Madagascar 3 Runs Away with the Circus! Cool!

I have enjoyed the Madagascar franchise. They may have never been Pixar quality, but they have all been fun, family entertainment with cool characters and some genuinely funny moments.  Now, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted has the crew running away with a European Circus and guess what? It is the best film of the three!

This series has been easy money for its cast–Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and my favorite Penguin Commando leader (and co-director), Tom McGrath–which all return for the latest installment.  Everyone is comfortable with their characters and they interact with each other effortlessly.  You can tell they are having a blast and the good time is contagious. The visuals are colorful and bright and kids will love all the slapstick and sight gags.

But what about the adults?  Well, this is the first in the series that reaches genuine emotion.  I will credit series writer/director Eric Darnell for working with master screenwriter (in my opinion), Noah Baumbach.  After the film I saw Baumbach’s name and immediately said, “That explains it!”  There is more depth in the narrative and it feels richer.

It also helps that they introduce some wonderful new characters voiced by three wonderful actors–Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston and Martin Short.  A leopard, tiger and sea-lion is exactly what has been missing from this bunch.  😀  And let us not forget that every good story needs a villain and the awesome Frances McDormand delivers pure malice with her French Animal Control Captain DuBois.  Nice.

Overall, this is a fun movie experience.  It never strays too far from kid-centric territory, but it actually delivers laughs and touches the heart.  I will say that is a good thing.