Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pickett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Tom McGrath, Frances McDormand, Jessica Chastain, Brian Cranston, Martin Short, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, and more.
Directed by: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, and Conrad Vernon Screenplay by: Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach Original Music by: Hans Zimmer
Premise: Alex (the lion) starts feeling home sick for New York and decides they should find the penguins, who finally were able to make the airplane from "Madagascar 2" flight worthy. Things take a bad turn as animal control is called when Alex and the others track the penguins down to a casino in Monte Carlo and get spotted. Captain Chantel DuBois is like no one they've had to face before, and she's out to get a lion's head for her trophy collection no matter what. (Rated PG)
1) Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: The chemistry between all the regular actors is still there and as always increases the fun. The new additions of Brian Cranston, Martin Short, and Jessica Chastain also work very well. But the most amusement comes from Frances McDormand's portrayal of Captain Chantel DuBois. The captain was an incredibly neat character and a worthy adversary for our heroes.
2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: Dreamworks' animation is 'top notch' as always. Their recreations of Monte Carlo and the country side of France were beautiful. The chase scenes flowed very well, almost as if watching an animated "James Bond" or one of the "Bourne" films.
The remade circus acts were also quite spectacular and creative.
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The story for "Madagascar 3" was just plain fun! Not a lot of surprises, but one doesn't normally expect such things from a children's film. Still, they got in a couple. A nice fast pace, and they were able to get in a lot of character building more effectively than many longer adult aimed films.
As I mentioned previously, the character of Chantel DuBois was a lot of fun. Between her awesome skills, her dedication to duty, and her style, you almost can't help but admire her and fear her a little at the same time. There are also a lot of in-jokes slipped in for the parents to enjoy from "Star Trek", "The Matrix", and more. The bar for 'suspension of disbelief' was set higher than usual, but works just fine for the film. It's what animated movies were made for.
Conclusion: A thoroughly entertaining film for kids and adults. Has everything you normally expect from a "Madagascar" film and more. Though I will warn you, you will not leave the theater without Marty's song ringing through your head for an hour or two after. A lot of fun.
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)