Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Review)

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 The third installment of the “Madagascar” franchise shot straight to the top of the weekend box office list, earning $60.4 million and beating out Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” by a full $10.4 million.

Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to New York and of course, King Julian, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. The whole lot is suddenly the most wanted animals of Europe, and is constantly chased after by the villainous French animal control officer Captain Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand) and her crew of mostly indestructible henchmen. Captain DuBois wants a lion head to complete her collection, and Alex is a lion, so you can kind of see why she'd want to hunt him down. Fortunately, the gang finds refuge in an unlikely place: a traveling circus.

The movie introduces a lot of new characters, all unique; including Vitaly, a Russian tiger that leads the traveling circus who once jumped through flaming rings of fire to excite crowds. But after losing his confidence and more than a few of his hairs on one fateful attempt, he also lost his passion and his act.

Then there is Gia, the beautiful Jaguar who is always on the lookout to discover something new, and she gets her chance when she convinces a reluctant Alex to teach her the trapeze – “Circus Americano” style.

Stefano, who is a happy, fun-loving Italian sea lion who always looks on the brighter side of things. A true entertainer at heart, he’s up for any challenge to save the circus.

In a desperate attempt to save themselves and successfully travel back to New York, Alex and the gang becomes a part of the circus and transform it completely. Eventually returning it to its former glory. Thus strengthening their bond with the circus animals.
And although Melman and Gloria’s romance is at its peak, we also find two new love interests that develop with in the circus. One, between Kind Julian and a circus bear Sonya. And the other, between Alex and Gia.

The Penguins and Monkeys stand out in this installment just as much as the previous one’s. Their never ending attempt to fly back to America once again backfires. But just as before, they manage to clean up their mess eventually.

The movie ends, serving justice to Captain Chantel DuBois and her crew. And Alex and the gang realize that their true home is the circus.

The movie possesses amazing 3D effects and vibrant colors that bring the entire cinema to life. There's a particularly stellar sequence in which the animals do their circus act that is visually stunning, if simple. It is mostly a black background, but the flying characters and neon effects are amazing. You have to give it up to Dreamworks; it knows how to make animation really pop, even in the darker environment of the digital third dimension. It was very colorful consistently. The humor is witty and there countless scenes that keep you at the edge of your seat. There were a few scenes that seemed slow, but only because they were the rare scenes that weren't progressing at warp speed. There was always something going on in the movie, no doubt to make sure that kids stay entertained throughout. Just when things seemed to calm down, there would be another joke, pratfall, action set piece, something would be happening at all times, and that means that the film's 85 minutes just flew by. All over, it is a well deserved box office win and a must watch!


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