Now that I’ve seen the latest “Madagascar” movie, I wished I’d asked Martin Short more questions about his character in the movie — an Italian sea lion named Stefano.
I recently interviewed Short as a preview of his 1-man show here in San Luis Obispo. And I did briefly ask about the movie. But since the movie was not out at the time, I didn’t know how big his part would be.
Turns out, his sea lion stole many scenes from the film.
Like comic Wanda Sykes, whom I’d also asked about doing animated film, Short did say animated movies were liberating from an artistic standpoint.
“With voice work, there’s no pressure to move on fast and onto the next thing,” he said. “So it’s very loose, so you can try a lot of things and improvise a lot of things.”
You could tell there was a lot of improvisation with “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” which had the wild bunch joining a circus to flee a determined French animal control officer. And Stefano’s circus past allowed Short to do the over-the-top dramatic character he’s so good at. You can see why he’s a good choice for an animated film. And, in fact, he has two more coming: Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” and “Dorothy of Oz.”
The film iteself offered beautiful visuals, punchy lines and the likeable characters — plus a few new ones — that have made the film series such a success. I wasn’t wild about Katy Perry’s music, which was more annoying than anything, but I suppose they’re reaching out the the franchise’s young audience.
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