Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Movie Poster Image

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Fun sequel has some romance, peril, adult humor.
Popular with kids
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

Lessons in being loyal to your friends dominate the plot. There's some crude/potty humor along the way (spitting, nose picking, etc.).

Positive role models

Four friends drift apart after crash landing in Africa and must face -- and accept -- their own weaknesses. There are some challenging moments, as when Alex can't tell the difference between Marty and other zebras, but in the end, the characters do seem to find peace within themselves and in turn be better friends to others.

Violence & scariness

A few scenes may be a little disturbing for younger kids. There's a jarring plane crash that puts characters in peril, but no one is seriously hurt. An old lady gets into a physical fight with a lion, and the lion has no compunctions about hitting her back (both take some hard hits but come out OK). The same woman fights with other lions later. Guns are trained on animals, and there's a power struggle between two leaders on the savannah. A lion rite of passage involves a fight for dominance. Animals, including a main character, are shown in what are called "dying holes" when they are sick. One main character almost ends up in a volcanoful of hot lava (and another minor one eventually takes the plunge). A young Alex is separated from his father against his will in a scene that could be upsetting for some kids.

Sexy stuff

A hippo flirts strongly with another hippo, who tells her several times how much he likes her body. Some additional mild romance.

Language

"Stupid" and "butt" are as salty as it gets.

Consumerism

Mentions of an iPod and the New York Zoo, as well as references to being famous and catering to one's audience. And, of course, the movie itself is tied into a lot of merchandise and other marketing initiatives.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sequel to the popular animated movie Madagascar will likely please all ages. But there are some mild sexual allusions (Gloria the hippo flirts with a brawny male hippo who likes her figure and isn't shy about saying so) and cartoonish violence (sequences include a plane crash, a handbag-packing grandma, and hunters wielding guns). There's also come crude/potty humor to watch out for, and an upsetting scene early on in which a young Alex is separated from his father against his will.

What's the story?

The superstars of the New York Zoo -- Alex the lion (voiced by Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) -- are finally headed home. Or so it seems. Instead, their sketchy Air Penguin plane crashes, landing them in the African savannah. But not just any savannah: It turns out to be Alex's former stomping grounds, where he roamed as a cub until poachers snagged him while his father was fending off an attack from deceitfully ambitious foe Makunga (Alec Baldwin). Alex's father's people embrace his arrival -- until Makunga manages to get him banished. Meanwhile, Marty wrestles with insecurity when he realizes that other zebras are a lot like him, Melman must contain his jealousy over Gloria's growing interest in male hippos, and how are they ever going to find their way back home?

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Cheerful and entertaining, if a mite predictable, MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA won't disappoint fans of the original. All of the endearing mainstays are back, including the beloved band of devious, mechanically inclined penguins. The movie is also blessed with the same catchy theme song -- "I Like to Move It" -- as the first, and it's guaranteed to leave visions of lemurs and lions dancing in audiences' heads for weeks.

The movie's jokes mostly make the cut (though Sacha Baron Cohen's preening as Julien the lemur may tire grownups after a while, if not kids) -- but though it's better than many originals, it doesn't quite qualify as a classic, if only because the story doesn't offer any real surprises. (Even the mean handbag lady makes an expected appearance.) Nevertheless, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa provides the sweet escape you long for when you go to the movies.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the film's portrayals of friendships and how friends can deal with their companions' different personalities.

  • Families can also discuss the film's use of clichés and stereotypes as jokes.

  • Also, ask kids what they think about Alex's dilemma, especially when he realizes he's not like the other lions who grew up with a pride. What do you think of how he handles the situation?

  • And what of Melman and Gloria and Marty's plight after finding themselves in the savannah? How does their adventure tear them apart and -- more importantly -- bring them together?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 8, 2008
DVD/Streaming release date:February 6, 2009
Cast:Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith
Directors:Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath
Studio:DreamWorks Animation
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs, Wild animals
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild crude humor

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Parent of a 2 and 5 year old Written byjorgefromqueens March 9, 2009

Not A Kids' Movie

This is not a kids’ movie. It’s packaged as one. But the character situations, the dialogue, the music and the humor are all intended for a much older audience. Whether it was the penguins slapping on a Boston oldie while launching their deathtrap of a plane into the air or Gloria being smitten by the sexual rumblings of MotoMoto, the laughter in the audience was mostly adults (with confused kids following their parents’ cues). The characters actually CURSE during the movie. TWICE. Though it’s thiiiiiiinly concealed by not so clever plays on words. Did I laugh? Yes. But never at the same time as my girls. And the number of times they laughed, well, I could keep one hand in the popcorn bucket and the other on my drink and STILL have a pinky to spare toward the counting of that. [An excerpt from my original review. You can see the whole thing at www.kidkong.com]
Parent of a 15 year old Written byMarvin Martian May 14, 2011

My opinion and review

Well the film does have gross vilence like nipple twisting, and is sexual with flerting, and butts. But to be honest I don't like this film much, really its just a copy a of Lion King. I prefer Lion King more to this
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written bySapphire Fire September 26, 2009

Kid's Movie? Give me a Break!

It's so dissapointing when hollywood puts disturbing adult jokes in a cartoon! Don't watch this movie at all. It is brimming with adult humor from the time it starts to the last scene. Profanities include openly gay moneys, hippos who value each other only for their bodies, shallowness in friendship, weak male-characteration, and ect. What a waste! It is a really disturbing movie- don't waste your time!
What other families should know
Too much sex