Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – Blu-ray Edition

After the first Madagascar film the public was screaming for more penguins and more Sacha Baron Cohen and the directors, Darnell (Madagascar and Antz) and McGrath (Madagascar), listened to them. Those crazy penguins and Baron Cohen's King Julien the lemur are by far the funniest parts of the film. The whistling scene with Julien is worth the price of admission alone! I don't know if this adds up to the sequel being better, but it certainly wasn't the flop that many sequels are.

In the past in Africa we see a father lion, Zuba (Bernie Mac – from television's The Bernie Mac Show), trying to teach his young cub of a son, Alekai, the way to be a lion. Alekai would rather run, jump and play than be serious and that gets him in to trouble. After wandering off from his father he is captured, crated and put on the back of a truck. Once Zuba realizes his son is gone and has been captured he tries in vain to get him back. The father lion now lives with the pain of losing his only son.

Alekai is shipped off to the zoo in New York City where he learns that his dancing and playing really endears him to the visitors. Some of the other animals believe him to be a show off. Dial forward a little and Alekai has become Alex the lion (Ben Stiller – Zoolander, Meet the Parents) and he is friends with Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith – The Matrix, The Women), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer – from television's Friends) and his best friend, Marty the zebra (Chris Rock – Head of State, Madagascar).

Dial forward completely to today and the four animal friends have been found in the wilds and are about to be flown back to the zoo. They are being accompanied by the penguins from the zoo, who had followed them, and their new Madagascar friends, King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen – Sweeney Todd, Borat) and Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer – Cadillac Records, Talk to Me). Suddenly the engines go out and the plane falls from the sky. Once the dust settles, the animals, who are all okay, wonder where they are. Skipper the penguin and captain (Tom McGrath) tells them he will need 6 to 9 months to rebuild the plane. So the animals decide to wander about the jungle and find out where they are.

Little do they know but they are in Alex's home country and that he will soon be reunited with his parents. This all seems warm and cuddly, but danger lurks in the form of Makunga (Alec Baldwin – from television's 30 Rock), a dastardly lion who is itching to take over from Alex's father as king of the pride and will stop at nothing to realize his dream.

Once again the animation is wonderful and bright. The animals are silly and hilarious. It is an animated film that kids and older kids alike will enjoy. It is also a story with plenty of heart. A different type of story, but it is kept simple with the focus on the humour. Will not disappoint.

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