot Hot in “African!” Uh, Africa is not a country, Missy. It is a vast continent made up of 53 countries with an estimated 2000 languages spoken.
DreamWorks and its writers should take note. Going forward, we want far more inspiring and relevant material when portraying Africa. It turns out that there are elementary schools that have whole lesson plans on teaching about Africa. I can’t wait for our school district to follow suit, but I am not holding my breath. As parents, we work every day to shatter stereotypes and educate our children about the truth of their heritage.
Overall, the movie was enjoyably animated and the boys (10 and 11) said they liked it; although, I wondered about their coughing bouts during the Gloria – Moto Moto scenes. Enjoy the weekend!