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Madagascar 2 is an animated film from the Dreamworks studio released in 2008, three years after the original film was released. The original film is something we have watched many times. I then watched the third film in the cinema but then we somehow missed out film 2. We had a voucher for HMV which had to be spent thanks to them going into difficulties, so we decided that we would buy Madagascar 2 at a cost of £6.
The film starts with a montage of a family of lions in Africa. Poachers steal baby Alex from his father, and we see how he ended up in the Zoo in New York in the first place. We then cut to the present in Madagascar where the animals were at the end of the original film. They are preparing to leave the island. The penguins have repaired a plane they found on the island, and plan to fly back to New York. However, on the way they run out of fuel and crash land in Africa.
By some co-incidence, they crash land in the same reserve that Alex was taking from as a child and he is reunited with his parents. He gets chance to see how they live in the wild, and the animals do enjoy seeing their heritage and getting to know Alex's family. However, Alex needs to adapt to fit in as he may have been the King of the New York jungle, but he is a bit of a misfit amongst a pride of lions. He finds a way to use his skills to help the animals and make his parents proud of him.
For me, this film was perhaps the weakest in the franchise. The plot of the animals going back to their homeland and landing back in the nature reserve is a little bit too contrived for me, and it felt a bit forced in places. I think there was a lot of repetition of action sequences from film one, and one small gag from film one was made into quite a major part of this film. We saw a little old lady in Grand Central Station attacking Alex with her handbag. This same little old lady is now on a wildlife safari, and again has a thing about being violent towards the animals, and it just didn't sit right with me.
Most of my interest lay in watching how the animals reacted to finding other animals in Africa. Previously we have seen the four central characters, Alex the lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the hippo, all happy in each others company. Here we see what happens when they meet their own kind, and it causes conflict for them.
While this was worth a watch, for me, I find it is not something that I could watch over and over again like film one and three. The plot just does not stand up to it. Musically, it is also quite similar to film one featuring songs like 'I like to Move it' and 'Born Free' though I did like songs like 'More than a Feeling' and 'Copacabana'.
The new relationships were interesting enough to keep me engaged, but not as strong as the relationships we see in film three. I also had made the assumption that film three must have started pretty much where film two ended, but I find that it really didn't. Yes, it was set in Africa, but there was no farewell to Alex's parents, and we also saw two characters start a relationship in this film that was not mentioned again at all in series three which I find disappointing as I like to see a bit of continuity. I find it spoils it for me when things are obviously not mentioned.
The humour isn't so much laugh your socks off humour, just silly things like Marty has always thought he was really unique, so it is traumatic for him when he realises that he is identical in looks and sound to every other zebra in the herd and none of his friends can recognise him any more.
It also has a touch of lion king about it for me with an evil Uncle character wanting to take over as leader within the Pride and causing the baby Alex to be stolen and then deliberately confusing the adult Alex.
If I'd watched this in the cinema, I don't think I would have purchased it on DVD as we won't want to keep watching this. Some trilogy's do have a weak point, and in this case, this is it.
This is a great family movie that has a bright and happy story with a nice feeling of friendship. It is a CGI animation by Dreamworks Studios and was released in 2009, its running time is 89 minutes in total. You can currently purchase the DVD from Amazon for £5.75 (January 2013).
This movie is the sequel to Madagascar and revolves around 4 central characters Alex the Lion (voiced by Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (voiced by Chris Rock), Gloria the Hippo (voiced by Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the Giraffe (voiced by David Schwimmer). In addition the penguins and King Julien make a very welcome return as I think they are definitely the best characters in the whole movie. The sequel movie sees Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman, along with the penguins and King Julien on the African continent, back to where Alex was born, there is a very cute scene with Alex as a baby lion and his dad trying to teach him how to hunt and all Alex wants to do is dance and strut his stuff, as he does in the zoo back in New York. The penguins spend most of the film fixing up an old crashed plane, with some hilarious consequences!
