If we learned anything from last year’s Water for Elephants,  however, it’s that circus life isn’t necessarily all its cracked up to be, and Vitaly can’t help wondering if his best days were years and years ago. He’s in such a slump, in fact, that his sour attitude has rubbed off on the rest of the troop, which makes for a pretty dismal day-to-day life under the big top.

Thankfully, Alex and the rest of the crew have pretty positive attitudes no matter the circumstance, so they’ve essentially made it their mission to help Vitaly re-embrace his greatness. And being a movie and all, that involves one spectacular display of choreography with Katy Perry’s “Firework” serving as the accompaniment.

Making the most of the 3D format rather than simply touting its presence for maximum financial returns, Madagascar 3 has many inspired, imaginative moments that’ll keep audiences entertained for the short 85-minute duration. While there’s a bit of shameless scatological humor that occasionally crosses the lines of good taste, the bulk of the plot focuses on what loyalty and true friendship look like—a light lesson that was explored far deeper in Toy Story 3 but still elevates Madagascar 3 from the usual mindless movie fare.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol: One of the characters smokes a banana, plus a reference to being “drunk” on maple syrup and cheap prescription medicine.
  • Language/Profanity: One exclamation of God’s name, plus a couple of occasions where scatological humor is sprinkled in.
  • Sex/Nudity: Some flirty behavior and innuendo involving King Julien and his new amour, a performing bear he meets at the circus. A reference to a circus group who performs “in the nude.”
  • Violence: Several action sequences involving an escape from a casino (they fall through a glass ceiling and cause a pretty big ruckus). A dart gun, switchblades, broken bottles and knives are all used as weapons. Capitaine is hit by a motorcycle wheel, and later, falls unconscious from a platform. There’s another potentially scary moment for the younger set when King Julien is nearly swallowed whole by a bear. After a boy continually harasses an elephant, the elephant fights back by sitting on  him and dragging him away with his legs sticking out of his hind quarters.

 

Christa Banister is a full-time freelancer writer, specializing in music, movies and books-related reviews and interviews and is the author of two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers. Based in Dallas, Texas, she also weighs in on various aspects of pop culture on her personal blogFor more information, including her upcoming book signings and sample chapters of her novels, check out her Website.