Preview. Color explodes. Make and lose friends. Find and lose passions. Find home. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Loved second viewing to commentary, third in French, ... Music (Hans Zimmer) phenomenal.
In Africa, the penguins (62 TV episodes) and Chimps Mason (Conrad Vernon) and buddy, flew off with jewels and gold to gamble at Monte Carlo "and never come back". Zebra Marty (Chris Rock) wakes lion Alex (Ben Stiller) from nightmare to birthday present: New York City modelled in mud. Hippo Gloria (tiny Jada Pinkett Smith) is the Statue of Liberty, giraffe Melman (David Schwimmer) is the Triboro bridge, and the lemurs are inside the birthday cake. Alex makes his birthday wish: To get the penguins to take them home. Um. Problem. Why not just go home yourselves?
Instantly (um, snorkeled the whole way?)they're in the sea by the casino, sneak down through roof ducts. (Um. Only one casino? Why not all take the same largest duct? Disturbing to have different voices. http://animatedtv.about.com/od/showsaz/tp/penguinsofmadagascarcast.htm Lemurs: King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen - TV Danny Jacobs), Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer - TV Kevin Michael Richardson), Mort (Andy Richter), penguins brainy tall Kowalski (Chris Miller - TV Jeff Bennett), lovable little Private (Christopher Knights - TV James Patrick Stuart). Rico says nothing (TV Joe DiMaggio coughs out weapons).
Inside the King of Versailles disguise are penguins. Skipper (Tom McGrath) advises Kowalski "we'll be rich, the laws of physics don't apply to us". Private has only one line when university fund spent on circus "I'll never be president",
Gloria falls through the glass ceiling, and pandemonium encourages fast exit. This sequence is so laugh-aloud ridikuslus I paused often on the commentary play-through. At one point, they all balance atop a penguin, next ride bystanders.
Captain Chantal Dubois (Frances McDormand) of Animal Control is a droopy boobs and bottom killer, who crawls on pin-thin shins, leads motorbike gang on trail of the "animal musk" from fleeing big black truck (Luxury Assault Recreational Vehicle). Kowalski's "nucular" reactor powers their getaway, landing on Holtel roof edge. Ducking and sword-slicing the banana gun, she grabs the refugee ladder.
Plane crashes, chimp power flees ("only work two weeks a year" "French" and "Canadian" labor laws? Knife-throwing Russian tiger Vitaly (Bryan Cranston) and Italian sea lion Stefano (Martin Short) refuse to let them board circus train. Lovely trapeze jaguar Gia (Jessica Chastain) "circus stick together" hauls them in. Next stop Rome, then London, where a promoter can hire them for New York, if he likes the act.
Spoilers in Rome
Since the owners don't allow stowaways, the King of Versailles buys the circus. The lemurs end up in with roaring wordless bear Sonya (Frank Welker) on tricycle, and Julian is in love "you look like a supermodel .. albeit a fat heavy one that smells." xx wrong Julien voice.
The Rome audience hates them, so they flee, one step behind Dubois. Circus Zargoza used to be #1, tiger Vitaly fearless, until he got stuck, trying to jump through a flaming tiny hoop. Alex proclaims "Circus is about your passions, wherever they take you." (sound's like That's What I Am xx Inspired by Cirque de Soleil "those French Canadians came along, drunk on maple syrup and cheap pharmaceuticals.
Spoilers in Alps
What does a human say when he's got passion? I'm an animal. Well, we are animals." ... We can do anything if we do it together." In the Alps, they rehearse, until Dubois similarly, in "Rien, Rien" song (translates "I regret nothing, today begins with you" - I remember enough from 40+ years gone - who knew she can belt out so on first try?) , inspires her squad out of their bandages and casts.
In rehearsals, Marty follows and rescues Stefano, shot from cannon, flies like in earlier movie. Gloria and Melman dance on the tightrope, awkward arms are easy when you put them around your partner. Alex "teaches" Gia trapeze, she smashes into pole after he does, and both make googly eyes. They all discover their "passion". When Dubois closes in, they have to board newly-painted train "Fur Power" and flee. How did they get money for paint?
Spoilers in London
Next stop, London. Alex has to sweet-talk Vitaly, and suggests non-flammable hair conditioner instead of olive oil for impossible flaming finger ring jump. "You may have given up on yourself, but your friends haven't given up on you." The animals dance on kaleidscope of colorful hoops and lines, and get contract from cowboy hat with pet eagle, Dubois reveals the Americans are from a zoo, not a circus, so the two groups split for NY separately.
