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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