So they are in Africa and Alex meets his dad who is the alpha male of the pride, there is also another lion, Alex's uncle who wants to be the alpha male and when Alex returns he sees it as his opportunity to do so. To become alpha male of the pride you have to compete is a ritual fight and the victor wins, Alex is tricked before the fight by his uncle and, as tradition dictates has to be banished from the pride by his father. As with most children's films they outcome is all good and everyone is happy. I will not give away any more of the plot, its worth watching it to find out though.
The film is as colourful and entertaining as the first movie and there are some touching scenes with Alex and his Dad, overall I would recommend this film to others as its fun, the graphics are excellent, the sound track is very entertaining and King Julien always makes me laugh.
This review may also appear on Ciao! under the same user name.
Madagascar:Escape to Africa continues the story of Alex, Gloria, Melman, and Marty as they try to return back to their New York zoo from the island of Madagascar. Alex the lion is voiced by Ben Stiller Gloria the hippo by Jade Pickett Smith, Melman the giraffe by David Schwimmer and Marty the zebra is voiced by Chris Rock. All return for this film, which starts soon after the original Madagascar ended, the first film saw the above group marooned on the tropical paradise which is Madagascar whilst still showing their classic New York traits. They are all comfortable in their New York zoo so finding themselves in the wild of Madagascar, true be told they soon recover and the story is a classic big city visits little city and they expand as characters.
So onto this film, the film starts by showing how Alex ended up in New York, in this part he is a cub and becomes separated from his father Zuba (Bernie Mac) and is taken by poachers. However, Zuba manages to snag his box from the jeep and the lion cub ends up in the sea before washing up in New York.
That was then and this is now, the group are going back to New York via a beat up plane piloted by the penguins who double as Mafiosi. They are slung into the air but only get as far as Africa and Alex meets his father and mother, Marty gets to run with the herd, Gloria meets Moto Moto a huge male hippo and Melman becomes the giraffe witch doctor.
I didn't particularly enjoy the first film and my two year old wasn't engaged by the film so it rarely gets a viewing however we loaned this film from the library and gave it a try.
This is a lighter, less intense film than the first and because of it works better as a funny cartoon, the other characters apart from Alex have more play in this one and there is a sense of enjoyment rather than plodding which the first often gave the impression. This film is more open in terms of the locations, deserts, savannahs and watering holes rather than enclosed jungles, yes we have to put up with the patronising upper class king of the lemurs with the typical humour aimed at the posh end of the English upper crust.
The film ends with a nice circular moment with Alex showing his strengths as a showground lion rather than a fighting lion. Quite why the annoying old women who beats Alex up in the first film is given such prominence in this film is debateable, she is surely a one joke character but she does dominate the middle third of the film for no apparent reason.
This isn't a terrible film, it has a decent sound track and the use of the move it move song is one to get the toes moving, it's a shame the erudite monkeys from the first film aren't given more air time but hey you can't have everything. The penguins tend to steal every scene and are heading for their own adventure and the possibility of a sequel is good I would suspect.
Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa
Film Duration: 89 minutes
Category: humour / animation
Director: Eric Darneel
Country: United States
Ben Stiller as Alex
Chris Rock as Marty
David Swimmer as Melman
Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria
Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa the sequel to the first Madagascar movie and goes on from here. In the first part, Alex the Lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the Hippo and Melman the Giraffe escaped from their zoo in New York and ended up on the island of Madagascar. Now they are trying to get back to the zoo with a crash aircraft on the Island. With the help of the penguins they have managed to get the plane up in the sky, but unfortunately they don't get really far. They crash in Africa and they suddenly meet animals of their own kind! Gloria meet a whole hippo family, Marty finds Zebras everywhere, but Alex has the biggest surprise of his life, when he finds his parents back! His father is the king of the lion tribe, which makes Alex the next in line of the throne. But he must first challenge a lion in the tribe to be able in stay with the group. He may choose his own opponent, but is soon deceived by Makunga, who's after the throne himself and Alex ends up facing the strongest lion of the group! Alex looses the battle and has to leave the group. Makunga seizes his chance and claims the throne and banishes Alex and his family. Also the others aren't as happy as they thought they would be and want to go back to the zoo, but the plane is broken! Alex sees a chance to make everything right! But whether it all be okay?
