The loveable gang of animal rogues are back, and this time they are stuck in Monte Carlo and yearn to return to their Manhattan haunts - especially now that animal control expert Chantel DuBois (voiced by Frances McDormand) is on the their tails.

This 3D colourful romp of a movie opens with a high energy chase through the streets of Monte Carlo - which includes a jaunt in a monkey-made, penguin-flown airplane - and sets the tone perfectly for this lively and witty animated offering.

When their plane crashes and burns, Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer) and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) evade DuBois’ trophy-hunting mission by taking up with a travelling circus, which they make-over as a psychedelic, Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatic troupe. And as they focus on getting back to their native New York, Sacha Baron Cohen’s lemur, King Julian, finds romance with a bicycling bear of indeterminate gender.

The witty lines fly at you as the newly formed pack of animals frantically race across Europe to meet the man who will bring them back to the USA, not to mention a series of flips, twists and tricks. At times it is a little tiring on the eyes, but the kids are sure to love its high octane energy. And the jokes will keep the adults away from the popcorn stand.

Overall, it’s fair to say that the funny, snappy script and thrilling action sequences make this European adventure a trip worth taking.

Suzanne Byrne