This movie was rewarding because of personal imagery I'd concocted, wherein a tiger jumps back and forth, from perch to perch, through a ring. This was my rendering of the Jitterbug Transformation, something talked about in Synergetics, the transcendentalist philosophy I sometimes traffic in. I used to fill my notebooks with doodles, including of this tiger jumping between positive and negative Universe through cosmic zero.
Madagascar 3 has such a tiger. True, this isn't a movie on Synergetics perhaps, but synergy happens nonetheless. Also thematic (for me) is the Russian theme, as I've sounded like some exKGB guy in some of my confessions, though I'm not claiming the requisite accent. This might be Wittgenstein's influence, hard to say. Having this all be a circus adds a touch of Le Carré.
The characters in this animal story are pleasantly multi-ethnic, which goes with their being different species. Their personalities were strongly sketched in the first two of this series, such that the third gets away with a lot of coasting, taking advantage of saved capital. I don't begrudge the film makers this choice, as giving character development some R&R leaves plenty of room for world touring (we go to Rome, New York, London, Monte Carlo though not necessarily in that order).
Nor is it that we're leaving character development entirely out of it. On the contrary, some new characters are added, including a village idiot of a circus seal, an Italian. The naive belief of these has beens, in some Circus Americano is to some extent a self-booting fantasy, like America itself, always self-reinventing. Now we like the Russians, a lot. Afro, polka dots... quite the melting pot of freedom-loving tricksters.