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SKIPPER:

I used it to buy teeth and then had them capped in gold.
Now I can eat apples!

Sadly, I discovered I don’t like apples.



The Madagascar film franchise has been hugely successful, with each of its main films peaking within the top ten of all-time highest grossing animated films, and the franchise in aggregate trailing only Despicable Me, Shrek, and Ice Age. Its movies have simple, friend-centric adventures and shared-goal narratives. Much like a flaky croissant, the movies are made all the richer by the layer of dialogue included for the adults: the sarcasm, innuendo, and pseudo-intellectualism which make animated films pleasing to the grown ups who transported the primary audience to the theater. While the franchise has never been above offering a visual sight gag (cartoonish collisions and ricochets), it's the scene-stealing delivery of perfect one-liners which sets this franchise apart.

And nobody steals the scene quite like Skipper, the leader of an elite, fighting force four world-traveling penguins strong.

At the moment of the gag, Skipper and his troop are reunited with all their Central Park Zoo friends as well as some new acquaintances. The reunion is stressful, because REDACTED. The solution to this stress would just be to buy/rent/charter and airplane and get out of Dodge, but all of the money is gone. All the remaining walking-around money was spent on a jeweled solution to a lifelong desire to eat apples... an activity which Skipper finds no joy in.

It's a subtle gag, a quiet one-liner during the cacophony of an escape. But the implications of this Faustian bargain have stuck with me much longer than the other witticisms from the film. Skipper sacrificed future security, personal safety, and plausible exit possibilities all for the immediate gratification of eating a food he's never been able to. To come to the realization that he doesn't enjoy apples, and his sacrifice is all for nought (remember: this epiphany surfaces at a critical, high-pressure moment) is a dark and haunting reminder to consider your BATNA before buying gold teeth.



Further study on the topic of moral, dilemmatic choices have been offered by Ken Keeler (Futurama - The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings), Frank Stockton (The Lady, or the Tiger?), Christopher Marlowe (The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus), and, with all due acclaim and recognition, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - author of the titular source of the phenomenon: Faust



Sources
List of highest-grossing animated films
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1277953/?ref_=nv_sr_2
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil%27s_Hands_Are_Idle_Playthings

Madagascar
Madagascar 2
Madagascar 3
Penguins of Madagascar

Comedic summary of Faust

Parody of Faust within Futurama


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