Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Tom McGrath, Frances McDormand, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Martin Short, Chris Miller, John DiMaggio, Christopher Knights, Frank Welker, Paz Vega, Conrad Vernon, Vinnie Jones, Steve Jones, Nick Fletcher, Eric Darnell, Daniel O'Connor, Danny Jacobs
Still trying to get back to their beloved Big Apple, Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) travel to Monte Carlo, where they attract the attention of Animal Control led by Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand) who want to make Alex part of the collection. To maintain a low profile, the animals have no other choice but join a traveling circus.
The Madagascar trilogy has evolved to dance moves: the poor first film, representing the moment of stillness, has been followed by Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, that took two steps forward, to be in its turn followed by this film, that took a step back.
Less funny than its predecessor, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is a film for the easily entertained and furthermore delivers a wrong message to kids.
The film starts off pretty well, with action, chases, and funny gags, but after around 40 minutes it loses altitude, and the main problem is not the circus idea, which seems far-fetched, but the fact that the film doesn't feel like a Madagascar flick at all.
The plot still revolves around the same animals, but it's quite absurd, and does not relate much to the central goal of the characters, that is trying to get back to America. I don't remember posing this question when I first watched the film, but how did the animals go from Africa to Monte Carlo? By swimming? I really can't see a lion, a zebra and a giraffe swimming.
However, the penguins still make their show - the casino idea with the British chimps was great -, and King Julien, even though he has less fun, is still one of the best characters.
And now comes the morality of the film. Even though the love affair between King Julian and the bear is rather than strange but delivers a good message of love, the circus animals joining forces with the zoo animals is a great message of friendship, the whole circus thing is just wrong. You can't make animals choose the circus life, so amazingly portrayed here, over living wild and free. I know that at some point the animals buy the circus, and humans are portrayed as evil, but it still makes animals traveling around the world to perform tricks to entertain humans look ok, and it is definitely not ok.
Having said that, I have to admit that the circus scenes with Katy Perry's "Fireworks" was awesome, and is the most colorful and creative sequence of the entire film. The soundtrack also was kind of good.
I'm glad they didn't make a fourth Madagascar film but make the Penguins' instead.