Since it's a animation movie, you don't really get to see the actors, but only their voices. There are a lot of famous actors in this movie like Ben Stiller, who does the voice of Alex. He still remains one of my favourites in the movie with his wonderful voice. Chris Rock is also great as Marty the Zebra but of course David Swimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith are also great to listen too. Love the casting for this movie!
There are a number of extras on the DVD include commentary from the director. He talks about making the film and the problems they have had, but perhaps is only fun if you really want to know. Furthermore, there's a extra about how the film has been achieved and what more information about the actors of the film. Well nice extras but could have been more.
I love animation movies like Shrek and Finding Nemo and also love the series of Madagascar! It just got something to do with these animals I think! But this Madagascar movie is really great to watch with the whole family. It got a lot of innocent but fun humour. The casting for this movie is great the voices really suit the characters. Also the animation looks really good and very colourful! The amount of extras is ok on the DVD but could have been more, but the movie itself is good enough to buy this DVD.
Madagascar 2 Escape To Africa.
After watching the first Madagascar last christmas my young son loved it. So when the second one came out we just had to buy it, it cost us £9.00 from our local supermarket well worth it tho as weve watched it over and over. I know you can now buy this film much cheaper from some online retailers.
The basic plot of the film without giving so much away is after been stranded on the island of Madagascar from the last film the animals Alex (the lion) Melman (the giraffe) Gloria (the hippo) and Marty (the zebra) hatch a plot with the hilarious penguins to get back home to New York. The do this by way of a crashed plane which would you believe crashes again and lands you guessed it in Africa.
There are some heartwarming plots in this film and lots of family and friends values to learn. The film is great for kids with some good educational elements to it, But there is also alot of comedy lines for adults too making this film good for all to watch.
The voices of the animals are Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer. Im sure you will agree there is some very good names in there.
There is also some good music in this film which if your child is a dancer they will sure be up and dancing to it.
The film continues for 90 minute but my little one watches all the way through so the film appeals.
I know there are lots of reviews on this, but I thought I would give my opinion. I have had this film for ages, but after re-watching the first Madagascar again over Christmas I thoguht it was a suitable time to watch the follow up.
PLOT of the film is that the animals Alex, Marty, Melman & Gloria are still trapped on the island from the first film (when the penguins ran out of gas for the boat). They are making their way back to the New York, when they end up in ... You guessed it, in Africa. I dont want to give too much away but thers a significant part at the beggining of the film with Alex, which later on when they land in Africa comes to light. Anyhoo so along the way therse comedy laughs and the one liners and the amazing activity that not your average zoo animal would get up to.
I really enjoyed the first Madagascar, mainly because of Melman the Giraffe voiced by David Schwimmer (Ross from FRIENDS). This follow up film is really good and I really enjoyed the music they played. There seems a lot more of it in this film, compared to the first one. Melman was the only character that I know who did the voice of, however in this second film I was constantly thinking that I recognised the voice of Alex the Lion. Once the film finished I looked at the credits...And my suspisions was correct, it was as I thought Ben Stiller. I know this has no point in making you watch this film, so Im not sure why I brought it up, but it was a significant part in me watching the film. :)
This film is a really good family film, its full of fun. Which film do I think was the funniest? To be honest they both have their funny moments. In a particular schene in Madagascar 2 when a male hippo comes out the water to meet and greet Gloria, and there is a riddle playing along and it just made me smile and giggle. I do strongly reccomend you watch the first Madagascar first before watching this one, and in particular possibly watch them close together. I say this simply because the inital part of the film links in from the end of the previous film. Also at the very beggining there is like a flash back scene, and then a moment in the zoo with like baby versions of the 4 main cast animals. At first i thoguht these was like seperate animals or their babies at first, but after a few minutes getting into the film, i realised the part they was playing.