Without Alex, Vitaly steps up to lead. "We can do impossible.And we never go back to way we used to be." Meanwhile at the NY Zoo .. "I'm sorry I ever left the zoo in the first place .. we wouldn't have anything to be sad about right now." "Out there in the world we were really living."
Dubois tranquillizes them, but Central Zoo officials interrupt, and Julien staggers drugged to the circus tent and apologizes to Sonya. "Its the way we smell together". The penguins mount the Flying Afro Circus to rescue.
Dubois rips up the $1M reward cheque, and aims a fatal dart at Alex inside a foam hand. Down come the Circus, and Vitaly throws knives into a wall for Stefano to climb away. The dogs on their jet-power boots double up to give Alex a jet pack, so he can fulfill their initial claim of his circus act with "wire harness", "jet pack", and "balloons for the children of the world". Everyone stays together in their passion, their heart, their home, the Flying Circus.
High Flying Fun
Big Top Cast - clips from 2005 to actor & bigwig bits today, doing voices, Chris makes lines better, his "Afro" song "no such thing as overacting", animators copied Short's hands and face
Deleted Scenes (voices to test sketches) - Melman picks a circus act, next performance NYC - Dubois, Lion meet Venom - dubois beats up death adder for deadly dart became crossbones symbol
Mad Music Mashup
Circus Acts (DVD-ROM)
- Conrad Vernon, (co-writer) Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath (also Skipper)
NY NY song from 1930s "hell of a town" to "heck" ; Duane Read is only NY joke ; field trips took photos so art dept re-created true to reality, even rooftops (kidding about the ducts right?) ; hundreds of buildings & props not used ; real sets to plan angles & shots ;
first 3D moment inside ducts, #1 & #2 already style to "come in your face" ; in car fighting over steering wheel Chris & Ben together in studio improvised ; in background of nucular reactor drive is Julien getting slapped around - in joke for animators, have to pause to see, could swear a unicorn is on the sidewalk? ; Maurice smiles when Julien in van falls off high hotel roof - pause ;
"Eat Cake" on license plate for King of Versailles ; balletic violin solo for Dubois dancing away from banana bullets - phenomenal music ; immense detail of people cars on ground, last wall she breaks through is fridge and labelled bottles spill out - had to go back to see ; pacing - cartoon frenetic, need break where plane crashes ;
"equal opportunity insulter .. jab at every nationality"; Smirnov, Popov, Absolut all vodkas in one line ; Jessica cast before hits onscreen ; reading reheasals with improv Steven Kearin got Stefano's "Let me finish!" adlib ; made maybe 8 hours of film ;
fish don't talk, can be eaten ; hard to keep bear real, fierce, empty eyes ; Dubois tracks scent like spider, puts hair back in mouth, missed that ; "breathtaking animation" like Coliseum ; assigned lead animator to each character of 15+ leads, made videos to test movements ;
German elephants Manu and Maya dialog cut by end ; re-used Monaco sets for scarce Rome, like live-action ; I didn't know why bear fell down, thought too heavy, was famous stairs, only enough time money for few, when trike crushed so Julien trades stolen Pope's gold ring for Ducati motorbike ; used sound effect for darts that was funny, not another that was painful ;
originally little girl stuck in elephant's butt, "little boys deserved it more" ; 1200 Euro bills float away in RR station on "fun fact sheet" ; black and white in background reflects Vitaly's self-confidence "littlest idea has the biggest idea" "simpleton" ; Alex has 2300 controls to move everything, down to fingernail ;
Stefano out of cannon onto cliff needs tennis serve "pop" to be funny ; first time, missed heart and face when Marty flies through clouds ; may be 2 1/2 years from voice to final scene put together ; best 18% train repainted was bigger deal - but where did money come from? ; Did not see Vitaly's practice knife-throwing board had white outline of Alex's body ;
Did not see Vitaly's pot belly or shoulder whiskers before they pointed out missing in his confident youth ; crowd of millions '"psychedelia" ; Stefano's helmet changes color, blue from yellow (not red, saw second time) in breakup scene ; Skipper's hanky monogrammed ; "logic police" they walked unnoticed through Central Park, "took out the people", missed that ;
Sacha adapted line "its the way we smell together", even new actors "channel voice" and "what they said" ; Dan the Mayor (and Monaco security that calls Dubois) also one of readers ; Who knew the multi-colored leafy landscape the train puffs toward is Conneticut, the "wild" where Marty headed in Mad (Madagascar) #1?
How to train your dragons Live spectacular
Rico (no voice - TV John DiMaggio) ; the British Dogs Freddie (Vinnie Jones), Jonesy (Steve Jones), Frankie (Nick Fletcher); 3 Spanish Horses (Paz Vega)