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Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is a 2012 computer-animated comedy produced by DreamWorks Animation. It is the third installment in the Madagascar franchise and the sequel to 2005's Madagascar and 2008's Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

The animals are still trying to find a way back to New York, and end up journeying to Europe, where they find help in a traveling circus. While dodging a fanatical animal control officer, they help make the circus a spectacular success as a means to an end (said end being getting to America). But as they bond with the animals in the circus, Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria will have to finally decide where home truly is for them as their journey comes full circle.

Although it doesn't have a proper sequel (due to a planned fourth film being removed from the studio's schedule), the spinoff film Penguins of Madagascar takes place a short time after this film.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted provides examples of:

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  • American Eagle: The American businessman who buys the circus has a pet bald eagle.
  • And the Rest: The New York City mayor welcomes back Alex... and the three other animals who happen to be with him.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Monaco is not part of France, so DuBois shouldn't have any jurisdiction there as a French Gendarme. Hell, neither are London and the U.S. for that matter, but she keeps going anyway. Justified in that A) the Monaco police calling for her specifically is what started all this, and B) she doesn't care.
  • Ass Shove: One of the kids in the audience starts pelting an elephant with spitballs, and said elephant loses his balance. No prize for guessing where the kid ends up.
  • Badass Boast:
    Vitaly: I once was a brave tiger... and if I go down in flames, (laughing) so be it!
  • Becoming the Mask: The Zoosters masquerade as circus animals to hitch a ride on a circus train which is headed to New York where the zoo is. However, they grow attached to the circus and make new friends with the circus animals along the journey. And they eventually choose to stay with the circus in the end.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Vitaly's performance; jumping through a hoop that may be only a few centimetres wide, and on fire; it's literally described as being physically impossible. In the climax, this is taken up to eleven when he jumps through a keyhole, then not only jumps back through the same keyhole in the other direction while carrying Marty, he manages to take off his afro wig and put it on Marty during the jump.
    Marty: I am impressed!
  • Book Ends:
    • The first film begins with Alex interrupting Marty's Dream Intro to wish him a happy birthday. This film opens with Marty doing the same to Alex.
    • The film ends with Chantel DuBois and her lackeys getting shipped in crates, and guess where to? The execution of the scene directly mirrors how the Zoosters woke up in the crates in the first film.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: When the four put their paws together before attempting to head home: "Home. Home. Home. Home. Cheeseburger."
  • Call-Back: When the group finally get back to the zoo and realised how much they've all changed, Alex reassures Marty that leaving New York was "the best thing that ever happened to us".
  • Calling Your Nausea: Mort says "My tummy is speaking to me!" right before throwing up pink Alex's birthday cake. Because of such vomit, King Julien advises Alex not to eat that side of the cake Mort puked on.
  • Character Development: The Penguins cement their transition into their The Penguins of Madagascar personalities in this movie. We see that Kowalski has created a 'nuke'-ular powered SUV, and Rico is specifically shown providing the dogs with rocket skates and using powerful explosives — one brief moment even shows him affectionately cuddling a stick of TNT.
    • The Zoosters themselves are also depicted getting a pretty good taste of this, as shown in the climax when Marty blames himself for ever leaving the zoo in the first place, only for Alex to tell him that leaving the zoo was the best thing that has ever happened to them, showing that they long journey across the first and second films have made them the adventure-seeking animals they are now.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: At one point, as the group flees the casino, Kowalski somehow winds up carrying Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman. All at once.
  • Chase Scene: The Penguins' tank of an SUVnote  versus DuBois' scooter, with the former having countless upgrades that make you wonder how a quartet of penguins could've done all that, while the latter just has an unnatural number of headlights and side mirrors, but is driven by a woman that will not give up under any circumstances. And when the SUV finally bites it, followed shortly by the scooter as DuBois ditches it to clear a gap, the monkeys' Superplane gets involved, deploying an underbelly machine-gun that fires bananas, which is used to fend off DuBois just long enough for everyone to get on the monkey-chain, though she manages to follow along by snagging Melman with her catch-loop after the banana-gun jams, taking the final part of the chase into the air.note 
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Totally averted with regards to Captain DuBois and her equally determined and indestructible sidekicks. However, they do get a jab in at the French labour laws only requiring employees to work "two weeks a year".
