- Character Development
- Action Scenes
Producers: Holly Edwards, Mireille Soria, Mark Swift
Writers: Eric Darnell, Noah Baumbach
Voice Actors: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer,
Jada Pinkett Smith, Francis McDormand, Jessica Chastain,
Bryan Cranston, Martin Short
Music: Hans Zimmer
Editing: Nick Fletcher
Stranded in Africa since Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith), and Melman (David Schwimmer) are feeling homesick. They decide it’s high time to head back to the Big Apple, a journey which takes them through Europe where they’re unfortunate enough to meet Animal Control Captain Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand). Still trying to get to America and now with a murderous Animal Control officer after them, the foursome is at their most desperate. They try, with mixed and hilarious results, to go incognito with a traveling circus. The result: one wild and fun tale of friendship and adventure.
The original four — Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, and Gloria the hippo — are as loveable and as well-voiced as ever. Instead of growing stale and predictable like some characters during the length of a trilogy or franchise, Alex & Co. have enough personality and depth to keep audiences hooked. Beneath their colorful exterior, we see emotions understood by young and old: loneliness, hope, disappointment, exasperation, pride.
We’re also introduced to some new friends from across the pond: Stefano, an over-optimistic sea lion played by Martin Short, Gia the charming trapeze-artist jaguar played by Jessica Chastain, and Vitaly the fierce no-nonsense tiger played by Bryan Cranston. At first glance, these new characters seem a little stereotypical. We’ve got the goofy comedic relief who just doesn’t get it, the elusive girl interest, the tough-guy leader. However, the more we get to know the new guys, the more we realize that there’s more to them than what meets the eye.
And of course, no Madagascar would be complete without those pesky penguins!
Watching the previews, I was worried that Madagascar 3 would have more than its share of cheap jokes. As instantly appealing as a polka-dotted dancing zebra is, I wondered if the entire movie would be fueled by funny images and not much more. Luckily, my suspicions proved to be incorrect. What looked to be a straightforward movie with amusing animal hijinks turned out to be filled with twists and turns. About more than just getting from Point A to Point B, this movie teaches that what matters isn’t the destination, but the journey.
The combined power of directors Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, and Conrad Vernon created a film with several conflicts. Themes like trust and loyalty, along with second chances and a search for what’s truly important make what could have been a forgettable kids’ movie into something that can be enjoyed and remembered by all.
With any animated movie, a big question is how enjoyable it will be for grown-ups. Some directors think they need to resort to vulgar physical humor to make kids laugh. Whenever the newest G-rated movie comes out, parents wonder what kind of jokes they’ll have to sit through and if it will be worth the price of the movie. Madagascar 3 provides a wide range of funny moments. Whether it’s of a giraffe swinging precariously from a tightrope, a witty one-liner or a sly political comment about France or America, there’s a laugh in this movie for everyone.
The Non-stop Action
While the plot and characters are admirable, this movie tramples on at such a pace that it’s dizzying. The action sequences are well done, but there’s just so many of them! It makes the few scenes that are a little slower and more thoughtful seem jarring and out of place. The right emotions and lessons are there, but they’re all told through action, action, action.
Overall: 4 stars out of 5
Dreamworks’ latest is filled with fun and emotion. Character, plot, and the variety of jokes in Madagascar 3 make it a top-rate movie. The over-the-top action sequences are a little too long and a little too plentiful, but this is still a movie worth seeing.
‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ Movie Trailer