Most times when a movie has a 3 or higher number attached to the title, there is little reason for its existence other than to relieve fans of their hard-earned coinage. This is doubly so when it comes to kid cartoon fare involving wacky talking animals with familiar celebrity voices. So it is all the more wonderful that Madagascar 3 comes along and chooses to go the Toy Story route and not the Shrek route.
The film again has the four zoo celebrities out in the wilds of Africa. Having sent everyone’s favourite penguins in their monkey plane to Monaco, the animals start to get worried and decide to break into the casino. From there they become hunted by an indestructible French animal control officer, leading to a chase across Europe.
While some animated films attempt to have some bearing in the “real world,” Madagascar 3 makes no such effort and we are the better for it. In the end it’s nice to be pleasantly surprised by a movie that the kids were going to force you to watch regardless of its quality.
For the adults, we have what could very well be Wes Anderson’s best movie to date, Moonrise Kingdom. Again, the Wes feeling is unmistakable as we’re transported to an island that feels like everyone is in an intimately detailed dollhouse. Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Bruce Willis all turn on the superstar performances but it’s the unknown child stars that put the cherry on the top.
Jared Gilman is a socially awkward orphan with advanced Boy Scout skills. He falls for Kara Hayward and the two decide to run away from the adults in their lives, who are just as confused as they are.
With every frame being a visual wonder with a heart-warming story, Moonrise Kingdom is most certainly a viewing well worth your time.
Both available at Highland Video, the best/last video store on Earth.