Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

I took the little guy to see Madagascar 3 this past weekend, we had a couple choices I would have preferred to see Brave but Tamar really wanted to see that with us so we went with choice number 2. I had previously shown him the trailers and every time he would fall into a convulsive laughter every time he heard Chris Rock's Zebra belt out his "Afro Circus" song.  The trailer was cute but for me a little grating especially when you have a 4 year old child without an off switch regarding the aforementioned song. Still I always enjoy taking him to see a movie on the big screen especially watching his eyes get big with anticipation when the film starts. Nothing better than that.

Unfortunately I'm not as familiar with the series except that I remember in the first one a group of animals escape from the Central Park Zoo and find themselves in Africa with intentions to return to the Big Apple. Never saw the second one but I'm assuming that is what they tried to do and were left stranded. So for this third one the Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer) and Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) want to track the techno friendly Penguins to France so they can all go home. Once they hit Europe they find themselves being hunted by a doggedly obsessive Animal Control Officer Captain DuBois (Frances McDormand). The chase leads the group to the train yards where the group joins a troupe of Circus animals in order to get out of the country. You've got a tough Russian knife throwing Tiger named Vitaly (Bryan Cranston), a trapeeze artist cheetah, Gia (Jessica Chastain) as well as a juggling goofy sea lion named Stephano (Martin Short). The hijinks are perfect for the little guys between 2 and 5. This isn't like the Pixar films that has a little something for everybody although there are a few scattered quips here and there to give the older folks a chuckle. It's a cute little sequel and the little guy seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.

Dreamworks Animation seems to be getting better and better the landscapes and character renderings looked great.  I haven't really been a big fan of their style of animation they use but I can appreciate the end result. I didn't see it in 3D but I personally don't think it's necessary, especially with kids under the age of 5, they'll never be able to keep the glasses on the whole time. The pacing and jokes are fairly consistent with some of the more amusing parts lying with Sacha Baron Cohen's Julien (The Lemur) and his infatuation with a giant bike riding Bear. There is also that pesky "Afro Circus" song that makes it's way into not just one but at least three scenes that will cause your child to break out into song over and over and over again until you find yourself wanting to locate Chris Rock and--discuss the impact of this song on your children. And trust me it doesn't go away after an hour it can go on for a while so be prepared for that. But it's a cute flick for the whole family so if you find yourself stuck inside on a rainy day with nothing to do take the kids to see Madagascar, just be prepared to be serenaded all day, if you can deal with that then by all means take'em out to the movies.

My Grade: 2 1/2 buckets


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