“Madagascar 3” Takes
European Circus Tour
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Those funny animals are back. You know, the lion, zebra, hippopotamus, and giraffe from those animated “Madagascar” movies. They’re still trying to get home to New York.
In this third outing – “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” – they attempt to return by way of Europe, where they join a traveling circus. Pandemonium ensues, of course.
These computer-generated anthropomorphic characters are again voiced by Ben Stiller (Alex the lion), Chris Rock (Marty the zebra), Jada Pinkett Smith (Gloria the hippo), and David Schwimmer (Melman the giraffe). They are joined by the voices of Frances McDormand, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Martin Short, Jessica Chastain, Andy Richter, Bryan Cranston, and Paz Vega.
For fans of those short spinoff films – “The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper” and “Merry Madagascar,” along with the TV series “The Penguins of Madagascar” – you’ll be pleased to know that those lovable penguin characters are along for this European tour. After all, our animal entourage is dependent on the mechanical know-how of their penguin and chimpanzee companions.
“They’re planning to get back to New York in a monkey-powered super plane,” laughs co-star Chris Rock.
This animal expertise comes in handy as the gang tries to avoid capture by Animal Control’s Captain Chantel DuBois (McDorland) and help the Siberian tiger Vitaly (Cranston) reinvent his flagging circus.
As Jada Pinkett Smith describes it: “I think what the Zoosters bring to the circus is a fresh life, you know? They bring new acts, new ideas, they bring some life to a circus they pretty much believe was ‘Blah’. I think in that it kind of inspires everyone.”
Directed by Eric Darnell, Tom MGrath, and Conrad Vernon, this DreamWorks Animation is the third entry in the series. And the first one in 3-D.
“Madagascar 3” is currently putting on its three-ring show at the Tropic Cinema. Sure, it’s a kid flick. But isn’t there still a bit of kid in all of us?
Don’t dismiss “Madagascar 3” too quickly. It was written by Noah Baumbach, who scripted such intelligent outings as “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “Greenberg.”
In fact, “Madagascar 3” premiered at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival. “Do we deserve to be here?” posited director Tom McGrath looking around at the lofty competition for the coveted Palme d’Or. “The festival honors all kinds of films.”
Even lions and tiger and penguins – oh my.