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • When tracking the zoosters, Dubois comments that Alex uses too much hair conditioner on his mane. Alex gives this hair conditioner to Vitaly in order to perfect the flaming hoop trick.
    • The diamonds and gold that were fished up from the dry riverbed in Escape 2 Africa were brought by the penguins to Monte Carlo, and are later seen being used in exchange to purchase the circus from its owners.
    • The news article DuBois prints off in her search for Alex ends up being what tips the circus animals off to the zoosters' true identities.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Alex's ability to cut things with his claw (like the glass, or DuBois' harness loop) comes in handy later when he needs to teach Vitaly how to safely resume his act.
    • Everything the characters come up with for their circus act in the third film.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • None of the characters introduced in the second film appear in the prologue where the group are still in Africa. In particular, Alex's parents are not seen or mentioned at all, likely out of respect for Zuba's late voice actor, Bernie Mac.
    • In the second film, Skipper "married" a lifeless bobble-head doll named Lola, and the film ended with them going to Monte Carlo for a honeymoon. In this film, the penguins and chimps are introduced having an extended vacation in Monte Carlo, and aside from the plane still having the words "Just Hitched" painted on it, Lola is not acknowledged at all (in Alex's dream at the start of the film, Skipper's line about Monte Carlo being their honeymoon is even changed to "gambling spree"). Though given Melman's remark in the second film that the relationship won't last, her absence could just be part of the joke.
  • Circus Episode: The zoo gang joins a circus to hide from an insane animal control officer.
  • Circus Synths:
    • The circus' performance near the end of the movie is set to Katy Perry's pop song "Firework."
    • Afro Circus/I Like To Move It combines a silly song about afros, circuses, and polka dots (to the tune of "Entry of the Gladiators") with the dance/electronic instrumental tune of "I Like to Move It."
  • Clown Car: As the chimps make a deal with the ringmaster to buy the circus, you can see a large number of clowns piling into a Clown Car, with the Ringmaster getting in as well.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The penguins, thinking someone should tear down the Roman Coliseum to build a bigger and better arena.
  • Cool Airship: The improvised "Afro Circus" near the end of the film basically takes "Travelling Circus" to its logical conclusion by having an in-progress performance occur while fully suspended from a pair of hot-air balloons.note  With no single part of the rigging itself touching the ground save for the tightrope line Stefano shot out, which was used to allow Melman and Gloria to escape instead of as a mooring line, and erroneously disappeared after its purpose was served.
    Random Kid: Look, a flying circus!
  • Cool Car: The car the Penguins hijacked, which features three sets of secret gadgets labeled Omega-1, Omega-2, and Omega-3. Omega-3 is the only one that we see used, with it being an oil slick that, appropriately, uses fish oil instead of generic black oil. Another button in the car reveals a nuclear reactor, while a switch on the reactor turns it on, with the resulting Nitro Boost being used after the Omega-3 fails to take out Dubois.
  • Cool Train: The circus train, a colorful Art Deco steam engine.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Played for Laughs. After the first performance in Rome bombs, Skipper decides just then to bring up that going the whole circus route to get home was completely unnecessary since they already had enough money to buy a new plane. When Gloria asks if the penguins at least have some money left, Skipper reveals that he blew the rest of the money on gold-plated dentures so that he could eat apples... only to discover that he doesn't like apples.
  • Creepy Children Singing: Parodied. The lemurs discover Sonya the bear's trailer, and when they see the sharp weapons, claw marks and dead fishes, you hear what appears to be this trope. But then it turns out it was just Mort singing.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • Right when Alex discovers that Circus Zaragoza is completely incompetent during the Rome show, which would mean that the London show will suffer the same fate, denying them access to America unless something changes.
    • Happens again when the circus animals lean about the Zoosters' true identities.
  • Dark Reprise: A non-musical variant. In the climax, we see a new version of Alex's signature performance, complete with the iconic "Alex, the lion!" announcement as the zoosters wake up in captivity again. What was seen as lively and triumphant in the first film (and the beginning of this one) now looks like something out of a psychological horror film, with a darker atmosphere, subdued colors, and the fences around the exhibits towering over them like a prison cell.
