Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is a beautifully looking animated film, but lacks in the story and humor that made the first sequel so great. What made the series so fun was that they weren't afraid to take risks with the jokes, and it made it enjoyable for adults and kids. This film seems to be trying too hard to be juvenile, and what I loved about the last film was all the violence and memorable moments. There are still some funny things about the film, like a love story between King Julian and a bear, and the new villain has some really insanely funny moments, but it seemed to take its level of humor a step back from the last film. Pixar has always brought us the genius animation and film making, and Dreamworks Animation has always given us the great laugh out loud animated comedies, but here I think they didn't bring the classic comedy that has made their films so great. This film may be great for the kids, but for an adult who enjoys the series, I was a bit disappointed in some aspects.
The story again follows Alex, Marty, Melman, Gloria, King Julian, and the Penguins who are still trying to get back to New York City. When they journey to Monte Carlo to find the penguins, they ended up being hunted down by the villainous animal patrol woman Captain DuBois. They must find a place to hide, so they find a circus train heading to America and they become stowaways. But Captain DuBois will stop at nothing to make sure they become her prey.
The plot of the film really made the series take a step back. The second film really was sweet and had good story about family, friendship, love, and had some great comedic moments. But this film just seemed like they rushed everything and that they were just trying to think of the quickest way to end the series. I also was not a fan of this new cast of animals, which included a sea lion, some dogs, and a leopard. These new characters really didn't bring many laughs and sometimes just came across as annoying, they also were just a excuse to get the films story to keep moving, although there was a large Russian tiger that I found kept the story interesting. But the new villain of the film was the best new addition and possibly the best character of the film. She was hilariously insane, she had superhuman strength, she crawls like a spider, she can can do impossible stunts that would be too hard for Spiderman, and for me she gave the film the most laughs. Although they almost ruined her when they gave her a scene in the film where she sings opera, and it just felt akward. The main heroes are still fun and gave some decent laughs, but I didn't love the penguins as much as I did in the past films, and they used to steal every scene with their memorable and hilarious moments. The second film also had a lot of heart with the story about Alex and his parents, but this film didn't really bring the warmth that film did. But there is a sweet scene in the film that gives a great message about letting the past stay in the past to make way for the great things in the future, and they end the series very well. So overall I thought the film felt rushed and followed a very old cliche formula, but it still brought some decent laughs and will be loved by kids.
The animation of the film is great, and by far the films high point. There is a scene in the film where they perform a circus act and it was simply just dazzling (but also weird as I didn't expect them to play a Katy Perry song during the scene). The characters look as great as they ever have, and you can really see the improvements in animation over the original film from 2005. The film also has some great action scenes, that even I considered to be so goofy that it was enjoyable. So I didn't hate the film, I just thought there problems that kept it from being great. My biggest problem with this entire film was that they completely ignore the events of the previous film. The new-found relationship with Alex's parents is dead, I mean they don't even once mention his parents in this film, and yet he is just ready to leave them instantly and never see them again. I loved the relationship between Alex and his father in the second film, but in this film they just completely forget it all.
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted ends the trilogy on a good note, but it has a story that I found predictable and (at times) cliche. I probably shouldn't say it ends the trilogy, because they probably will continue the series if it does well in the box-office, but I think they have ended it well and making more films would be foolish unless they do it correctly. The previous films were goofy, but this one goes beyond goofy and gives us total insanity, and for a while it's fun, but soon just becomes tiresome. I gave this film a huge chance because DreamWorks did such a fun job with the second film, and although it had some great animation and some decent laughs, it wasn't enough to make this film as great as I was hoping for. But after the film I asked myself the question "was I entertained?" and my answer was "yes." This film is very entertaining and fun for kids, I just felt there could've been a lot more that they could've done to make it as enjoyable as the previous film. The first Madagascar film was like this as well, it had some fun animation but the story and comedy could've been improved greatly. So overall Madagascar 3 will be a great time for kids, but I warn adults who enjoy the series that you might not find it as great as you hoped.