Alex the lion, voiced by Ben Stiller, faces some feline competition in the animated comedy film "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted."
In the film, which was released on Friday, June 8, the character and his friends continue their quest to try and return to their beloved home of New York City. Their newest journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus. Franchise newcomer and "Breaking Bad" actor Bryan Cranston, plays one of its performers, a Russian tiger named Vitaly.
"Vitaly is very intimidating, very angry, sort of, I think a little bitter over the past and very intimidating and doesn't like Alex," Stiller said in an interview provided by studio Paramount Pictures. "So there's a lot of cat-to-cat sort of showdowns between them."In "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," Alex's veteran companions, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippopotamus and Melman the giraffe, voiced by Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer, end up in Europe and joins a traveling circus.
"I always feel like he's sort of the guy who is sort of the de facto leader, even though he's not necessarily a natural leader," Stiller said about his character. "Everybody sort of looks to him to drive the ship. He loves New York, and he's trying to get back home, and he's the keeper of that flame, I think."
"They stow away with this circus," he added. "They break into this casino, and they get in trouble for breaking into the casino, and this animal control officer comes after them. Madame DuBois, who is a very scary, in charge, French, animal control police person - and so she wants to catch them. So there's all this crazy chases through Monte Carlo to get away from her, and they end up getting on this circus train to get away. And we realize that circus animals sort of look down on zoo animals in the hierarchy of the animal world."
DuBois is portrayed by "Almost Famous" star Frances McDormand. Another newcomer is Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, last seen in movies such as "The Help," who plays a jaguar.Aside from the "Madagascar" franchise, Stiller is known for films such as "Night at the Museum," "Along Came Polly," "Tropic Thunder" "Starsky & Hutch" and plays Greg Focker in the "Meet the Parents" films. He is also set to appear in the movies "He's Way More Famous Than You," "The Watch" and "While We're Young." A sequel to his popular comedy "Zoolander" has also been is announced and is tentatively set to be released in 2014.
Watch a trailer for "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" below.