I never saw Madagascar 1 or 2, but I recently saw 3 and I wasn’t expecting to have as much fun as I did. Sometimes waking up early on a Saturday morning for a 10am screening of the newest family/kid-geared flick, isn’t always ideal (for this non-parent). And this particular Saturday morning, I didn’t really know what I was in for. I found myself in a packed theatre full of both parents and children at an advanced screening of the extremely popular Madagascar 3, which hits theatres today. There’s no doubt it will have the whole family laughing and thoroughly entertained. Everything about this movie — from the cast to the story — was fun and inviting. The animals are hilarious and charming, the story keeps things moving at very kid-friendly speed and any time you throw in a pop song by Katy Perry, you’ve got a recipe for success in my books. As an added bonus, there are funny little shout-outs, nods and jokes about Canada and Canadians throughout the film — sure to give the adults a chuckle.
If you have a family of Madagascar fans, or even if you’re newcomers like me, you’re in for a treat, because the whole stellar gang is back: Alex the Lion (voiced by Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (voiced by Chris Rock), Gloria the Hippo (voiced by Jada Pinkett Smith) and her love-interest, Melman the Giraffe (voiced by David Schwimmer). What are they up to in this 3rd installment? Still trying to get back to their original home in New York City, at the Central Park Zoo. This tales finds the animals trapped in Europe, while searching out a pack of crazy penguins and monkeys, who are suppose to help them return to the Big Apple. While overseas they catch the eye of the cunning Animal Control Spécialiste, Captain Chantel DuBois (voiced by Frances McDormand). The only way the group can stay undetected is by up with members of a once-great, but now round-down, circus of misfit animals.
Here are a few highlights (as well as my favourite parts) from the movie:
1. The loving relationship between Gloria and Melman — seeing a Hippo teach a giraffe how to bust-a-move is just too much fun.
2. The best-friendship between Alex and Marty is completely endearing and will win you over — who says a Lion and Zebra can’t see eye to eye.
3. The character of King Julien, who is a Ring-Tailed-Lemur (voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen) and his little posse, who are also along for this crazy ride: Maurice (voiced by Cedric the Entertainer) and Mort (voiced by Andy Richter) — well they’re just my favourite (period).
4. Afro Circus — that’s right, that’s when Marty the Zebra decorates himself all up in multi-colours, polka dots, sparkles and pops on a wig while belting out a song called “Afro-Circus”.
If this all-star-comedic cast (and my positive review) doesn’t help draw you in, then I don’t know what will. Hit the theatre with the kids this weekend, because this truly is a perfect movie for the whole family.