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Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Movie

Starring: Ben Stiller, Bernie Mac, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, Chris Rock

Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath

Release Date: November 7th, 2008
Release Date: 5th December, 2008

Synopsis: The sequel of the first movie, the New York Zoo Animals, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo, still stranded on Madagascar, started to leave the island. All of a sudden, they landed in the wilderness of Africa. There, Alex soon meet the rest of his family and starting to have trouble communicating with them after much of his time at the Central Park Zoo.


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Movie Trailer

About the Movie

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (or simply just Madagascar 2) is the 2008 animated sequel to the 2005 film Madagascar, about the continuing adventures of Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippo. It is directed by Eric Darnell and written by Etan Cohen.

It stars the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, and Andy Richter. Also providing voices are Bernie Mac, Alec Baldwin, Sherri Shepherd, Elisa Gabrielli, and It was produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures, and was released on November 7, 2008.

The film starts as a prequel, showing a small part of Alex’s early life, including his capture by hunters. It soon moves to shortly after the point where the original left off, with the animals deciding to return to New York. They board an airplane in Madagascar, but crash-land in Africa, where each of the central characters meets others of the same species; Alex is reunited with his parents. Problems arise, and their resolution occupies much of the remainder of the film.

The previous title was “Madagascar: The Crate Escape”, which was featured on a teaser trailer with Ben Stiller.

This, along with Soul Men (which was released on the same day as this movie, November 7, 2008) and Old Dogs (which was released a year after this movie was released, November 25, 2009), was Bernie Mac’s last film performance. Therefore, the movie made a special dedication to the comedian stating: For our friend Bernie Mac, thanks for all the laughter.

There were many cultural references in this film, one being Sandy Koufax on the cover of a Life magazine.

Movie Reviews

Marty at the MoviesMovie Review by Marty Meltz

Quality – 6 out of 10

Wacky but not witty.

Good kiddie flick, folks. Take the tots. All ingredients of the original have been given new attention in an effort to maintain its appeal. The pace is peppery and the whole design seems to be to mesmerize the kids with a parade of eye candy. For you as an adult? Well, it’s probably an underachiever.

Amidst the slapstick comedy in “Madagascar:Escape 2 Africa” there are some new characters, including a zesty old grandmama from New York who does karate. The film’s colors are ever more vivid and the rhythm of camera movements is enhanced, with shot length at a median length of three seconds. Talking is mostly loud and urgent. There’s also some adult-oriented funny stuff, like having to negotiate with the monkey union for health benefits.

Various themes are pulled in from environmental material and many other movies but the flat-out observation is unavoidable that this just comes down to an endless series of visually catchy images that are madcap but often monotonous. The dialogue is more noisy than funny, seemingly struggling to balance between grown-up references and kid stuff. The music is totally forgettable.

In this sequel to “Madagascar” all the charming animal characters are back: light-footed Alex the lion (voice: Ben Stiller), sensitive Melman the giraffe (voice: David Schwimmer), smarty-mouthed Marty the zebra (voice: Chris Rock), big mama Gloria the hippo (voice: Jada Pinkett Smith), zany King Julien (voice:Sacha Baron Cohen), his sidekick Maurice (voice: Cedric the Entertainer) and the penguins.

We recollect that all these mislocated New Yorkers from the concrete and steel zoo had been, by nutsy circumstances, stranded on the island of Madagascar located off the East African coast. They really wanna get back. But what resources do they have? Well, there is that crashed plane. And there you go — the ingenious penguins, with military precision, and mainly digital magic, actually make it flightworthy.

Umm . . . kind of. Seems that, with its engines smoking, it’ll go just so far, which is, like, over the great savannah of Africa where they crash land. So you’d think they’re now in their natural home, right? Well, they are, but they are not natural in their “natural” home. They’ve been raised by the rule and animal interactions of the zoo, not the communities of the jungle.

So while they discover their roots, they also must confront a whole bunch of real conflicts. And that’s going to involve relatives of so long ago, romance intrigues, a deadly drought, and a self-styled medicine man who wants a rain god sacrifice for the volcano. Alex will be recognized as the long-missing son of the local pride’s chief, Zuba (the late Bernie Mac). Ah, but the evil egomaniac Makunga (Alec Baldwin) wants the throne for himself and he will humiliate Alex to get it. There will also be some conflicts with tourists and hunters pointing up their crassness.

The usual obligatory themes of self-esteem, self-confidence and learning your identity and independence are there.

Generally, the film will work modestly as holiday fun for the tykes. If you got nothing out of the original, you will do no better here. It’s very lively.

Read More Movie Reviews at Marty at the Movies

'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa' Stars

Ben Stiller, Bernie Mac, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Eric Darnell, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Tom McGrath

'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa' Movie Links

Official Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Movie Website
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa on IMDb

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