McDormand gets animated with ‘Madagascar 3’


LOS ANGELES – Frances McDormand has been cast to voice the villain in “Madagascar 3,” DreamWorks Animation’s latest installment of the zoo animal-based franchise.
Eric Darnell, who co-directed the previous two movies and was a writer on them as well, is helming solo with this new venture.
Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith are slated to reprise their roles as big-game animals who escaped a New York zoo and end up on the island off the African coast. The new story sees the animals reunite to try to find their way home by joining a traveling circus.
A host of new characters will be introduced, expanding the ethnic flavor of the group. Among the new additions are an Italian sea lion, a Russian tiger and a Latina jaguar. Due to the rather fluid nature of the animation, however, the nationalities could change.
McDormand will voice a calculating and goal-oriented animal control officer who leads her team to capture the animals. The movie will mark the first time McDormand – mostly known for her independent film work – is lending her pipes for an animated feature.
The “Madagascar” movies have been a huge moneymaker for DWA. The 2005 original grossed $532.6 million worldwide while the second movie made $603.9 million. The franchise also gave birth to a TV spin-off titled “The Penguins of Madagascar.”
“Madagascar 3” is slated for release on May 18, 2012.