Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent - Madagascar style.
Release Year: 2012
Rating: 7.2/10 (8,722 voted)
Critic's Score: 59/100
Stars: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock
Storyline Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still trying to get back to the Big Apple and their beloved Central Park zoo, but first they need to find the penguins. When they travel to Monte Carlo, they attract the attention of Animal Control after gate crashing a party and are joined by the penguins, King Julian and Co., and the monkeys. How do a lion, zebra, hippo, giraffe, four penguins, two monkeys, three lemurs travel through Europe without attracting attention and get back to New York? They join a traveling circus. Their attempts to get back to New York are consistently hampered by the Captain of Animal Control who wants to make Alex part of her collection. Once they make it back to New York Marty, Alex, Gloria and Melman realize that they want to be part of the traveling circus.
Writers: Eric Darnell, Noah Baumbach
Cast: Ben Stiller
Jada Pinkett Smith
Sacha Baron Cohen
Cedric the Entertainer
Captain Chantel DuBois
Opening Weekend: $60,316,738
(10 June 2012)
(17 June 2012)
Did You Know?
Captain Chantel DuBois sings approximately 1 minute of "Non, je ne regrette rien" to her henchmen. This is a French song best known through its 1960 recording by Édith Piaf. Piaf dedicated her recording of the song to the French Foreign Legion (FFL), which has now become part of the FFL heritage and is sung when they are on parade. Due to the men's reaction, it is assumed that all of them serve or served in the FFL.
When Captain Chantel DuBois prints out the information from her search, a character off-screen mentions he can hear the laser printer running. The type of printer shown is an inkjet, but the sound used for it is from a dot matrix printer.
Well, I say they can take the animals out of the circus, but they can't take the animals out of the circus!
Uh, you know what I mean!
A Nutshell Review: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
There are eager animated film franchises that rehashed the same old
themes and gags in all its installments, and deservedly crashed under
its own repetitiveness. Think Shrek, which started brightly, but with
each sequel the grumpy ogre and his friends started to become cheap
parodies of themselves. There are other film franchises that grow from
strength to strength though, such as Ice Age where we get to go on an
incredibly long journey with its characters trying to survive the
inevitable change and extinction, and then there's Madagascar, with
Europe's Most Wanted surprisingly having a lot more to offer than what
it had suggested.
We go back to where we last left off, rejoining Alex the Lion (Ben
Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe (David
Schwimmer) and Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) who are still in
Africa, but getting homesick and yearn for their lives back in New
York. So they hatch a plan to regroup with the Penguins, who had left
with the Monkeys in their flying machine to Monte Carlo and its glitzy
casinos, and compel them to take everyone back to New York. Granted
it's a slow start, but when it picked up with Frances McDormand voicing
the French policewoman Captain Chantel DuBois, more of an animal hunter
in disguise and hell bent on adding a lion to her trophy wall, it
really went over the top with a multitude of action sequences that get
set to show off dedicated and meticulously crafted moments for 3D. It's
clearly one of the better 3D efforts in an animated feature film that
took pains to ensure the medium got milked for the premium ticket you
Then the narrative goes up a notch with the introduction of some circus
animals with whom our protagonists get to mix with in order to
momentarily escape the fanatical clutches of DuBois, and in comes the
opportunity to expand on its cast, with the likes of Jessica Chastain,
Bryan Cranston and Martin Short entering the fray as a cheetah, tiger
and sea lion respectively, each with its own distinct quirk, objective
and baggage. It's a zoo animal meets circus animal rivalry formed, and
Alex and gang wanting to stick around, with thanks to the Penguins,
because the circus is en route to Rome and London, where an American
circus event promoter would be in town to evaluate if the troupe can
make money if brought across the Atlantic, and naturally, New York.
I'm rather surprised by the depth of the narrative here, as Eric Damell
and Noah Baumbach's screenplay managed to squeeze a lot in under 90
minutes sans end credits roll. Characters don't get thrown in for fun,
but have enough screen time to perform without getting the feeling of
being redundant to the whole scheme of things, and how they all blend
well together for the major set action pieces, complete with comedy
ranging from witty repartee to physical slapstick gags. The major new
entrants to this installment will also become crowd favourites, such as
the girly cheetah Gia, the curt Russian tiger Vitaly who has to reclaim
his theatrical mojo, and Stefano the sea lion trying his very best to
hold the entire troupe together, while not being very bright himself.
Every scene got designed to have the characters endear themselves to
the audience, even if they come silent, such as the bicycle riding
bear, and a couple of English dogs voiced by the likes of Vinnie Jones,
Steve Jones and Nick Fletcher. Paz Vega also lent her voice to a
collective group of show-horses, while perennial favourites such as
Sacha Baron Cohen's Julien and Cedric the Entertainer's Maurice almost
always threaten to run away with the show, given their rather spaced
out moments that run outside of the main narrative thread. There are
colours galore with gags running wild, and I'd suspect where your sense
of humour might have been misplaced if there's absolutely nothing here
in the film that can tickle your funny bone.
With an assortment of pop songs ranging from 90s hits to those by Katy
Perry, the signature theme song only got an airplay during the end
credits, and is an amalgamation of the Afro Circus song written by
Chris Rock, that somehow had a strange yet infectious blend that
epitomizes everything that had transpired in this film, and set itself
up for more. Themes of friendship and sticking together through thick
and thin, of never giving up and the likes, are good themes to have for
a film that's going to appeal to the young for sure.
I'd like to think there's a stop at three policy and to leave the
franchise as it is now, going off at a high, rather than to continue
with a formula that would ultimately show its age. Madagascar 3 worked
and delivered everything you'd expect of a crowd pleaser that can
appeal to all age groups, and I'm very much compelled to earmark this
for a 3D blu-ray title for keeps. Definitely highly recommended in my
books, given its rarity of it improving upon the strengths of its
predecessors, and finding room to add more characters, not caricatures,
to its mythos.