  • The Determinator: Capitaine DuBois. Between chasing animals miles out of her jurisdiction and nation and ramming through office walls and windows like they are paper while chasing the gang, you'll understand what one critic meant saying "she makes Cruella De Vil look like a quitter." Her determination is so strong that she can instantly heal her partners through the sheer inspirational force of her singing.
  • Deus ex Machina: The plot kicks off when it seems the main cast now have a clear route to New York on the Super Plane, only for a major part to break off and causes the plane to crash without any hope for repair due to the monkeys ran off and the police arriving.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Inverted with Kowalski's special invention for the getaway car... Gloria certainly knows how to pronounce the word, but Skipper knows what it really is...
    Skipper: We need more power! Time to fire up Kowalski's nucular reactor.
    Gloria: That's a nuclear reactor?!
    Skipper: Nuke-ular.
  • Dream Intro: The film starts with Alex having a dream about the penguins going away to Monte Carlo, but they don't plan to come back, leaving Gloria, Marty and Melman to become old in Africa and the scenery turns black-and-white. When he notices his old self, the latter shakes him which makes him wake up.
  • Drugs Causing Slow-Motion: When animal control officer Dubois shoots King Julien the Lemur in the butt with a Tranquilizer Dart, he starts speaking in slow-motion.
  • Eagleland: The American promoter, full stop. He even owns a bald eagle as a pet!
    Skipper: (After seeing the promoter for the first time.) If that's not a red-blooded American promoter, I don't know what is.
  • Edible Ammunition: The Penguins equipped their plane with a machine gun that fires bananas. It doesn't work very well since DuBois deflects or dodges the projectiles until the gun jams, splattering the monkey operating it in mashed banana.
  • Epic Fail: Circus Zaragoza's performance in Rome, which made things even worse for our heroes considering that the penguins had just blown most of their money purchasing that circus.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The audience gets to know DuBois when she gives a speech to her subordinates about all the animals she's killed, complete with a heavy French accent, over-the-top gun twirling and shooting a dart at the spot on her gallery where a lion head is supposed to be mounted.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: The rainbow Marty flies through after being shot from the cannon, which may also have served as an inspiration for the neon circus act in London.
  • Fake–Real Turn: Trapeze Americano. Something completely made up out of wholecloth, with each of the Zoosters trying to outdo the others to impress the circus animals, ends up coming completely true in a Grand Finale ending for Alex to take out the Big Bad. And it is awesome.
  • False Teeth Tomfoolery: With the last of the money from buying the circus, Skipper buys himself false teeth. Then he has them capped in gold. Now he can eat apples!
    Skipper: (mouth full of teeth) Then I discovered I don't really like apples...
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The first time Gia appears at the door of the boxcar (when Alex says they're circus), a musical snippet of their love theme, "Love Always Comes As a Surprise", plays, and just before this when Alex is trying to convince Vitaly to let them on, a snatch of his theme song "Light the Hoop on Fire" which is heard in its entirety during his Backstory scene, plays.
    • When DuBois samples Alex's hair while tracking him, she notes, "Glossy mane. Too much conditioner." Said conditioner becomes a plot point late in the film.
    • Gia moans she's tired of sitting, staying and rolling over. Guess what Alex has DuBois do in the climax?
  • Funny Background Event:
    • You can see Bluehair's poodle and the duckling that got gobbled by the crocodile, King Julien's gecko, Steve and a few other DreamWorks/Madagascar critters. on Dubois' trophy wall.
    • One of Dubois' men (the same one that appears to be wearing mascara during her rendition of Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien) checking out her butt while she sniffs the animal musk. Proceed to him getting slapped by the guy next to him.
    • During the scene when Alex is giving his Rousing Speech to Vitaly, a Chalk Outline of the lion can be seen on the wall, with knives sticking out of it from target practice.
