By Tom O'Callaghan
When I was young there was a TV show about Nellie the Elephant, who packed her bags and said goodbye to the circus. Each episode saw Nellie in a new part of the world. She was trying to find her way home to Africa. Whoever created that show was a sadistic freak.
Every week I felt a familiar pit in my stomach as the chirpy theme song started. What disturbed me was that she never actually got home. Or at least if she did I never got to see that episode. She is probably still aimlessly wandering the world and has probably resorted to eating garbage and performing inappropriate dances for money.
I would not have been able to cope with the Madagascar franchise if I had first encountered it at five years of age. Happily it only took three movies for Alex the Lion and his friends to get home to the Central Park Zoo. And by the time he does we all can see that he and his friends actually belong in the travelling circus that the penguins bought so that everyone could travel incognito through Europe.
If you’re a fan of the Madagascar movies the newest one has all the things that you liked about the old ones: disco music, obnoxiously loud New Yorkers and a supporting cast of narcissistic lemurs and penguins. Plus you get the aforementioned circus, which the Alex takes upon himself to turn into a money-spinner. It starts off as a run down tent with a troupe of animals performing uninspired and outdated routines. It ends resembling an IT programmer’s acid trip.
This movie won’t save my elephant but a new generation will at least have closure on their Nellie.
By Tom O’Callaghan