Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Soundtrack

Music review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Soundtrack Music Poster Image
Third movie soundtrack is mostly danceable family fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

The pop, hip-hop, and orchestral music varies in theme and message. Hans Zimmer's lush orchestral instrumentals are pretty inspiring. Dance tunes like the revised versions of "Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" "Afro Circus (I Like to Move It)"and "Wannabe" are fun and benign. The stronger "message" songs are Katy Perry's "Firework" and Dave Stewart's "Love Always Comes as a Surprise," both of which are don't-give-up-on-your-dreams, be-proud-of-who-you-are type anthems.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some parents may consider Katy Perry a questionable role model because she has a reputation as a party girl and wears revealing and outlandish outfits; however, her song "Firework" is one of the most motivating tunes on the album.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The revised version of Nelly's "Hot in Herre" was remade with actor Danny Jacobs singing funny but still-sexy lines about taking off your fur; the song also includes some sexual-sounding grunts and the phrase "shoot my steam." The remade Spice Girls song "Wannabe" still includes the refrain "If you wanna be my lover / You gotta get with my friends."

Language
Consumerism

Promotes the Madagascar 3 movie.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The remake of "Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" includes a rap that mentions a "dope rhyme" (as does the original by C+C Music Factory). In this case, "dope" is slang for "good" -- not a reference to drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the soundtrack album to Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted includes reworked, familiar dance and hip-hop tracks, as well as pop ballads and Hans Zimmer's orchestral score. Songs like the Spice Girls' "Wannabe," Nelly's "Hot in Herre," and C+C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" are cleaned up somewhat and revised to include in-jokes about the film. For example, "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" is just about dancing here -- gone are the original lines about moving your butt and guys grabbing girls. "Hot in Herre" now refers to taking off your fur rather than clothing; younger kids are unlikely to glean anything unsavory from this line, but this song also includes a few suggestive grunting sounds and a line about the singer shooting "off my steam." Also on the album are Katy Perry's pop anthem "Firework," which carries a be-proud-of-who-you-are message, and another take on the song that has become synonymous with the Madagascar franchise: "Afro Circus/I Like to Move It."

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What's the story?

MADAGASCAR 3 EUROPE'S MOST WANTED: MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE is the soundtrack album to the third movie in the Madagascar series. Like the other Madagascar films, this movie and score include mostly kid-friendly danceable pop and hip-hop songs as well as a couple of power ballads ("Love Always Comes as a Surprise," "Firework") and Hans Zimmer's orchestral compositions. Familiar up-tempo songs such as C+C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now") and the Spice Girls' "Wannabe" are sung by cast members, and have been reworked with cleaner lyrics that refer to the film. The soundtrack includes the latest take on "Afro Circus/I Like to Move It," the popular song that people closely associate with the Madagascar series.

Is it any good?

Kids who love that "I Like to Move It" song will not be disappointed by this latest installment of music from the popular Madagascar films. The album includes funny, sanitized, Madagascar-ized dance numbers, and anthemic power ballads that should fire up the grade-school set. And because the original versions of many of these songs will be familiar to parents, it's an album that families can enjoy together.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about music for movies. Would the Madagascar movies be as good without all the fun dance music? How does music help create a mood for the movie?

  • What does Katy Perry's song "Firework" mean to you? What does it mean when she sings "let your colors burst" and "after a hurricane comes a rainbow"?

  • Did you know some of the dance songs before you heard them in Madagascar 3? Which do you like better: the original versions or the movie versions?

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