Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
|Featuring:||Herman Almendarez, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Kathryn Feller, Elisa Gabrielli, Zachary Gordon, Bryceson Holcomb, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Bernie Mac, Tom McGrath, Jada Pinkett Smith, Andy Richter, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Michele Specht, Thomas Stanley, Ben Stiller, Conrad Vernon, Will i Am|
|Director:||Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath|
|Producer:||DreamWorks Animation, Pacific Data Images (PDI), Mireille Soria, Mark Swift|
“The crate escape”
I loved this movie, plain and simple. The animation is splendid, the action is thrilling, the plot is far more complex than the original, and it's flat out a funnier film, too.
The cast of zoo mates—Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippo—is back, this time trying to return to New York City with the help of their penguin friends, who have attempted to fix the plane they found in the first film. The flight does actually get off ground, but then returns to the ground after everything falls apart, crashing them into the middle of the African plains.
They stumble onto an African Wildlife Preserve (which Melman is 40% positive is San Diego), and meet hundreds of different creatures from their own actual species, giving them an opportunity to interact for the first time with animals just like them.
This has it's advantages (Gloria is looking for a man to settle down with), but it also brings about disadvantages and discouragements (the pack of Zebras leaves Marty feeling kinda ordinary and not unique at all). Alex is forced to prove himself to the rest of the lions, which winds up being far more difficult for a lion who is used to spending his time wowing audiences with his dance routine, not his fighting skills.
Trouble comes when the preserve's water supply mysteriously vanishes, leaving the animals near death and looking for help wherever they can find it.
For a movie aimed at children, I thought there were fewer potentially offensive moments than in the original, or in just about any other “kid-friendly” film—see the “Shrek” trilogy, but I will mention the things I did notice, and parents can decide for themselves whether or not it is right for their children.
These things may or may not bother you as parents, but I felt the need to share them anyway, just in case.
Like the original, “Madagascar 2” focuses heavily on the importance of friendship, and not always putting yourself first. It emphasizes how everyone is unique in their own way, even though they may resemble others in some shape or form. It teaches children that looks and attraction don't add up to love, and that truly caring about a person means knowing what they love, and putting their needs in front of your own desires. All in all, they seemed like pretty decent lessons to be dispensing to children.
While I really liked the original, “Madagascar 2” put a smile on my face for pretty much the entire film. The voice talent is once again fantastic (Sacha Baron Cohen nearly stealing the show as King Julien), with Bernie Mac bringing surprising vocal depth to his role as Zuba, the alpha male lion of the pride. If you enjoyed the first film even a slight amount, you will find “Madagascar 2” to be a very pleasant escape.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.