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.
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.
The Bottom LineMadagascar: Escape 2 Africa has a slightly less harried pace about it, while being just as hilarious as the original movie. This sequel has a lot more heart than the first film which worked hard at filling every moment with a joke. The returning members of the voice cast are terrific, and the newbies – including the late Bernie Mac and 30 Rock's Alec Baldwin – compliment the familiar voices well. The plot's involved enough to keep adults engaged while not alienating youngsters, and the overall look of the movie is breathtakingly gorgeous. This sequel not only outshines its predecessor, it left me looking forward to #3.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa was directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath and is rated PG for some mild crude humor.
Theatrical Release Date: November 7, 2008