Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted 3D

Out Now On-Demand

They have one shot to get back home.

Stuck in Africa, Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria endeavour to return to their beloved New York City zoo, via Europe, in the third DreamWorks Animation Madagascar flick. The plan goes awry and they find themselves pursued through Monte Carlo by fanatical animal control officer Chantel DuBois. Their only chance to escape? Run away and join a travelling circus.

Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and Sacha Baron Cohen return to lend their vocal cords. They're joined by Frances McDormand (voicing the wily DuBois), as well as Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain and Martin Short who provide voices for the four-legged - or flippered - circus animals. Intriguingly, the script is written by Noah Baumbach - director of The Squid and the Whale and co-writer of Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Trailers

Directed by

Written by

Studio

DreamWorks Animation

Adventure, Animated, Comedy, Kids & Family, 3D

93mins

Rating: PG contains low level violence

USA

Official Site

You wouldn’t expect the third instalment of an animated franchise to have much in the way of legs, particularly when telling as simple a tale as what’s on offer here. But by combining an insubstantial storyline (animals try to return home to New York and end up in a circus en route) with the familiarity of its characters, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted avoids many of the pitfalls commonly encountered in family fare.

There’s no plodding opening to set the scene, no patient introduction to its ensemble, and no over-reliance on redemptive arcs or other predictable narrative devices that can be understood by both the youngest and oldest theatregoers and everyone in between.

That’s not to say this is some conceptual art-piece free of all structure, just that Madagascar 3 is essentially just a chase/quest film that picks up where its predecessor left off and moves at a healthy clip from there. At this point you’d be forgiven for thinking that there must be a lot of padding to be had, but luckily the urge to stuff this full of musical numbers to get it to feature length has been resisted, and instead the effort’s been made to cram the film full of jokes to an extent that I wasn’t expecting.

From the fits of giggles emitted (by the adult) next to me in the film’s more absurd moments to the approving children’s laughs at its slapstick, Madagascar 3 proves a crowd-pleaser, and one that is better than it really has any right to be.

AV Club (USA)

press

Credit Baumbach, credit the filmmakers, credit no one giving a damn anymore - for what's yet another hyperactive talking-animal children's movie, 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted' is uncommonly rewarding, and a potential future stoner's delight.

Empire (Australia)

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Bright, colourful and fun.

Hollywood Reporter

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Yes, it's a cartoon, but it's conspicuously unmodulated, with the volume set on high and the pacing all but pushed to fast-forward.

Los Angeles Times

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A neon-saturated, high-flying trapeze act with enough frenetic funny business that it's a wonder the folks behind this zillion-dollar franchise about zoo critters on the lam didn't send the animals to the circus sooner.

New York Times

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Where 'Madagascar 3' soars is in its visuals: A Monte Carlo chase is vertiginously madcap; a Cirque du Soleil-style spectacle dazzles with rich pastels; the 3-D effects have wit and invention. Kids will be stimulated. And, parents, you'll enjoy the sights.

Time Out New York

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For the most part, 'Madagascar 3' is less interested in plucking the last bit of meat off the series’s bones than with simply picking the lowest-hanging fruit.

Total Film (UK)

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Stiller, Rock and, er, Ali G can't quite prevent DreamWorks' shipwreck tale running aground. But the hip humour and star wattage make for a fun ride.

Variety (USA)

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This is the rare animated property that has consistently improved on its ho-hum origins.