American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
There are greater bamboo lemurs and tiny mouse lemurs, ring-tailed lemurs and dancing sifaka lemurs. Some of them snuggle, some of them leap. Some are on the verge of extinction. All are amazingly photogenic and awesome to behold in the 3-D IMAX documentary “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.”
This is not an animated spin-off about the wacky King Julien and his pals from the “Madagascar” movies. At no point does Sacha Baron Cohen’s character dash around flamboyantly and sing about how he likes to move it-move it. (Although it would be a shock to no one if such a film were in development, along with the Minion spin-off from the “Despicable Me” universe which is due out next year.)
While following a comfortable and familiar formula, “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” accomplishes a great deal in its 40-minute running time, entertaining and educating us while delivering a message about preservation that’s clear without being heavy-handed.
Director and cinematographer David Douglas, who previously shot the 2011 IMAX 3-D documentary “Born to Be Wild” about orangutans and elephants, offers breathtaking aerial footage of vast, green forests and severe, majestic rock formations. But you (and your kids) are here to see the plucky, furry creatures who inhabit these spectacular, remote places. And boy, do they deliver.