Ok Im blabbering now but basically awesome film!! I think their could possibly be a third, I really hope so. And I hope they use the same voice over characters as I think they match the cast perfectly, with each of their own quirky animations.
Madagascar; Escape 2 Africa (DVD)
You can currently buy this DVD for just £3.98 from Amazon.
For those who haven't seen the original Madagascar, it is an animated childrens film featuring animals who have spent most of their lives in a zoo. A series of events means that they end up in the wilds of Africa, which brings new adventures for them all.
The original characters are all back with a vengeance and although some sequels can be a little weak in comparison to the original film, this one is superb and extremely funny. With voices from Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer to bring the characters to life and some hilarious scenes, this film is sure to appeal.
Although billed as a kids film, there is no doubt that this film is also designed to make adults laugh. Some of the humour is definitely for grown ups making this a film that the whole family can enjoy.
The main storylines include Alex the lion meeting his family and having to prove how brave he is, Gloria the hippo being seduced by a big, chunky male hippo and Melman the giraffe becoming a witch doctor. The plot is funny yet also touching in places and has some heartwarming messages about family and friendships to pass along.
If you are a fan of the original film then you are sure to love the sequel, and even if you haven't seen it then this film is not to be missed. It is a great family film and definitely one that will make you laugh - why not snuggle up when it's cold and dark outside and enjoy it over the festive season!
On baby sitting duties again and finally finished watching Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, I'd started it twice but both times my daughter fell asleep watching, it seemed a bit silly to continue watching it on my own - so today I managed to finish it off with her! The brightly animated children's film is a continuation of Madagascar, the sequel sees them crash land on the African continent following their brief visit to Madagascar.
Co-incidentally they find themselves landing in what looks to be the Serengeti National Park, Alex the lion's birthplace adn sees him meet up with his parents again, all of the animals quickly embrace themselves with their fellow creatures, except of course the monkeys and penguins who seem to end up playing card-playing engineers.
I don't think that this is quite as good as the sequel and despite it obviously being a children's film, I found it a little bit gooey with a rather predictable ending.
that, I do think the majority of kids would enjoy it because the characters are quite strong, both in charicature and personality. There's a lot of action and enough dance moves to keep the young viewer occupied and the film comes in at just around 1hr25 minutes which is again the perfect length for them too.
This wasn't as good as the first one and I'm not sure if it warrants a third film being made about it either.
I really liked the first Madagascar and I had heard that this sequel was not as good so I wasn't sure what to expect. Watched the first one about 3 years ago, so literally could barely remember the plot. When M2 started I was like huh? I'm sure I've seen this already - turns out the first five minutes are like a re-cap of the first film and tells you how the main character Alex the Lion ended up being in New York. Thought that was very useful as it reminds us of what happened and sets up the next film nicely.
So was it as good as the first? not quite but it was still fairly decent. We follow the story of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, Melman the Giraffe and Marty the Zebra (from the first film) as they leave Madagascar and head back to New York. They don't quite make it there and we follow the adventure of them fitting into a new watering hole with lots of ups and downs on the way.
The film is a Pixar film and very well done. I noticed the lions manes looked very real even though it was a "cartoon" which just shows how far they have come in the last few years.
As for the plot, it was ok, fairly predictable, and kids would probably love it. It was funny in parts, but not as funny as the first I wouldn't say.
The cast are fairly star studded : Ben Stiller, Sasha Baron Cohen, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock and David Schwimmer in the main roles. David Schwimmer plays a mean Giraffe - he reeallly makes the part good!!
Run time is around 75 mins which meant the plot didn't drag on too much. There are some sub-plots which are distracting and unnecessary but I suppose they have to throw them in to pad the film out a bit. 75 mins was definitely long enough!
