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Feature Film

Madagascar 2 Talkback

Did you see it? This is an open thread for our readers reviews, opinions and comments in regards to Dreamworks’ Madagascar Back 2 Africa which opened today.

We will only post comments by those who have actually seen it. What did you think?

  • Andrew

    A sequel to an animated film does badly when they abandon even ONE major element of the original and put the characters in an alienated situation everyone knows they would NEVER be in.

    THIS sequel works, however, because it not only preserves everything about it- it BUILDS on it. The opening scenes explain how Alex wound up in Central Park Zoo in the first place, and so, the stakes for the characters to go through are much more valuable and fragile than in the first Madagascar film. A BRILLIANT decision not to show any of that premise, and new characters, in the trailers, so the audience would be put off-guard and pleasantly surprised.

    It seemed long to me (it’s about 90 minutes), but that’s because each of the four main characters go through their own story. Because of that, the fast-paced humor is presented mostly throughout the first half of the film, without seeming like it slows anything down. I kinda felt that Melman’s story was ripping off David Schimmer’s character Ross from Friends, but that’s the only flaw.

    WHY oh WHY didn’t these guys get marooned in Africa in the first place?! It would’ve been SO much better, and we could’ve skipped all the meandering in Madagascar. Then again,… it would otherwise be called ‘AFRICA’, and there wouldn’t be any King Julian or Maurice, who steal much of the cheap laughs in this film.

  • Steve Gattuso

    I saw it at the ASIFA screening the day before it opened. A bit lightweight, but overall entertaining and deserving of success. But we didn’t have anyone at the Q & A who was a good moderator, so the director had to wing it. We could’ve used you, Jerry.

  • Scott

    Definetly a really fun popcorn movie. It has a lot of great jokes that kept me laughing and it had a lot of animation that was a lot of fun. Like someone mentioned, they could have trimmed about 10 minutes of it but thats the case with a lot of films. Overall a great effort that puts this series ahead of the Shrek series.

  • gepinniw

    It had a few belly laughs. I love the penguins (thye psycho switchblade stare alone is worth the price of admission), the monkeys, and King Julian has some good lines. He kind of reminded me of Sarah Palin – he had the superconfidence that only the truly ignorant possess. I also loved the riff on live sacrifice (it really made me think about religion and superstition – seriously). Marty is great, although his storyline is miniscule. The sequence explaining Alex’s history was good, but the development of his father/son conflict was half-baked. The whole lion politics thing was sketchy, to say the least. I mean, what logic is there that the strongest lion is kicked out of the tribe (or was he the strongest – what about the super-strong lion who kicked Alex’s butt?). I did love the dancing Alex does with his pop.
    Too much hippo love for my taste, and the little old lady, although I loved her in “A Christmas Caper,” did not deserve the big role she got in this movie. Her ultra-violent streak is off-putting, quite frankly.
    Overall, it seems the writers took a “kitchen sink” approach that didn’t work for me. Surely there was a more coherent story to be found on the savannah.
    To sum up, some good gags, verbal and visual, but too much of a mish mash, and not enough of Marty and Alex.
    All that being said, I’m sure I’ll be getting the DVD, which hopefully will have another penguin adventure.

  • Iain

    “Escape 2 Africa” is deffinatley an improvement on the first.

  • MattSullivan

    I really enjoy the style of Madagascar. Not so much the story of the first fim, but as you guys said, this is actually a very good sequel! I’m surprised, and pleased.

  • AdrianC

    I also saw it at the ASIFA screening and I would say it was about “average.” Like Steve Gattuso said, the story is lightweight which is probably appropriate for a comedy that should, I assume, appeal to children as well as adults. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it as amusing as it should be. I did smile or even laugh from time but those instances should have been more frequent. Even King Julien, who is generally a fantastic character, came off as a bit annoying in this one (or at least more so than before). I will point out, though, that when the theater audience is laughing, I am usually not. This applies not only to “Madagascar 2” but also to any movie. Take from that what you will.

    Also, I virtually hate the Nana character. Even for an animated comedy, I found her too “skilled” (I’m trying not to spoil anything) and ridiculous beyond belief.

    This film isn’t terrible, though. Like it’s predecessor, it’s looks great (except for the humans). I also liked most of the new voices. Alec Baldwin sounded more like himself than I would have wanted but he was great, as usual.

    For some reason, I usually cringe when music artists provide voices in animated films but was a pleasant surprise. He did a solid job as Moto Moto and I was amazed to learn that the character’s voice sounds almost nothing like his own, which means he probably has more range beyond his normal speaking and singing voice than many celebrity voices do.

