Movie Review: Madagascar 3

In 2005 a series of movies started, it was just seen as another CGI film at the time about zoo animals.  These zoo animals get in trouble and are shipped away from their home.  Their goal was to try and find away home.  Though things got rough and they were trapped at their new home.  One of the big draws for this movie was the star list of voice actors they had and of course that the movie is from DreamWorks made it very appealing for moviegoers as well.  Who would have guessed that this film would get two sequels and even a spin-off CGI series?   This week, their third film comes to theaters!  Since cartoon movies are something I enjoy seeing, I had to check out Madagascar 3 to see if it’s as good as the first one.

In the original Madagascar, the four lead characters are Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo. They find themselves in trouble and they get shipped from New York City to Madagascar.  While there, they find themselves wrapped into an adventure.  In the second film, they’re trying to get back to New York City and find themselves in Africa where they meet a handful of new characters and another adventure waiting for them.  Along the way, they have a group of penguins and a few monkeys become a part of their journey.  The penguins have their own TV series on Nickelodeon.

The third film picks up with them trying to escape Africa, where they find themselves on another adventure.  This time though the team is hunted by a human who is a professional hunter and wants the head of Alex.  In their run from this lady, they find the only escape they can get is by jumping on board a circus train.  They lie to the other animals on the train, saying they are circus animals.  Though when they find that this train of circus animals could be heading to America, the group decides to join along for the ride.

This film has character growth for both the new and the old characters as each of the characters find themselves in new spots, with new openings for them.  The circus gives them a whole new view of life, as these animals need help with their circus.  They need to impress a man in England to get their ticket to New York City, but the circus they joined is falling apart.  An accident happened that broke the heart of the animals and it’s up to Alex and crew to bring the life back to the circus.

The comedy in this movie is top notch as they can get people laughing from all angles from the circus animals, to the officers chasing the animals, to the spots they get themselves into.  And if you see this movie at the theater, I highly recommend to spend a little extra to see the film in 3D!  They use the 3D a lot in this film, not to where it feels like they threw the story off for the 3D, but to where it works right in with the movie.  One of the best uses of 3D since The Adventures of TinTin.  We saw the film on an IMAX screen and that really brought us into this action packed movie.

Eric Darnell returns to writing for the film. Eric has been with Madagascar since the first film.  In Madagascar 3, he is joined by Noah Baumbach on the writing team.  The two of them do a great job at giving our lead characters a new adventure that is better than the first two films as they get you to care for the characters and even give a few new twists.  Eric has also been directing for Madagascar since the first film with Tom McGrath.  In this movie, the two of them are joined by Conrad Vernon.  The three of them breath life into the script making this movie come alive for all of the fans to see. They do a wonderful job at bringing each personality, emotion, and reaction through.  Though with two previous movies before this, it seems that Eric and Tom have gotten down what they want to see from these films.

With the returning of the star cast of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith for our heroes of the movie, it fits right in with the first two films.  Each of these characters sounded great and the actors know the characters well enough that everything flowed right with film all the way through.   Of course it helps to have the returning supporting casts members such as Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Christopher Knights, Chris Miller, and Conrad Vernon.  Tom McGrath, who does not just write and direct for the films, but is also one of the penguins.  This cast did great on all three films.  In this movie they are joined by a handful of other performers such as Martin Short, Bryan Cranston and Jessica Chastain.

I really did like all of the new animals in the film.  Martin Short played a sea lion that was fun.  One of my favorite things about him was that he realized he wasn’t the sharpest thinker.  Though he had a strong heart and was the only one of the circus animals to admit that they need help.  He wanted to see the circus alive again, and cared deeply about all of his friends at the circus.

This film had an interesting villain.  She has an obsession which is dangerous for her and those around her.  Her obsession is her job, getting rid of dangerous animals.  She collects the heads of the animals that she kills and has always wanted to hunt and kill a lion.  When she gets this chance to hunt Alex, she makes it her life goal to kill him as she chases them across the globe.  Her obsession gets her to break some laws in her chase, showing that she is not some good officer out to just do justice and catch the animals but wants nothing more than to kill Alex out of her own selfish goals.  Her name is Captain Chantel DuBois and she is voiced by Frances McDormand.

With all movies there’s something that picks at me, that just did not feel right or could of been done better.  For me there is a full scene which I wish was done different.  More realism, silly to say about a movie with animals who drive cars, fly planes, and shoot banana guns.  Though really there is a scene in the movie with the circus working together that was over done.  The full scene is so far fetched, more so than anything else they’ve done, and trust me there’s a lot of far fetched scenes in all of the Madagascar movies.  But this one I was building up hopes for, and felt that it was so glossed over that my hopes were let down.   I won’t say which scene this is now, though I think any who see the film will know as well.

Overall I love the film Madagascar 3.  I feel this movie out did both the first and second film.  The acting, animation, music, and plot were very well done.  I would like to see this film again on the big screen and will buy this once it comes out on 3D Blu-ray!

Have you seen Madagascar 3?  What is your thoughts of the film?  Please share reviews, comments and questions below!

Entertainment Earth