Review: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
2.5 Lloyd’s – Family-Friendly
PG for some mild crude humor.

Alex the lion and his friends from the New York City Zoo did very well over the weekend in their Madagascar sequel as they Escaped 2 Africa. The animated flick roared to the number one spot at the box office premiering with an estimated $63.5 million. By comparison, the original Madagascar made $61 million over the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend in 2005.

All the characters are back for this sequel – Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo. Even King Julien, Maurice and the penguins appear in the sequel as the New York City gang trust the penguins repair job on a crashed plane in Madagascar, to take them back to New York City.

Of course, as you might expect, all does not go well…

Once in the air, the plane stays up just long enough to make it to the wildest place of all, the vast plains of Africa, where the zoo-raised quartet of Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria encounter species of their own kind for the very first time! While discovering their roots, they quickly realize the differences between the concrete jungle and the heart of Africa. Alex even finds himself reunited with his parents! But alas, he really doesn’t know how to live the African lion life when all he’s known is the New York City lion life.

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. With the likes of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Cedric the Entertainer and Bernie Mac, I really had little hope this PG movie would be family-friendly, let alone kid-friendly. But, low and behold, the filmmakers actually pulled it off! To be honest with you, I’m really not sure why Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa carries a PG rating, it could be G movie. However, many times filmmakers try to avoid the G rating because, believe it or not, they think a G rating might actually keep people away from a movie. It’s also nice to hear Bernie Mac’s voice in this kid-friendly movie. After his untimely death, at least his life can be remembered for some good clean fun, aside from his usual rude and crude.

Even though I’m saying Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is family-friendly, I still struggled to give it a 2.5 Lloyd rating. The movie clocks in at an hour and a half and that creates a challenge for parents with young kids at the flick. It’s a little long for young ones, and as a result, they will become fidgety as the flick moves along. Then, on top of that the fact that this is a very busy movie. There’s a lot of action, there’s a lot of color, and there’s a lot of animated-eye-candy here. Those elements add to a sense of restlessness for kids as the movie runs too.

Last, but certainly not least, this animated Madagascar sequel has some script problems too. I’ve seen G rated movies with better consistency than we have here. For a PG movie, I expected the plot line and story line to flow better. But it seems the scriptwriters spent more time trying to develop four or five different story lines than just one. As a result, the movie becomes confusing and hard to follow. Even the kids noticed this issue, and once again, they became very unsettled and restless as they attempted to follow the African adventure.

All in all, as I mentioned above, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa did surprise me. It was not what I expected at all. It’s fun, but too long. However, if you manage to get your kids to make it through the hour and a half, there are some good lessons about friendship.

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.