Cast: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Frances McDormand, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer; Direction: Eriarnell, Noah Baumbach; Based on characters by Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath; Producer: Mireille Soria, Mark Swift; Music: Hans Zimmer; Genre: Comedy Animation; Distributor: Paramount Pictures; Location: EuropeUSA; Running Time: 85 minutes
Technical Assessment: 4
Moral Assessment: 3
Cinema rating: For viewers 13 years old and below with parental guidance
There is a certain charm when wild animals are presented with a counter human-ego, complete with emotions, psyche and personality. Madagascar creators must have realized this that they, not only came up with a TV series but also with the 3rd movie instalment of the lovable quartet. This time, Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria tour the greatest cities of Europe as circus performers. They set out to return to New York after being abandoned in Africa. But first, they make a stopover at Monte Carlo to confront the Penguins. In Monte Carlo, Alex and his gang are forced to escape from the cruel animal-wrangler Chantel duBois (Frances McDormand), so they are forced to hide with a travelling circus which has seen better days. The story takes a deeper turn when the Penguins buy the circus and Alex tries to ignite passion into the performances.
On the one hand, the computer-generated effects, vibrant colors and spectacular movements are sheer work of genius. There are still the comedic punch once in a while, mostly delivered by Marty, the Zebra, the lemurs and the penguins. However, the main characters, and not to say the main plot, may be a bit too short and too thin to sustain the interest of the audience. One will find the film overflowing with overrated excitement, frenzy and action that come off as old and tired. There is nothing much the audience can ponder and reflect on as the movie does not attempt to go beyond cartoonish drama and hi-tech excitement.
One of the best valued lessons of Madagascar 3 is the undeniable loyalty and friendship of the four. Through thick and thin, Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria stick together and help each other overcome danger and challenges. Also, the movie touches briefly on rediscovering the real self and finding excellence in what you do by learning to love it with passion and dedication. Had the European team not rediscovered these, they would never have realized how much more they can do.
Madagascar 3 may be viewed by young audiences but parents should still be on hand to explain the destruction and mayhem caused by the animals’ antics and the action scenes.