  • Fun with Foreign Languages: Played with in Vitaly's case. At first it seems he is falling prone to the Malaproper aspect of the Funny Foreigner, since he makes the inadvertent puns "Wipe that Smirnoff your face and Popov!" with an absolutely straight face and no indication he knows he got the words wrong. This is subverted later though with his Unusual Euphemism moment, since he most certainly knew what word he should have said instead of "bolshevik"...
  • Furry Reminder: In the scene where Vitaly the tiger and Alex the lion are arguing about the former's leaving, Alex tries to tear away some of Vitaly's things; a ball of yarn flies free and they both spontaneously start to roll it and bat at it like regular cats.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: After what's implied to be several weeks of waiting, the Zoosters head to Monte Carlo to retrieve the penguins and chimps so they can take them back to NYC. They are completely unaware that the penguins and chimps were already planning to return to Africa that same day; had they simply waited, they could have returned to the zoo and the rest of the movie would never have happened.
  • Gilligan Cut: When getting ready to head to France to get the penguins and chimps, Marty claims that they are probably bored out of their minds. Cut to the penguins and chimps having the time of their lives trashing their hotel room.
  • Grand Finale: This film concludes the Zoosters' journey back home to Central Park Zoo. But the adventures they've been on to get back makes them realize they don't really belong there after all.
  • Groin Attack: The old lady Nana did not appear in the movie, so Alex was safe from such an attack from her this time around. But when he, Marty, Melman and Gloria ride by train with the circus, Vitaly throws his knives at them, and he comes very close to hitting the lion in the groin after all.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Aside from the one in charge being a Captain Obvious, the cop who holds DuBois in prison thinks he's smart by checking on the Concealing Poster and looking for a Ceiling Cling, but in the end he falls prey to Fakeout Escape and Decoy Hiding Place.
  • Gunship Rescue: Downplayed, in that there are no actual guns barring a pair of circus cannons (one of which is only used to throw out tightrope/trapeze lines, while the other does nothing), but the "Afro Circus" near the end of the film is used to break the Zoosters out of the CPZ.
  • Happy Circus Music: The movie features the main gang of zoo animals joining a travelling circus, thus, predictably, has some cheerful circus music — most notably "Afro Circus", sung by Marty the zebra to the tune of "Entry of the Gladiators".
  • Hartman Hips: Capitaine Dubois has quite a large and plump bottom half.
  • He's Back!: Vitaly lost his passion after being burned in his ring-jumping act. With help from Alex, he regains his confidence and becomes a star again.
  • Historical In-Joke:
    Alex: (in the Roman Colosseum) You know, my ancestors used to perform here.
    Marty: You don't say?
    Alex: Yup, they had a captive audience for every show.
    Marty: Really?
    Alex: They say they really killed.
  • Human Cannonball: Marty and Stefano choose the cannon act for their part in the circus.
  • Husky Russkie: Vitaly the Siberian tiger.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When the Zoosters' lie is exposed and the circus animals disown them, the Penguins pretend to have been lied to as well, with Skipper even saying, "I can't believe they lied to all us circus folks".
  • I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: After Vitaly convinces the other circus animals to forgive the Zoosters:
    Skipper: I never thought I'd say this on American soil; but the Russki's right.
  • I Choose to Stay: Alex and the gang finally make it back to Central Park Zoo in New York City, but realize that they have grown to prefer being free after all, and so decide to become a part of the circus permanently.
  • Impact Silhouette: Gloria leaves one in the casino's steel lockdown door after her Negated Moment of Awesome.
  • Inexplicable Language Fluency: The animals understand French people despite having never been to a French-speaking country before. Later in the movie, when the zookeepers talk to Captain DuBois, all they hear is her speaking French.
  • Insult Backfire: During a conversation between Alex and Gia, Alex tries to boast about his non-existent trapeze skills while simultaneously trying to back out of showing them to Gia, and when she eagerly demands a demonstration, he tries questioning her request by comparing them to children. Unfortunately, he just so happens to pick Gia's exact age (five, presumably in human years), which causes his insult to go right over her head.
  • Involuntary Smile of Incapacitation:
  • Irony:
    • The Zoosters head to Monte Carlo to retrieve the penguins and chimps in order to get them to take them back to New York — all while being completely unaware that the penguins were just about to head back to Africa that day in order to take them back anyway.
