The animals of the Central Park zoo return yet again but this time they try to get back to NYC by joining a circus? And yes that entitles Chris Rock to sing about an circus afro, why did you ask?
I’m going to be brutally honest and say that while I respect the hell out of Steven Spielberg I absolutely cannot stand Dreamworks and its animated movies. That doesn’t mean that I hate every movie because I do love the first Shrek, How To Train Your Dragon, and the first Kung Fu Panda but their idiotic need to keep sending out sequels instead of making original content makes it vastly behind the animated juggernaut Pixar. And before you say it, yes I know that Pixar has made sequels but at the same time they care about making quality work (exclude Cars 2) just look at the Toy Story franchise and the upcoming sequel to Monsters Inc. But I digress and let me get into the latest Madagascar flick.
I was a fan of the first Madagascar movie because it included a fun main cast made up of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and David Schwimmer and gave you a hilarious supporting cast of the penguins and lemurs. The second one on the other hand was a prime Dreamworks sequel blunder as it was very unoriginal and just a dud following the solid first effort. I really didn’t think they would go for a third movie but they did and too my surprise it’s probably the best sequel by Dreamworks. Now I’m not saying that this was a stellar animated movie that deserves lots of praise but on the Dreamworks scale it did an excellent job for a sequel.
The areas that it did so well in was the story. While the beginning of the movie was rushed and filled with plot holes, once the gang joins up with the circus the story picks up and is an enjoyable ride. The European locations serve as a fun location to have these characters interacting in and I won’t lie some of the scenes in Rome and Monte Carlo are really beautifully animated. The story’s greatest strength is it’s different direction from what the franchise is used to so far. It was original in the sense that it gave us characters outside the main cast that were interesting and fun as well as a villain. Frances McDormand voiced Captain Chantel DuBois who while a wildly bizarre person who defies physics was still an engaging villain who was good to have bounce off these characters.
Now this film still came with a lot of faults and that mainly were the plot holes and lack of character in the main cast. The plot holes were plenty with one example being that the gang left Africa and got to Europe in one cut without any explanation to how they left whatsoever. Maybe I’m just picky but stuff like that is just something, while in a kids movie, needs to be addressed a little bit. The other problem was that the main cast was pretty poorly written other than Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller). The rest of the cast which includes Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and David Schwimmer were left with just quick, dumb one liners and a dance-off with a circus afro. Heck Pinkett Smith and Schwimmer could of probably phoned in their lines via telephone.
In conclusion, Madagascar 3 gives you some laughs and while it’s faulty it still is a fun enough ride to be a solid matinee. Kids will love it, adults will be entertained a little, and no harm is done in the process.