Chastain makes animation debut in “Madagascar 3″

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Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Jessica Chastain, gaining critical attention for her work on the movie The Help, will make her animation debut in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, DreamWorks Animation announced Friday.

Chastain, also of Tree of Life, will voice a new character, Gia the jaguar.

Also joining the film’s voice cast are Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston (also of Malcolm in the Middle) and comedian Martin Short (The Martin Short Show, Saturday Night Live). Cranston will voice a Siberian tiger, while Short will portray Stefano the sea lion.

Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith and Sacha Baron Cohen will repeat their animal portrayals. Frances McDormand was previously announced as a cast member.

Directed by Eric Darnell and Conrad Vernon, the threequel is scheduled for release June 8.

“Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple, and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure,” Friday’s announcement said. “Their journey takes them through Europe, where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent — Madagascar-style.”

The Madagascar franchise has grossed over $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office.

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