    • The very thing Vitaly made fun of, Alex's glossy fur and mane, ends up being what helps him survive the fiery hoop unscathed, via the non-flammable hair conditioner, and then gives him back the glossy fur he used to have.
    • DuBois ends up being Alex — roaring at Central Park Zoo.
  • Jingle the Coins: In order to show Vitaly that they can simply buy the circus in order to use it as their transportation, Skipper has the chimps shake a bag of coins and gems, which make a satisfying jingle.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: The lemurs do this with an actual, normal-sized cake, although Mort ate a fair portion of it from the inside, while most of the remainder is blown free of the plate when Julien bursts out of it.
  • Killer Rabbit: The toy dogs. One of them is voiced by Vinnie Jones!
  • Language Barrier: Played straight when DuBois talks to the zookeepers at Central Park Zoo and all they hear is her speaking French. Zig-zagged with animals and French people — animals are able to understand what French people are saying, but DuBois is the only one able to understand what the animals are saying. Also zig-zagged when DuBois has no trouble understanding the Italian cops, but they can't understand her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Done to DuBois when she's shot with her own tranq dart, made to pose on Alex's rock just the way he used to do, made to sit, lie down, and roll over (in that order), and is eventually shipped off to Madagascar.
  • Leitmotif: DuBois has one whenever she makes an appearance.
  • Lipstick-and-Load Montage: Used as Captain Chantalle DuBois is called out to capture Alex. We see her loading up briefly, and then she finishes by applying her lipstick and popping her lips.
  • Love Theme: "Love Always Comes As A Surprise" for the relationship between Alex and Gia.
  • Meaningful Echo: When the zoosters decide to go back and apologise to the circus animals Alex repeats Vitaly's line from earlier, complete with mimicking his accent.
    Alex: And if we go down in flames? So be it!
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: When the circus resolves to save their zoo animal friends.
  • Monumental Damage: This happens to some of the ruins in Rome during Sonya and Julien's Falling-in-Love Montage.
  • Mood Whiplash: Amidst all the colorful wackiness of the third movie there's a quiet drama scene with Alex the lion and Vitaly the tiger. In the middle of it, for no apparent reason, the two cats have a brief slap fight over a ball of yarn.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Vitaly.
  • Mythology Gag: DuBois during the climax does the "Alex the Lion" roar.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: When the Monaco casino goes into lockdown, Gloria tries to smash through one of the steel security doors like a living battering ram, to no avail. Possibly justified in that these things are designed to withstand ten-ton vehicles, so a one-ton hippo is unlikely to do very much.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Skipper says that after they double their money on their last roulette they'll return to Africa and pick up the "hippies" to bring them back to New York. Then the Zoosters crash the casino, literally.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: If the series continues beyond the third film, it will have to take on a different focus since Alex and the gang finally make it back to Central Park Zoo in New York City and realize that they prefer being free after all.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Alex leans on the pulley, ends up dragged up by the rope, and dropped into Gia's arms...just in time for the tarp to drop and reveal them to everyone else, complete with a Dramatic Drop by one of the elephants.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Russian, not Latin, but this accompanies Vitaly's more threatening moments, especially when he reattempts the fateful hoop-jump that had previously ended his career.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Martin Short's Italian accent as Stefano drops when he strains his voice, like when crying for help.
  • Out of the Inferno: DuBois's appearance at the casino is this, thanks to a car the penguins' SUV ran over.
  • "Pan from the Sky" Beginning: After the usual DreamWorks logo, the camera pans down to Africa, where monkeys are winding up a plane with the penguins on it.
  • Parasol Parachute: DuBois does this during the finale, using a food-cart umbrella as a hang-glider to cross the penguin/aquatic cobra enclosure at the zoo.