Film is a PG although I dont think there is anything that unsuitable for kids in it so not sure why it is PG instead of a U.
A great family film
Madagascar Escape 2 Africa
Alex, Gloria, Marty and Melman are back! We again follows the adventures of the loveable animals. Madagascar 2 is the 2008 sequel to the 2005 movie, Madagascar. It's a cartoon animation by the wonderful talented Dreamworks studios.
The film follows on in from the end of the last movie. We left Alex the Lion, Gloria the hippo, Marty the Zebra and Melman the giraffe in Madagascar after they had escaped from a New York Zoo. They had gone to Madagascar as a holiday and now want to return to New York as they were regarded as star attractions when they were in the zoo.
We firstly see a little flash back which I think was a good idea because it reminds you of the original story and tells you how Alex found himself in the zoo. It also helps the Africa story to take shape. Alex was born in Africa, a proud lion but was captured by hunters and some how found himself in America where he was given to a zoo. The animation of little Alex the lion is brilliant. He has these amazing big eyes and is so cute you just want to hug him. Alex the lion then becomes a hit at the zoo because of his dancing skills and crowd entertaining skills.
Fast forward to Madagascar and the quartet are preparing to leave on a plane flown by penguins. In my opinion the penguins are one of the funniest characters in this movie. They are portrayed as not the most intelligent animals and their antics are very funny.
Unfortunately the plane crashes and the animals find themselves in Africa. Alex soon meets up with his long lost parents who were fearful they would never see him again. The other animals also find out they are not unique as on the reservation there are hundreds/thousands of other hippos, zebras, giraffes, etc. Some of them love this situation, especially Gloria as she soon finds a male hippo who catches her attention!
Some of the quartet however soon find that their new situation is not as great as they first thought. Alex finds out that being the star attraction in New York does not really work in Africa and he and his parents are soon banished from the pride. He has to work very hard in order to restore order and honour to his family.
What I love about this film is that it has quite a few good messages for kids and a way to over come adversity. I also think that it has a great cast who really make the characters their own.
Ben Stiller plays Alex and you can really see his comedy side come out in the lion. Daivd Schwimmer (Ross from Friends) plays Melman the Giraffe. You can spot his voice immediately and he's actually somewhat like his Friends character which is a bit weird. The rest of the cast include Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock, Sasha Baron Cohen and Bernie Mack to name but a few.
This film also has a great soundtrack which will make kids roar with laughter in my opinion and adults. This film, like the first film includes the song, I Like to Move it by will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas fame. It is performed in the original movie by King Julien and is hilarious. It is used at various times throughout this film although not as a big feature production song.
Apparently according to critics this film is an improvement on the original, with more fleshed-out characters, crisper animation and more consistent humor." As of March 19, 2009, it achieved a gross of $180,010,950 in the United States and Canada along with a gross of $422,297,228 in other regions adding to a worldwide gross total of $602,308,178.
The DVD is rated PG as it contains mild comic violence. It lasts for 86 minutes and bonus features include filmmakers commentary, activision game trailer, a jukebox section and an opportunity to meet the cast. At the moment it is on sale at Sainsburys for £5.
Madagasgar 2: Escape to Africa is the eagerly awaited sequel of Madagasgar, which was about a gang of zoo animals who escaped in search of freedom. The sequel picks up with gang leaving on what they think is a fixed aircraft and crashing down in Africa. Alex the lion is then reunited withhis long lost parents, as he was captured as a young cub by hunters.
The thing I love about Madagasgar, both 1 and 2 is that it can appeal to any age group and sense of humour. The voices of each of the characters are done by talented actors such as Ben Stiller and Halle Berry.
I have a four year old and an 18 month old and they both become mesmerised as soon as they see it hit the tv screen! It is always a bonus when as an adult you can also enjoy the film that your children insist on watching 10 times a day! I enjoyed this film completley and laughed out on numerous occasions. The sound track is also a bonus.
