Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
2012
**
Director: Eric Darnell, Conrad Vernon, Tom McGrath
Cast: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Tom McGrath, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Martin Short, Frances McDormand

The first film in this popular series was about domesticated circus animals trying to cope in the wild, the second one about them discovering their origins in Africa. This one is about them, er, operating a traveling circus. The script by Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach completely rejects the notion that these character are supposed to be animals. Now the homesick New Yorkers cross continents without explanation and dash through Europe with no human being in sight apart from an obsessive(ly clichéd) French Animal control officer on their trail. It sounds ridiculous to accuse a 3D animation of being implausible and illogical, but it’s sad to see everything that was good about the franchise, namely the lovable characters and their conflict between freedom and comfort, being replaced with nonsensical plotting and non-stop wackiness. The movie has plenty of action to keep the smaller kids happy, but very few memorable gags to keep their parents entertained.