by Daniel Janks, actor, creative director, writer. Survived: 1. Being born a 2nd child, 2. Having dyslexia, 3. Studying drama at Wits University, 4. Being in love, 5. Burying 3 cats, 6. Being a professional actor, 7. Going to India, 8. Getting married. Janks’s love of film is outdone only by his love for his magnificent wife & small, odd girl-child. Visit his website
A well-worth-it animated romp that made me smile, made me laugh, and made my day.
A neurotic giraffe who’s in love with a hippo with an attitude, a zebra who’s more enthusiastic than sensible, and a lion with a serious addiction to hair products and loves the adoration of a cheering crowd.
That’s right, Melman, Gloria, Marty and Alex are back, and they’re still trying to get home to America and the comfort and familiarity of their old home the New York Zoo. And of course they’re joined by a team of mad and mayhem-spreading animals of all shapes, sizes and accents.
There’s King Julian the Madagascarian Lemur and his two lemur sidekicks. There’s the team of special forces penguins that are as good at getting everyone out of trouble as they are at getting them into it. And there’s the host of new characters that make up the traveling zoo that take our team across Europe and eventually back to America: Vitally, the Russian tiger who’s speciality is doing the impossible, Gia the slinky leopard trapeze artist, Stephano the sea lion clown, and a gang of cutesy performing dogs who are actually brawling thugs led by Vinnie Jones, Hollywood’s favourite bad boy.
Alex and the gang join a circus and have to reinvigorate the failing troupe so they can catch the eye of an American circus agent who will take the whole lot of them back to the good old US of A.
While the plot is a little thin, and has some holes in it you could ride a circus elephant through, it holds together just enough for us to not really care. My favourite gapping plot gap is the fact that in the beginning of the film our team manage to somehow magically travel from Africa to Europe to track down the penguins and their plane, so the penguins can take them back to America. I couldn’t help wondering why our heroes didn’t just use whatever method they used to get to Europe, to go to America. But that would make for a 12 minute movie, and that would be a shame because I really liked the 73 other minutes of this movie.
The script is refreshingly good. After the very disappointing and forgettable Madagascar 2 the team seems to have pulled themselves towards themselves and this script is funny, fun, and a delightful mix of kids humour and adult humour making the movie a great offering for both kids and parents.
The whole thing?
Bottom line: Madagascar 3 is really good. The film is peppered with new characters that enchant, a narrative that pulls you along and a whole lot of fun to boot.
The film is PG, but I don’t know why. I would take my one year old if I wasn’t certain that she’d chew on her seat and continually point at random people and shout ‘No!’ (her new favourite word) and then giggle hysterically.