Animated films are rarely bad. They make sure you have a good time at the cinema. Madagascar is one of those that just never clicked with me. They are funny, no doubt. But the main four characters never interested me. When your favourite characters in the film are the Penguins and King Julian who do not occupy most of the screen time, you know something is wrong. The same mistake is repeated here. Stefano, the sea lion is responsible for the biggest laughs. So are the Penguins and King Julian. Even the French and Italian accents are funnier than the four leads.
This time the action shifts to Europe. The pack from the Central Park Zoo want to return to New York. They see an opportunity when they see a circus troupe which could perform across the Atlantic and hence, be their ticket to go back home. Yes, of course there is a villain who will try to stop them. The plot is from any movie ever made. Not much you can call inventive, either in terms of content or form. Even the 3D is restricted to things and animals leaping towards your eyes. The tedium is only saved by some gags here and there. This is another problem. If your film relies on gags instead of humor that is organic to the story, it is a failure. But if a standard animated film, with standard laughs and standard feel-goodness is enough, this film offers exactly that.
I feel like I'm being too harsh on a film that never set out to accomplish greatness. But when you have films like Wall-E, Toy Story, Ratatouille, Shrek and even Ice Age, why settle for mediocrity? I don't want to sound like a cynic and ruin your party. There must be a reason why Madagascar has spawned two sequels. It's just that apart from the monetary reason, I fail to see to see why it was made. For the third time.