‘Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted' Rainbow Wig Pack
The madcap “Madagascar” franchise runs off and joins the circus in its third installment, and cliches notwithstanding, the big-top move packs a big, fun payoff, making the third installment of the DreamWorks Animation series a rare animal: a sequel that easily steals the show from its predecessors.
“Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted” opens in Africa, where former Central Park Zoo denizens Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) and Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) are still stranded and homesick. They decide to travel to Monaco, track down their wayward penguin pals and convince the crafty plane-building birds to fly them home to New York.
In Monte Carlo, the jungle beasts and their clueless lemur cohort King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen) plot the elaborate “Operation Penguin Extraction,” which reunites them with the scene-stealing Skipper (co-director Tom McGrath), his scheming flock of waterfowl and their chimpanzee minions. But their efforts also attract the attention of relentless animal control Captain Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand with a gleefully over-the-top French accent), who is determined to kill her first lion.
The ragtag menagerie seeks refuge from DuBois with a past-its-prime European circus led by grumpy tiger Vitaly (Bryan Cranston), chipper jaguar acrobat Gia (Jessica Chastain) and lovably dimwitted sea lion Stefano (Martin Short). The circus animals hope to impress an American promoter into sending them to New York. Desperate to get home at last, the runaways concoct a scheme to give the circus a Cirque du Soleil-inspired makeover.
“Madagascar 3” packs a ridiculous number of colorful characters, silly sight gags, witty one-liners, musical interludes, exotic locales, action set pieces and even a few heartfelt moments into 93 minutes. Co-directors McGrath, Conrad Vernon and Eric Darnell pull off quite a juggling act, deftly ensuring that fun doesn't get lost in the sequel's far-fetched, jam-packed storyline.
Inspired by Rock's infectious adlibbed ditty “Afro Circus,” the Rainbow Wig Pack includes a child-size multicolored hairpiece along with the two-disc Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo. The Blu-ray gives viewers the option of watching the movie with the directors' commentary, trivia track or picture-in-picture Animators' Corner, which incorporates storyboards, concept art and interviews.
— Brandy McDonnell