More cheerful and interesting than the first movie, "Madagascar : Escape 2 Africa" assumes a plot and visual style of great quality that is able to please both younger and older audiences. In this new adventure we meet again with Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, Gloria the hippo and the crazy military penguins, lost together in the shores of distant Madagascar where they enjoy the company and fun of the lemurs. Tired of their stay in the paradise island, the New York quartet attempt to return to their home and, with the help of the penguins, they devise a mad plan: they repair an old plain that they will slingshot off a tree top for take off. This is also one of the first really funny scenes when the airplane just gets thrown spinning in what seemed an uncontrollable fall. The fragile aircraft does get airborne just to crash moments later in the wild planes of Africa where the New Yorkers meet for the first time animals of their own kind living in the wild and discover the differences between this new jungle and their old concrete jungle.
This new saga inevitably leads to side by side comparisons with the first movie. The argument of this sequel has more elaborate and intelligent jokes that will just have you gasping for air. The plot is also more solid and deep and to the recurrent theme of friendships this one adds a family theme that gives a somewhat more dramatic view of the saga. Among the main plot lines we can also find the platonic romance between Melman and Gloria, Alex's adaptation to a long forgotten environment and the clash of realities between city and jungle life. There is also a host of old and new characters that intervene in quite funny moments and contribute to animate the virtual scenarios of Africa but also to symbolize the best virtues and worst defects of humans.
Visually, "Madagascar: escape 2 Africa" kept the same generic guidelines of the first movie but the quality of the details improved substantially. The characters and scenarios are more detailed and their movements more realistic, an obvious outcome of the unstoppable technological evolution in computer animation that is revolutionized every year in Hollywood.
Several Hollywood super stars lend their voices to the main characters, among which one can mention Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Chris Rock, and Jada Pinkett Smith that convincingly and funnily reincarnate our shipwrecked friends.
To sum up, "Madagascar: escape 2 Africa" is a funnier and more complete movie than its predecessor. Both the storyline and computer animation are top notch, maybe only surpassed by Wall-E. However, I myself found this one much funnier. If you haven't seen it yet why are you still reading this review instead of going on your way to rent/buy it???
***** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED *****
From the many reviews that I have read about this it seems most prefer the original. I thought I would stick up for this sequel as I prefer it to the original.
First of all I think it is because there are many more original funny moments. Secondly the cast is largely the same but introduces new characters which expand on the original story.
You might find yourself missing a lot of the jokes if you haven't seen the original, granny, penguins (my favourite characters) spring to mind.
So you see the friendships further develop on this crazy adventure in Africa. Both happiness and sadness are felt throughout. The animation catches all of this perfectly. The audio and picture are both superb too.
I don't think you will be disappointed if you liked the first. All of the great characters and actors that took part have made the effort to come together again in this sequel. The plot is a lot fuller this time round and gives the movie more of a story feel. The first one set this up perfectly with the ending.
I didn't get a chance to look over the extras but at the price it is selling at now I don't think I would mark it down based on them. It is a great animated movie that has its place in my collection.
Great watching it with the family, children or even alone.
4 out of 5.
The first Madagascar was an enjoyable film that carved out a very unique look for themselves, but it was never anything that was going to challenge the likes of Pixar. Madagascar may not have the vibrant animation of those films, but it does have a great cast to rival them - Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Alec Baldwin, will.i.am, Bernie Mac and Sherri Shepherd.
The film begins where the original left off, with the animals deciding to return to New York City. They board an airplane at Madagascar, but crash-land in Africa, where each of the main characters meets other animals of the same species, resulting in Alex being reunited with his parents. Of course, the expected problems and zany situations arise, and their attempts to return to New York occupy the rest of the film.
Although this is nowhere near as engaging as the best animated film of last year, WALL-E, it's a very consistent sequel that's just as good as the first. The voice cast are clearly having a lot of fun, and it pays off dividens. Also, the striking visual style is impressive.
