Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is a 2008 family film, sequel to Madagascar, produced by DreamWorks Animation.

Plot[edit | edit source]

As a cub, Alex the lion was called Alakay and was the son of Zuba, the alpha lion. Though Zuba tries to teach Alakay to be a hunter, the cub is more interested in dancing. When another lion named Makunga challenges Zuba to a fight for the position of alpha lion, Alakay is captured by poachers. Though Zuba tries to rescue his son, Alakay is forced into a crate. The crate falls into the ocean where it drifts to New York. There, Alakay is renamed Alex and sent to the Central Park Zoo where he grew up, meeting Gloria, Marty, and Melman.

In the present time, Alex, Gloria, Melman, Marty, King Julien, Maurice, and Skipper and his fellow penguins board a repaired airplane in the hopes shot of using it to fly back to New York. Though the plane does fly, it ends up crash-landing in Africa because of lack of fuel. In Africa, the animals are amazed to find more of their kind. Alex is re united with Zuba and his mother. Marty quickly fits into a herd of zebra who all look, sound, and talk exactly like him. Melman takes on the position of witch doctor amongst the animals. Gloria, interested in finding a mate, attracts the attention of a smooth-talking but shallow hippo named Moto Moto.

Meanwhile, the penguins set about repairing the plane. They carjack several jeeps from New Yorkers on vacation, leaving the tourists stranded and lost in the jungle. A tough old woman called "Nana" takes charge, reminding them that they are New Yorkers and always survive.

Unfortunately, life in Africa is not as wonderful as it first seems. Makunga, still determined to take the position of alpha lion, reminds Zuba that Alex must complete a traditional lion coming-of-age challenge. Alex, thinking that the challenge is a dance contest (it is actually a fight) competes against the strongest lion (who was recommended by Makunga) and loses quickly. To avoid being forced to banish Alex for failing, Zuba abdicates and Makunga immediately takes the position and banishes Alex and his family. Marty meanwhile begins to feel upset that all of the zebras are exactly the same as him, leaving him with nothing unique. Melman is happy as a witch doctor until he learns that he has the same spot that had apparently caused the previous witch doctor to die. Melman is also upset about Gloria dating Moto Moto, as Melman has secretly loved her for a long time. Gloria goes on a date with Moto Moto and quickly realizes that he only loves her for her body.

The next day, the animals are in a panic when they discover that the watering hole has dried up. Determined to make up for his earlier failure, Alex and Marty decides to risk being shot by hunters and leave the reserve to discover what happened. The pair discover that the stranded New Yorkers, under the instruction of Nana, have dammed the river and built a primitive civilization. Alex is captured and Marty runs for help. Meanwhile, Zuba hears what Alex did and goes to rescue him.

King Julien suggests that the animals sacrifice one of themselves into the volcano to appease the water gods and regain their water supply. Believing that he will die soon, Melman volunteers to be sacrificed. Gloria stops him just in time and Marty arrives to tell them of Alex's fate. The trio, the penguins, and several chimpanzees use the newly-fixed plane to come to the rescue. Alex meanwhile manages to rescue both himself and his father by dancing for the New Yorkers, who quickly recognize him from the zoo. The other animals rescue the lions with the plane and destroy the dam, freeing the water. Alex manages to remove Makunga from power by tricking Nana into attacking him and she drags him back to the other marooned tourists. Skipper marries a bobble-head hula doll from the plane and leaves on a honeymoon, leaving the other animals to remain in Africa. Taking stage for Madagascar 3.

Cast[edit | edit source]

  • Ben Stiller as Alex the Lion
  • Chris Rock as Marty the Zebra, Other Zebras
  • David Schwimmer as Melman the Giraffe
  • Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria the Hippopotamus
  • Sacha Baron Cohen as Julian the Lemur
  • Cedric the Entertainer as Maurice the Aye-Aye
  • Andy Richter as Mort the Lemur
  • Bernie Mac as Zuba the Lion
  • Sherri Shepherd as Florrie the Lioness (credited as "Mom")
  • Alec Baldwin as Makunga the Lion
  • Elisa Gabrielli as Nana
  • Will.i.am as Moto Moto the Hippopotamus
  • Tom McGrath as Skipper the Penguin
  • Chris Miller as Kowalski the Penguin
  • Christopher Knights as Private the Penguin
  • John DiMaggio as Rico the Penguin
  • Conrad Vernon as Mason (Phil is unvoiced)
  • Fred Tatasciore as Teetsi the Lion, Poacher #1
  • Eric Darnell as Joe the Witch Doctor, Poacher #2
  • Al Roker as Newscaster
  • Stephen Kearin as Stephen the Giraffe, Rhinoceros, Tourist with video camera
  • Danny Jacobs as Tourist with New York T-shirt
  • Dan O'Connor as Cape Buffalo, Tourist with University Shirt
  • Stacy Ferguson as Female Hippopotamus
  • Harland Williams as Additional Giraffe
  • Bridget Hoffman as Female Tourist
  • Quinn Dempsey Stiller (Ben Stiller's real-life son) as Baby Alex
  • Thomas Stanley as Baby Marty
  • Zachary Gordon as Baby Melman
  • Willow Smith as Baby Gloria
  • David P. Smith as Bobby the Dik-Dik
  • Connor Rayburn as Little Giraffe
  • John Eric Bentley (additional voices)

Critical Reception[edit | edit source]

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa received mixed to positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, The film has a score of 64% based on 155 reviews with an average score of 5.91/10.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Crazy Credits[edit | edit source]

  • The penguins kick the fishing boy off the "DreamWorks" logo. (The boy's voice is supplied by Jeffrey Katzenberg, uncredited.)

