Production Notes Cannes 2

Production Information

Talk about taking the long way home…

In the third installment of the billion-dollar “Madagascar” franchise, Alex (Ben Stiller),

Marty (Chris Rock), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman (David Schwimmer) are

determined to make their way back to The Central Park Zoo in New York City. Leaving Africa

behind, they’ve taken a detour and surfaced, quite literally, in Europe — on a hunt for the

penguins and chimps who have managed to break the bank of a Monte Carlo casino. Soon the

animals are discovered by dogged French animal control officer Capitaine Chantel DuBois

(Frances McDormand) who does not appreciate zoo animals running wild in her city and is

thrilled by the idea of hunting her first lion! The Zoosters find the perfect cover in a down-andout

traveling circus where they hatch a plan to reinvent the circus, discover a few new talents and

make it home to New York alive.

For the first time in 3D, the Zoosters of Madagascar are on the run, hiding out with the

circus, doing death defying tricks and making new friends.

DreamWorks Animation SKG Presents “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” a

PDI/DreamWorks Production featuring the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer,

Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric The Entertainer, Andy Richter, Frances

McDormand, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston and Martin Short. The film is directed by Eric

Darnell and Tom McGrath, helmers of the franchise’s the first two installments, which earned

more than $1 billion at the boxoffice, and are joined this go-round by director Conrad Vernon

(“Shrek 2,” “Monsters vs. Aliens”). The screenplay is written by Eric Darnell and Noah

Baumbach (“Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “Greenberg”). It is produced by Mireille Soria (“Madagascar

2”) and Mark Swift (“Madagascar 2”). The music is by Hans Zimmer. This film has been rated



The global success of 2005’s “Madagascar” and its lively 2008 sequel “Madagascar:

Escape 2 Africa,” proved that while the films were broad comedies with plenty of action, they

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” Production Information


were, above all, well-told stories with universal themes audiences related to. For the filmmakers,

it was never enough to just go for the laughs.

As director/writer Tom McGrath says: “Having an emotional spine to a story is really

what carries you through — because if you just string a lot of jokes together, there isn’t much to

cling to.” Director/writer Eric Darnell observes: “As an audience you want to be able to connect

with and empathize with the characters’ wants and needs. To be able to plumb those depths is


The filmmakers’ desire to take the characters to new places — literally and figuratively

— continues in “Madagascar 3.” Incorporating Ralph Waldo Emerson’s inspirational quote,

“Life is a journey, not a destination” as their maxim, the filmmakers’ chose to explore themes of

what it means to be home, having confidence and finding ones passions. As a result, Alex,

Marty, Melman and Gloria have found a better sense of who they are, while grappling with the

wilds of Madagascar and Africa.

As Darnell puts it, “That’s what has been the core desire of our guys from the beginning:

To identify their place in the world.”

And what a world it’s turning out to be for them. Their journey took the Zoosters from

New York, to the eponymous island of Madagascar, then to the wilds of Africa. In the latest

installment, the adventure unfolds all across Europe, which naturally calls for a grander scale

visually and in the storytelling.

Says director Conrad Vernon: “The scope is a lot bigger in this one. We’re going to a lot

of different places and meeting a lot of new characters. We’re in Rome, the Swiss Alps, London,

Monte Carlo and New York.”

What’s more, for the first time, a “Madagascar” chapter is being filmed in 3D.

Serendipitously, when they looked back at the earlier “Madagascar” films to figure out what they

would have to differently this time around, the filmmaking team found that 3D is a process their

franchise is well suited for.

Says Darnell: “We realized, stylistically, we were already making 3D movies. Because of

the films’ comedic tone, we were often doing things that put stuff out in front of the camera.

Once we recognized that our cinematography and our comedy really lent themselves beautifully

to the 3D world, we really didn’t have to change much of what we were doing. But taking our

animals into a circus automatically gives us these wonderful opportunities — we’re moving not

just across the surface of the earth, we’re moving up in the air, flipping, rolling and flying — to

work in 3D, of course.”

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” Production Information


Adds McGrath: “3D just gives you so many more tools to work with. It’s immersive. You

can underscore an emotional scene as much as you can the action.”

Just as satisfying was the ability for Darnell, McGrath and Vernon, all long-time friends

and DreamWorks Animation veterans, to work together in the same capacity. Though Darnell

and McGrath helmed the first two films, Vernon had served as a creative consultant and voiced

Mason the chimp, even as he was helming “Shrek 2” and later, “Monsters vs. Aliens.” Three

directors is definitely not a traditional route, but on this film, it was a real dream of the

filmmakers to work together and share in the creative process.

Darnell says, “With us, the sum is greater than the parts. Because we’re all enmeshed in

this franchise and the tone of the film, it actually helps (having three directors working as a team)

because I can go to New York and be recording Ben Stiller, Tom can be working with the

production designers and the lighting department and Conrad can be directing animators work.

Then we can all come back together and know that we’ve all been pushing the story and the film

in the same direction because we are creatively joined at the hip.”

Adds McGrath: “There’s a great rule of improv groups, which is ‘never change the

subject in improv, you always say yes, and.’ When one of us gets an idea for something, it’s

great to collaborate and contribute and build on these ideas. That’s the group dynamic. At the

end of the day we do have a combined vision for the film.”

That singular vision meant telling a story that had heart as well as humor, of animals that

come together to become greater than they ever thought they could be.


