Movie review / Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Primate primer a pleasure
By Stephanie Merry THE WASHINGTON POST
Lemurs have impressive dance skills
. They look like a cartoon come to life, the way they shimmy and gallivant with their gangly limbs. And the primates’ moves provide some of the most diverting moments of the 3-D Imax film Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.
This bit of “edutainment,” which clocks in at less than 40 minutes, is a collaboration between Imax and Warner Bros., and it turns out to be a slick nature movie with the added cachet of Morgan Freeman’s calming voice.
The technology impressively embraces the audience, putting us in the middle of the rain forest and face to face with curious, beady eyes.
The movie tells the unlikely history of lemurs, which survived the dinosaurs and floated to Madagascar on little rafts of vegetation.
There, they’ve flourished — although man-made fires in their forested habitat have shrunk the numbers of certain species.
There is a subplot involving a lemur specialist, who is trying to save dwindling populations. And there are bits and pieces about their female-centric power structure. But, really, the movie is about marveling at the incredible adorability — despite those creepy, brightly colored saucer eyes — of lemurs.
Sure, it can teach you more than most of the cat videos that show up in your inbox, but mostly you’ll leave wondering how to get your hands on a pet mouse lemur.
Can I have a lemur as a pet?
In a word, no. Lemurs are wild animals, not pets. Although they’re cute and furry, you’re much better off with a cat. Not only do you not need the responsibility of taking care of an animal which may be on the Endangered list — if you could find one, which would be a tough task in the first place — but lemur behavior does not make for an ideal pet. Between scent-marking their territory, being very inquisitive (don’t get too attached to those knick-knacks Grandma gave you), and not being housetrainable, the best place for lemurs is in the wild. The next-best place for lemurs is in a facility where trained professionals are working to take care of them and make sure the species live to see another millennium. The worst place… is your living room.