Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
All the lovable characters are back — Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo, King Julien, Maurice and the penguins — in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Left marooned on the distant shores of Madagascar, the New Yorkers have hatched a plan so crazy it just might work. With military precision, the penguins have repaired an old crashed plane — sort of. Once aloft, this unlikely crew stays airborne just long enough to make it to the wildest place of all — the vast plains of Africa itself — where our zoo-raised crew encounters species of their own kind for the very first time. While discovering their roots, they quickly realize the differences between the concrete jungle and the heart of Africa. Despite long-lost relatives, romantic rivals and scheming hunters, Africa seems like a “crack-a-lackin” great place…but is it better than their Central Park home?
The animals in Africa are amazingly funny and audacious! These characters have some great facial expressions which cracked up the audience I screened this film with. Humor abounds. An example of this occurs when a plane carrying several of the animals almost crashes. One animal is seen safely on the ground, in his seat, but sucking mightily on his oxygen mask, which happened to open just as the plane landed! Without giving too much away, one more example is when a mother lion turns out the night light for her son, which she does by squashing the firefly!
The voice talent is great too, as the late Bernie Mac, in one of his final roles, voices Zuba the lion. Ben Stiller voices his offspring, Alex, and Jada Pinkett Smith voices the mother Gloria. Young Alex is taken by hunters and winds up in a box floating down a river which leads him far from Africa. He winds up as a star attraction in the Central Park Zoo. When he returns home, his parents are overjoyed. But young Alex soon finds he must prove himself all over again.
This film is rated PG and there was a bit more violence than I anticipated, but much of it is cartoonish-type violence but still, due to the vast incidents, we are recommending the film for ages twelve and above, and yet we realize as parents consult the violence content ratings below, some will feel comfortable with children under this age viewing the film. The themes of friendship and loyalty are commendable. We are happy to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this amazing motley crew of funny animals.