Thanks to the ingenuity of the chimps and their opposable thumbs, at the end of

“Madagascar 2,” the oft-damaged Air Penguin was back in flying condition, hurtling the

primates and penguins toward the Monte Carlo Casino, where they plan to spend a gambling

holiday. As “Madagascar 3” begins, it turns out they’ve been having a little too much fun. Tired

of waiting for their return, the Zoosters leave Africa and emerge, secret-agent style, from the

Mediterranean Sea, for Phase One of “Operation Penguin Extraction.” The plan is simple: Make

a beeline for the casino, grab the penguins and, as Alex puts it, “get them to take us back to New

York in the Monkey Powered Super Plane.” But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Once inside the casino, Alex, Melman, Marty and Gloria make a scene and before you

know it, have become fugitives on the run from a crazed animal control officer.

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” Production Information


Arguably the most fascinating new character in the film is the steely-eyed, animalistic

baddie, Capitaine Chantel DuBois. Called in to capture the Zoosters after they crashed the party

at the Monte Carlo Casino, DuBois is no ordinary animal control agent. Part bloodhound and

part Cruella DeVil (with a little Edith Piaf thrown in for good measure), her intent isn’t merely to

capture the Zoosters. She has plans to annihilate them — and when she’s done, she intends to

hang Alex’s head on her crowded animal trophy wall.

McGrath says, “DuBois is the strongest villain our characters have come up against. In

the first two films, the villains didn’t drive the action of the story, so to add that pressure on the

characters and to have that conflict makes the story so much better.”

Says director Conrad Vernon, “She has innate animal tracking abilities: She has a really

keen sense of smell, she’s very limber. She’s able to walk and sniff like a dog, she can jump like

a gazelle. She definitely has talents that are very animalistic. Needless to say, she’s really good at

being an animal tracker.” Not to mention virtually indestructible. Crashing through buildings and

making inhuman leaps as she chases her prey throughout Europe, she’s relentless in her pursuit.

He continues: “She wants a real challenge. Once she realizes there’s a lion on the loose,

this is the moment she has been waiting for. She wants to prove to herself that she’s more than

just someone who hunts small game — that she can hunt a lion and play with the big boys so to

speak. She truly enjoys being on the hunt and is going to stay at it until she gets him.”

To portray such a character, the filmmakers knew they needed to find an actress who

could play ruthless and resolute. They found her in Academy-Award winning actress Frances


Per Vernon: “Frances is brilliant at coming up with characterizations from what she sees

on the page. For every line that’s read, 50 ideas spring into her head about what this character is

all about — how she talks, walks and thinks. She definitely got into the frame of mind. You

could see it on her face when she was acting. There were always the underpinnings of a hunter

on the trail whenever she said anything. She never let that leave her head.”

For McDormand, playing the part was a kick. “DuBois is such a fun, juicy character and

there were so many directions I wanted to take her. Ultimately, I saw her as a slightly deranged

but nonetheless self-assured and determined assassin. Failure is never an option for her.

“I love doing animation,” she adds. “It gives me the chance to exercise different acting

muscles than those used in a live-action film.”

UNDER THE BIG TOP dagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” Production Information


After a frenetic chase through the streets of Monte Carlo, the Zoosters and the rest of the

gang narrowly escape DuBois. Their one goal is to find a place to hide quick, or Alex will

become a wall ornament. With mere seconds to spare, they stumble upon a traveling circus train.

Could there possibly be a better place to hide and move, undetected, through Europe?

Just as Alex is the de facto leader of the Zoosters, Vitaly, the tiger, is the top cat in the

Circus Zaragosa. Unlike Alex, however, Vitaly is bitter, irritable and depressed, half the tiger he

used to be after an accident during one of his breathtaking signature performances.

Bryan Cranston explains how he approached portraying the tiger that lost his roar:

“Vitaly’s not a bad guy. In fact, he’s got a great heart. He’s just had a rough time of it lately. It

was important for me to capture and convey both his aggression and his ‘humanity,’ if you will.

Working with the three directors was great fun because even though we started with the script,

they gave me the freedom to go off script, to throw out a couple of different versions of the scene

— and they did that with all the actors. They made us feel that we could do no wrong.”

Also on board the train are two others circus stars, Stefano, an Italian sea lion and Gia, an

exotic Italian Jaguar. The kind-hearted Stefano wants to help the Zoosters right away.

Actor Martin Short portrays the sea lion: “What I love about Stefano is that he’s a

compassionate and lovely fellow, very Bernini-esque. He speaks with a passion. When you’re

playing a character — let alone an animated one — with a wide range of emotions such as

Stefano has, there’s a lot of improvising and for me, that’s always fun. I did work with a

dialogue coach, though. I wanted to get the accent just right.”

Gia, a bit wary of the Zoosters at first, is won over when Alex and the gang convince

them that they, too, are “circus.”

Academy Award-nominated actress Jessica Chastain brings Gia to life: “I liked playing

Gia because she has a very big heart but at the same time she’s also fiercely protective of her

circus family.”

She adds, “Working in animation has been a completely new experience for me. There’s

something so freeing about being in front of a microphone and thinking, ‘I’m playing an Italian

jaguar.’ Where in my life would I ever transform enough to play an Italian jaguar?”

As the train pulls out of the station, making its way to Rome, the Zoosters jump on board

and learn that the circus is ultimately headed to New York — their dream come true! —

provided the performers can impress an American promoter in London. But it doesn’t take long

for Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria to discover that…the Circus Zaragosa needs lots of help.

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” Production Information



What do you do when the star of your show suddenly loses confidence in his abilities?

