The Trailer Park: An Animated Summer

Beyond the usual live-action blockbusters, this summer will also bring us a couple of animated family features that look promising. First comes the next adventure for the zoo animals trying to make their way back home to New York. After that is the latest from Pixar Studios. I’m pretty certain to enjoy one, while I’m not so sure about the other yet.

‘Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted’

I must confess that I actually enjoy the ‘Madagascar’ movies, even as my daughter has grown away from them. (Teenagers! What can you do?) They don’t match the quality of Pixar or the better DreamWorks catalog of animated features, but they’re light entertainment with several good chuckles sprinkled throughout. This next installment sees the lion, zebra, hippo and giraffe make a third attempt to get back to New York, but land in Monte Carlo instead while chased by an unrelenting animal control agent. Again, it’s light amusement with many belly-laughs to enjoy. C’mon, you gotta love the Afro circus bit. That’s hilarious.


Pixar animated films usually leave me with a tingling sensation of excitement, a desire to witness what else the studio can conjure up next. However, the newest release somehow doesn’t create that warm fuzzy feeling I normally get. Without doubt, the feature still looks very imaginative and likely to entertain, yet something about the animation feels familiar and the story second-rate. The plot is much too similar to the excellent ‘Whale Rider’ indie drama, only set in a historical-fantasy context. I still trust that Pixar will deliver another astounding success, and hope the preview simply fails to convey that properly. We’ll just have to wait and see this June.

For more of the latest movie trailers, check out our trailers page.


  1. EM

    I haven’t been very enthused by Brave either. Still, I’ve seen every Pixar feature to date, and I remain willing to give Pixar the benefit of the doubt on this one. Even the one Pixar feature I would call bad, Cars 2, was an intriguing mix of execrable and excellent. Perhaps someday I’ll stop giving Pixar a free pass, but for now I’m in.

  2. Brave is reminding me a lot of How to Train Your Dragon. I thought Dragon was excellent, and this could be good too, but it’s kind of a sad day when Pixar has to rip off DreamWorks, and not the other way around.

    • Besides the Scottish brogues, I don’t yet see the similarity between How To Train Your Dragon and Brave. Otherwise, I’d say that Dragon cribbed much of its story from Ratatouille (unspoken symbiosis, strained father-son relationship, geeky narration).

      • Paulb

        “Besides Scottish brogues” except in this movie, the guys with Scottish accents are actually supposed to be Scottish.
        Regardless, I joking think ‘hey this new Dreamworks picture looks decent’. Too close to Dragon for the animation and accent not to make you think of it.
        On the bad side, all the slapstick did make me think of dreamworks or disney, not pixar.

  3. JM

    ‘Brave’ is the first CGI film with a human character whose hair I love!

    But why is a Pixar film being written and directed by Disney’s B Team?

    • Luke Hickman

      Pixar is now split into two teams so that they can put out two movies each year. They had to bring on Disney folk to make it happen (because they’re a million times better than the Fox animation folks. Gag.)

      Also, you’re all missing the one movie that Brave looks EXACTLY like – Mulan. A girl goes to fight in her father’s stead.

      Seen it before. Give me Monsters University already.

      • Paulb

        No, not like Mulan at all. She doesn’t fight in her fathers place to protect him. It is your “I don’t want to be forced to take my womans place’ type story. More of a Joan of Arc type. Not like there are any totally original movies, all have handful of hero’s journey versions.