I couldn't find a skin serious enough for this, so i picked this one. Go Rammstein!
(He's a sweetheart in real life
Now what I actually wanted to say...
Quite a while ago, the third Madagascar movie, Europe's Most Wanted had released and played. A charming movie which exceeded my 15 year old expectations. Talks of a 4th movie are in session, and rather predictably, many cynics & Madagascar haters (quarantine wanted)claim it to be milking the franchise, doing to death, etc. And this was much before the 3rd was out. To an extent, they had a point. I found Penguins of Madagascar highly disappointing. And do you know what, I damn agree! The trilogy was one of the loveliest I'd seen, and surprisingly profound, like Megamind. I adore Dreamworks, their movies get better and better each year! But yes, I concur with the cynics.
Their 3rd movie must be the final.
Why I state so, is because all 3 of the movies had successfully tied up each of their loose ends. Every plot hole, crisis and questioning had been complete by the end. There is no need to resolve anymore conflict as all has been fulfilled. Peace has been restored to each of the animals' psychological balance.
There is no need to press further.
Take a look at the plots of each movie. It is more profound than you think.
Madagascar 1- The story begins about a group of 4 zoo animals, Alex the Lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo and Melman the giraffe. After his 10th birthday, Marty has a craving to find his roots and decides to go the wild. They eventually do courtesy a series of wacky events. Here is the first conflict- Marty's craving is more than just curiosity- at his 10th birthday, he develops an existential crisis. Realising the zoo is not the place he wants to be in, he feels that this is not his true self. Finding oneself is one criterion of the existential; the art of 'being'. He knows it, subconsciously; almost cosmic if I say so. He desists from confessing his wish as to please the others, but does so on insistence. Finally, they get there.
On arrival, a lot is questioned. Marty is thrilled and proud to be in a place where he truly belongs- the wild. Free from the shackles of the zoo and their dazzling flashes; able to see the stars at night sans pollution. His world has seemingly at peace, thereby his crisis solved. But more is to be done. Alex is devastated, as he loved the zoo. He has no crisis to speak of per-se. then they meet the lemurs. The disturbed balance of Alex & Marty's friendship is back again. King Julien believes them to be saviours. But here, Alex' physiological needs are no longer fulfilled. There he craves meat, his natural diet, where he attacks Marty. After being horrified by his bloodthirsty actions, he develops his own crisis-:
Wild? Or Monster?
Marty is his food by natural dictation. But he's also Alex' best friend. This conflict is nature vs nurture- must he or can he be better? He is in an existential dilemma. Being an anthropomorphic, personified animal; this conflict sticks in him for long, to the point he withdraws from 'society' in fear of him being a monster. Then he destroys the Fossa when needed. He realises he can be more than he was made to be. This crisis of his is solved fast. Marty's is solved as well; he knows the wild, he is proud, but now he wants to see more of the world with his best friends. Even the penguins, who wanted home; found Madagascar to be home. 3 existential crises solved at once.
Madagascar 2 escape to Africa-: Plane backfires and crashes, so they're stranded in Africa. Alex discovers that he is Alakay, king of the jungle who has an evil uncle. Melman is infatuated with Gloria.
This movie wasn't analysed too well by me, I'm afraid. Alex is more comfortable being wild; now totally at peace with both his wild and mild side. The dilemma solved previously by fate and the penguins' ingenuity is adrift. Here, unlike before; every single animal develops a partially existential crisis of their own. Alex is largely a lover, not a fighter; but now he must act against his possibly innate nature to prove his mettle; a completely foreign concept akin to a culture. Marty prides on being himself, but discovers everyone is just like him. A proud non-conformist discovers he is as generic as those washed by a sea of conformity, by far the greatest crisis in there. Gloria loves the alpha hippo, but questions what he truly sees in her and Melman prides his witch doctor work, but struggles with his infatuation for Gloria. This crisis of his is profound, as it almost leads to a darkly tragicomic suicide. The tough comic relief hardly helps.
Alakay is now confronted by his roots. His adoptive home was a benevolent prison, just fueled by the passing 15 minutes of fame his whole life. An incredibly intimate part of his was almost an infallible lie; having been a baby cub separated from his homeland. It is a mixture of shock and relief, to know his real family and that he had one who deserved to be crowned with such a moniker. Yet after his fall from grace, his father promptly disowns him. This leads to him questioning life in general; the crisis the movie focuses on. What is life? What part is he of it? His ingenuity leads to the jungle to be healthy again, but he is set; his real home is that with his friends; the ones who stuck with him thick and thin his whole life. With that peace, he lets go.
A key point of this movie is how everybody solves each others' crises' rather than fate. Julien ends up being the one who brings a depressed Melman together rather ironically. When he prepares to take the plunge after confessing his love, Gloria saves him. 2 in one stone, whereas Alex proves Marty may be just like the others, but he has a special heart. 3 done. Alex ends up solving his own crises so far. The plane then comes for them again.
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted- Cloaked by frivolity, this is the one movie where EVERY character save the penguins & extras develop an existential crisis of their own. During their jetsetting around the world, after committing havoc; they're discovered by Chantel DuBois, a psychotic poacher and thereby pursued. They take refuge in a failed circus, much to the displeasure of the lead tiger Vitaly. Here, everything culminates, bursts and recedes and calms itself; making a fine end. Alex falls for Gia the jaguar, but he is clearly lying through his teeth about all his feats that he can perform. their attraction is mutual, but he suffers a lot of guilt. While Marty is jolly and goofy, he too regrets his more rash and impulsive decisions. Melman's two left feet leads to a rift between Gloria and him; his unwillingness to admit the driving force. Julien falls for the circus bear, but feels threatened by her general position against him, a mighty king. His crisis is rather strong; for it is the first time he finds himself caring for someone, a nagging new and powerful feeling, thereby devastated by her perceived rejection
Vitaly having burned himself during a circus stunt had developed a fear of risking; the once powerfully intense showman a shadow of his former self. Stephano the sea lion is far too trusting of the zoolanders, & questioning his optimism when they confess their lies. DuBois and her psychotic team are instrumental in bringing it all together; the common enemy glues them together, invariably solving everything. It all culminates towards the end where the zoolanders return to their former home, but find no peace or sentimentality in there, finally seeing it for the caged benevolent prison it is. Marty's existentialism is questioned again, but not as much as Alex', who always wanted the security of his home, but now having tasted the wild life; real life and freedom and finding his own serenity; feels he no longer has anything he wants there. The circus is the best of both worlds; he accepts his reality- it never was the same.
Having abandoned the liars, the circus animals too feel their own conflicts resurface. Vitaly is confronted with his inner demons and finally he musters the courage to face them; for he knows real company at last. Gia and Stephano too have their innocence confronted and proved to themselves again; so they agree to save the zoolanders. Julien too agrees with his own heart that empathy is the way to go; to the tipping point of abdicating his royalty to be with Sonya. By the end, everybody is satisfied at last; but the most nagging dilemma is solved- that of belonging. they found their heart's true calling and passion; a place which they can truly call their own- roots and wings. They have found love, inner peace and serenity; what everyone in life truly deserves. They know their existence. They are.
And I cannot think of a finer ending than that.