You start losing yours. At least that’s what happened to the performers of Circus Zaragoza after

Vitaly’s bravery took a backseat. A disastrous performance in Rome convinces Alex that the

circus troupe is need of an intervention — and reinvention — if they are to have any real chance

of getting back home to New York.

And reinvent it they do. Though the filmmakers found enjoyment in creating scenarios

that had the Zoosters interacting with the human world, Darnell says, “There’s plenty of humor

in the idea of an all-animal circus, which is what Alex has in mind.”

Ben Stiller puts it this way: “The circus animals stopped taking risks. Alex has this

brainstorm that the way to reinvent the show — to differentiate it from all others — is to reignite

the performers’ zeal, which they’ve lost. He tells them, ‘We don’t need humans because we’ve

got passion,’ then he uses his imagination and experience to pull it off.”

The filmmakers pulled out all the stops when they created the movie’s new and improved

“Good Circus” sequence — in which all the animals’ hard work blossoms in front of an

appreciative London audience — showing off the filmmakers’ creativity and the power of 3D to

spectacular effect. They weren’t bound by any conventions of what a circus should look like. In

fact, they intentionally created the impossible.

Conrad Vernon recalls that “As research, we went to see Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Iris,’ which

was amazing. We took pieces of our circus that we really like and asked ourselves, how do we

update this? How do we do something circuses have never done, while using animation in a

unique way? That was tough, because Cirque du Soleil can do so much. You know, I saw a girl

laying down on her chest, running around her own head — stuff that’s a cartoon, basically. We

had to say, ‘okay, we need to one-up them.’ That’s when we came up with the idea of being a

little more abstract with everything, having cross dissolves and slow motion and fades and doing

things that are literally impossible to do right in front of your eyes.”

Set to singer Katy Perry’s jubilant “Fireworks,” the conceptual scene showcases the

circus animals and Zoosters in kaleidoscope fashion, spinning, leaping and flying through the air

with joyful abandon.

Eric Darnell says, “The wonderful thing about the circus is you’re not grounded. You’ve

got a whole three-dimensional space to move in. In the computer, you don’t have to bring in a

crane or a dolly or a helicopter. You can just move that camera wherever you need to in order to

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” Production Information


get the shot you need, so the circus became this wonderful canvas to create this eye-popping 3D.

It fits in with that whole conceit.”

Vernon continues, “Eric, Tom, and I sat down with production designer Kendal

Cronkhite and art director Shannon Jeffries to talk concepts that we really liked, such as what if

Gloria and Melman are on a tightrope? Maybe they’re on a musical staff. That’s why we have

five strings in the scene and maybe they’re dancing up and down those five strings like

staircases. Kendal took the concepts we talked about back to the team, pitched them out, and

their visual brains just took ’em and ran with ’em. They came back with some art and we added

more ideas to that. It was less about a specific design rulebook that we played by and more about

how we could conceptually come up with something that would be visually stunning. After that,

we let the people who came up with the design put it in the world for us. And that’s what they



After three films and three continents, the Madagascar Zoosters still find a way to have

the most fun and go on the wildest adventures imaginable. Being chased across Europe and

hiding in the circus presents a fresh new way to see characters audiences already love. The voice

talent is happy to share their own excitement for the return of their animal counterparts.

Not surprisingly, Chris Rock enjoys the humor of the series: “Audiences respond to the

comedy. They’re really into the camaraderie of the characters and they love new characters that

are introduced. I remember in the last one, my kids loved Will.i.Am’s character, a hippo named

Moto Moto. ‘Madagascar’ has not let you down. It’s a brand you can count on. It’s like

McDonalds, like you know? You got a Fish Filet — you know Fish Filet is going to be pretty

decent. And the Fish Filet you get in Brooklyn is the same Fish Filet you’re going to get in

Kentucky. You can count on it. And that’s ‘Madagascar.’ It’s like a Fish Filet. Number 12 in

most cities.”

Jada Pinkett Smith says, “The thing that I love about all the ‘Madagascar’ movies is that

they’re fun but they also have a lot of heart. They always deal with really simple, central issues:

relationships and how one relates to oneself and to the world, which is relatable across the board,

whether you’re an adult or a child.”

Ben Stiller agrees: “People like the friendships and the relationships that the characters

have and that they are always there for each other. There’s an innocence about these characters,

where they go through life without quite knowing how to deal with the real world. They’re in the

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” Production Information


process of learning — and they are doing it together. That’s a big part of it. And of course, the

animation is great — it has that sort of retro Tex Avery vibe. It just feels very distinctive.”

Conrad Vernon believes that it’s the Zoosters’ resourcefulness that is appealing:

“They’ve always been adept at getting out of sticky situations to great comic effect, but never

more so than in this film, where their lives are in danger and they’re forced to hide with the

circus. What takes it to a whole different level is how they make the best of their situation, not

only making new friends and discovering new talents but, ultimately, using their circumstances

to get them home. That’s resourcefulness if I ever saw it. They learn some things about

themselves, too — that it’s not necessarily a place that makes life worth living, but rather it’s the

people in their lives that make it worth living.”

About the Voice Cast

As an actor, director, writer and producer, the films of BEN STILLER (Alex) have

grossed over five billion dollars in worldwide box office revenues.

