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June 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Critics pretty much roared their disapproval at the first two Madagascar movies, but several are fairly beating the drums for the latest one, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. Typical is Andy Webster’s review in the New York Times, which concludes. “Where Madagascar soars is in its visuals: A Monte Carlo chase is vertiginously madcap; a Cirque du Soleil-style spectacle dazzles with rich pastels; the 3D effects have wit and invention. Kids will be stimulated. And, parents, you’ll enjoy the sights.” Michael O’Sullivan in the Washington Post praises the filmmakers for rising to a new “level of divine lunacy” and employing some “amazing animation, some in eye-popping neon, that rival those of Disney’s 1940 classic Fantasia. Yes, it’s that good.” Several critics single out the filmmakers’ effective use of 3D technology. Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times observes that they wrap “all the splashy tricks and flights of derring-do in a kaleidoscope of color that seems at times to literally spin off the screen.” In fact, a common complaint of the negative reviews is that it spins too swiftly. “The movie zooms along at a clip so quick, it sometimes overwhelms,” writes Linda Barnard in the Toronto Star. Similarly, Claudia Puig comments in USA Today: “Set at a frenzied pace meant to connote fun, it mostly feels like a frenetic spectacle.” And Joe Morgenstern sums up in the Wall Street Journal: “Madagascar 3 is all about exuberant motion, cute characters and gorgeous colors. It aims for the eyes, not the heart.” Lou Lumenick in the New York Post hauls out the whip, remarking that the movie amounts to “an exhausting, eyeball-gougingly ugly 90-minute assault of non-stop action, with an all-star voice cast shouting witless lines and a wide variety of objects lobbed at the audience in the crudest 3D fashion. And Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News concludes that the latest Madagascar entry has become “a craven example of a fast-buck, no-fun family film.”