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Madagascar - Escape 2 Africa (Widescreen) (2008)

Animated movie directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath

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Not as great as the first but still entertaining

  • Sep 17, 2009
To me, there's a lot of similarities between the "Ice Age" movies and the "Madagascar" movies. First, both series are about animals going on a journey. Second, they have similar animation styles. And third, they both suffered the same problems in their sequels... although "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" made it through these problems better than "Ice Age: The Meltdown."

The strength of the first "Madagascar" was its silliness. It never took itself too seriously. The characters were very goofy, and it was the secondary players (i.e., the penguins and the lemurs) that really stole the show. That silliness is kept up in the film's sequel, and that's what makes it work. While Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer) are all given storylines, it is the wayward penguins who are the heart and soul of the picture. Why else did they score so much screen time in the trailers?

King Julian (Sacha Baron Cohen) is also back as the ruler of the lemurs. Those were the characters I loved the most in the first film, and it's a great relief to see that the filmmakers have listened to the fans and brought them back in significant roles for the sequel. This film takes off where the first one ended. The animals from the Central Park Zoo are stranded on the island of Madagascar, and the lemur empire is attempting to send them back in a plane flown by penguins. However, since penguins can't fly, the plane crash lands in Africa where Alex is reunited with his father Zuba (Bernie Mac).
This sequel isn't as snappy as the first film, which had a distinct freshness about it. It also stumbles in the middle, trying to find a significant plot line. However, unlike "Ice Age 2," "Madagascar: Back 2 Africa" manages to refocus the characters and have them rally around each other near the end of the film. The middle-of-the-movie speed bumps are quickly forgotten when the film comes to a climax.

But all this characterization and plot development is unnecessary for the target audience. "Madagascar: Back 2 Africa" is a movie for kids. And with the exception of a little bit of bathroom humor, and some vague hippo sex references, this film is squeaky clean.

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More Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2... reviews
review by . October 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Though Quite Different, More of the Same
   In the event that you missed my review of the first Madagascar (gasps), allow me to summarize the bottom line: It was funny and it was pretty.  It could have been funnier and it could have been a lot funnier but it was pretty.  It earned its 3.5 star score the old fashioned way even if my own elevated expectations resulted in a bit of disappointment.      Fortunately the powers-that-be saw enough potential in the zoo escapee quartet to warrant a sequel …
review by . July 23, 2009
But I won't say better.    Sequels RARELY live up to their hype, but this movie was just as funny for me as the first one was.    I enjoyed the extra penguin screen time a great deal.    Surprisingly, the new story line (of still being lost) held up mighty well considering it was a redo. The addition of new characters and the return of favorites (like Julian) tickled me throughout.    Didn't happen to watch this one …
review by . February 07, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Madagascar Escape 2 Africa, it's just a fun afternoon family enjoyable movie. How can you not like that theme song, I like to move it, the ear worm? The characters are all back, the penguins are hilarious, everyone is just fantastically funny in this movie. Alec Baldwin is just way too good in his role as the evil lion. The late Bernie Mac performs, and is given a mention before the credits roll at the end. A 12 and 18 year old with two parents watched this movie and laughed hard throughout.      …
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Married into the military for over a decade and it does has itpros andcons. The lifestyle is great and Ido enjoy it. I'm able to do things and see things that I thought I wouldn't dream of. My kids loves … more
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About this movie


The sequel to the animated movieMadagascargives more of everything audiences loved in the first movie: More of the penguins; more of Julian, king of the lemurs; more musical bits of classic rock; and many, many more lions, zebras, hippos, and giraffes. In the first film, a quartet of coddled zoo animals found themselves shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar in a misguided effort to return them to the wild. InMadagascar: Escape 2 Africa, a failed attempt to fly back to New York maroons Alex the lion (voiced by Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) in an animal preserve on the African continent, accompanied by the four deranged penguins and the lunatic lemur king (deliriously voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen,Borat). By wild coincidence, this is where Alex was born--and where his father is still the alpha lion, and where his malevolent uncle seeks to take over (let's call this an homage toThe Lion King). The other beasts have their own story arcs, but really it's all an excuse for daffy comic bits. Though the result is disposable, it's also entirely entertaining. The action sequences pop with dizzying spectacle; though some jokes are mainstream fodder, more often they're surprisingly quirky and engagingly oddball. This is the best kind of cotton candy filmmaking--it dissolves into nothing, but it's oh-so-sweet to the taste.--Bret Fetzer
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DVD Release Date: February 6, 2009
Runtime: 89 minutes
Studio: DreamWorks
First to Review

"Into Africa"
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