Stiller was last seen starring opposite Eddie Murphy in Universal’s action-

comedy “Tower Heist” directed by Brett Ratner. He received rave reviews for his lead role in

Noah Baumbach’s “Greenberg,” which earned him a 2011 Independent Spirit Award nomination

for Best Lead Actor and most recently starred in the Broadway revival of John Guare’s award-

winning play “The House of Blue Leaves” alongside Edie Falco and Jennifer Jason Leigh. He

made his Broadway debut in the 1986 production of the same name.

Stiller will next be seen in Fox’s “Neighborhood Watch” opposite Vince Vaughn and

Jonah Hill, which revolves around a group of men who uncover a plot to destroy the world. The

film will be released on July 27, 2012. He’s currently in pre-production on “The Secret Life of

Walter Mitty,” which Stiller will direct and star in opposite Kristen Wiig and Shirley MacLaine.

In the film, he plays a timid magazine photo manager who lives life vicariously through

daydreams and then embarks on a true-life adventure when a film negative goes missing.

In 2008, Stiller starred in, co-wrote and directed “Tropic Thunder” under his Red Hour

Films production banner. Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Jack Black and Tom Cruise, the film

garnered several award nominations including an Academy Award, BAFTA, SAG and Golden

Globe for Downey Jr. as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Cruise. The film also won the

Broadcast Film Critics Award and Hollywood Film Festival Award for Comedy of the Year. Red

Hour’s other production credits include the upcoming film, “The Big Year,” starring Steve

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Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black; the dark comedy “30 Minutes or Less,” starring Danny

McBride and Jesse Eisenberg; the animated feature “Megamind” starring Will Ferrell and Brad

Pitt, “Submarine,” which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival; “Blades of

Glory,” “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” and “Starsky and Hutch.”

His other directing credits include “Reality Bites,” “The Cable Guy,” and “Zoolander,”

which he co-wrote and starred in. As a writer, Stiller won an Emmy Award for the short-lived

sketch comedy series “The Ben Stiller Show,” which he also directed and produced.

Stiller’s acting credits include: “Permanent Midnight,” “Your Friends & Neighbors,”

“Flirting with Disaster,” “Empire of the Sun,” “There's Something About Mary,” “The Royal

Tenenbaums,” “Night at the Museum” and “Night at the Museum: Battle of the

Smithsonian”; “Meet the Parents,” “Meet the Fockers” and “Little Fockers”;

“Madagascar” and “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”; and “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” a

Red Hour production.

For many years, Stiller has been involved with and supported numerous charities and

foundations, including Project ALS, Artists for Peace and Justice, Centre for Environmental

Education, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Oxfam,

Red Cross, and Starlight Children's Foundation, among others.

Following his first visit to Haiti with Save the Children in 2009, Stiller has been

committed to raising money for schools in the country through his StillerStrong campaign, and

more recently with The Stiller Foundation. In 2010, Stiller was recognized by Time magazine for

his philanthropic work as one of the Time 100, a list of the most influential people in the world.

Lauded by awards and critics alike, CHRIS ROCK (Marty) is one of our generation’s

strongest comedic voices. He has garnered four Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, is listed

as number five on Comedy Central’s “100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time” and was honored in

2006 with HBO’s esteemed “Comedian Award.” Rock recently made his Broadway debut in

Stephen Adly Guirgis’s “The Motherf**ker With The Hat” at the Gerard Schoenfeld Theatre.

The play opened to rave reviews on April 11, 2011.

Rock will next be seen opposite Julie Delpy in the independent drama “2 Days in New

York,” the follow up to both “2 Days in Paris” and “Before Sunset,” for which Rock’s

performance received terrific reviews when the film opened at the Sundance Film Festival.

In 2010, Rock appeared on the big screen opposite Adam Sandler, Kevin James and

Salma Hayek in the comedy “Grown Ups,” as well as “Death at a Funeral,” an urban reworking

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” Production Information


of the British comedy, for which he also served as producer and co-writer. With Neil Labute

directing, this was the pair’s first reunion for a film since LaBute’s direction of the dark comedy

“Nurse Betty,” in which Rock co-starred alongside Morgan Freeman, Greg Kinnear and Renee

Zellweger. Rock previously starred “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” as well as the blockbuster


Rock competed at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival as first-time documentary filmmaker

for his film, “Good Hair,” a comedic and insightful look into the immense African-American

hair industry. The critically acclaimed film won the Sundance Special Jury Prize, the NAACP

Image Award for Outstanding Documentary and was named Top Five Documentaries of 2009 by

the National Board of Review.

In 2008, Rock kicked off his first stand-up tour in over three years, “No Apologies,”

featuring all new material. The tour started in New York and then headed to the United Kingdom

where Rock performed for his first time ever overseas. He immediately sold out his original set

of 2008 U.K. tour dates, and to satisfy the fervent demand, an additional weeklong overseas leg

was added. Rock’s tour returned to the United States in early February, where it lasted through

May, with additional international dates following in Australia, South Africa and Europe before

returning the tour to the U.S. throughout the summer. On May 23, Rock broke the Guinness

World Record for the largest audience ever at a comedy show in the UK by selling out the O2

Arena on two consecutive nights with an audience of 15,900 each night.

Coinciding with the tour, Rock also released his first “best-of” album, “Cheese and

Crackers: The Greatest Bits,” through Geffen Records. Featuring 19 tracks of Rock’s most

notorious moments, the album showcases the Brooklyn-raised comic’s insight on everything

from race relations, politics, sex, and the infamous “N-word.”

Serving as both co-creator and narrator, Rock’s television series “Everybody Hates

Chris,” about a black kid in a mostly white school in 1980s, was inspired by Rock’s own life.

