"Certified Fresh" approval rating on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. It is also the highest-grossing Madagascar film with a worldwide gross of over $746 million. A spin-off sequel titled Penguins of Madagascar was released November 26th 2014, and a sequel titled Madagascar 4 is scheduled for release on May 18th 2018.
Set years after the events of Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa, Alex the African lion (Ben Stiller) has a nightmare about himself and his friends still stranded in Africa and finding they have all gotten old. He then wakes up from his nightmare on his birthday and the animals present him with a miniature model of New York City made out of mud. Alex suggests to Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer), Gloria the hippopotamus (Jada Pinkett Smith) and the lemurs, King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer) and Mort (Andy Richer), that they should go to Monte Carlo to get the penguins, Skipper, Kowalski, Private and Rico, and the chimpanzees, Mason and Phil, and fly back to New York City, which they agree to do. At Monte Carlo, the penguins and chimpanzees have been saving up their daily winnings from the casino to fly back to Madagascar and bring their friends home. Alex and his gang see them and believe that they had ditched them to stay there and their cover is blown. Animal control, captained by the overzealous Chantel Dubois (Frances McDormand) is called in to deal with the animals. A high-speed chase around the streets of Monaco ensues between the relentless Dubois and the animals in a truck driven by the penguins. They barely escape Dubois, who vows to capture them and add Alex's head to her collection of stuffed and mounted animals. In the skies of France, the plane's gear assembly fails and it crashes into a suburban rail yard as the authorities close in. They come across a circus train and manage to gain entry, claiming that they are circus animals themselves. Stefano the sea lion (Martin Short) and Gia the jaguar (Jessica Chastain) let them in despite the protests of Vitaly the tiger (Bryan Cranston). The animals soon learn from Stefano that they are performing in Rome and London, where they plan to impress a promoter to get them on their first American tour. Before the zoo animals' claim is discredited, the penguins suddenly appear with a deal to purchase the circus themselves, resulting in the pleased departure of all the humans. Julien also starts falling in love with a tricycle-riding bear named Sonya. Meanwhile, the circus animals perform their act at the Colosseum in Rome, but the show proves to be a disaster, much to the zoo animals' horror. The angered audience demands refunds, right to going to the point of chasing the circus to the departing train. En route to London, Stefano soon reveals to Alex that Vitaly was once a professional ring jumper who used to leap through incrementally smaller hoops to excite crowds and was always pushing himself to the limit. But his attempt at an impossible jump through a flaming pinkie ring ended in disaster when he burned his fur, (which he had coated in extra virgin olive oil to slip through the narrow opening), destroying his confidence in his talent and the whole circus suffered by his example. The train makes a stop in the Alps, where an inspired Alex convinces the performers to rework their act to become the world's first animal-only circus. Heartened by Alex's vision, the zoo and the circus animals develop sophisticated acts together and become closer friends in the process, especially Alex and Gia, who find themselves falling in love. Meanwhile, Dubois is arrested in Rome after causing problems with the local police officers while chasing the animals, but escapes and discovers that Alex was the missing lion from the zoo in New York. Once free, Dubois recruits her injured men and they head toward the Alps, forcing the animals to proceed to London despite incomplete rehearsals. Alex finds Vitaly preparing to leave and convinces him to stay by reminding him of how he enjoys performing the impossible. He suggests that he uses hair conditioner as a safer lubricant to perform his flaming ring jump as well as fix his damaged fur. As a result, Vitaly's stunt is performed perfectly and the show is a spectacular success. After the impressed promoter arranges for an American tour, Dubois shows up with a paper showing that Alex was missing. Though the penguins are able to foil Dubois' plan, Alex is forced to confess that the four of them are just zoo animals trying to get home, disappointing the others who feel used and lied to by the four of them. The zoo animals and circus go their separate ways but arrive in New York City at the same time. Realizing how much their adventures have changed them, the zoo animals find that their true home was with the circus. Before they can go back, however, Dubois tranquilizes and captures them, before being discovered by the zoo staff, who believe she is responsible for returning the missing animals. Julien and the penguins manage to get to the circus and convince the circus animals to help them rescue their friends. Back at the zoo, Alex awakens to find that he along with Marty, Melman and Gloria are in their old enclosures, which are now surrounded by tall chain-link fences. Dubois steps on stage to receive a million-dollar check of appreciation from the zoo, which she rejects and secretly loads a poison-filled dart into a gun which she hides inside a foam finger in preparation to publicly execute Alex. The circus animals arrive in time to stop her and a massive brawl occurs where the animals use all of what they had developed as part of their revamped act. As the group tries to leave, Stefano is stranded and Dubois attempts to kill him. Alex manages to save him with a performance of the "Trapeze Americano", a trick he made up while pretending to be part of the circus, Alex then defeats Dubois and escapes with all of his friends. Heartened by this valiant demonstration of their new friends' love, Alex and his friends decide to join the circus permanently and they start their tour across the country. Meanwhile, Dubois and her men find themselves inside shipping crates on a cargo ship bound for Madagascar, thanks to Skipper (just like in the first film.)
- Ben Stiller as Alex the lion
- Chris Rock as Marty the zebra
- David Schwimmer as Melman the giraffe, Gloria's boyfriend.
- Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria the hippopotamus, Melman's girlfriend
- Sacha Baron Cohen as King Julien XIII, a ring-tailed lemur.
- Cedric the Entertainer as Maurice, an aye-aye.
- Andy Richter as Mort, a mouse lemur.
- Tom McGrath as Skipper and First Policeman.
- Frances McDormand as Captain Chantel DuBois, the leader of the Animal Control.
- Jessica Chastain as Gia, an Italian jaguar and Alex's love interest.
- Bryan Cranston as Vitaly a Russian Siberian tiger.
