Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Madagascar Escape 2 Africa: Theatrical Release Poster

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Eric Darnell
Tom McGrath
Produced by Mireille Soria
Mark Swift
Written by Etan Cohen
Eric Darnell
Tom McGrath
Starring Ben Stiller
Chris Rock
David Schwimmer
Jada Pinkett Smith
Sacha Baron Cohen
Cedric the Entertainer
Andy Richter
Bernie Mac
Alec Baldwin
Sherri Shepherd
Music by Hans Zimmer
Edited by Mark A. Hester
Distributed by Paramount Pictures1
Release dates
  • November 7, 2008 (2008-11-07)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $150 million
Box office $603.9 million[1]

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is a 2008 American computer-animated comedy film written by Etan Cohen, and directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath. This sequel to the 2005 film Madagascar continues the adventures of Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippo. It stars the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, and Andy Richter. Also providing voices are Bernie Mac, Alec Baldwin, Sherri Shepherd, Elisa Gabrielli, and It was produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures,1 and was released on November 7, 2008.

The film starts as a prequel, showing a small part of Alex's early life, including his capture by hunters. It soon moves to shortly after the point where the original left off, with the animals deciding to return to New York City. They board an airplane in Madagascar, but crash-land in Africa, where each of the central characters meets others of the same species; Alex is reunited with his parents. Problems arise, and their resolution occupies much of the remainder of the film.

The film won the 2009 Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Animated Movie.[2] The film was dedicated to Bernie Mac who died before the film's release.


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, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippopotamus, 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 ousts 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 (who proclaims himself king upon arriving in Africa) 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 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.


Chris Rock at the Israeli premiere of the film, on November 22, 2008.


A sequel to Madagascar had been in development since 2005, when the first film had been released, with a release date planned for late 2008.[3] In the first teaser trailer, which was released in March 2008, the film was subtitled with The Crate Escape.[4] By June 2008, the film was given its final title — Escape 2 Africa.[5]


Critical response

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.[6] 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.[7]

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."[8] 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.[9] Steven D. Greydanus complained the film's plot was similar to The Lion King, Joe Versus the Volcano, and Happy Feet.[10] 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."[11] 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."[12]

Box office

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.[13] As of March 19, 2009, it achieved a gross of $180,010,950 (29.8% of total gross) in the United States and Canada along with a gross of $423,889,404 (70.2%) in other regions adding to a worldwide gross total of $603,900,354.[1]


Broadcast Film Critics:

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2009


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released November 8, 2008 (2008-11-08)
Genre Pop rock
Label Interscope
No. TitlePerformer(s) Length
1. "Once Upon A Time In Africa"  Hans Zimmer 3:44
2. "The Traveling Song" 3:25
3. "Party! Party! Party!"  Hans Zimmer 3:31
4. "I Like to Move It" 3:41
5. "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Polka Version)"  Hans Zimmer 0:54
6. "Big and Chunky" 3:21
7. "Chums"  Heitor Pereira 2:15
8. "New York, New York (Polka Version)"  Hans Zimmer 1:30
9. "Volcano"  Hans Zimmer 2:49
10. "Rescue Me"  Hans Zimmer 3:36
11. "More than a Feeling"  Boston 4:45
12. "She Loves Me" 1:45
13. "Foofie"  Hans Zimmer 2:39
14. "Copacabana (At the Copa)"  Barry Manilow 4:06
15. "Monochromatic Friends"  Hans Zimmer 3:02
16. "Best Friends" 2:25
17. "Alex On The Spot"  Hans Zimmer and 1:58
Total length:

Enhanced Videos

No. TitlePerformer(s) Length
1. "I Like to Move It"  
2. "She Loves Me by"  
3. "Big and Chunky (DVD only)"  

Home media

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".[14] 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.[15] 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.[15]

Video game

A video game based on the film was made for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo DS,[16] and released on November 4, 2008 in North America.[17] 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.[18]


A sequel titled Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted was released on June 8, 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 their journey takes them to a traveling circus in Europe which they will reinvent Madagascar style.


  1. ^ In July 2014, the film's distribution rights were purchased by DreamWorks Animation from Paramount Pictures.[19]


  1. 1 2 "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  2. 1 2 "All Winners | Kids' Choice Awards". Nickelodeon. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  3. Fritz, Ben (September 14, 2005). "D'Works will rely on animal instinct". Variety. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  4. Sciretta, Peter (March 13, 2008). "Madagascar: The Crate Escape Movie Trailer". /Film. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  5. Sciretta, Peter (June 4, 2008). "New Photos: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". /Film. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  6. "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  7. "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". Metacritic. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  8. Phillips, Michael (November 7, 2008). "A tamer wild bunch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  9. Ebert, Roger (November 5, 2008). "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  10. D. Greydanus, Steven. "Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa (2008)". Decent Films Guide. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  11. "Time to get these animals out of Africa". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 7, 2008.
  12. Anderson, John (November 5, 2008). "'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa'". Newsday. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  13. "Weekend Box Office Results from 11/7 - 11/9". Box Office Mojo. November 9, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  14. "DreamWorks Animation Gives a Whole New Reason to Look Forward to Friday ...". DreamWorks Animation. January 8, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  15. 1 2 "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  16. Adams, David (November 16, 2005). "Activision Extends DreamWorks Deal". IGN. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  17. "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa™ and Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors™ Now Available at Retailers Nationwide". DreamWorks Animation. November 4, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  18. "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa :: DS Game Review Read more: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa :: DS Game Review". Kidzworld. November 4, 2008. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  19. Chney, Alexandra (July 29, 2014). "DreamWorks Animation Q2 Earnings Fall Short of Estimates, SEC Investigation Revealed". Variety. Retrieved July 30, 2014.

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