Upon its debut on UPN in 2005, it was named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “top new series,”

making it the most-watched comedy in UPN’s history. In 2006 the show earned both Golden

Globe and Writers Guild Awards nominations.

Rock made his directorial debut with “Head of State,” in which he also starred alongside

Bernie Mac. His feature film debut was in “Beverly Hills Cop II” with Eddie Murphy. He went

on to write, create, star and produce the rap comedy “CB4” in 1993, a satire of the world of

hardcore rap, which opened No. 1 at the box office. Other film credits include “Boomerang,”

with Eddie Murphy; “Panther,” directed by Mario Van Peebles; “New Jack City,” with Wesley

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” Production Information


Snipes (a film marking Rock’s dramatic debut as a desperate crack addict); and “I’m Gonna Git

You Sucka!” with Keenen Ivory Wayans. The summer of 1998 saw Rock co-star in two $100million-

plus grossing films: “Lethal Weapon 4” and “Dr. Doolittle.” Rock starred in Kevin

Smith’s “Dogma,” which also featured Ben Affleck, Salma Hayek and Matt Damon. He also

starred in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced “Bad Company” opposite Anthony Hopkins; the

romantic comedy “Down to Earth” co-directed by Paul and Chris Weitz and co-written by Rock.

In March 2007, Rock starred in “I Think I Love My Wife,” a film which he also wrote and

directed, and “The Longest Yard,” with Adam Sandler, a remake of the 1974 classic.

After gaining early success as a stand-up comedian, Rock joined the cast of NBC’s

“Saturday Night Live” in 1989. In 1993, he taped his first HBO special “Chris Rock: Big Ass

Jokes,” which was honored with a CableAce Award. Rock served as the sole 1996 presidential

campaign correspondent for the acclaimed “Politically Incorrect,” then on Comedy Central, and

received an Emmy nomination for a shared writing credit in the category of Outstanding Writing

for a Variety or Music Program for the show. Rock’s true emergence as a celebrated talent can

be traced to his next HBO special, “Bring the Pain,” which was honored with two Emmy Awards

for Best Writing and Outstanding Special in 1997. “Bring the Pain” was released as a home

video as well as a Grammy Award-winning CD. Rock went on to host the acclaimed “Chris

Rock Show,” which began airing on HBO in 1997. Rock and his popular talk show were honored

with several Emmy nominations for both writing and best host. The show then received an

Emmy Award for Best Writing in 1999.

His next HBO stand-up special, “Bigger & Blacker,” taped on the stage of Harlem’s

fabled Apollo Theatre, earned three Emmy nominations for Rock, while the CD went on to win

the Grammy Award for Best Spoken or Comedy Album. In 2003, Rock embarked on his stand-

up “Black Ambition Tour,” which ran in 64 North American cities with over 80 shows through

March 2004. Rock’s HBO special, “Never Scared,” aired in April 2004, and was nominated for

two Emmys. Its CD also earned the Grammy for Best Comedy Album. In 2008, Rock returned to

the Apollo Theater in New York for his latest HBO stand-up special, “Kill the Messenger,”

which also taped in London and South Africa. The special earned Rock his fourth Emmy award.

Rock hosted the 77th Annual Academy Awards in 2005, as well as the MTV Video

Music Awards in 1999 and 2003. Rock’s debut book, “Rock This,” spent time on both The New

York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

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DAVID SCHWIMMER (Melman) is a co-founder of Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre

Company, where he has acted in and directed many productions including “Trust,” “Our Town,”

“West,” “The Master and Margarita,” “The Jungle,” “Eye of the Beholder,” “The Odyssey,”

“The Idiot,” “Of One Blood” and his adaptation of Studs Terkel’s book “Race.” He starred in the

premieres of “D Girl” and “Turnaround” in Los Angeles, “Glimmer Brothers” in Williams-

town, “Some Girls” in London and the revival of “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial” on


Schwimmer recently completed production on Ariel Vromen’s “The Iceman” with Chris

Evans, Winona Ryder and Michael Shannon and will soon reunite with Lisa Kudrow for an

episode of Showtime’s “Web Therapy.” Other notable television and film credits include

“Nothing But The Truth,” “Madagascar,” “Madagascar: Return 2 Africa,” “Duane Hopwood,”

“Big Nothing,” “Band of Brothers,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Six Days Seven Nights,” “Apt

Pupil,” “The Pallbearer” and the hit comedy series “Friends,” for which he received an Emmy

Award nomination. His film and television directing includes “Since You’ve Been Gone,” “Run,

Fat Boy, Run,” and the HBO series “Little Britain USA” as well as “Trust” starring Clive Owen,

Catherine Keener and Viola Davis.

Schwimmer is on the Board of Directors of the Rape Foundation in Santa Monica,


JADA PINKETT SMITH (Gloria) has proven herself to be one of the most versatile

and talented stars today, both on and off screen.

As an actress, Pinkett Smith has amassed an impressive list of film and television credits,

including “Hawthorne,” the TNT series that ran from 2009-2011, for which she also served as an

executive producer. She starred opposite Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle in “Reign Over Me”

for Columbia Pictures, and played a pivotal role opposite Tm Cruise and Academy Award-

winner Jamie Foxx in Michael Mann’s “Collateral.” She is perhaps best known as the take-

charge Niobe in the hugely successful sequels “Matrix Reloaded” and Matrix Revolutions.”

