Saturday, June 02, 2012

madagascar: lucky the third time in 3D

They walked in for a free preview screening of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted on a nice bright Saturday morning. There were lots of kids in attendance, as expected. The usher welcoming everybody said "Disney" instead of "Dreamworks" (or did he?). As soon as the Dreamworks logo appeared, everybody in the theatre realised that this was the 3D version and not the 2D version (which was what the organisers of this preview had planned to screen).

Guess what was missing? 3D glasses. Oops. Scramble! Confusion. Voila! A box of 3D glasses is procured and packets are distributed in two flavours -- one for kids and the others for the grown-ups.

The lights go dim again and the logo appears. Oops. We still have a problem. The 3D on screen does not mix well with the 3D glasses and what you get is a mix of blurs, offset contours and general distraction. Screen off. Lights on.

They finally go and fix the projector (presumably this was 3D streaming out of a 2D lens). The third time is a charm and everybody sits back to enjoy a fun-filled romp in 3D. Dreamworks does a great job with the colours. There are a lot of good jokes and sequences and Frances McDormand makes a great splash as the villainess of the piece. Some of the jokes clearly work only for grown-ups: there are jokes that just expect you to know things that only a grown-up would; there are also jokes that challenge what kids should hear and see. Pixar manages a better balance in this matter. The crew of the first two films is back, but the penguins don't get to show off much. King Julien XIII gets more to do and his sub-plot offered the most fun of all the sub-plots.

If you're a fan of Clerk, there's a sequence that will look familiar (No, I am not kidding!). This is surely just a wishful coincidence. The makers of this film can hardly be expected to have seen Manoj Kumar's cult classic.

If you're an Indophile, stay for the end credits and watch a long roll for the Dreamworks crew from India.

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