Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa brings back the best elements of Madagascar, including the familiar critters: Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett-Smith), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer), the loony lemur, King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen). Even little Mort, the world's most adorable animated lemur (you know you just want to pet his little head every time you see him on screen), returns for more adventures. Building on the characters we grew to love in Madagascar, the writers have added a herd of new creatures who are just as fully fleshed out and entertaining.
In fact, in many ways Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is a better movie than Madagascar. The first film established the personality of each of the animated animals so now the writers are free to leap right into the story. The friendship between the four Central Park refugees is stronger after having spent time away from the comfy confines of the zoo. The old 'home is where your heart is' adage comes into play. And there's even a budding romance featured in Madagascar 2, which is sweet to watch develop (no matter your age). Plus, this one's got striking monkeys demanding pregnancy leave, more screen time for King Julien, and the return of the New York granny who kicks furry butt like Jet Li on steroids.
Madagascar sequel picks up right where the 2005 film left off, with the Central Park Zoo animals preparing to leave Madagascar to return to the Big Apple. Attempting to prove penguins can fly, the tuxedoed dudes pieced together a plane and now Alex and company, along with King Julien and his 2nd in charge, Maurice, believe they're on the way back to New York City. But penguins, as we soon discover, are not qualified to be airplane mechanics.
The plane crash lands in Africa which turns out to be the best place on the planet for our NY gang to wind up – if they can't make it back to the States. Their plummet to earth couldn't have worked out better if it'd been planned. The four zoo buddies, the penguin posse, and the lemur duo find themselves face to face with wild animals of their own kind. And for Alex, this unexpected detour is actually a homecoming. The king of the lions, Zuba (Bernie Mac), and his mate (voiced by Sherri Shepherd) turn out to be Alex's real parents.
Everyone's happy to finally get to know members of their own species in the wild, but the reunion between Alex and his parents doesn't please all members of the pride. Makunga (Alec Baldwin) has long wanted to replace Zuba as the leader, and the return of the city-raised Alex provides him with just the right opening to make his move...
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa has a slightly less harried pace about it, while being just as hilarious as the original movie. My personal favorite is the grannie, I call her Rambo Grannie, she's strong enough to fight off Alex. Smart and witty to lead the whole commmunity of New Yorkers lost in the jungle. The plot's involved enough to keep adults engaged while not alienating youngsters, and the overall look of the movie is breathtakingly gorgeous. I like that there is always some dance routine or singing in between serious scenes. My 3yr old daughter who hates watching movies in theaters because of the loud sounds stays put on my lap and enjoyed the whole movie. This is the first time that happened. On our veru first movie Shrek3, although it is as entertaining, she kept quiet and almost cried, because of the louad sounds. While watching Kung Fu Panda, she slept half off the movie so an to relax her. Dark places and lous sounds doesnt really etertain my daughter, its such a bad combination for her. But with this movie, since there are a lot of "You've got to move it! Move it!" She watched the whole movie.