The story in Madagascar 3 is functional, but the antically civilized spirit is infectious.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Kids will be stimulated. And, parents, you'll enjoy the sights.
Andy Webster - New York Times
Set at a frenzied pace meant to connote fun, it mostly feels like a frenetic spectacle.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
[It] may be the best of the bunch, simply because it busts the leash that tethers it to anything resembling reality.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
Cascading, colorful 3-D performance sequences are sufficiently dazzling that you'll forgive the bajillionth soundtrack sampling of "Firework."
Tom Russo - Boston Globe
Like a big-screen Big Gulp, this third installment of the billion-dollar animated franchise contains as much cinematic confection as an 85-minute movie can bear.
Eric Hynes - Village Voice
- New York Daily News
Despite a script co-written by Noah Baumbach, "Madagascar 3" can't upgrade its own shtick, becoming a craven example of a fast-buck, no-fun family film.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
"Madagascar 3" is all about exuberant motion, cute characters and gorgeous colors. It aims for the eyes, not the heart.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
A riot of splashy colors, silly 3-D gimmicks, big, broad kid-friendly gags - and those professionally pesky penguins.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
From time to time the improbable occurs: A sequel outdoes its original.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
...off-kilter wit and smarts to an animated bestiary that keeps you laughing while eloquently re-defining where home is.
Kathleen Murphy - MSN Movies
Your brain goes breathless and giddy struggling to keep up.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It's silly, and it's lazy. And yet, again, it's pretty funny.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
This is the rare animated property that has consistently improved on its ho-hum origins.
Justin Chang - Variety
What might be barely tolerable in a seven-minute short gave me the biggest headache since "Transformers: Dark of the Moon.''
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
The movie zooms along at a clip so quick, it sometimes overwhelms.
Linda Barnard - Toronto Star
The clever lines and themes of friendship and finding home are almost completely overwhelmed here by the breathless pace and sensory overload...
Jennie Punter - Globe and Mail
It has value only as a way to engage a very young viewer until his or her attention span expires.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Yes, it's a cartoon, but it's conspicuously unmodulated, with the volume set on high and the pacing all but pushed to fast-forward.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
The animation is grand, and the lovely images may be enough to send really young kids away happy. Their parents might leave feeling they've been taken in by some carny sleight-of-hand, though.
David Germain - Associated Press
I have to give props to a movie that ascends from eccentricity to insanity without losing its footing.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
A neon-saturated, high-flying trapeze act with enough frenetic funny business that it's a wonder the folks behind this zillion-dollar franchise about zoo critters on the lam didn't send the animals to the circus sooner.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Fans of the original and its familial sequel will love this colorful, vibrant excursion through Europe.
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
- Austin Chronicle
Brett Michel - Boston Herald
- Miami Herald
Dave White - Movies.com
- National Post
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
- Urban Cinefile
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
For a frantic, action-packed 80-odd minutes, it seldom puts a foot, paw or cloven hoof wrong.
Andy Lea - Daily Star
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted may arrive with low expectations, but it's a pleasant surprise, sending its character barrelling across continents for a zippy, engaging 90-minute adventure.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
A sugar high that inevitably fades with time.
Sophie Monks Kaufman - Little White Lies
Sheer manic animated anarchy... It's as if the cool, smooth nonsense of the penguins' outrageous schemes -- yes, they're back too -- were allowed to take over the entire film...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The first-class 3D animation is better than the cliche-ridden script.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Instead of developing the characters or situations for comedy gold, the filmmakers instead just crank up the chaos. So while some scenes are both funny and visually impressive, this second sequel is simply too inane.
Rich Cline - Contactmusic.com
Hugely entertaining, ferociously funny.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
This is animation that never just goes through the motions but glories in its feats and so, almost certainly, will you.
- This is London
It may lack a little in charm and warmth, but the technical brilliance and decent use of 3D go some way towards compensating for the dimensions that the film otherwise lacks.
David Aldridge - Radio Times
It is a disarmingly daft, anarchic romp that should leave younger children screaming with delight.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
The action zips along, the visuals dazzle and the gags zing. The best in the series so far.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Eye-popping and bounding with energy, this is fun for audiences of all ages.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Here is a family movie from which absolutely nothing is expected, and yet it's one of the week's best releases: a muscular, potent and very funny film.
You don't have to be a child of four to enjoy this series, but it helps.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
"The best of the Madagascar films" might not be the most ringing endorsement ever committed to newsprint, but DreamWorks Animation has finally found the franchise's groove in this pyrotechnic third instalment.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
Easily the best film of the franchise so far, thanks to a witty script, colourful new characters, lively animation, inspired direction and some impressive 3D work, not to mention some exceptional comic timing.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
It's good to see that with a decent, fast-paced plot and some witty lines, the quality and entertainment value of the films has been maintained.
