In amongst the usual spat of Halloween horror movies allowed to fill our screen over this ghoulishly dark and devilish time of year even the kids are getting their fair share of thrills and spills with movies such as Frankenweener and Hotel Transylvania but luckily - my kids don't really go in for all that and instead we got to see the third instalment of the next best animation to Toy Story seen in recent times, Madagascar 3.
This time out, our band of intrepid beasts are trying to get back from Africa to New York and manage to get as far as Paris before they run into animal catcher, Captain Chantel DuBois who attempts to hunt and kill Marty, Gloria, Alex and Melman. Only after managing to bundle on board a circus train, heading to NY via London do our band of brothers (and sister) have to blend in with the circus animals and ensure a successful London show takes place, allowing a big time promoter the chance to take them back to their beloved NY city - the question is - after travelling the globe, meeting long-lost family and making new friends along the way, will the seclusion of their beloved Zoo be a welcome return or a merely too much of a limited and caged existence?
As before - the entire cast returns with the usual suspects taking the lead roles. With each now completely settled into their animalistic alter-ego's we are well used to the now prominent relationship between Melman & Gloria as well as the competitive and lovable buddy buddy lines fed to us by Alex and Marty. As before - the Chimps offer the brains and the penguins, the balls! Our intrepid band of heroes have to all work together to escape the brilliantly scary DuBois and along with their new found circus friends including a knife wielding tiger (Vitaly), a deliciously cute Jaguar (Gia) and a laughable jester like Sea lion (Stefano) they have to prove to their new friends as well as themselves they can cut it as circus performers.
Of the three movies to date - this was my favourite. The annoyingly catchy Circus Afro song will stick in your head for hours and the combination of music and effects on the circus scene is actually extremely impressive. Pair this with quite a punchy story line and a length that literally is done and dusted in about 90 minutes and there is no actual place where this movie is allowed to slow down at all!
As with most animations of the day, its hard to pick holes in vocal talents, graphics or indeed story as all are aimed at kids and the presentations just build and build every time, thanks to the multi billion dollar animation industry Hollywood has created.
That said, this movie has three key features that no other movies have. They are King Julien, Maurice and Mort. The Lemurs.
I cant help but find this fabulous trio the highlight of any Madagascar movie. Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer & Andy Richter get all the best one-liners, certainly get the most laughs and seem to be the benchmark for the adult hidden humour required nowadays to make being dragged along to the most recent animated movie slightly bearable for us doting parents. Love those guys!