Movie Review: Madagascar 3- Europe’s Most Wanted

Published June 12, 2012 by mrsrag

(Starring the voices of: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen)

PG.  Animated.  Running Time: 1 hour & 33minutes.

We actually took my little boy Ethan (he’s 8) to this movie on the day it came out, June 8th, but we went away for the weekend to celebrate Maria’s birthday (she’s 28).  Apologies for the delay, but we had a grand time.  Needless to say, Ethan and I see all the kids movies worth going to.  Percentage-wise, they are consistently better than the mainstream Hollywood movies.  The latest in the Madagascar franchise is no exception.

It was a wonderful birthday weekend and going to see Madagascar 3 kicked it off.  I love a kids movie, but as you can imagine I wasn’t seeing them as frequently as I do now with Ethan and Ross.  The Madagascar trilogy is one of my favorites and it embodies what I believe is the best recipe for a kids movie: adult humor mixed with childish antics, dancing accompanied by pop music and a heart warming story centered around morals and friendship.  The film is spackled with sub-plots involving lovable characters such as the penguins, King Julian and my personal favorite, Mort.

Our heroes are all back and end up in Europe this time, on their never ending quest to get back to their beloved NY.  Those scene stealing penguins and their monkey lackeys return as well, and don’t disappoint.  Frances McDormand does a wonderfully sinister voice for the relentless, French Captain Dubois the leader of Animal Control, who has a single minded, dogged pursuit for Alex The Lion’s head.  The movies haven’t seen this kind of never-say-die persistence since Jackie Gleason’s, Sheriff Buford T. Justice chased Burt Reynold’s, “The Bandit” in the 1977 classic, “Smokey and the Bandit”.   Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria have to join the circus to try and escape, and the characters they meet are superb.  Of course our favorite lemur, King Julian (Baron Cohen) is back, and his budding romance with Sonya, the huge, tricycle riding circus bear is hilarious.  Bryan Cranston (from A&E’s Breaking Bad) as Vitaly the Russian Tiger is also worth noting.

A clever twist on the recurring plot and the introduction of some new characters made this film wickedly entertaining.  McDormand’s hilariously over-the-top accent and animation makes for a villain you absolutely love to hate.  And Cranston’s Vitaly portrays the hard-edged, ‘chip on his shoulder’ antagonist who thrives off the newly found friendship with our beloved zoo crew.  It’s just one of those kids movies that you not only don’t mind taking your kids to see, but look forward to viewing yourself as well!  I do have one important question…must every single movie be in 3D!?

Couldn’t agree more baby, the 3D is too much.  Seems an excuse to charge $3 more per person, and I don’t notice an appreciable improvement of viewing quality.  That aside, Madagascar 3 is an excellent way to spend an hour and a half, with or without the kids.

Ross’ Rating-  4 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Maria’s Rating-  3.5 Gummies.

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