- Martin Short as Stefano an Italian sea lion.
- Chris Miller as Kowalski a right hand of Skipper.
- John DiMaggio as Rico
- Christopher Knights as Private
- Frank Welker as Sonya the bear
- Paz Vega as the Andalusian Triplets (Esmeralda, Esperanza and Ernestina)
- Conrad Vernon as Mason and Second Policeman
- Vinnie Jones as Freddie the dog
- Steve Jones as Jonesy the dog
- Nick Fletcher as Frankie the dog
DreamWorks Animation's CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg confirmed in 2008 (shortly after the release of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) that there would be a second sequel to Madagascar. Katzenberg stated, "There is at least one more chapter. We ultimately want to see the characters make it back to New York." At the Television Critics Association press tour in January 2009, Katzenberg was asked if there would be a third film in the series. He replied, "Yes, we are making a Madagascar 3 now, and it will be out in the summer of 2012." A significant amount of the animation and visual effects for the film had been done at DreamWorks Dedicated Unit, an India-based unit at Technicolor.
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18th 2012. The American release followed on June 8th 2012. The film was also converted to the IMAX format and shown in specific European territories, including Russia, Ukraine, and Poland.
Critical reception Edit
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted received generally positive reviews from critics. Based on 129 reviews, the film holds a "Certified Fresh" rating of 79% on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 6.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads "Dazzlingly colorful and frenetic, Madagascar 3 is silly enough for young kids, but boasts enough surprising smarts to engage parents along the way." This marks the best general review consensus of the film series that has showed improving critical favor with the original film having a score of 55%, and the sequel scoring 64%. On Metacritic, it holds a score of 60 out of 100, based on 26 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Lisa Kennedy of The Denver Post gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars and said, "From time to time the improbable occurs: A sequel outdoes its original." Colin Covert of Star Tribune said that Madagascar 3 set a high standard for cartoon comedy and was almost too good for kids. He gave it 3.5 out of 4 stars. Giving the film 3.5 out of 5 stars, Betsy Sharkey of Los Angeles Times said, "A neon-saturated, high-flying trapeze act with enough frenetic funny business that it's a wonder the folks behind this zillion-dollar franchise about zoo critters on the lam didn't send the animals to the circus sooner." Stephen Witty of the Newark Star-Ledger calls the movie "fun and fast family entertainment. The animals' jazzy circus performance, done in black-light colors and set to a Katy Perry song — may be one of the trippiest scenes in a mainstream kiddie movie since Dumbo saw those pink elephants."
Box office Edit
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted earned $216,391,482 in North America, and $530,529,792 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $746,921,274. Its worldwide opening weekend totaled $137.6 million. Worldwide, it is the highest-grossing film in the series, the fourth highest-grossing DreamWorks Animation film, the second highest-grossing 2012 animated film, and the eighth highest-grossing film of 2012. Overall, it is the 11th highest-grossing animated film and the 52nd highest-grossing film. The film took 66 and 94 days of release, respectively, to out-gross its two predecessors. It surpassed Kung Fu Panda 2 to become Dreamwork's highest-grossing non-Shrek film and the first non-Shrek film to reach over $700 million. In North America, the film made $20.7 million on its opening day, which was higher than the opening day grosses of the original film ($13.9 million) and its sequel ($17.6 million). For its opening weekend, the film ranked at the #1 spot, beating Prometheus, with $60.3 million, which was higher than the opening of the original Madagascar ($47.2 million), but was behind the opening weekend of Escape 2 Africa ($63.1 million). It remained at the #1 spot for two consecutive weekends. In North America, it is the highest-grossing film in the series, the sixth highest-grossing DreamWorks Animation film, the second highest-grossing 2012 animated film, and the tenth highest-grossing film of 2012. Outside North America, Madagascar 3 out-grossed Shrek Forever After to become DreamWorks Animation's highest-grossing film. On its opening weekend, Madagascar 3 topped the box office with $77.3 million from 28 countries. It was in first place for three consecutive weekends. Its three highest-grossing openings occurred in Russia and the CIS ($15.7 million), China ($10.4 million), and Brazil ($10.1 million in 5 days). It set an opening-day record for animated films in Russia, with $3.7 million (since surpassed by Ice Age: Continental Drift)) and became the highest-grossing animated film (surpassed by Ice Age: Continental Drift) and the third highest-grossing film ever (at the time), earning $49.4 million. It also set an opening weekend record for any film in Argentina with $3.80 million (first surpassed by Ice Age: Continental Drift) and it set opening weekend records for animated films in Brazil, Venezuela, Trinidad, and the United Arab Emirates.
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is the soundtrack of the film scored by Hans Zimmer and was released on June 5, 2012,
Video games Edit
A video game based on the film, Madagascar 3: The Video Game, was released on June 5, 2012. The game allows gamers to play as Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria in their attempt to escape Captain Chantel DuBois and return home to New York City. It was released to Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Published byD3 Publisher, the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions were developed by Monkey Bar Games, and the 3DS and DS versions by Torus Games. The Xbox 360 version received negative reviews from critics with Metacritic giving it a 45 out of 100. A mobile video game, Madagascar: Join the Circus!, was released on June 4, 2012, for iPhone and iPad. The game allows players to build a circus and play mini-games.
Comic book Edit
A comic book based on the film and titled Madagascar Digest Prequel: Long Live the King! was released on June 12th 2012, by Ape Entertainment.
Sequel and spin-off Edit
In June 2014, it was announced that Madagascar 4 would be released on May 18th 2018. In the meantimee A spin-off feature film titled Penguins of Madagascar, starring the penguins from the Madagascar films, was released on November 26th 2014. Its story will pick up right after Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, and it will not be related to the television series of the same name