Through her production company, 100% Womon, Pinkett Smith wrote, directed and costarred

in “The Human Contract” opposite leads Jason Clarke and Paz Vega. Her previous effort

at putting pen to paper resulted in the New York Times bestseller “Girls Hold Up This World,”

published in 2005.

In 2010, Pinkett Smith assumed executive producer duties for the feature film “The

Karate Kid,” starring her son Jaden Smith. She was also an executive producer on “The Secret

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Life of Bees.” Together with her husband Will Smith, Pinkett Smith was the creator and

executive producer of the CW Network’s “All of Us.”

Beyond the medium of TV and film, the Smiths collaborated with record industry mogul

Jay-Z to produce the Broadway musical hit “Fela!” which earned three Tony Awards. Focusing

on her musical talent, Pinkett Smith became the lead singer of the rock band Wicked Wisdom, as

they opened for Britney Spears during her Onyx Hotel Tour. Her most recent musical project, a

sensual ballad entitled “Burn,” was released on iTunes on Valentine’s Day 2012 and was

dedicated to her husband.

Born and raised in Maryland, Pinkett Smith studied dance and acting at the Baltimore

School of the Arts and North Carolina School of the Arts. Her big break came when she landed a

role on the long-running NBC series “A Different World.”

BRYAN CRANSTON (Vitaly) won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding

Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Walter White on AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” He

holds the honor of being the first actor in a cable series, and the second lead actor in the history

of the Emmy Awards to receive three consecutive wins. His performance has also earned him a

Television Critics Association award, two Golden Globe nominations and three Screen Actors

Guild Award nominations.

On the big screen, Cranston recently starred in Nicolas Winding Refn's “Drive” and

Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion.” He will next star as the villain Vilos Cohaagen in the highly

anticipated Len Wiseman remake of “Total Recall”; and then in the big-screen adaptation of the

musical, “Rock of Ages.” He will also star in Ben Affleck’s “Argo” this fall. He is currently in

production on CBS Films’ “Get a Job.”

Other film credits include: “John Carter,” “Larry Crowne,” “The Lincoln Lawyer,”

“Saving Private Ryan,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Seeing Other People” and “That Thing You

Do!” Born to a show business family and raised in Southern California, Cranston made his acting

debut at the age of 8 in a United Way commercial. It wasn’t until he finished college that acting

became a serious consideration. While on a cross-country motorcycle trip with his brother, he

discovered community theater and began exploring every aspect of the stage. Soon, he was cast

in a summer stock company.

Cranston returned to Los Angeles and quickly landed a role on the television movie

“Love Without End,” which led to his being signed as an original cast member of ABC’s

“Loving.” He went on to appear in numerous television roles including a seven-year run as Hal

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on Fox’s “Malcolm in the Middle,” for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe and three

Emmys; the recurring role of Dentist, Tim Whatley on “Seinfeld”; HBO’s acclaimed miniseries,

“From the Earth to the Moon,” as Buzz Aldrin, and the made-for-television movie “I Know My

First Name is Steven,” among others. He has guest starred on numerous TV programs.

Cranston continues to pursue his love for theater whenever possible. Credits include:

“The God of Hell,” “Chapter Two,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” “A Doll's House,” “Eastern

Standard,” “Wrestlers,” “Barefoot in the Park” and “The Steven Weed Show,” for which he won

a Drama-Logue Award.

Cranston is also a dedicated screenwriter and director. He wrote the original romantic

drama, “Last Chance” as a birthday gift for his wife, Robin Dearden, and directed and starred in

the film. Cranston has also directed several episodes of “Malcolm in the Middle,” the Comedy

Central pilot “Special Unit” and episodes of “Breaking Bad.” He also recently directed an

episode of “Modern Family.”

In early 2011, Cranston served as executive producer and star of an exclusive online

series called “The Handlers” for The comedic short series followed Cranston as the

character Jack Powers and his race to win a seat on the State Senate.

Cranston also produced an instructional DVD called “KidSmartz,” which is designed to

educate families on how to stay safe from child abduction and Internet predators. “KidSmartz”

raises money for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

JESSICA CHASTAIN (Gia) is coming off a banner year in which she starred in seven

feature films, won more than 35 critics awards and was nominated for Golden Globe, Screen

Actors Guild, Independent Spirit and Academy Award Academy Awards.

Chastain became a breakout star with her role in the critically acclaimed film “The Help.”

As Celia Foote, she was an insecure Southern lady in Jackson, Mississippi constantly trying to fit

in with the high society women who reject her.

Her portrayal of the gentle and gracious Mrs. O’Brien in Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of

Life” also brought Chastain favorable notices. Playing opposite Brad Pitt as Mr. O’Brien, the

story concerns the loss of innocence as seen through the eyes of a man whose parents are played

by Chastain and Pitt. The film was shot in Texas in early 2008 and released in May 2011.

The year was rounded out by roles in “The Debt,” in which she played a Mossad agent in

the 1960s (portrayed later in the film by Helen Mirren); in “Take Shelter,” as the wife of a man

consumed with hallucinations and nightmares; in the modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s

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“Coriolanus,” opposite Ralph Feinnes; and in “Texas Killing Fields” as a detective working in a

town plagued by a serial killer. In 2008, she made her feature film debut as the titular character

in “Jolene,” based on an E.L. Doctorow short story, but the film wasn’t released until last year,

making it the seventh film in which audiences saw Chastain perform in 2011.

