Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
“This train is for circus animals,” says Vitaly (Bryan Cranston) the performing tiger to Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) who are on the run in Europe and still trying to get back home to their beloved New York Zoo in the animated adventure Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.
Having traveled to Monte Carlo in search of the penguins to get them to fly them all home, Alex and his gang accidentally attract attention to themselves when they crash into a casino while trying to catch up to the penguins. Causing a panic, Alex and his friends are joined by the penguins and King Julian (Sacha Baron Cohen) in trying to evade the authorities, in particular Captain Chantel Dubois (Frances McDormand) – a determined Animal Control officer who would like nothing better than to add Alex’s lion head to her wall collection of animal trophies.
After barely escaping Captain Dubois but losing their means of transportation, Melman asks the obvious question: “How do a lion, zebra, giraffe, hippo, four penguins, two monkeys and three lemurs travel through Europe without attracting attention?” The answer: stow away on a traveling circus’ train. However, in order to win over the real performers on the train and avoid being tossed off, Alex and his friends lie and say that they are also circus animals and will help the struggling circus with a brand new act.
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is an animated action/comedy that brings the fun and laughs back to the film series. It’s a colorful, bright, fast-paced movie with a strong cast of voice actors who bring these goofy, lovable characters to life in perhaps their most entertaining adventure yet.
There’s more screen time with the penguins joining in the journey to get back home to New York which adds much more humor to the film than that of the boring, uninteresting snorefest that was Madagascar 2. Plus, the film has an exciting, hilarious chase through Monte Carlo, which is greatly enhanced by the visually stunning use of 3D as well as all the breathtaking acts the characters do as circus performers. The use of the 3D will give the audience the amazing feeling of being up there on the flying trapeze and walking the tightrope.
Full of action and humor, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is a real treat for the entire family that should definitely be seen up on the big screen.
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted hits theaters on June 8, 2012 and is rated PG for some mild action and rude humor.