Seeing third ‘Madagascar’ film in 3-D is worth it

The char­ac­ters of Mad­a­gas­car 3: Glor­ia the Hippo, Alex the Li­on, Mel­man the Gir­affe and Marty the Zebra.


When Mad­a­gas­car was first re­leased in 2005, it didn’t ex­actly strike me as the kind of movie with legs or one that would con­tin­ue with mul­tiple se­quels. Sure, it was a hit movie, but it didn’t ex­actly leave a last­ing im­pres­sion on me. Yet, here we are sev­en years later with the re­lease of Mad­a­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, the series’ third movie.

The first movie offered a cute premise, and the second movie (Mad­a­gas­car: Es­cape 2 Africa) was al­most en­tirely for­get­table soon after leav­ing the theat­er. The third movie falls between the first and second.

Mad­a­gas­car 3 of­fers cir­cus fun along with a bit of sens­ory over­load in the form of 3-D visu­als. It’s mostly an en­joy­able watch, though not the kind of movie that sticks with you (but neither were the oth­er two).

The second se­quel takes the gang of Cent­ral Park Zoo es­capees, in­clud­ing Alex the Li­on (Ben Stil­ler), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Mel­man the Gir­affe (Dav­id Schwim­mer) and Glor­ia the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), from Africa off to Monte Carlo, Rome and Lon­don as they at­tempt to re­turn home to New York City. King Ju­li­en the Lemur (Sacha Bar­on Co­hen) and the al­ways-com­ic­al pen­guins also re­turn for the third flick.

As part of their jour­ney back home, they end up join­ing and re­viv­ing a down-and-out cir­cus. They are met with some res­ist­ance from Vi­taly the Ti­ger (Bry­an Cran­ston), but wel­comed with open arms by Gia the Jag­uar (Jes­sica Chas­tain) and Stefano the Sea Li­on (Mar­tin Short).

They also en­counter the wrath of an­im­al con­trol of­ficer Cap­tain Chantel DuBois (Frances Mc­Dormand) who’d love to have a li­on’s head to mount on her trophy wall of an­im­als.

I’d ac­tu­ally re­com­mend check­ing this out in 3-D, that is, as long as you can stand the visu­al over­load. Young­sters will par­tic­u­larly en­joy the ob­jects that fre­quently ap­pear to pro­trude from the screen. Though fren­et­ic, the level of 3-D is im­press­ive com­pared to oth­er flicks where some­times you for­get the movie is in 3-D be­cause there is barely a dif­fer­ence between it and the 2-D ver­sion. No one will be mak­ing that mis­take here. This 3-D is ac­tu­ally worth the premi­um tick­et price, but one se­quence I could have done without was the elab­or­ate scene set to Katy Perry’s grat­ing Fire­work song.

Marty and the pen­guins are the standout char­ac­ters; the oth­er ones all have bland, in­ter­change­able per­son­al­it­ies. And I can’t deny that Marty’s Afro Cir­cus song is su­per catchy. It was def­in­itely stuck in my head after the movie.

One par­tic­u­larly odd story go­ing on in the back­ground was King Ju­li­en’s love af­fair with a mute bear. I got the joke, little lemur loves big bear, but I still found it bizarre that all the oth­er an­im­als could talk, but not the bear.

The Mad­a­gas­car series has al­ways been rather light on the life les­sons and mor­al mes­sages, with a great­er em­phas­is on the com­edy. This movie con­tin­ues that trend. Still, sum­mer at the movies should be a fun ex­per­i­ence, and Mad­a­gas­car 3: Europe’s Most Wanted fits the bill. ••

Movie Grade: B+

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