Animation | Adventure | Comedy
Both fans and non-fans of the Madagascar
franchise will be absolutely taken by surprise by the third installment: Europe's Most Wanted
, this time helmed by three directors, Eric Darnell
, Tom McGrath
, and Conrad Vernon
, and leveled-up in 3D.
Left stranded by their conniving penguin friends in the wilderness of Africa, the gang of Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller
), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock
), Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer
), and Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith
), are suffering from increasing bouts of homesickness for their Central Park Zoo. Determined to go back home to New York, they decide to flee Africa and catch up first with the penguins in Monte Carlo-- where they unfortunately caught the attention of a psychotic and highly skilled French animal control officer, the hilariously obsessive Captain Chantel DuBois (a riotous cross between Edith Piaf and Cruella De Vil), voiced by Frances McDormand
, who would stop at nothing to catch the animal friends. The gang, the penguins, along with King Julian XIII (Sacha Baron Cohen
) and the lemurs, join a traveling circus initially to hide from DuBois, but then it eventually becomes a scheme to get to New York. And thus begins the gang's European invasion, traveling from one country to another, yearning for the Big Apple. But as they are getting to know more about their newfound circus friends (voiced by Jessica Chastain
, Martin Short
, and Byan Cranstom
), they suddenly wonder if it's all about the "the journey and not the destination."
Premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
could be one of the best animated feature films in a long time. With a solid and smooth narrative, richly developed characters on top of the dazzling and breathtaking visuals intensified by the 3D effects, it's a delicious, absorbing, and emotionally engaging animated adventure that the entire family will surely enjoy at the cinema. The film opens like a cannonball shot from a circus tent, immediately sweeping you off with a breakneck-speed action-adventure; soaring into high-energy action and then sometimes gently flowing into quiet and heart-rendering moments-- the scenes all the more made heartfelt by Hans Zimmer's gorgeous film score. Sprinkled with obvious parodies of a popular movie, of Edith Piaf, and of a certain "French-Canadian" traveling circus, it frequently induces frequent bouts of chuckles, and sometimes even belly laughter, along with a tangible sense of pain, loss, love, and adventure.
is indeed an unexpectedly sophisticated and enjoyable romp, succeeding in sustaining your rapt attention until the explosive and colorful last act. It has all the elements of a delicious adventure story: home, journey, friendship, and the exciting lure and mystique of the world of circus. Like diving into a colorful and richly told children's storybook, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
is an absolute super eye-candy treat that is brimming with heart.
Must-see in 3D.
9 out of 10 stars
Hits local theaters June 6, 2012
Discuss the movie at the Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted