Europe's Most Wanted
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
We begin from the end of the second film as the penguins and chimps are leaving to Monte Carlo, and the animals are wishing them goodbye. The penguins say they are never coming back and blast away at hyper speed. Alex (Ben Stiller) then finds Africa to be dark and grim, and suddenly Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer), and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) are all old and frail, and Alex sees himself turn old.
He wakes up in fright from the nightmare, telling Marty he is worried he's wasting his days in Africa. Marty takes him away and shows Alex that he and the others built him a mud model of New York City for his birthday, complete with the Central Park Zoo. As Alex remembers his time in the zoo, he starts weeping since he misses it so much. The animals then plan on getting back to New York, but first they need to find the penguins. Alex assumes they are bored out of their minds by now.
The penguins in Monte Carlo are actually pillow fighting as the animals swim into Monte Carlo. Close behind them are King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), Maurice (Cedric The Entertainer), and Mort (Andy Richter). They figure that the penguins are in the casino, and they plot to snatch them out. After getting in through the ventilation, they see the chimps, disguised as the King of Versailles, gambling and using the penguins to help them. As Alex attempts to drop in, Marty starts asking if he can drop in, until Gloria declares she will do it, causing her and the others to crash to the floor, inciting a panic. Security then calls for animal control.
We meet head animal control officer Capitaine Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand), who has a large collection of the heads from animals she's killed. When she hears about Alex, she becomes excited and prepares herself, for she is determined to get a lion's head on her wall.
The animals, along with the chimps and penguins, escape in a huge van, and a chase across the city ensues. DuBois gives chase, and all her men are dispatched, but she appears to overcome everything thrown in her path. Marty, after taking over the wheel, accidentally drives the van off a building, but they manage to escape. DuBois then appears, but the penguins and chimps bring up their chopper and start pelting her with bananas. The animals board the chopper as DuBois hangs on, but Alex manages to cut her loose into a pool.
The animals think they are finally flying back to New York, but the chopper then crash lands. Alex sadly believes they are never getting home. Suddenly, sirens are heard, and the animals realize they've been caught up with. They spot a train and try getting in, but the vicious tiger Vitaly (Bryan Cranston) refuses to let them in. The train starts leaving, and the animals chase the train, claiming to be circus animals. They are helped on by Gia the jaguar (Jessica Chastain). They also meet Stefano the sea lion (Martin Short). He asks the animals what their circus act is, and Alex makes up an act about a trapeze with aquatic cobras and jet packs, which Gia and Stefano refer to as "Trapeze Americano." When Stefano says they plan on going to America after impressing an American circus owner, the four animals realize this is their ticket home. Vitaly, still not trusting of them, declares that the owner of the circus doesn't allow stowaways. Cue the penguins dropping in, and it's shown that they and the chimps in disguise, bribed the owners with the diamonds and gold they found in Africa for the deed to the circus.
The lemurs hop on the train and Julien falls in love with the performing bear named Sonya (Frank Welker). She doesn't appear to understand him, as she nearly eats him, but he doesn't mind. DuBois, meanwhile, sniffs out Alex's tracks and learns they've joined the circus.
Now under new management, the circus goes to Rome. They play at the coliseum, but they are missing Sonya, who is on a date in the Vatican City with Julien. He steals the pope's ring and uses it to buy Sonya a Ducati after she breaks her tricycle. DuBois spots them and tries to steal a police cycle, but crashes into a fountain and is arrested.
The circus show is a disaster, with none of the acts going well, and the audience demands a refund. The animals run away and end up throwing the money back to the people before hopping on the train.
On the train, Alex is told by Stefano how their circus was very popular with Vitaly as the main act, since he could grease himself up with olive oil and jump through the tiniest rings. However, when he attempted to jump through what looks like a wedding ring while it was on fire, his fur caught fire because of the oil, and he was disgraced, losing his passion for the circus, and now finds solace only in borscht. Alex then decides that the only way to revamp the circus is to put on a new kind of show to dazzle a new generation of fans. While the troupe is initially hesitant, Alex's passionate speech gears them all up.
Meanwhile, DuBois escapes from prison, also managing to print out an article of Alex, who is still reported as missing from the zoo.
The animals find a spot to train for their new acts. Melman and Gloria attempt a dance on a tightrope, despite Melman's inability to dance, although he admits to having practiced for Gloria. Marty and Stefano do a cannon act with a load of dynamite, and they become close friends in the process. The penguins give a group of small performing dogs a pair of rocket skates. Alex, who finds himself falling in love with Gia, performs a trapeze act with her, which she thinks is what Alex does back in America.
DuBois goes to a hospital and finds her men incapacitated. She performs a French opera that somehow revives all of them from their injuries, motivating them to follow her once more. Skipper the penguin (Tom McGrath) informs Alex that she is close by, but not to panic.
The animals get to London to put on their show, now named "Fur Power" (thanks to Alex's speech). They keep their eyes out for DuBois, as well as the circus agent. Before they can begin, Stefano says Vitaly plans on leaving, as he doesn't feel that he belongs there anymore, but after Alex chats with him, he is inspired to go out once again, as doing the impossible was what he loved. He performs the ring stunt again, but using hair conditioner this time, and he gets through the tiny ring of fire with ease, resulting in a huge cheer. The rest of the show is incredibly impressive, with Melman and Gloria's tightrope dance, Marty and Stefano's cannon stunt, and Alex and Gia's trapeze act. The American circus agent is impressed and gives the chimps (still in disguise) a contract for an American performance.
The animals' happiness is short-lived as DuBois and her men arrive for Alex, giving the chimps in disguise the article saying she is going to return Alex to the zoo. However, the penguins manage to subdue her and her men by launching them out of the tent with the cannon. Gia and the other circus animals see the article and realize the truth about Alex and his friends. They feel deceived, knowing that they planned on leaving the troupe after getting home. The four animals and Julien leave, sadly.
They get on a small boat that takes them to the city. They make it to the zoo, and Marty apologizes for leaving in the first place, since they wouldn't be sad if he never made the first move. However, they realize that since leaving the zoo, they have never felt more alive. They decide to return to the circus, until DuBois tranquilizes all of them, though Julien manages to get out. The zoo officials come out and recognize Alex, thanking DuBois for bringing him back.
Julien returns to the circus for Sonya, but the penguins and company see the tranquilizing dart on him and know it's from DuBois. The troupe plans to save the zoo animals since they are still part of their group.
The zoo animals are caged up, but Alex is put on display for a crowd, welcoming him back. DuBois is given a big reward for bringing him back, but tears up the check, saying it was never about the money, and she pulls out a poison dart. She shoots it at Alex, but he is grabbed by Gia. The circus animals used the bits of the chopper to create a flying circus act. Utilizing all the main acts from the London show, they subdue DuBois's men yet again and nearly escape, but DuBois, ever-determined, snags into Stefano. Alex jumps out to save him, knocking DuBois into a snake room, releasing them into the water. Alex then devises an idea with everyone's help. He falls out fighting DuBois in the air, who vows to take his head down to the river of cobras, but the performing dogs use their rocket skates to have Alex fly back while using them as a jet pack, thereby fulfilling the Trapeze Americano. DuBois falls into Alex's cage and is tranquilized by Maurice and Mort. The crowd cheers the animals on, as Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria decide they are now part of a new family.
Sometime later, the animals are on a train to their next show performing a mash-up of "I Like To Move It" with Marty's "Circus Afro" song. Alex asks Skipper what he did with DuBois. We see that she and her men are in separate crates on a ship. She peeks her eye out a hole, and sees to her horror that the boat is headed to none other than Madagascar.