Studio Notes For Noah Baumbach’s First Draft Of “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”

Hey Noah! Thanks so much for finishing up the script under the wire for us. We can’t wait to see the beloved foursome come to life a third time! I know this kind of franchise is a new step for you, so no worries about my following notes. They are to here to help you – just take them into consideration and let me know what you think!  – Susan

  1. The opening scene with the Gloria the hippo – I like that she’s talking to her sister on the phone – this lets us introduce another sassy, fun, zoo character! The audience would love to see another lady hippo, especially with this whole women in comedy thing that seems to be getting everyone into a craze. But the conversation could be a bit lighter. It’s clear that they may get into a serious confrontation later about the sister’s husband’s illegal plagiarism of his dissertation on Camus, so maybe instead make it a funny conversation about how they’re going to have a hippo dance party family reunion? Also, I don’t think hippos can use phones.
  2. Chris Rock isn’t comfortable with voicing a masturbation scene. I know it’s just a zebra on a cargo ship and what else would he be doing with his free time, right? And you did write him rather angsty and in a state of becoming a real adult zebra, so I see where you were going here. But we do want to keep a G rating. Maybe instead he could sing a song about finding and then subsequently wearing a rainbow afro on the cargo ship? That might be fun. And Mr. Rock loves to sing. Grunting into the microphone, though – he’s not so into.
  3. The soundtrack could use some juicing up. I like Bon Iver, don’t get me wrong. But there will be zoo animals dancing in this movie. That is non-negotiable.
  4. The 7-minute sequence with all four of the animals staring at paintings that represent their current inner battles – cut it.
  5. I LOVE the penguin family argument. The audience loves the penguins, as the first two movies and TV spinoff have proven. And the argument scene really brings them all together in an interesting way. But a few things: How did the penguins break into a Brooklyn townhouse living room? How did they decorate it themselves? This could be an amusing montage sequence! They have to put on little black ski caps and slyly pick the lock and/or slide down the chimney. Put on “Party Rock Anthem” in the background. Again, zoo animal dancing is non-negotioable.

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