Cameos[edit | edit source]

  • Fergie: The hippopotamus who asks if Alex is dancing about a plane crash is voiced by a member of the same hip-hop-R&B group The Black Eyed Peas as Will.i.am who voices Moto Moto.
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg: the assistant CEO of DreamWorks does the voice of the boy knocked off the crescent moon by penguins when the DreamWorks logo comes up.

Spoilers[edit | edit source]

  • In the first Madagascar (2005), Alex attempts to eat a butterfly whilst being under a savage steak crazed state. In the sequel, during the flashback at the start of the film. Alex as a cub briefly swallows a butterfly before spitting it out again as he's being lured over by the poachers.
  • Marty's scream as the other zebras spit towards him and while the animals head to break the dam in the plane is the same scream that was used in the first film when Alex interrupts his daydream and when Alex while savage bites him on the butt.

Other Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Jada Pinkett Smith's daughter Willow Smith plays the young Gloria. Ben Stiller's son, Quinn Dempsey Stiller, plays the young Alex.
  • When Alex arrives in NYC as a cub in a crate, the World Trade Center Twin Towers are a visible part of the pre-9/11 NYC skyline.
  • Series trademark: Twilight Zone. Most if not all entries in this series contain an homage to Rod Serling's original The Twilight Zone (1959). In this one, Mort mimics the airplane wing walker from The Twilight Zone: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (1963).
  • Debuted at number one on the U.S. charts with sixty three million dollars, the best for a Dreamworks Animation film outside their Shrek franchise.
  • The film's original title was Madagascar 2: The Crate Escape. Many publicity items and memorabilia were made with this title before a late change.
  • The aircraft used in the escape attempt is based on a Lockheed L-10 Electra, similar to one used by Amelia Earhart.
  • A specially-made segment featuring Julien and Private was used as part of a 2008 Comcast Digital Voice commercial.
  • Ville Valo, the lead singer of the Finnish band HIM does the voice for "Moto Moto" in the Finnish version of the movie.
  • David Schwimmer's character dilemma of falling in love with one of his best friends is much like his long running gag in Friends (1994).
  • Laurence Fishburne were considered for the role of Zuba.
  • Alex's family birth-mark is shaped like the continent of Africa, including the island of Madagascar.
  • A specially-made segment featuring Alex, Gloria, Melman, Marty, and the penguins was used as part of a 2008 McDonald's restaurant commercial.
  • The story is mainly inspired by The Lion King (1994), mainly with Makunga's jealousy over Zuba being the Alpha Lion, and taking over that position eventually where he doesn't really do a good job.
  • The first Madagascar movie to be released in IMAX.
  • This was the last DreamWorks Animation film to have a full-screen format for its US home release on DVD.
  • All of the zebras in the film were voiced by Chris Rock, to go with the fact that they're exactly like Marty, such as with the voice.
  • The Tour Guide in this film is voiced by Phil LaMarr, who also voiced Marty in the Madagascar Video Games.
  • During the flight, King Julien asked for his nuts on a silver platter. A Korean Air executive made headlines when she threw a tantrum on a plane for getting nuts served in a bag, not on a platter.
  • The film's original subtitle was "The Crate Escape," a spoof of The Great Escape (1963). Many publicity items, trailers, sneak peaks, and memorabilia were made with this title before a late change to "Escape 2 Africa."
  • Chris Rock and Ben Stiller spent one day in the studio recording their scenes.
  • The part where Melman falls in love with Gloria was originally going to happen in the first Madagascar (2005) but was cut for time and bumped back to the sequel.
  • Some quarters queried the title, arguing that Madagascar already is a part of Africa. This is not actually the case. Madagascar is an autonomous island off the coast of Africa and is not part of the African Union.
  • The last DreamWorks Animation film to have separate widescreen and pan-and-scan DVD releases; the next films starting with Monsters vs. Aliens would only be presented in widescreen on DVD releases.
  • 'Moto Moto' means 'Hot Hot' in Swahili.
  • In the scene where the penguin tells the monkey he'd like to kiss him, the monkey responds "ok, but you're so darn ugly." This is in reference to the original Planet of the Apes where Dr. Zira responds to Taylor's request for a kiss by telling him, "ok, but you're so damn ugly."
  • Experienced Voice Actor Fred Tatasciore who voiced one of the Poachers at the start of the film, as well as Teetsi and an Elephant, also filled in for Cedric the Entertainer as the voice of Maurice in the Madagascar video games Tatasciore also appeared in the first film as one of the fossas.
  • The average lifespan of a penguin is 6-9 years.
  • When Nana is making her motivational speech to the other New York tourists lost in the jungle, at the end her shadow resembles the Statue of Liberty. She is even holding a flame torch and her handbag looks like a book.
  • This is the only Madagascar film not to be released in theaters during the summer.
  • This is the last Madagascar film to air in the 2000s
  • The last DreamWorks Animation film to be featured in a 1:85:1 aspect ratio until Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.
  • This is the first DreamWorks Animation film not to use the "DreamWorks Animation presents" credit, Along with How to Train Your Dragon.
  • Originally before Makunga was created, Alec Baldwin was going to play himself in Africa where he tricks young movie actors into making his hunting lodge.
  • This was Bernie Mac's last major film role before his death and this film was dedicated to his memory. before his death was dedicated to him.
  • In the original script Melman was going to fall in love with a female giraffe named Kiki but the idea was removed and instead replaced with Melman admitting his love for Gloria.
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