MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA
Alex, the lion, dubbed the King of New York (voice of Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (voice of Chris Rock), Melman the giraffe (voice of David Schwimmer) and Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) are still trapped on the shores of Madagascar with lemur King Julien (voice of Sacha Baron Cohen), sidekick Maurice (Cedric The Entertainer), the penguins (voices of Tom McGrath, Christopher Knights, Chris Miller) and chimps (voice of Conrad Vernon). The penguins have patched together an old wreck of a plane which gets its load to the plains of Africa, where the animals see their own kind for the first time.
But can they get used to their new environment where dangers lurk in unexpected places?
Review by Louise Keller:
More complete and satisfying than the original, this fun-filled sequel springboards its endearing animal characters into another hilarious and colourful hair-raising adventure all the family will love. This time round the script feels much more comfortable as the animals who used to call New York Zoo home, find themselves face to face with their own kind on the vast plains of Africa. Visually stunning, the animators have captured the grandeur of the setting, while the characters propel sheer energy and joie de vivre that transcends the screen.
Alex (voice of Ben Stiller), the lion with the dance moves that made him a household name in New York, finds even a family reunion can be fraught with difficulties. Alec Baldwin voices the jealous Makunga, the pretender to the alpha male crown with zeal, delighting in Alex's banishment whilst forced to wear a headdress Carmen Miranda would die for. Marty the zebra (hyperactively voiced by Chris Rock) desperately wants to be singled out from the other zebras and Melman the giraffe (voice of David Schwimmer) who becomes a witch-doctor (with clip-on bone through nose), has a secret longing for the amply endowed 'huge' hippo Gloria (delightfully portrayed voiced by Jade Pinkett Smith). But Gloria is being wooed by the macho hippo Moto Moto ('The name's so nice, you say it twice'); the seduction scene set in the watering hole under a full moon is priceless.
There's a funny subplot in which the mischievous, bossy penguins enforce 'Operation Tourist Trap', but find more than they bargain for with gung-ho Grannie (voice of Elisa Gabrielli) who keeps a sharp eye and active fists on her handbag. Sacha Baron Cohen's lemur King Julien is lively and the plotlines weave together seamlessly as our friends acclimatise in their new environment and rediscover that love has no boundaries. It's a happy encounter for all and one that is easy to recommend.
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MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA (PG)
VOICES: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richeter, Alec Baldwin, Bernie Mac, Will.i.am
PRODUCER: Mireille Soria, Mark Swift
DIRECTOR: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath
SCRIPT: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Etan Cohen
EDITOR: H. Lee Peterson
MUSIC: Hans Zimmer
PRODUCTION DESIGN: n/a
RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 11, 2008 (Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin); December 18, 2008 (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth)