The Central Park Zoo is a very small, very urban zoo. It’s easy to imagine that the animals that live there would be New Yorkers first, wild animals second. That idea forms the core of the Madagascar franchise. This group of animals—a lion, hippo, giraffe, and zebra—are urbane, “show-biz” animals that love the adulation of the crowds, the three square meals a day, and the safety that comes with zoo life.
A series of mishaps has found them stranded in the wilds of Madagascar and the African continent. One way or the other, the Central Park animals, Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) have been trying to get home. In Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, they make their way to NYC via Europe, hitching a ride with an old-world circus. When they find out that the circus hopes to win a contract to appear in New York City, the gang scams their way into the show.
|Frances McDormand as DuBois|
The script is funny and the supporting cast—I’m looking at you, penguins—offers many laughs. Two scenes of note: Frances as Captain DuBois inspires her men by singing like Edith Piaf, all ending in mascara-stained tears; and Sacha Baron Cohen’s Julien falls in love with Sonya the mini-bicycle riding circus bear. They go on a romantic date in Rome that’s a hoot. Okay—make it three scenes of note: a group of adorable, clothed performing dogs don’t like to be patronized, and these Cockney thugs pull knives and a broken bottle on Marty when he calls them cute.
|Love those penguins.|
|Chris Rock as Marty|