    I don’t know if Bernie Mac was the perfect choice for Zuba, but I accepted it and I was oddly moved by his performance, which was more restrained than I anticipated. The impact was definitely bolstered by the fact that Mr. Mac is no longer with us.

    In summary, “Madagascar: Escape to 2 Africa” wasn’t as funny or poignant as as it should have been, but it does an adequate job of keeping the audience entertained.

  • Dave

    I saw it and I can’t say I liked it much. Too many characters running around, desperately trying to evoke humour. Sasha Baron Cohen mouthing off as King Julien was just tiresome, and they really castrated Chris Rock for his performance as a cheery-natured Zebra. I always wondered why Dreamworks bothered with star talent for their voice actors when they bring so little to the screen.

    It all came across as an over-extended ensemble comedy, with small bits that I found funny, but overall, far inferior to Kung Fu Panda.

    If Dreamworks is gonna do the third part; please, kill off some of the characters.

  • Bill

    It was okay. It wasn’t as boring and talk filled as the first, but there was that odd feeling that they were trying to parody ‘The Lion King’ in some way with Alex being king and Makunga, who kind of looks like Scar, is the villain trying to prevent that from happening.

    Did anyone else notice that the character design of the elephants looked almost exactly as the ones from ‘The Jungle Book’?

  • Paul N

    I felt like the animation in this one went back to standard 3D fare, rather than the extreme squash and stretch they did so successfully in the first movie. The story was somewhat better, but there was a lot going on. They managed to tie it all together pretty well, although I couldn’t figure out why the humans built the structure they did (trying not to be a spoiler). I thought the humans worked pretty well, but some of the character design for the crowd characters left me scratching my head. Melman looked like a completely different species from the other giraffes, but when Gloria was with the other hippos, it was hard to tell who was who.

    Other thoughts as they occur…

  • The Girlfriend and I just came back from it!! It was funny, witty, fast-paced….but it (kinda-sorta) lacked the true originality & spunk of its initial premise (even tho it “followed it thru”). A beautiful film, nontheless….but not as capturing (pardon the pun) as #1.

  • Funny show. They did hold back on the extreme “Tex Avery” squash and stretch and you only get into it in small doses. It does have social commentary on current political themes, but also doesn’t take said commentary too seriously. You also get a little bit of story from “Lion King”. The end credits were really spiffy, hopefully in the next one they incorporate more paper cut-out animation.

  • Saw it…Liked it.

    I think some of you take these films WAAAAY to seriously. It was entertainment and the masses laughed good and hard throughout which was the whole point. I wondered who those few sour pusses were that didn’t laugh during the film. :-)

    I get the feeling every time I read a review here that some of you are channeling James Lipton expecting to see Shindler’s List and instead get Porkys 2.

    Forget it, you’ll never find the meaning of life in an animated Dreamworks film. That’s not what they are for. They are fun though and Dreamworks made a great entertaining film with lots of humor and gags.

    Personally my wife, kids and I busted a gut at the ASIFA screening and are still quoting bits from it. Apparently it was made for us Neanderthals not the higher born Cro Magnon Man. ;-)

    For me, King Julian was the funniest part of the film!

  • Kevin

    Saw it last night with two of my daughters. They liked it well enough, but I found it, for the most part, flat. There were a few places I laughed, but they were pretty far apart. The whole thing left me feeling like it was a totally unnecessary sequel.

  • Angry Anim

    It’s interesting to me that Jeffrey has now found his greatest success in making comedies with nice cartoony animation and performances.

    I remember when Dreamworks first started with their traditional features. It felt like like they were always shooting for The Oscar and everything was taken seriously. Prince of Egypt, Spirit, Sinbad… even El Dorado all had this straight-forward style with little exaggeration in they way they handled their characters.

    If he had to do it all over again, I wonder if would he of been a bit more flexible on how he would of handled traditional.

  • There are a surprising lack of comments here…

    I thought the film was pretty damn good.
    I wasn’t a huge fan of the first and this is much better.

    Old Jewish lady character is awful though, mostly because of whoever is doing the VO.

  • Bill Benzon

    Just saw it, rather enjoyed it. Though the whole zebra-confusion bit was clever. Liked King Julian. The penguins were good entrepreneurial types. Loved the revamped airplane, very Miyazaki in style.

    Though . . .

    Was a bit annoyed with the “squarishness” of the lions.

    And the old lady . . . kept reminding me of the old lady in the opening of Ratatouille.