Madagascar 3

Madagascar 3

courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Since 2005, some of the most beloved movie characters have been the group of escaped zoo animals from DreamWorks Animations’ Madagascar films.  Now, seven years after the first film was released, DreamWorks has released another wild adventure featuring the characters.

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” finds Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippopotamus, and Melman the Giraffe, who are still searching for a way back to New York, stranded in Monte Carlo.  

When a circus comes through the city that tours around Europe, the gang decides to travel with the show until they can find their way home.  Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and David Schwimmer all reprise their roles from the first two films.  

Joining the cast for the third film are Bryan Cranston, who plays Vitaly the tiger, Jessica Chastain, who plays Gia the jaguar, and Martin Short as Stefano the sea lion.  

Both Stiller and Rock are fans of the new characters.  

“I really enjoyed Martin Short in the movie,” Stiller said in a March 15 interview.  “I’m a big fan of his.”

Rock’s favorite new character is the film’s villain Captain Chantal DuBois.  The character is voiced by Frances McDormand.  

“She is hysterical,” Rock said.  “She has a lot of energy and keeps the movie going.”

Both stars feel like their characters have grown over the course of the three films and the seven years since the first film was released.  

“I think Alex has gone on a real journey because at first he really did think the zoo was his whole world and then he got to go out into the world reluctantly,” Stiller said.  “I think Alex has really matured as the lion and has endured it all through the friendship of all the characters.  And I think Marty and Alex’s friendship is something that’s really withstood the test of forgiveness.”

Although the series has been around for years, both actors agree it is about the movies that keep fans coming back.

“I think the characters are really accessible,” said Stiller.  “There’s something very innocent about the characters that makes you just want to enjoy being with them.”

The third installment of Madagascar opened in theaters on June 8, taking the top spot at the Box Office, topping “Prometheus” at $60.4 million.

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