Wait, what? Oh yeah, there are plenty of out-of-competition films looking to gain popularity amongst the festival crowd, or at least a little bit of buzz ahead of their releases. Usually they fit the position of opening night, but seeing as that slot has been host to more indie oriented flicks lately, they've found other avenues within the festival. Suffice it to say that "Madagascar 3" is getting a great deal more favor than "Pirates of the Caribbean" did when it showed up begrudgingly last year. Of course there are going to be people too set into their serious festival goer caps to give this film the time of day, but it's not one to simply dismiss, especially given the positive words that have eked their way out. This one's looking to be a sweet little dalliance.
Justin Chang (Variety): "This is the rare animated property that has consistently improved on its ho-hum origins, as 2008's "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" delivered unexpectedly fine character shadings and a less grating sense of humor than the 2005 franchise-starter. Given an extra-loopy comic spin by scribes Noah Baumbach (who previously ventured into animation writing with "Fantastic Mr. Fox") and Eric Darnell, "Madagascar 3" places a higher value on speed and spectacle than either of its predecessors, piling on the narrative lunacy to outlandish, even surreal ends."
Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter): "Madagascar 3 is colorful, moves like the TGV rather than the slow zoo train on view and is over in a flash. But it’s dominated by the characters shouting over one another, repetitively reacting with alarm to anything that happens and overcompensating for largely unfunny material by overacting by about 300 percent. 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."
Mark Adams (Screen International): "Charmingly the 3D works to impressive effect as the stodgy old-fashioned circus is gradually transformed into a bright, balletic and stylish Cirque du Soleil affair, with much emphasis put on how the animals’ hard-work and creativity pays off, with a spectacular performance set against singer Katy Perry’s foot-tappingly perfect song 'Firework' as the animals spin and leap through the air with joyful abandon."