Wednesday, June 13, 2012


The Kid and I caught up with Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.

The zoo animals—Ben Stiller as a lion, Chris Rock as a zebra, David Schwimmer as a giraffe, Jada Pinkett Smith as the hippo, etc.—are still trying to get back from Africa to New York, to re-take their places at the Central Park Zoo. This time, by wacky circumstance, they’re going by way of Europe, traveling with animals from a washed-up circus.

The movie’s no classic, but it’s kind of cute, in the frenetic, overproduced way of so many contemporary kids’ movies. It does contain two pretty splendid characters, however: One is Sonya, a mournfully deadpan dancing bear with whom an exuberant lemur falls in love—interspecies romance is rampant in these movies.

The other is the movie’s villainess, DuBois, a relentless, Vespa-borne juggernaut of an animal control officer from Monaco who chases our heroes across the continent, sometimes resorting to all fours herself to sniff their spoor—she covets the lion’s head for her trophy wall.

A terrific visual creation, DuBois is also well-voiced by Frances McDormand, who even gets to sing “Non, je ne regrette rien.”

RIP to Ann Rutherford, a prolific actress now best known for her small role as one of Scarlett’s sisters in Gone With the Wind, passed on at 94. I saw her a couple of years ago in Palm Springs, and even in her early ‘90s, she was quite the Hollywood vision in pink pantsuit and glam shades.

RIP also to Frank Cady, passed on at 96, best known for playing general store owner Sam Drucker in the Paul Henning universe—Petticoat Junction, Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies—and similar characters in dozens of TV shows and movies ranging from Rear Window to When Worlds Collide to The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao. Like a lot of people, I was startled to learn that he hadn’t passed on years ago.

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