Blu-ray Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa [Blu-ray/DVD] [Canadian] (Blu-ray 7013139),
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Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa [Blu-ray/DVD] [Canadian]
Region 1 USA/CA (
In 2008's MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA, the endearing New York City zoo animals of the original hit movie return for another zany round of CGI adventures abroad. Leaving the island of the title by way of a ramshackle penguin-designed aircraft, the quartet of Alex the Lion (voiced by Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), and Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer), along with unlikely friends such as King Julien the Lemur (Sacha Baron Cohen), crash-land on the African savannah, setting in motion a whole new series of exploits, involving Alex's long-lost parents (Bernie Mac and Sherri Shepherd) and a stranded group of tenacious NYC human tourists.
Reuniting directors Tom McGrath and Eric Darnell, as well as all the principal cast members of the first film, MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA takes full advantage of its sweeping setting, making room for beautifully expansive landscapes amidst the mammal mayhem. While the leads are in fine form, they are ably assisted by series newcomers, including the late Mac, Shepherd, and Alec Baldwin, who plays a scheming rival lion. Though various plotlines get increasingly ridiculous as the movie goes on (see the return of MADAGASCAR's aggressive Grand Central Station granny), the good-natured main characters and their silly support players (particularly lemurs and penguins) keep ESCAPE 2 AFRICA entertaining no matter how far the story strays off the wildlife reserve.
"While the cast of characters has grown, the story still focuses on the value of friendship. The plot expands to include familial and romantic love, and to celebrate diversity and uniqueness....MADAGASCAR 2 is amusing animated fare."
"There's true playfulness here whenever this wacky animal pack takes over....The exaggerated character designs create a nice visual contrast with the photorealistic details and flourishes."
New York Times
"Stiller excels at exploring the sillier aspects of self-involvement, and it's pleasant to see Alex reunited with motormouthed Marty the zebra..."
"Spreading the comic wealth around are Cohen, whose lemur monarch is now given sufficient screen time to emerge as memorably nutty....Another enhancement is the film's look....The colors are particularly rich..."
"This is a brighter, more engaging film than the original MADAGASCAR....The action is thrilling, and there is a romance between Gloria the hippo and Melman the giraffe."
3 stars out of 5 -- "DreamWorks' animators up their game with the CG visuals..."
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