This animated movie features many of the characters from previous Madagascar adventures. In the opening sequence, former Central Park zoo animals Alex the lion (voice of Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the hippopotamus (Jada Pinkett Smith), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) and a group of lemurs headed by King Julien XIII (Sacha Baron Cohen) are stranded on the plains of Africa. Too late, they discover that the penguins, led by Skipper (Tom McGrath), have built an aircraft that they plan to use to leave Africa. After the penguins go, the four friends worry that they will never leave Africa, so they decide to try snorkelling their way to Europe.
It all goes well at first, and they finally find the penguins in Monaco. But the penguins have been making the most of the gambling opportunities in Monte Carlo and have won a small fortune. They intend to use the money to go back to New York. Unfortunately, their plans are thwarted by French animal control officer, Captain Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand), who recognises the missing zoo animals and tries to capture and return them to New York.
To escape DuBois and her officers, the animals join a travelling circus. The zoo animals lie about their backgrounds so the circus animals will accept them. As the weeks pass, the zoo animals build friendships with Gia the jaguar (Jessica Chastain), Vitaly the Russian tiger (Brian Cranston), Stefano the Italian sea lion (Martin Short) and Sonya the bear (Frank Welker). These friendships are tested when the zoo animals’ initial lies are uncovered and their freedom is threatened.
Deception; betrayal; separation from loved ones; loss of personal freedom
This movie has many scenes where people are violent towards animals. For example: There are also scenes where the animals respond to human aggression with violence. For example: There are also several violent episodes between animals. For example:
This movie has many scenes where people are violent towards animals. For example:
There are also scenes where the animals respond to human aggression with violence. For example:
There are also several violent episodes between animals. For example:
This movie includes some sexual references. For example:
- King Julien the lemur talks about his romantic feelings for Sonya the bear. For example, he says, ‘I want to kiss you from head to toe’.
- King Julien wears a feathered pink headdress, has a mincing gait and likes to burst into cabaret numbers. In one scene, King Julian says to Sonya, ‘Come here, my hairy queen’.
- After a passionate but rough encounter, King Julien says angrily to Sonya the bear, ‘No means No!’ Although children won’t understand this reference, the joke here makes light of a serious social problem.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie shows some use of substances. For example:
- A chimpanzee smokes a banana.
- An unidentified American financier smokes a cigar.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie shows some sexual activity. For example, in several scenes King Julien kisses, strokes, cuddles or climbs on top of Sonya the bear.
This movie shows or mentions the following products or brands: Ducati motorcycles and other movies, including the earlier Madagascar movies, Driving Miss Daisy, the James Bond series, and Austin Powers.
There is also a lot of marketing and product branding associated with this movie.
This movie includes some substitute swear words and several put-downs.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Ideas to discuss with your children
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is an entertaining animated family comedy. You should note, though, that it does contain frequent violence, some scenes that might scare younger children, and some coarse language that children might imitate.
The main message of the movie is about the importance of trust and loyalty.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include helping others, cooperation, freedom and courage to get over personal fears.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as the:
- benefits of learning how to work together towards shared goals
- real-life consequences of the physical violence in the movie
- pros and cons of gambling
- consequences of lying
- ways in which our ideas about and attitudes towards animals shape the ways we treat them – for example, using animals for human amusement and profit, such as in zoos and circuses.
The movie could also be used as a springboard for discussions with your children about geography, as the animals travel across three continents during their adventures.