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June 15th, 2012

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pickett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Tom McGrath, Frances McDormand, Jessica Chastain, Brian Cranston, Martin Short, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, and more.

Directed by: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, and Conrad Vernon Screenplay by: Eric Darnell and Noah Baumbach Original Music by: Hans Zimmer

Premise: Alex (the lion) starts feeling home sick for New York and decides they should find the penguins, who finally were able to make the airplane from "Madagascar 2" flight worthy. Things take a bad turn as animal control is called when Alex and the others track the penguins down to a casino in Monte Carlo and get spotted. Captain Chantel DuBois is like no one they've had to face before, and she's out to get a lion's head for her trophy collection no matter what. (Rated PG)


1) Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: The chemistry between all the regular actors is still there and as always increases the fun. The new additions of Brian Cranston, Martin Short, and Jessica Chastain also work very well. But the most amusement comes from Frances McDormand's portrayal of Captain Chantel DuBois. The captain was an incredibly neat character and a worthy adversary for our heroes.

2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: Dreamworks' animation is 'top notch' as always. Their recreations of Monte Carlo and the country side of France were beautiful. The chase scenes flowed very well, almost as if watching an animated "James Bond" or one of the "Bourne" films.

The remade circus acts were also quite spectacular and creative.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The story for "Madagascar 3" was just plain fun! Not a lot of surprises, but one doesn't normally expect such things from a children's film. Still, they got in a couple. A nice fast pace, and they were able to get in a lot of character building more effectively than many longer adult aimed films.

As I mentioned previously, the character of Chantel DuBois was a lot of fun. Between her awesome skills, her dedication to duty, and her style, you almost can't help but admire her and fear her a little at the same time. There are also a lot of in-jokes slipped in for the parents to enjoy from "Star Trek", "The Matrix", and more. The bar for 'suspension of disbelief' was set higher than usual, but works just fine for the film. It's what animated movies were made for.

Conclusion: A thoroughly entertaining film for kids and adults. Has everything you normally expect from a "Madagascar" film and more. Though I will warn you, you will not leave the theater without Marty's song ringing through your head for an hour or two after. A lot of fun.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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