Animated Feature Movies are an Acquired-Taste. My Wife, for instance, refuses to see any. Me, a former Gag Cartoonist, I can't get enough of 'em..if only to keep up on the DAZZLING Graphics available to The Computer-Animation Generation...since I'm old-enough to have seen Disney's "Cinderella" (with its Hand-Inked-&-Painted Cels) when it premiered.

I'd seen "MADAGASCAR"..(The Original Flick), when my wife stayed-home...& Loved It! So, while The Wife was away on a Family Matter, I had the Perfect Opportunity to view The Sequil, "MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA" (Taglined "The Crate Escape"..heh!) It's every bit as Well-Drawn & Humorously-Scripted as its Predecessor, and some of the Panoramic Scenes (With HUNDREDS of Striped Zebras hoofin'-on-by) are Mind-Bogglin' trying to figure out How They DID It!

There's a wee bit of Sadness here, too..since the untimely death of Bernie Mac--who voiced the main character's Dad, "Zuba the Lion"...and the "Dedicated-To" that flashes on at The End is a nice tribute to a Great Now-Missing Talent.

It's only-fitting that Bernie plays a Kind, Forgiving Father-Figure, who cared a lot about his young son, swiped in infancy, by animal poachers. The son, "Alex the Lion" (Ben Stiller), goes on to NY Fame as the Zoo "Lion Who Dances"..a Survival Skill that Son eventually passes-on to Dad, as this Flick gets Funnier-and-Funnier!

Initially, The Penguins patch-together a Twin-Engine Plane from bits-&-Pieces, and launch it from Madagascar to return Alex & Co. to the States. TONS of great "Airplane Moments" ensue, & this Flick gets a fine Sendoff into Sequil-Land!~

All of Alex's Escapee Chums tag along: "Marty the Zebra" (Chris Rock), "Melman the Giraff" (David Schwimmer), "Gloria the Hippo" (Jada Pinkett Smith), plus "Julien, the Chief Lemur" (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his Sidekick, "Maurice" (Cedrick the Entertainer). And, as anyone who's seen The Preview Knows, the plane pancakes Somewhere-In-Africa..and Lo & Behold, that crotchkickin' Old Lady ("Nana") from the previous flick is here, too...Goosesteppin' German Accent & a Tourist-turned-TroopLeader! (Voiced by an actual European HOTTIE, Elisa Gabrielli!)

While the Penguins enlist a troupe of local Monkeys to help rebuild the plane (with a BIG chuckle at real-life Lawyers & Union Organizers), Alex & Co. get to know The Locals..who happen to be long-lost Kinfolk! Zeba (Bernie Mac) and Mom (Sherri Shepherd) try to make up for Lost Time with their newly-found son & make him a Member of their Pride, but local politics intervenes, and bad-guy Makunga (Alex Balkdwin) has Alex challenge Moto-Moto (Wil.I.Am) to what Alex thinks is a Dance Contest.

Makunga takes over the Pride..but a bit of a water shortage creates a crisis that Alex & Friends & Family all solve happily-ever-after by the Last Reel. OODLES of Slapstick Comedy, In-Jokes Just-for-Parents, & PLENTY of FAMILY Entertainment here (& FUN Sub-Plots I've not mentioned) make this Flick an "8-Outta-10" if you're mildly-fond of Animated Moviedom.

The only thing that marred it for me was a couple behind me with a precocious 4-yr-old Daughter who never shut up the Entire Movie. (But, Hey, I probably babbled through all of Cinderella, too, back in My Day...)

"Hats-Off" to Directors Eric Darnell & Tom McGrath, and Writer Etan Cohen for 2 solid hours of FUN!


Big Hugs,

Last edited by "TampaStan" Good; 11/26/08 04:10 PM.