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Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted Blu-ray 3D Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4 (2D); MVC (3D)
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Audio Description Dolby Digital 5.1, French & Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG
  • Run Time: 93 Mins.
  • Discs: 3 (1 x Blu-ray 3D + 1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: Ultraviolet & iTunes
  • Studio: DreamWorks Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 16, 2012
  • List Price: $54.99

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
HD: [Rating:5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted continues the zany adventures of the New York City zoo animal friends the Lion Alex (Ben Stiller), Zebra Marty (Chris Rock), Giraffe Melman (David Schwimmer) and Hippo Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith). Successfully incorporating the colorful animation, quick pace, and witty humor (“look nine Duane Reade’s on the same block” Alex says in response to a clay model of Manhattan the friends built him for his birthday) that made the franchise a success in the past, the third installment ramps up the energy level sending it into overdrive and incorporates a new set of characters for a necessary booster shot.

Still looking to find their way back to Manhattan and still stuck in Africa where they were last time we saw them, the friends decide to go looking for the penguins rather than waiting around. So they make their way to Monte Carlo, pick up the penguins, and off they go on another adventure. They manage to gain the attention of Monte Carlo Police Captain Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand) who has a disdain for animals of all kinds, likes to mount their heads on her wall, and is especially looking for a lion – bad news for Alex! The chase is on, and the only escape for our friends is for them to buy out a failing circus with the cash the penguins made from gambling and make a run for it on the circus train. But the Captain will pursue them all across Europe if she has to. Even as the pursuit is on, Alex and co. settle into the circus life, find a new set of friends – and love interests.

Ever silly, and not always hitting the mark with some of the jokes – especially Chris Rock who seems to be trying a bit too hard this time out – there’s still a quaint sort of chemistry with this set of characters and the third film rescues what was a disappointing sequel, turning the franchise around again.

Video Quality

HD: [Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:5/5]

Whether in 2D or 3D, Madagascar 3 looks every bit as spectacular as one would as expect a DreamWorks animated release to be on Blu-ray. The CG work is detailed and colorful with no real issues surrounding aliasing or video noise. In 3D, the animators have certainly made full use of the format with this film, taking many opportunities to provide lots of pop-out, such as when Marty is flying through the air after being shot from a cannon. There are plenty more like that, faces, fireworks, even tranquilizer darts coming right at you. It isn’t all gimmicky and aggressive, however, as the overall look and feel of the 3D effect is rather natural with lots of dimensionality. It makes a strong case for animation as the best format for showcasing 3D.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The 7.1 Dolby TrueHD (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack get you right into the middle of the action with lots of directional panning and a balanced use of the surround and front channels. Back channels aren’t used as aggressively so much for discrete effects, but they do help boost the realism of atmospherics and the overall effect of encapsulation. Lows are weighty without being overly bombastic.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4/5]

The bulk of the supplements are contained on the Blu-ray 2D disc as it has some exclusive content and the 3D disc contains naught but a 3D trailer for Rise of the Guardians as additional content.

The supplements:

  • Blu-ray Exclusives:
    • The Animator’s Corner – Picture in Picture commentary with peeks at raw CG animation, storyboards and more.
    • Trivia Track
    • Get Them to the Train – Game. Help load Alex and his friends onto the train by matching them to their correct box cars and then shooting them into it from a circus cannon. It’s more complicated than it looks!
  • Big Top Cast (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:13:38) – Get a peek at the voice cast at work.
  • Deleted Scenes:
    • Melman Picks a Circus Act (test)
    • Next Performance: New York City (test)
    • Lion Meet Venom (test)
  • Mad Music Mash-Up (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:00)
  • Ringmasters (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:15:27) – This promotional-feeling featurette gives a look behind the scenes at the making of Madagascar 3.
  • Madagascar 3 Roundtable (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:48) – Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett offer their thoughts on their work on the Madagascar films.
  • Filmmakers’ Commentary
  • Previews
  • Sneak Peek of the How to Train Your Dragon live tour.
  • DVD
  • Digital Copies – UltraViolet & iTunes

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

Kids will enjoy the frenzied energy level of Madagascar 3, no doubt, although some parents may have concerns with some of the more violent scenes. There are more than a few moments where handguns are pulled out and fired, thus the “PG” rating. Nevertheless, this will be a an enjoyable film for most families, with its strong animations, beautiful color palette, and well fleshed out characters.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Madagascar 3 on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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Purchase Madagascar 3 on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
HD: [Rating:5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]


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1 COMMENT

  1. I think that this has to be the best Madagascar
    movie so far! I threw the 3D version on our Hopper last night and when Marty came
    jumping out of the cannon I thought that my son was going to choke on his
    popcorn. It was great. The next Friday night family movie is Spooky Stories.
    Some guys in my office at DISH said there are a couple of Shrek shorts that are
    hilarious.

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