Opinions will vary on whether Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is a better or worse film than its predecessor, or for that matter roughly the same, but about one thing there can be no doubt: The series' sense of geography has improved, however slightly.

The first film imagined that a bunch of animals from New York City's Central Park Zoo were put on a boat for Africa, and then the boat was commandeered by penguins heading for the Antarctic, and then the former Zoo-mates, trapped inside some crates, fell overboard and drifted—not to the Atlantic coast of Africa, which presumably would have been fairly close, but to the island of Madagascar, way on the other side of that continent. The second film, thankfully, imagines a much simpler journey. This time, the penguins have found an abandoned plane and "fixed" it for a flight back to New York City. The flight, naturally, takes them over Africa—and when they run out of fuel, they crash-land on the continent below.

The second Madagascar is one of those sequels that brings back just about every character from the earlier film, even if it doesn't quite make sense, just to keep the chemistry alive. So when the penguins take off in their plane, they do not merely bring with them their fellow New Yorkers—including Alex the performing lion (voice of Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the hypochondriac giraffe (David Schwimmer) and Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith). They also bring Julien XIII (Borat's Sacha Baron Cohen), the loopy king of the lemurs, who tags along for the ride even though it means basically abandoning his kingdom. And when the plane crash-lands in an African reserve, the animals bump into Nana (Elisa Gabrielli), the old lady who gave Alex ...

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Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG (for some mild crude humor)
Genre
Directed By
Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath
Run Time
1 hour 29 minutes
Cast
Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer
Theatre Release
November 07, 2008 by DreamWorks Animation
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