A solid, albeit unremarkable animated sequel that again offers a strong cast and a unique animation style, yet is only occasionally funny and exists only to set-up the inevitable third film. If anything, "Escape 2 Africa" is a consistent follow up to Madagascar.
Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa was released in December 2008. It was the much anticipated sequel to the very popular Madagascar. Knowledge of the first film isn't essential which is always a plus with sequels.
Madagascar ended with Alex the lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo still stranded on the island of Madagascar. Madagascar 2 picks up the story shortly after when the penguins have managed to fix up the lemurs plane so that it is once again able to fly. King Julien and Maurice wish to accompany the four friends to New York as do Mason and Phil, two chimpanzees. (They have strangely reappeared from the first film where they did not actually make it to the island) The plane, once up in the air, obviously doesn't get very far and it crash lands in the middle of a game reserve in Africa. The four friends finally learn what it is like to be among their own kind in the wild and Alex has coincidentally returned to his place of birth. The film follows Alex as he struggles to please his parents, Marty as he struggles to remain unique, Gloria as she seeks a mate and Melman as he becomes a doctor. In a slight rip-off the lion king plot the Alpha Lion Zuba is constantly being challenged for supremacy by his brother Makunga. Once Makunga becomes the alpha lion things rapidly turn for the worst and Alex is needed to put them right. Unlike the Lion King there is no depth to the plot or characters involved and the ending is rather pathetic and anti-climatic.
Unfortunately, as in most cases, the sequel falls incredibly short of the original film. The hilarity and brilliance of the first film are absent in Escape to Africa where the plot is severely lacking in ingenuity. The minor characters from the first film are heavily used throughout Escape to Africa in an attempt to capitalize on their initial popularity. This is a huge mistake. The characters, such as King Julien and the Little Old Lady were funny in the first film precisely because they did not get enough screen time to get irritating. Instead of creating new and interesting characters the writers recycle them and give them key parts in the plot. The character of the little old lady is absolutely ridiculous and given far too much importance where as King Julien is just an irritating addition the writers seem to forget about every now and then and bring him back in to kill some time. The writers also make a mistake by separating the four friends and giving them their own subplots, the only one of which that has any consequence is the one revolving around Alex. Although Alex was most definitely a key character in the first movie it did not revolve around him. Marty's character, arguably the funniest, is pushed into the background and hardly features. The witty camaraderie between Alex and Marty disappears as their stories barely interlink. Gloria fades into the background in her bland and unexciting role looking for a mate and Melman's hypochondria, which was so hilarious in the first film, is virtually non-existent and all we are left with is a rather depressed giraffe.
The return of the penguins pleased just about everyone. The psychotic and unpredictably intelligent penguins are hilarious and a saving grace. However even some of their jokes miss the mark, especially those revolving around a wooden hula girl. The repetition of the zebras was funny to begin with but grew old very fast, just like it does one someone does it you and the parts about the Alex only being able to dance and not fight were cringe worthy as they just were not funny. We know Alex can fight because he did so in the first movie!!!! My favourite part of the movie had to be when Alex returned to his bedroom which his parents had kept preserved and he got over-excited when his mum produced his old comfort blanket. I think that was the only part that made me laugh out loud.
On the plus side the animation is incredible; it flows well even if the plot doesn't. The voice actors are also amazing. The cast includes Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Bernie Mac, Alex Baldwin and Will.I.Am. It's hard to believe that so many great actors agreed to take part in a movie where they were all mostly underused. Unfortunately it appears that the sequel was all about the money. With Madagascar being such a great hit DreamWorks must have known cinema goers would flock to see a sequel, so they put together 89 minutes of watchable but barely enjoyable animation and attracted big names to sell it. Unfortunately the sideshows take control of the main plot and the reasons everyone loved the first one are exploited beyond all endurance.
I would suggest that you steer clear of Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa so that you do not experience the same disappointment that I have and watch Madagascar followed by the Lion King as you will enjoy that so much more!