June 10, 2012 by Vinnie Leduc
DreamWorks Animation’s biggest franchise outside of Shrek dazzlingly continues its globetrotting adventures in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. The three-quel’s high-flying action, which reminded me of that in Kung Fu Panda 2, is a must-see in 3D, which was definitely up there with that of The Avengers and not a surprise for a CGI animated movie. Plenty of zany and adult-oriented jokes in Madagascar 3 had me busting out laughing, something I was somewhat concerned about when its trailers gave me the impression that Europe’s Most Wanted could merely be a series-milker instead of a Pixar challenger.
Aside from the four main zoo animals (again voiced by Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and David Schwimmer), many of the returning supporting characters were hilarious (Sacha Baron Cohen as King Julien, Andy Richter as Mort, Cedric the Entertainer as Maurice, and the penguins as always), but this unfortunately didn’t apply to most of the new circus animals (voiced by Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain, and Martin Short). However, one rookie to the franchise, a Terminator-like animal control leader voiced by Frances McDormand, was an absolute pleasure to watch, especially during the action sequences.
Europe’s Most Wanted retains wholesome themes similar to those in the first two Madagascar movies, but the plot was nevertheless a bit weak, which would’ve taken its grade down a notch below the first sequel had it not been for the brilliant animation and spectacular action. The vibrant palette in this episode of escapades was at times even more colorful than Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, making Madagascar 3 overall as much fun as Escape 2 Africa.
One particular circus sequence was like a psychedelic light show from Tron: Legacy if Jeff Bridges had eaten magic mushrooms. It was awesome… despite the Katy Perry song that played during this rainbow rave. But one day, I’ll be able to watch it over and over again on mute or with my own soundtrack. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted gets 3.5 out of 5 stars or B or Good.