Chastain’s busy streak shows no signs of slowing. She recently finished working opposite

Rachel Mc Adams and Javier Bardem in Terrence Malick’s next film, which is due in theaters

later this year, and is currently filming Kathryn Bigelow’s feature about the Navy Seal team that

tracked down and killed Osama Bin Laden. The film is slated for release on December 19, 2012.

Chastain will next be seen in the Weinstein Co.’s “Lawless,” a Depression-era drama costarring

Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce and Mia Wasikowska. Directed

by John Hillcoat and produced by Doug Wick, the film is about a bootlegging gang who finds

itself under violent pressure from authorities. “Lawless” is due in theaters August 31, 2012.

Chastain will also star in the Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror film “Mama,” slated

for October 3, 2012. She portrays one half of a couple that set out to raise their two young nieces

who have lived in the woods by themselves for five years.

Born and raised in Northern California, Chastain attended the Juilliard School in New

York City. While there she starred in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and went on to receive glowing reviews

for her performances in “The Cherry Orchard” opposite Michelle Williams at Williamstown, and

Richard Nelson’s ‘Rodney’s Wife’ opposite David Strathairn off-Broadway at Playwright’s

Horizons. Chastain’s first professional role after graduating from Julliard was TV’s “Dark

Shadows” in 2004. Roles in “ER,” “Veronica Mars,” “Close to Home” and “Law & Order: Trial

by Jury” followed.

Celebrated comedian and actor MARTIN SHORT (Stefano) has won fans and accolades

in television, film and theater since his breakout season on “Saturday Night Live” almost 30

years ago.

Short won his first Emmy in 1982 while working on Canada’s “SCTV Comedy

Network,” which brought him to the attention of the producers of “Saturday Night Live.” He

became a fan-favorite for his portrayal of characters such as Ed Grimley, lawyer Nathan Thurm

and “legendary songwriter” Irving Cohen.

His popularity and exposure on “Saturday Night Live” led Short to cross over quickly

into feature films. He made his debut in “Three Amigos” and followed with “Inner Space,”

“Three Fugitives,” “Clifford,” “Pure Luck” and Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks.” One of Short’s

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most memorable roles was in the remake of “Father of the Bride,” as Franck the wedding

planner, a role he reprised a few years later in “Father of the Bride Part II.” This fall, Short will

be featured in Burton’s upcoming animated film “Frankenweenie.”

An accomplished stage actor, Short won a Tony and an Outer Critics Circle Award for

his role in the revival of “Little Me.” He was also nominated for a Tony and took home an Outer

Critics Circle Award for the musical version of Neil Simon’s “The Goodbye Girl.” Short cowrote

and starred in “Fame Becomes Me,” prompting The New York Times to describe Short as

“a natural for live musicals, a limber singer and dancer who exudes a fiery energy that makes

you want to reach for your sunglasses.”

Short returned to television in an Emmy-nominated role for the mini-series “Merlin” and

host of “The Martin Short Show,” which garnered him seven Emmy nominations. Short also

wrote, produced and starred in three comedy specials, winning two Cable ACE awards and an

Emmy. In 2001, he launched the critically acclaimed “Primetime Glick,” garnering another five

Emmy nominations. Short was nominated for his 19th Emmy award in 2010 for his work as the

lawyer Leonard Winstone on the critically acclaimed FX series “Damages.”

Currently, Short can be seen on the CBS hit comedy series “How I Met Your Mother” in

the recurring role of Garrison Cootes. His voice can be heard as the Cat in the critically

acclaimed PBS series “Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That.”

In 1994, Short was awarded the Order of Canada, the Canadian equivalent to British

Knighthood. He was also inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame in June 2000.

About the Filmmakers

ERIC DARNELL (Director/Screenplay) previously wrote and directed the worldwide

box-office hit, “Madagascar” and its sequel, “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.” Prior to his

involvement with the “Madagascar” franchise, Darnell directed the studio’s first computer-

animated feature film, “Antz.”

Darnell joined PDI/DreamWorks, the studio’s northern California campus, in 1991,

where he helmed numerous commercial and film projects, drawing upon his multi-faceted talents

in animation, visual effects and art direction. His in-house animated short entitled “Gas Planet”

garnered international recognition, including the Ottawa Animation Festival Special Jury Prize.

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Also for DreamWorks, Darnell assisted with computer animation research and

development for the studio’s first traditionally animated feature, “The Prince of Egypt.”

Darnell earned a B.A. in broadcast journalism from the University of Colorado and an

M.F.A. in experimental animation from CalArts. While completing his M.F.A., he was awarded

filmmaking grants from both the Ahmanson Foundation and the Princess Grace Foundation.

Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation, Darnell worked as a freelance animator. His

credits include directing the animated music video “Get Up” for the rock band R.E.M.

TOM MCGRATH (Director/Skipper) has been working in the field of entertainment for

more than 20 years. “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” marks the fourth film he has

directed for DreamWorks Animation. In addition to making his feature film directorial debut

with the global hit “Madagascar” (on which he also served as writer) he also showcased his

acting talents on the film, voicing the lead penguin, Skipper. McGrath followed the runaway

success of “Madagascar” with the box-office hit “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” and most

recently, “Megamind.”

While working on “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” McGrath also voiced Skipper for the

short “The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper” and provided voices for “Flushed

Away” and “Shrek the Third.”

McGrath previously worked in the areas of story and concept design for such features as

“Cats & Dogs” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” He also worked as an animator and story

artist on such animated films as “Space Jam” and “Cool World.” His television work includes

directing on “The Ren & Stimpy Show,” as well as other projects for Nickelodeon.

