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Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 93 minutes

US Certificate: PG UK Certificate: PG

So far, the Madagascar series has pulled in the punters so it was inevitable that the series will keep on coming until this animal collective reach the moon or the centre of the earth. At the moment it’s all pretty inoffensive so there’s nothing to hate about this attempt at keeping the kids entertained.

The third installment follows the Alex the lion (Stiller), Marty the zebra (Rock), Gloria the hippo (Pinkett Smith), and the hundreds of friends they’ve accumulated as they struggle to get back to their home at New York zoo. They accidentally arrive on the southern shores of Europe and, after being caught in the headlines of animal control and the relentless Captain Chantel DuBois (McDormand), they join a circus troupe to speed their way towards their destination.

Madagascar is a measured mix of the new and the familiar. Almost every single character returns (and star voiceover talent) and they all pretty much offer the same comic content as before – Marty is ridiculous, the penguins offer the tongue-in-cheek intrigue, and King Julien is totally nuts – but there’s also some character progression as they’re all a bit more world-savvy than in the first incarnation. The mainly-French setting looks good (as you would expect from Pixar) and suitably supped-up in scale, and it also offers the chance to get some easy laughs from abusing the locals, especially the very amusing Captain Chantel DuBois on the tale of the animals. The laughs in general are not constant or asthma-inducing but, just, there.

It’s not a classic kid’s film and it can’t really be watched out of the context of the two that preceded it but nevertheless it’s an enjoyable throwaway hit that can silence the kids and provide some, intermittent laughs for adults too.

It's Got: Some decent laughs, an attractive setting, the new and the familiar

It Needs: A few more gutbusting laughs, probably to end the series here


Inoffensive fun for the kids with everyone tagging along from the first two installments but with enough new stuff to keep the kids, and any adults who might be partially paying attention, entertained.