This time, it’s not the balmy Madagascar or wild, wild Africa. Breaking with tradition, Alex, the lion (roaaaaar, remember?) and his friends, Marty (the Zebra with black on white stripes), Melman (the Giraffe who is also a doctor) and Gloria (the very stylish hippo) are now in Central Europe and not in a very good situation. With the evil Animal Control officer Captain Chantel DuBois (complete with blood red lipstick and ze French accent) close to their heels, it’s a mad rush to New York, the place they call home.
Jumping into the circus train, they meet Stefano (a sea lion who can make you go awwww), Gia (the oh-so-sexy Jaguar) and Vitaly (the tiger, a disillusioned genius) and their crew of weird (yes!) animals. Alex and Co have to win their trust, perform to impress the promoter and get the US contract – their passport to Rome, errr, home (eventually). And how they do it!
Between swapping extra virgin olive oil for hair conditioner (which smells like peaches, BTW) and shedding tears (which are real, FYI) and doing trapeze Americano style, it is a reiteration of the simple fact of life – that passion can make the impossible happen. And during those moments of pure passion, lo behold, we’re animals!
So, while the colourful hairdo comes into view and all you can see are the million balloons given out to the children of the world, it is a warm fuzzy feeling. And you fall in love again, with the simplicity of it all. Ben Stiller as Alex is brilliant! And so are the others – Chris Rock (Marty), Jada Pinkett Smith (Gloria), David Schwimmer (Melman) and yeah, Sacha Baron Cohen who makes King Julien a force to reckon with.
When Kowalski gets into action and Phil signs off as the King of Versailles, it is a jungle out there (literally!). And as the circus unfolds, it’s a magic tapestry of candy pop colours, spirals rising into the night and the beauty of team work as it comes alive in a series of somersaults, furry cannon balls zooming in vivid flashes and of course, falling in love – Melman and Gloria, Alex and Gia and who can forget, King Julien who throws his crown away for Sonya, the bear (watch the couple ride into the sunset on a Ducati, truly an ROFL moment). And the 3D effect just takes this joyride to the next level, perfectly in sync with Hans Zimmer’s background score.
When King Julien sings ‘I like to move it, move it’ and Alex takes lead (as always), it is a signal to let loose. And, oh! Well done, boys! It’s ice cold sushi for breakfast!