Movie Review: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa starts off (or crashes off) to where the 2005 Madagascar left and the movie is definitely good family entertainment, thanks to the light humor sprinkled with lessons.

The roster of talent that got involved in the film is stellar: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, Sasha Baron Cohen, and Cedric the Entertainer return as the "wild" animals from the original, with new additions Will.I.Am, Alec Baldwin and the late Bernie Mac (this film is one of Bernie's last three films before he passed on). The stars' voices are able to give the animated characters a lot of distinction, and the film is able to devote adequate attention in giving them depth.

The theme of the film centers on tolerance and acceptance of differences. In the film, Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller) must prove to his family that he can be the ferocious lion they want him to be, despite being trained as a crowd-pleasing entertainer in New York. Also, the film devotes some of its time developing an arc with an inter-species (or inter-racial?) love angle. Then there's the catchy "You got to move it, move it" song.

The story doesn't offer much complexity for the adults accompanying their kids, but there are funny moments all over. The film drags in the middle when the characters are sorting out their own issues, but Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa finishes with a "roar."

Rating: 3/5