In ‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,’ Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style. The film is directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa) and is written by Noah Baumbach (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Greenberg). Pencilled in for release June 8th in the US and October 19th in the UK, the threequel features the voice cast of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric The Entertainer, Andy Richter, Frances McDormand, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Chastain and Martin Short.

‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’ has Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman continuing their roundabout journey back to the zoo, with Gloria doing her best to keep the boys in line. On this adventure they get sidetracked trying to catch up with the crafty penguins who deserted them….

Jada Pinkett Smith: Yeah. We’re still trying to find a way…..NOT to go back to the zoo (laughs), still trying to find a way to keep our freedom. And we join a circus this go round. Gloria gets to do a lot of dancing and of course we get to meet a whole new set of characters – really fun characters. Gloria is really optimistic and fun, she’s adventurous. I kind of look at Gloria as being the mother of the crew, you know? When the boys get a little too out of line, or the boys are angry at each other, she’s always the one that’s like, “Come on, come on. We’ve gotta get it together.” I really feel that Gloria is the glue of the group. She’s kind of an anchor.

The Zoosters bring a lot of fun to the circus….

Jada Pinkett Smith: I think what the Zoosters bring to the circus is a fresh life, you know? They bring new acts, new ideas, they bring some life to a circus they pretty much believe was “Blah” (laughs). I think in that it kind of inspires everyone. Our characters find new talents, or remember and enhance who they are on this journey. They create this fantastic show, the best show ever (laughs)!

How do find the process of voice acting? I can imagine on a project like this that being a lot of fun?

Jada Pinkett Smith: The thing that I love about all the “Madagascar” movies that we’ve done, they’re fun, but they also have a lot of heart. Our movies are always dealing with really simple, central issues. Basically dealing with relationships. How one relates to themselves and the world. Which is relatable across the board, whether you’re an adult or whether you’re a child. I think that coupled with some pure fun! It’s a lot of fun working on as well. I love animation, I always have. Just as an actor as well, it gives you an opportunity to work a different muscle. All you have is your voice, which is quite a unique experience. It takes a minute to get used to the process, but I feel like after three movies we pretty much have it now.

What is it about animation or “children’s” movies that interests you?

Jada Pinkett Smith: I think what I like most about children’s movies are how sophisticated the themes are, and at the same time how unsophisticated the themes are (laughs). It gives a child an opportunity, especially with animation, to exercise imagination. When you open a child’s mind in that way, there are lots of information, or things that a child can absorb unconsciously. That’s one of my favourite aspects of animation, of how sophisticated the relationships are and can be. To also kind of broaden emotional intelligence in children, which I think is most important. That’s my favourite aspect.