Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

When you see the "2" you KNOW this is a sequel, but I didn't see the first one, either... and of course, "Madagascar 3" is already on the drawing board. These movie franchises do nothing but PRINT money!

DreamWorks Animation is no Disney, but this animated fantasy is clever enough to captivate the target audience, i.e., kiddies whose parents allow them to attend "PG" rated movies. (There is a mild flirtation and our awkward Melman the giraffe has it BAD for Gloria the hippo.)

The four main characters are:
  • Alex the young lion, still voiced by Ben Stiller ("Tropic Thunder" and "Madagascar")
  • Marty the zebra, voiced once more by Chris Rock ("The Longest Yard" and "Madagascar")
  • Melman the giraffe, voiced by David Schwimmer ("Big Nothing" and "Madagascar")
  • Gloria the hippo, voiced again by Jada Pinkett Smith ("The Women" and "Madagascar")

These dauntless friends are still trying to get back to their home (see the first "Madagascar"), which, in this case is the New York City Zoo, where they enjoyed security, popularity and shelter. Instead, they end up in Africa where Alex encounters the family he had forgotten since he was captured as a baby. By the way, Zachary Gordon, who voices the baby Alex, has the sweetest, most authentic sound!

We are treated to culture gaps, generation gaps, contests for dominance in the pride, and of course, it all works out for the best. I had already suspended disbelief and Boy! Was I ever glad I did!

This is one of the last engagements for the late Bernie Mac, who died unexpectedly in August of this year (2008). He supplies the voice for Zuba, the alpha hippo.

The voice work is commendable and the art is par for the course. I could nit pick, but I think children will be charmed; for that reason, I'll let you decide...