Friday, October 19, 2012
If you can get through Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted without singing Marty's now classic "Afro Circus" song -- or at least without it getting stuck in your head so much that you hear it even in the shower -- then you are a way stronger person than I.
The third installment of the DreamWorks Animation franchise, about four New York City Zoo animals who just want to get back home, is another fun take on the whole "fish out of water" -- or, in this case, lion out of Central Park -- theme.
After landing on Madagascar and then dropping down into Africa, Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer) and Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) are desperate to leave and wind up making their way to Europe -- Monaco, no less -- as a pit stop on their journey back home. The opening scenes of the friends trying to cooly break into the Monte Carlo Casino is a fun, bumbling version of something out of Mission: Impossible.
Soon after, a crazed animal control officer (Frances McDormand) is hot on the gang's trail, and they need to blend in. Stat. Enter a traveling circus, and the Gotham gang are on their way. Not only that, but there's a scheduled stop in the Big Apple to boot. And while there are some intimidating characters on this circus train -- Hello, Bryan Cranston as the no-nonsense tiger Vitaly -- the zoo friends discover that they have a lot to offer this colorful troupe as well.
The two-disc Blu-ray/DVD pack (SRP: $30) is a fun combo that includes the movie, special features and the clever addition of Marty's rainbow wig. (The DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures teams know their audience -- in fact, Ian has already put it on.) In addition to catching the film itself, viewers can see interviews with the cast, directors Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon, as well as see some deleted scenes.
We're definitely a Madagascar-loving household. CC has seen the first two movies I don't know how many times. And while I had to suspend my disbelief quite a bit as the foursome popped up on the coast of Europe (guess that's an easier swim that to the East Coast of the U.S.), the movie is a clever and funny ride.