The year 2008 so far has been an absolute treat for fans of animated movies with top-notch releases such as Horton Hears a Who, Kung Fu Panda and Wall-E.
But the year hasn’t ended yet and what is about to come next is probably the most anticipated animated movie of this year – Madagascar– Escape To Africa.
The first installment of this series took the fans absolutely by storm in 2005 thanks to brilliant voice characterizations and a novel concept.
The second installment, I’m glad to report is absolutely crack-a-lackin as well!
When we last left off, the New York Zoo Escapees : Alex the lion (Ben Stiller/ lovable leading act), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock, / better than last time), Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett-Smith / Incredibly funny especially during love scenes) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer/ Shades of Ross) were still marooned in Madagascar.
Part two begins with their farewell celebrations courtesy King Julian (Sacha Baron-Cohen/ first-rate performance once again). The wily penguins somehow manage to resurrect a ruined plane to near working condition and pretty soon Air-Penguin sets off on its maiden voyage.
An unscheduled landing (read ‘crash’) later they are left stranded once again, this time, in the heartlands of Africa, where the city-bred posse encounters its own species for the first time.
Things seem peachy at first with family reunions and new-found love, but soon the story predictably takes a turn for the worse. And so once again its upto our unlikely heroes to save the day.
But don’t be fooled by the simplistic plot folks, Madagascar 2 is a laugh-riot all the way.
Not unlike last time, the tongue-in-cheek take on The Lion King continues and so do the hilarious misadventures of King Julian, Mort and the penguins.
What really makes this movie work however, is its ability to blend the best from last time with equally funny new material, which is a rare feat for a sequel.
The animation is even more life like and Will.I.Am tunes too significantly add to the laughter quotient of this movie. What we have as a result is a wholly satisfying, consistently funny, crisply packaged sequel, which tightens up the loose ends of the first part.
With at least one more sequel still to come, Madagascar looks all set to join the likes of Shrek and Ice-Age as the one of most successful animated series ever. You better ‘Move It’ and watch this one!
Rating: 4 out of 5.
What the Ratings Mean:
0 – Terrible Beyond Imagination
1 – Mostly Pathetic
2 – Strictly OK
3 – Good
4 – Very Good
5 – Bow Down and Worship!