You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Madagascar’: Third time’s charming with 3D thrown in

Animation Elite 2012: The 'Madagascar 3' Ensemble

The third “Madagascar” comedy from DreamWorks Animation, and the first in the franchise to go 3D, was also the best-reviewed in the series and the highest-grossing, earning more than $725 million worldwide.

According to producer Mireille Soria, who’s been with the series since the outset, “One of the most important aspects of its success is the vocal cast” — a lineup that includes not only original cast members Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Sacha Baron Cohen, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, but also Jessica Chastain, Martin Short and Frances McDormand.

“It takes three years to make each film and we cast them fairly early and then develop the roles, a bit like workshopping a play,” Soria says. “So the cast and vocal talent really becomes an integral part of developing all the characters — particularly with Ben, Chris, Sacha, David and Jada. From the very start, they really owned their characters and worked closely with everyone on them.”

Popular on Variety

Soria says the same process applied to new cast members, such as McDormand (who plays Captain Chantel DuBois) and Chastain (Gia, the Italian jaguar).

“It was Jessica’s first animation ever, and we’d show them scenes as we go along, and get their suggestions, and they’d improv — and all that’s crucial to the end result.”

More Digital

  • Bernie Sanders Trump win

    Bernie Sanders Vows to Break Up Comcast, Verizon & AT&T: 'Their Greed Must End'

    Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled plans to launch publicly-funded broadband networks and break up big internet providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T Thursday. “Their greed must end,” the Sanders campaign wrote in its high-speed internet policy proposal. The campaign argued that high-speed internet access should be treated as a public utility, [...]

  • The Office

    Streaming Wars Heat Up Rerun Market as New Services Stock Up on Hits

    In a year in which more than 500 scripted series are on the air and new streaming services seem to debut nearly monthly, some of the biggest money being thrown around for content has gone to a handful of old TV shows, the kind that for years have hummed along evening television without much fuss. [...]

  • The Irishman

    'The Irishman' Nabs 17.1 Million U.S. Viewers on Netflix in First Five Days, per Nielsen

    Martin Scorsese’s mafia saga “The Irishman” was watched by 17.1 million unique Netflix viewers in the U.S. in the first five days of its streaming release, according to Nielsen estimates. By comparison, Sandra Bullock-starrer “Bird Box” scored nearly 26 million U.S. viewers in its first seven days of availability (Dec. 21-27, 2018) on Netflix, according [...]

  • Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on

    Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on Their International Plans

    It’s different strokes for different streaming folks as Amazon, HBO Max and Netflix lifted the lid on their international plans in London this week. Amazon said it’s not in the volume game and talked up a select number of hyper-local shows, while Netflix dished on plans to rev up non-English-language originals. The message from HBO [...]


    Daniel Rezende on Netflix Brazilian Series ‘Nobody’s Looking’

    Having premiered on Netflix Nov. 22, “Nobody’s Looking” marks the first collaboration between Gullane and Netflix – their second, “Boca a Boca” is in development- and comes from a long list of new projects that the streaming giant has announced with it’s $87 Million investment in Brazilian content. The series embodies the streaming platform’s push [...]

  • Sunil Doshi

    ATF: Sunil Doshi Launches Content Development Platform All Things Small (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sunil Doshi, whose company Alliance Media & Entertainment produced 2017 Tokyo film festival title “Bioscopewala” and distributed Jafar Panahi’s 2018 film “3 Faces” in India, has launched a new content development platform at the ongoing Asian TV Forum & Market in Singapore. The Mumbai-based All Things Small (ATS) is founded by Doshi, journalists Sidin Vadukut, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content