  • Parrying Bullets: DuBois uses her leash to deflect the banana gun's ammunition whenever she can't dodge them.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party:
    • The completely awesome rescue of the Zoosters by the circus animals during the finale makes use of everyone's abilities and acts — from Stefano's cannon act shooting the line across the park, to Gloria and Melman's dancing, to Gia's trapeze act pulling Alex out of the line of fire, to Vitaly's hoop jump getting Marty out of his cage through the keyhole, to Julien and Sonya's bike act, all of it made possible by the penguins and the monkeys rebuilding a flying machine to carry the circus into battle. Even Mort gets to tranq DuBois. Alex's in-universe Defictionalization of Trapeze Americano also makes use of multiple characters: Marty, Gia, the dogs' rocket boots, even Dubois as she accidentally frees the 'aquatic' cobras!
    • As a Visual Gag this also occurs in a lesser form during the infiltration of the casino, where the four vents on the roof are each shaped like one of the Zoosters.
  • Product Placement: All over the place, but the third movie in particular has this gem:
    Italian prison guard: (stuck in his own cell as DuBois uses his PC) Is that the sound of my HP printer printing?
  • Put on a Bus: Zuba and Florrie aren’t seen or even mentioned during the first scene in Africa. A case of Real Life Writes the Plot for Zuba, as his voice actor, Bernie Mac, died shortly before the second film was released.
  • Reveal Shot: Melman, wondering how he and the others are going to escape from the cops when the circus boxcar is right behind him.
  • Rousing Speech: To rally the circus animals, courtesy of Alex.
  • Rule of Cool: Vitaly's ring jumping act. It is explicitly noted to be in total defiance of the laws of physics, but not only is he capable of slipping through impossibly small holes, he can carry Marty with him. Through a keyhole. Note that the wire fencing around the door has much wider gaps than the tiny keyhole!
  • Saving the Orphanage: A major part of the plot of the third movie, with both the future of the circus animals and the Zoosters getting back to New York depending on turning Circus Zaragoza into a success so they can win the contract from the American buyer. And despite the cliche, it's carried off beautifully.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Inverted. DuBois isn't in it for the money. She just wants Alex's head on her wall.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Skipper mentions he wants to invoke this in regards to the laws of physics, specifically that he wants to be so rich he can fly a solid gold airplane. Fortunately, this never actually happens.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When the penguins prepare to push the chimp army too far, they bail on them.
  • Shot in the Ass: In the finale, after DuBois ends up in Alex's cage at the zoo, Mort shoots her with a tranquilizer dart from her own gun, which he'd stolen shortly before.
  • Shout-Out:
  • A Simple Plan: The four Zoosters will slip into the casino through the air ducts; the lemurs will switch off the power; and then Alex will be lowered down through the skylight he and Marty got open so he can snatch the King of Versailles and they can make their escape. Naturally it all goes wrong: Alex and Marty get into an argument over who should lead and why which ends with Gloria accidentally smashing through the skylight so they all drop in full view of the people, and Julien, who had been constantly demanding to know if it was time to shut off the power is suddenly too "busy" stuffing pencils in his mouth, nose, and ears to bother with it until it's almost too late. The whole thing ends with the penguins bringing in their SUV, the casino being wrecked, and DuBois being called in to capture them.
  • Snap Back: Escape 2 Africa ends with Alex finding a sense of belonging in Africa and happily telling the Penguins they can take as long as they like. This film opens with Alex as desperate to return to New York as he ever was. Can possibly be justified by the fact that the penguins have apparently been gone a really long time.
  • Spanner in the Works: After being shot with a dart by Dubois outside of the Zoo, King Julian quietly and unknowingly to the Animal Control, wanders back to the circus to make amends with Sonya. The Penguins find the dart in his tail and realize that the Zoosters are in dire trouble.
  • Spent Shells Shower: Parodied with the banana machine guns, which shoots the banana and ejects the peel.
  • Stepping-Stone Sword: Vitaly throws his knives to be this for Stefano when he's trying to escape DuBois.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • When Gloria steps on the glass wall at the casino when she wants to declare herself as the leader, she breaks the glass ceiling with her immense weight, with her friends plummeting down with her.
    • Upon giving chase to Julian and Sophia on an Italian police moped, Dubois is immediately pursued and arrested for theft of police property and subsequently resisting arrest.
    • Vitaly found out the hard way that using olive oil to lubricate himself and then set a hoop he was going to jump through on fire would lead to a near-fatal accident.
