The Toy Story franchise held up into a second and third film because the characters at its heart are immediately affable, with audiences building strong emotional bonds with their good nature, and by the finale of the third, caring deeply about their plight. These are toys we’re talking about.
It’s fair to say the animals of Madagascar haven’t been developed into such deep, multi-layered characters. A lion, a giraffe, a zebra and a hippo, plus a slew of side characters including penguins, lemurs and more, in the first round they escape their New York zoo, in the second outing they frolic in their African ancestral homeland, and now to complete the trilogy, they’re heading back to the Big Apple, but of course, it’s not going to be quite that simple.
After swimming (yes, 1,000s of miles of swimming) to Monaco in the space of a quick-cut, the foursome catch up with the penguins and their aeroplane to fly back to the States. But when Plan A backfires and they’re left with an unrelenting Animal Control officer on their tail, Alex and co. must find an alternate mode of transport. They join a travelling zoo.
Madagascar 3 is OK, but that’s it. It’s more of the same story which struggled for originality in the first place, but now any spark of freshness has passed and the film just feels like it’s retreading old ground. The colours are vibrant (or at least as vibrant as they can be with the tones ru ined by 3D glasses) and the animation is lively, but kids deserve more than that in a movie, and there’s just nothing on a plot level that warrants you taking yours to go see this.