The first Madagascar film was a huge hit, so we knew it wouldn’t be long before we become reacquainted with these lovable characters. Madagascar 2 tells the story of four friends trying to get home to New York (even though they spent the first film trying to escape from it). Shortly after leaving the island on their broken airplane being piloted by a hilarious group of Penguins, they crash land in Africa. They run into identical animals like themselves and begin to question themselves (though it doesn’t get too existential). These animal friends are voices by a fantastic line-up of stars. Ben Stiller voices the dancing lion named Alex. Chris Rock voices his best friend Marty, a Zebra that is black with white stripes. David Schwimmer voices a hypochondriac giraffe named Melman who is secretly attracted to a fat hippo named Gloria, voiced by Jada Pinkett Smith. The plot isn’t great, with side characters like the Penguins and an Old Lady taking up far too much time, but it does provide for many humorous moments.
The film is rendered crisp on Blu-Ray with all the colors and fine details looking great. The sound is mixed in Dolby TrueHD and sounds superb with all dialogue being easily heard and surround sound used nicely. The disc comes with the normal extras, including some “making of” featurettes, a director’s audio commentary, and a music video. A special addition to the Blu-Ray extras over the DVD release is an audio commentary with the film’s animators.
MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA proves that bigger IS better thanks to a steamer trunk full of additional bonus features including a behind-the-scenes peek at the creation of this animated epic, music videos and more Mad-Tastic fun exclusives with hours and hours of activities such as printables to download, games and much more. A single disc and a Valentine’s Day version in themed gift-wrapped packaging for gifting to sweethearts of all ages will also be available at stores nationwide.
Ben Stiller (Tropic Thunder), Chris Rock (Bee Movie), David Schwimmer (“Friends”), Jada Pinkett Smith (The Women), Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), Cedric the Entertainer (Charlotte’s Web) and Andy Richter (Semi-Pro) return in MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA, joined by Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”) as “Makunga,” will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas as “Moto Moto,” Bernie Mac (Soul Men) as “Zuba” and Sherri Shepherd (“The View”) as Alex’s mom making their introduction to the watering hole as a brand-new cast of characters.
The four zany zoo denizens of the original blockbuster comedy prepare to head home to Manhattan in a rickety aircraft piloted by the ever-inventive penguin cadre. But when they crash land in the African savannah, it’s time for a crash course in survival. Now the four friends far from home must answer a question of the heart when Alex finds his long lost parents (Bernie Mac and Sherri Shepherd), Marty joins a herd of his wild brethren, Gloria finds romance with a hippo Casanova (will.i.am) who appreciates her curves and Melman has one last chance at his truest desire. With King Julien’s manic musical antics, the funniest pack of penguins ever and a pair of primates with opposable thumbs, MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA is “great family fun” (WABC-TV).