Roz Laws - Birmingham Post
It's a riotous circus you'd happily run away to.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
This is that rare thing: a franchise that grows more winning with each instalment.
Guy Lodge - Time Out
This overlong Saturday morning cartoon boasts plenty animals but little magic.
Siobhan Synnot - Scotsman
While it may blunder down the odd comedy cul-de-sac, Madagascar 3 is often inspired and very, very funny.
Chris Hewitt (UK) - Empire Magazine
This typically frenetic but wearying series entry lacks the Looney Tunes efficiency of its predecessors.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
It has a little something for everyone, from kids to adults, probably too much slapstick and chasing around, but a mature element as well that makes it worth watching.
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Madagascar's animals parody human characteristics to enjoyably madcap effect.
Eddie Harrison - The List
The ghost of Tex Avery is alive and well in a frenetic sequel that does more than reheat and serve. Madagascar 4? Don't bet against it.
- Total Film
A crowd-pleaser, and one that is better than it really has any right to be.
Steve Newall - Flicks.co.nz
The film has a message worth grasping; sometimes it takes a departure from your comfort zone to truly understand what you have in life and what's important to you.
Sam Fragoso - Fan The Fire
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is no better or worse than the earlier films. It's been forged from the same mould and features the same brand of humour.
Matthew Toomey - ABC Radio Brisbane
In what could have been an extreme reaction to a paranoid fear of going stale, the film's directing triad - Tom McGrath, Eric Darnell and Conrad Vernon - have dialled up the crazy big-time; the pace of Mad3 is relentless.
Jim Schembri - 3AW
Madagascar 3 works because it knows its strengths and hits them repeatedly by being loud, frantic and dazzling.
Matt Neal - The Standard
Bright, colourful and fun.
David Michael Brown - Empire Magazine Australasia
Genuinely funny and gleefully entertaining, its creators aren't afraid to throw everything they've got at the screen to see what sticks - and a lot of it does.
CJ Johnson - FILMINK (Australia)
Dreamworks have outdone themselves with the glorious 3D rendering in Madagascar 3, especially with the circus scenes, accompanied by the modern dance-pop soundtrack.
Dom Phillips - MovieFIX
For now, it is a downright delight to sit back and watch the likes of the loony lemur king Julien do anything and everything to entertain you.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Perhaps the spectacle overwhelms the characters at times but this is a fun addition to this particular series.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
Fast, fun and glowing with neon delight, this third effort in the franchise is enough to encourage kids to seek out their own animal sanctuary.
Ed Gibbs - The Sun Herald
A vivacious 3D kaleidoscope of colour, dazzle and show, this third in the franchise simply bursts with joie de vivre, goofy humour and innovative ideas
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Easily the best of the series.
Kirk Honeycutt - honeycuttshollywood.com
Better than its predecessor but worse than most other things.
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
Colorful, bright and wickedly smart in spots, 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted' is an animated romp that will entertain adults and children, pop-culture fans and opera buffs in a wide swath of action and comedy.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
In one magnificent chase sequence, the filmmakers pay tribute to The Matrix, one of the moments that will endear this movie to the grownups in the audience.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
Whether you have kids, will never have kids, have to take your nephews, your nieces, or some random kid, you're gonna be able to get though this movie. There is a lot of fun stuff in here for everyone.
Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis - Schmoes Know
Color, frantic action, cute animals and a half-hatched theme about rekindling passion don't hit the target.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Refreshed and energized Madagascar offering non-stop entertainment
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
If you can't make a decent movie through normal means, relying on non-stop distractions to keep the thing humming along isn't the worst plan B.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Hilarious and wildly entertaining - the best in the series. Bring on number four
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
The movie is fast-moving enough to make you forget that it doesn't make a lick of sense.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Is vomit ever a good thing? 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted' is cinematic vomit, and that's a compliment.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
[W]e can only hope that this series of mediocrities, which has already spanned three continents, spares us the other four.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
With an impressive array of voice talent, Dreamworks has created something truly special.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
Contains more than enough adult humor to keep all of the parents (and critics) in the audience satisfied.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
The wildly successful animated comedy series finally--and, to be frank, very unexpectedly--breaks from pleasantly watchable kid-friendly mediocrity to visually imaginative, consistently witty all-ages entertainment.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
... this one was rotten in 2005 and 2008, and by now it's really beginning to stink.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
As the gags play out to their climactic showdown, this seems a fitting end to the series.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
MADAGASCAR 3 offers humor and heart in most all of the right places...
JimmyO - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Short and silly, it's frenetically paced and visually dazzling, filled with high-flying acrobatics.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
It's not a great film, but it'll do for a silly summer lark...Oh, and CIRCUS AFRO!
