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, and is captured by poachers when Makunga, Zuba's rival, challenges Zuba to a fight for the position of alpha lion. Alakay is forced into a crate, and taken away despite Zuba's attempts to rescue him. 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 Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippopotamus. Most of the events of the first film are then described through a series of news flashes. In the present time, after the events of the first film, Alex, Marty, Melman, Gloria, the Penguins Skipper, Kowalski, Private, and Rico, the Chimpanzees Mason and Phil, and even the Lemurs King Julien, Maurice and Mort board a repaired airplane to fly back to New York. The plane takes off, but crash-lands in continental Africa. In Africa the animals are amazed to find more of their kind. Alex is reunited with Zuba and his mother. Marty fits in with a herd of zebra who all look and sound exactly like him. Hypochondriac Melman becomes a witch doctor. Gloria attracts the attention of a smooth-talking hippo named Moto Moto. Meanwhile, the penguins set about repairing the plane. They carjack several jeeps under "Operation Tourist Trap", leaving the tourists stranded in the jungle. Nana, a tough old woman known for beating up Alex in the first film, takes charge of the group. Unfortunately, life in Africa is not as wonderful as it first seemed. Makunga, still determined to take the position of alpha lion, reminds Zuba that Alex must complete a traditional coming-of-age challenge that he did not complete. Alex, thinking that the challenge is a dance contest (it is actually a fight) competes against the strongest lion, Teetsi who was recommended by Makunga and loses quickly. To avoid banishing his own son for failing, Zuba relinquishes his title as Alpha lion. Makunga immediately takes the position and banishes Alex and his family. Marty, meanwhile, begins to feel upset because there is nothing unique about him. Melman is happy until he learns that he has the same symptoms that apparently caused the previous witch doctor to die. Melman is also forlorn 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 large body. The next day, the animals panic when the watering hole dries up. Determined to make up for his earlier failure, Alex and Marty leave the reserve to investigate. They discover that the stranded New Yorkers, under the instruction of Nana, have dammed up the river and built a primitive civilization. Alex is captured by a trap, forcing Marty to abandon him to seek help. Meanwhile, Zuba hears from Makunga what Alex did and goes to assist him. Back on the reserve, King Julien suggests that the animals offer a sacrifice in the volcano, Mount Kilimanjaro, to appease the water gods. Believing that he will die soon, Melman volunteers to be sacrificed. Gloria stops him just in time and tells her he loves her. Marty arrives to tell them about Alex. The trio, the penguins, and several chimpanzees use the newly fixed plane to execute a rescue. However, Alex has already managed to rescue both himself and his father by dancing for the New Yorkers, who fondly remember him from the zoo. The other animals arrive to pick them up with the plane (redesigned as a helicopter), and together they all destroy the dam, freeing the water. Meanwhile, back at the volcano, Mort turns up after being chased through the jungle by a shark. The shark falls into the volcano, completing the sacrifice and causing King Julien to think that he brought back the water. As the watering hole fills, Makunga angrily makes a stand for control. However, Alex manages to remove Makunga from power by tricking Nana into attacking him. Zuba gives the alpha position to Alex, but Alex refuses, resulting in both father and son becoming co-leaders. The movie ends as Skipper marries a bobble-head hula doll from the plane and leaves on a honeymoon in Monte Carlo with the chimpanzees, and a huge tub of diamonds and gold, leaving Alex, Marty, Melman, Gloria and The Lemurs to happily remain in Africa with Alex's parents.
- Ben Stiller as Alex the Lion
- Chris Rock as Marty the Zebra and Other Zebras
- David Schwimmer as Melman the Giraffe
- Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria the Hippopotamus
- Sacha Baron Cohen as King Julien 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
- 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
- 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
- Declan Swift also as Baby Alex
- Thomas Stanley as Baby Marty
- Zachary Gordon as Baby Melman
- Willow Smith as Baby Gloria
- David P. Smith as Bob the Dik-Dik
Critical response Edit
The film received generally mixed to positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 64% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on 150 reviews, with the consensus view that the film was "an improvement on the original, with more fleshed-out characters, crisper animation and more consistent humor," and with an average rating of 5.9/10. Another review aggregator, Metacritic classified the film into the "generally favorable reviews" category with 61/100 approval rating based on 25 reviews, also a bit higher a score than the original. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune stated in his review that the film "goes easy on the pop culture jokes, I should clarify: one of the smarter things in the script is how Alex, who digs his Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins dance moves, becomes the film's primary pop-cult gag." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 stars and wrote "This is a brighter, more engaging film than the original Madagascar. Steven D. Greydanus complained the film's plot was similar to The Lion King, Joe Versus the Volcano, andHappy Feet. Carrie Rickey of the Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film 2 stars and wrote "Take the flat tire that was Madagascar. Retread it with The Lion King storyline. Pump it up with air. Now you have Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa." John Anderson gave the film 3½ approval rating and stated "Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa, the sequel to the enormously successful DreamWorks adventure and a film that hews close to the whole Lion King/species-as-destiny/self-fulfillment paradigm."
Box office Edit
On its opening day, the film grossed $17,555,027 from 4,056 theaters with an $4,328 average. It went to be at #1 at the box office with $63,106,589 with $15,559 average per theater. As of March 19, 2009, it achieved a gross of $180,010,950 in the United States and Canada along with a gross of $422,297,228 in other regions adding to a worldwide gross total of $602,308,178.
Home Media Edit
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on February 6, 2009, along with two episodes from The Penguins of Madagascar series: "Popcorn Panic" and "Gone in a Flash". In the first week at the DVD sales chart, Madagascar opened at #1, selling 1,681,938 units which translated to $27.09m in revenue. As per the latest figures, 7,060,997 units have been sold, bringing in $102,791,511 in revenue. This does not include Blu-ray sales/DVD rentals.
It was re-released on Blu-ray and DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on October 19, 2014. It includes a movie ticket to Penguins of Madagascar.
Video game Edit
A video game based on the film was made for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo DS, and released on November 4th 2008 in North America. The video game's gameplay is similar to the first movie's video game with the same characters and moves, although the environment is set in Africa.
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted was released in theaters on June 8th 2012. Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to New York. This time the journey will take them to a traveling circus in Europe which they will reinvent Madagascar style. Madagascar 4 is currently in development.