McGrath graduated from the Character Animation program at Cal Arts after studying

Industrial Design at the University of Washington.

Having been a part of the Madagascar franchise from the beginning, it seemed only

fitting for CONRAD VERNON (Director/Mason the Chimp) to join the directing team on

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.” Prior to this film, he directed the blockbuster hit

“Monsters vs. Aliens.” He made his feature film directorial debut in 2004 with the Academy

Award-nominated “Shrek 2.” In addition to directing and giving voice to Mason in the

“Madagascar” franchise, Vernon is the voice of the Gingerbread Man in the “Shrek” franchise.

Vernon joined DreamWorks in 1996, and worked as a storyboard artist on PDI/DreamWorks’

first computer-animated feature film, “Antz,” as well as the traditionally animated comedy “The

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Road to El Dorado.” In addition, he served as a storyboard artist and additional dialogue writer

on the Academy Award-winning “Shrek.”

Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation, Vernon served as a storyboard artist at Film

Roman on the popular animated television comedy “The Simpsons.” Vernon’s other animation

work includes directing for “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” writer and storyboard artist on “The Ren &

Stimpy Show,” and writing and storyboarding on Hanna-Barbera’s “2 Stupid Dogs” and

Nickelodeon’s “Rocko’s Modern Life.” He began his film career in 1991 on “Cool World” as an

animator, effects animator, gag writer, layout artist and character designer.

Accomplished film and television producer MIREILLE SORIA (Producer) segued into

producing animated features with the Academy Award-nominated animated adventure “Spirit:

Stallion of the Cimarron” and “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas,” following a successful career

developing and producing a varied group of live-action feature film and television projects. With

two well-received animated features under her belt, Soria next produced the DreamWorks

Animation global hit “Madagascar.” While jumping immediately into producing its sequel,

“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” she pulled double duty by simultaneously executive-producing

the holiday special “Merry Madagascar.”

Prior to taking the producing reins for “Spirit,” Soria had had a producing deal at Fox

Family Pictures, where she produced the romantic Cinderella story “Ever After,” starring Drew

Barrymore and Anjelica Huston. Soria executive-produced the Disney Channel horror comedy,

“Under Wraps.”

Soria had previously held the post of vice president of production for Walt Disney

Pictures. During her tenure, she oversaw the development and production of such projects as

“The Mighty Ducks” and its two sequels, “Cool Runnings” and the live-action version of

Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.” Soria had come to Disney from the Steve Tisch

Company, where she served as vice president while also developing and producing several


MARK SWIFT (Producer) produced “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” co-produced “Bee

Movie” and served as associate producer on the Academy Award-nominated “Shark Tale.” In

addition to his feature film credits, Swift produced the 2005 short “The Madagascar Penguins in

a Christmas Caper.”

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Swift joined DreamWorks Animation in 1995 as one of the key production supervisors

during the company’s early years. He first served as the animation production supervisor on the

traditionally animated epic adventure “The Prince of Egypt.” He later became production

manager for the animated adventure “The Road to El Dorado,” and then went on to work on the

action adventure “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.”

Swift got his start in animation nearly 20 years ago as a runner at Steven Spielberg’s

Amblimation Studio in London. While in London, he worked on the features “An American Tail:

Fievel Goes West,” “We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story” and “Balto.” Swift grew up in

Birmingham, England, and attended Manchester University, with a course focus in economics.

The critically acclaimed films of writer and director NOAH BAUMBACH (Screenplay)

include “Kicking and Screaming,” “The Squid and the Whale,” “Margot at the Wedding” and


Baumbach received an Academy Award nomination for his original screenplay “The

Squid and the Whale.” The picture premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, where he was

honored with the Directing Award (in the Dramatic features category) and the Waldo Salt

Screenwriting Award. The script also earned him Best Original Screenplay awards from the New

York Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the

Toronto Film Critics Association, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The film was on

over 150 Top Ten lists, including AFI’s 10 Best of the Year. “The Squid and the Whale”

received three Golden Globe Award nominations, including Best Picture (Musical/Comedy); and

six Independent Spirit Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and for actors

Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, and Jesse Eisenberg.

In 2007 “Margot at the Wedding” was selected to the Telluride Film Festival, the Toronto

International Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival. The picture received Gotham

Award nominations for Best Film and Best Ensemble Cast. Jennifer Jason Leigh earned an

Independent Spirit Award nomination for her performance opposite Nicole Kidman and Jack


In 2010, “Greenberg” premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film

received a Gotham Award nomination for Best Breakthrough Actress for Greta Gerwig and four

Independent Spirit Award nominations including Best Feature, Best Male Lead for Ben Stiller

and Best Female Lead for Greta Gerwig.

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With director Wes Anderson, Mr. Baumbach co-wrote “The Life Aquatic With Steve

Zissou” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (the latter adapted from the novel by Roald Dahl).

In 2008, he directed the shorts “Clearing the Air” and “New York Underground,” which

he co-wrote with Bill Hader and Fred Armisen, for “Saturday Night Live.”

He is a contributor of humor pieces to the “Shouts and Murmurs” section of The New

Yorker magazine.

Mr. Baumbach just finished directing the pilot adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s novel

“The Corrections” for HBO. He co-wrote with Franzen and executive produced with Franzen

and Scott Rudin. The show stars Chris Cooper, Diane Wiest, Ewan McGregor, Greta Gerwig and

Maggie Gyllenhaal.

() MBE 2012