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Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

Tagline: They Have One Shot to Get Back Home

Speaking to TIME this week, Chris Rock discusses the secret to voice work in animated movies, which is that they pave the way for an actor to do edgier stuff elsewhere:

Jokes rot. They’re not like songs. I always envy singers — Sting is always going to sing “Roxanne.” But people want to hear new jokes. I’ve written jokes as good as “Roxanne,” I believe. But I can’t tell them again. And there’s no publishing. So. I play a zebra.

In addition to Rock’s Marty the zebra, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted features all your favorite animals, still trying to return home to their beloved New York City. The third installment takes them through Europe, where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus.

Animated film franchises, unless you’re a Toy Story, tend to not age well, so it’s a surprise to hear that the reviews have been pretty positive. “This is the rare animated property that has consistently improved on its ho-hum origins,” notes Variety. “Like a big-screen Big Gulp, this third installment of the billion-dollar animated franchise contains as much cinematic confection as an 85-minute movie can bear,” reveals the Village Voice. But the Hollywood Reporter brings us all back to reality, saying that “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.”

REVIEW: TIME on Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

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