Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2008. DreamWorks Animation, Pacific Data Images. Screenplay by Etan Cohen, Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath. Produced by Mireille Soria, Mark Swift. Music by Heitor Pereira, Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Kendal Cronkhite. Film Editing by Mark A. Hester, H. Lee Peterson.
Picking up where the last film left off, our former Central Park Zoo inhabitants find themselves enjoying their positions as rulers of Madagascar but long for home. Attempting to fly back to New York City with their psychotic band of penguins at the helm of the plane, the animal foursome make it as far as the Serengeti before crash-landing. You can imagine their surprise when Alex the lion finds his original family, Gloria the hippo and Marty the zebra make the acquaintance of members of their own species and Melman the giraffe discovers that the rest of his kind are all even bigger hypochondriacs than himself. The jokes continue to be sassy and cute, but the film’s Lion King-ripoff plot will mainly appeal to youngsters, while adults will be amused but hardly enraptured by the experience. Voice work continues at high quality from cast members Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer and Chris Rock, with the new addition of a hilarious Alec Baldwin as the mean lion who longs to take over his brother’s pride (he has, after all, the much cooler mane).