Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is an animated comedy film by Dreamworks, and a direct sequel to their 2005 hit Madagascar. It was released on November 7th 2008 in the U.S. and on December 5th 2008 in the U.K.
The film is dedicated to the memory of actor Bernie Mac, who provided the voice of Zuba for the film, and passed away three months before the film's American premiere.
- Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
The film opens on a wildlife reserve somewhere in Africa. Alpha lion Zuba (Bernie Mac) is attempting to teach his cub Alakay how to fight, but Alakay spends his time daydreaming and chasing butterflies. Whilst Zuba confronts challenger Makunga (Alec Baldwin) over the claim of alpha lion, Alakay is kidnapped by hunters. Zuba chases the hunters far off the reserve, with neither Zuba or the hunters noticing that Alakay's crate has fallen from the hunter's truck into a nearby river.
Alakay's crate eventually washes up in New York City, with Alakay surviving the trip by feeding on fish that fell through the air-holes of the crate. A montage then takes place, which reveals that Alakay is actually Alex (Ben Stiller) - the lion character from the first film. A sequence of news footage then recaps the events of the first film leading up to the animals becoming trapped on the island of Madagascar.
On Madagascar, the four penguins have repaired an old aeroplane that had been used by the lemurs as a meeting hall. Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman bid farewell to the lemurs, but realise that King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), will be accompanying them to New York, on the grounds that the plane is his property.
The plane successfully takes off, but quickly runs out of fuel and is forced to crash-land somewhere in mainland Africa. The group encounter a large herd of animals, among whom are Zuba and his mate (creditted as Mom, voiced by Sherri Shepherd). Zuba discovers a mark on Alex's paw, revealing him to be his long-lost son, Alakay. The group reunites, and Makunga sees an opportunity to exact revenge on Zuba for his past humiliation.
Whilst the penguins set to work repairing the plane, the animals settle into life in Africa. Marty joins a herd of zebras who all look and sound like him; Melman becomes a witch-doctor to a group of giraffes, and Gloria catches the eye of male hippopotamus Moto Moto (Will.i.am). King Julien also wins the support of a group of flamingoes whilst attempting to stage a non-hostile coup of the reserve.
However, matters spiral downwards after Makunga tricks Alex into thinking that the "rite of passage" (a coming-of-age ceremony where lions display their strength) is a talent contest. The ensuing humiliation costs Zuba his position as alpha lion, and he, Alex and Mom are all subsequently banished. Marty, after spending so long with his lookalike herd, begins to question his individuality, whilst Melman's hypochondria returns to haunt him and, convinced that he will soon die, finally confesses his feelings of love for Gloria before crawling away.
When the watering-hole inexplicably dries up, Alex volunteers to wander off the reserve to fix the problem, which he puts down to a blocked inlet. Makunga permits him to leave, taunting Alex as he leaves. Makunga's attitude turns the tribe against him, whilst Julien suggests making a sacrifice in a nearby volcano. His proposal is surprisingly popular, and a depressed Melman offers himself to be sacrificed. Gloria, who has discovered Moto Moto's shallowness and now fully comprehends Melman's feelings for her, stops him before he can jump into the volcano.
Meanwhile, Alex, with Marty's help, discovers that the river has been dammed up by humans whose tourist jeeps were stolen by the penguins to repair the plane. Alex, with the aid of Zuba, are able to distract the humans with a dance routine before being picked up by the penguins. During their escape, the dam is destroyed, and the watering hole is filled again. Zuba is reinstated as alpha lion, and the reserve prospers.
- Ben Stiller - Alex
- Chris Rock - Marty
- Jada Pinkett Smith - Gloria
- David Schwimmer - Melman
- Sacha Baron Cohen - King Julien
- Cedric the Entertainer - Maurice
- Andy Richter - Mort
- Tom McGrath - Skipper
- Chris Miller - Kowalski
- Christopher Knights - Private
- Bernie Mac - Zuba
- Sherri Shepherd - Mom
- Alec Baldwin - Makunga
- Will.i.am - Moto Moto
- The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper - a short film made between the two feature films
- The Penguins of Madagascar - a television series released shortly after the premiere of this film