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
The result is almost exactly as good as it needs to be - no better and no worse. Where the norm is grimly assembled factory line products, that counts as a success.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
Not only is it the best of the series so far, but it actually makes us look forward to the prospect of a Part Four.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
Entertaining "threequel" has some mild violence, innuendo.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
The first two Madagascar's were pretty boring and strictly for kids. With great 3D and a little more fun, adults you have permission to like this one.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Fans of the original might react with more of an indifferent shrug to their latest travelogue.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
The screenplay, by Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach, churns out the snappy witticisms with admirable creative gusto, but it whizzes along at such a frenetic pace that you'll probably miss half of them.
Amy Biancolli - San Francisco Chronicle
A fun and fast family entertainment.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
The film is grounded in the arcs of its beloved characters and presents some exciting new ones, fun settings, and funny dialogue.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
If you're stuck with babysitting duties, you could do a lot worse than spend a zippy, silly and antic hour and a half with the continent-hopping animals in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.
Radheyan Simonpillai - NOW Toronto
This movie is so funny and sweet that it's official: this series actually gets better with each installment.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
This latest offering is better than the first two and is a rare example of a franchise that keeps improving as it goes. (Full Content Review for Parents also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Exhausting, but still funny; with actual jokes meant for viewers over eight. It's not top-shelf booze, but irreverence wins out.
Matt Fowler - IGN Movies
One-ups its forgettable predecessors by actually being pretty good.
A funny, snappy script and thrilling action sequences make this European adventure a trip worth taking.
Matt Stevens - E! Online
America, after all, becomes the Emerald City again in this movie's eyes, and the promise westward holds fresh allure. That's good enough for me.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
"Madagascar 3″ is the best of the series, bright, fresh, fun, and funny, with a terrific script co-written by "The Squid and the Whale's" Noah Baumbach.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Grand family entertainment with substantial laughs and a thoughtful use of 3D...has genuine spark, keeping the adventure speeding along while massaging the digestible plot.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
The franchise that began as a tame kiddie pleaser about four pampered zoo animals lost in the wild has matured and sharpened its teeth, perhaps thanks to Noah Baumbach...
Tom Meek - Boston Phoenix
Shot in 3D, it uses the medium to its best advantage and the circus theme allows the animators to go wild with color. But "3's" best assets are its new characters.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Is there any reason to seek it out if you don't have kids to bring along or a desire to see every animated movie ever made? Not really.
Geoff Berkshire - HitFix
If you typically check the ingredients on the stuff you feed your kids, here is what you'll find in "Madagascar 3": jokes, Katy Perry music and less than 2 percent of character development and emotional warmth.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
This is a movie that's constantly in motion, with slapstick flair.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
An over-the-big-top picture that will probably please toddlers and franchise fans but suggests that the series has pretty much run its course.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
My favorite of the "Madagascars."
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The eye-popping, energetic "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" really is a three-ring circus.
Sue Pierman - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Eye candy so saccharine sweet it might send viewers into diabetic comas.
Matt Singer - ScreenCrush
The circus acts and the rehearsals, which are set to Katy Perry's "Fireworks," make the greatest use of the movie's 3-D capacities.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
The combination of kid-friendly boingy action, annoyingly catchy musical numbers and cutesy, simplistic life lessons is never dull to the kindergarten-and-down crowd.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Deeply, engagingly weird.
Alison Willmore - AV Club
If you want to see a family film that tries to make kids laugh by throwing lots of loud scenes with obnoxious characters doing annoying things and features the latest crappy pop songs, then MADAGASCAR 3 is for you.
Austin Kennedy - Sin Magazine
One of those rare movies that's magical for the entire family.
Jeffrey Lyles - Lyles' Movie Files
A culture change is clearly taking place at DreamWorks Animation. Hallelujah.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
Marks the spot where a shrill and unfunny kid franchise made the leap into hilarious and engaging family entertainment.
It's a deluxe 3D journey that kids will love and many adults should hail as worth the detour.
Doris Toumarkine - Film Journal International
In the third movie the Madagascar gang joins a circus, and while the result isn't the greatest show on Earth, it certainly is a lot of fun... packed with silliness and festooned with 3-D effects worth the surcharge for a change.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
Madagscar 3 is less interested in plucking the last bit of meat off the series's bones than with simply picking the lowest-hanging fruit.
Sam Adams - Time Out
Powered by the impossible, high-flying stunts of its animal and human characters, Madagascar 3 spirals, sashays, pirouettes across the European continent.
Jaime N. Christley - Slant Magazine
The level of visual and narrative sophistication on display is astonishing.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is a most welcome addition to summer and a great addition to a moneymaking franchise that seems as good as new.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
Third chapter (and first in 3D) in the popular franchise benefits from fast pacing, bright colors, dazzling circus acts, vigorous villain, and some new charcaters.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
A bright and breezy jaunt through Europe that delivers enough laughs, action and thrillingly staged adventure to keep the young ones happy.
Mark Adams - Screen International