  • Team Hand-Stack: The Zoosters do this at the beginning.
    Alex: To home.
    Marty: Home!
    Melman: Home.
    Gloria: Home.
  • That Man Is Dead: Despite his overall aggressiveness, Vitaly gives the second kind of response (regretful) to Alex when the lion asks where "the other Vitaly" went, which is what lets him end up proving he isn't gone after all.
  • Theme Music Power-Up:
    • The French animal control people recover from their hospitalization miraculously once Chantel starts singing.
    • Vitaly's theme, complete with Soaring Russian Chanting, plays during the London show after Alex inspires him to stand by his friends and resume his act better than ever.
    • The Penguins end up taking out DuBois and her entire team when they confront the Zoosters in London, all to the theme song from The Penguins of Madagascar.
  • Third-Act Misunderstanding: It's only after their successful London show that the truth of the Zoosters not being circus animals is revealed (courtesy of a flyer DuBois brings with her)... by which point, of course, the Zoosters had not only established close bonds with the circus animals and vice versa for two of them, but had realized they enjoyed being in the circus and didn't really belong in the zoo any more or want to go back to it. It's actually rather heartbreaking.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Alex, when facing off with DuBois.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: When Alex is questioned how exactly he plans on getting from somewhere in Africa to Monte Carlo, he simply states its barely a hop skip and a swim compared to the distances they've already travelled, and the next scene opens with the gang already in Monte Carlo having apparently actually swam the entire way there.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: When the circus arrives in New York City, the completed One World Trade Center (a.k.a. "Freedom Tower") can be seen in the background, indicating that the events of the film take place at least a year after its film's release in 2012, when the tower was still under construction. (However, the proposed Two World Trade Center won't be built. Interestingly enough, Escape 2 Africa shows the original Twin Towers during Alex's childhood.)
  • Underestimating Badassery: In a rare total aversion, the Zoosters and the penguins take DuBois seriously, and DuBois views Alex has a Worthy Opponent.
  • Up, Up and Away!: Vitaly assumes this position when leaping through the ring.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The fossa from the first film are just trying to survive and Makunga from the second film is more of a Jerkass than a villain. Captain DuBois on the other hand, is out to murder Alex. As in literal, first-degree, premeditated murder. Even after Alex is re-contained in the zoo (at which point her warrant expires, and Alex becomes zoo property), she makes it very clear that she won't be satisfied while Alex still draws breath.
    DuBois: (To Alex more than to the Mayor) It was never about the money. It was about, the lion.
  • Villain Reveals the Secret: Downplayed: during their staying at London, the Zoosters find out the heroes weren't circus animals at all. How was that possible? Well, Captain DuBois promptly left a few flyers showing the truth in their circus.
  • Visual Innuendo: When the monkeys give their thumbs up, the lower one has his thumbs up stick out from the "groin" of the costume.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When Julien and Mort burst from the cake early in the film, Mort says "My tummy is speaking to me". Cue a river of pink oozing from the tiny, deranged critter's mouth.
    Julien: Uh, I wouldn't eat that side of the cake if I were you.
    (Gloria pitches the whole thing off-camera)
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The legions of African chimps that Mason and Phil recruited to the gang in Escape 2 Africa bail on the gang when Skipper tries to overwork them, and are never seen again.
    • Zuba and Florrie are nowhere to be seen. While it was likely out of respect to the former's late voice actor, it is oddly glaring how Alex is so ready to leave Africa and head back to the zoo without even confronting his parents or even mentioning them.
  • Where It All Began: The climax takes place in the Central Park Zoo. Though this time, all of the heroes are trying to escape it, having decided to remain free.
  • Younger Than They Look: Gia.
    Gia: Show me!
    Alex: Pfft, "show me". What are we, five?
    Gia: I am five, yes!
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Captain DuBois at the end of her rendition of "Non, Je ne Regrette Rien", as well as her male subordinates.


Video Example(s):


Tranquilized By Animal Control

Alex, Marty, Gloria, Melman, and King Julien are ambushed with Tranquilizer Darts by Captain DuBois and her team of animal control officers.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / KnockoutAmbush

Media sources: