ANIMATION; 1hr 25min
VOICES BY: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith
Brace! Brace! From left, Marty, Gloria, Melman and Alex
After a speedy recap, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa finds Alex the show-offy lion (voiced by Stiller), Marty the chatty zebra (Rock), Melman the lovestruck giraffe (Schwimmer) and Gloria the bodacious hippo (Pinkett Smith) about to cut loose from Madagascar. Their transport is a barely rejigged plane and their plan is to fly back to the New York City zoo from which they baled in 2005’s Madagascar. Instead, the troupe crash-land on an African reserve. Which isn’t altogether awful — the zoo is a perfectly detailed animator’s paradise and Alex is reunited with his long-lost folks (Bernie Mac and Sherri Shepherd). The rot sets is as the foursome confront unsettling home truths — but never fear, not for long.
This amiable sequel is no side-splitter; still, it does keep busy, making snappy tracks without a minute wasted. Velocity is no substitute for sharply crafted lines, of course, but the kiddie quota is unlikely to care. And for the rest of us, there is always the thrall of those four famous voices — not to mention Sacha Baron Cohen as King Julien the lemur, another breed he seems born to inhabit.