Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Theatrical release poster showing close-ups of Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman, with King Juilen, Maurice and Mort on top of their heads, and below are the penguins, all on the foreground. The background is a group of animals behind them. The tagline "Still together, still lost" is displayed in the top corner. "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" is written in the middle corner. The release date "11.07.08" is displayed on the bottom corner.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byEric Darnell
Tom McGrath
Written byEtan Cohen
Eric Darnell
Tom McGrath
Produced byMireille Soria
Mark Swift
StarringBen Stiller
Chris Rock
David Schwimmer
Jada Pinkett Smith
Sacha Baron Cohen
Cedric the Entertainer
Andy Richter
Bernie Mac
Alec Baldwin
Sherri Shepherd
Edited byH. Lee Peterson
Music by
Distributed byDreamWorks Animation[1]
Paramount Pictures[1]
Release date
  • November 7, 2008 (2008-11-07)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$150 million
Box office$603.9 million[2]

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (also known as Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa) is a 2008 American animated adventure comedy film[3] produced by DreamWorks Animation SKG[a] and PDI/DreamWorks and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is the sequel to Madagascar (2005) and the second installment in the franchise. It was directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath and written by Etan Cohen, Darnell, and McGrath. The film features Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter, Elisa Gabrielli, McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, and Conrad Vernon reprising their voice acting roles from the first film, joined by new cast members Bernie Mac, Alec Baldwin, Sherri Shepherd, and, as well as voice acting veteran John DiMaggio. In the film, the main characters, a party of animals from the Central Park Zoo whose adventures have taken them to Madagascar find themselves in the African savannas, where they meet others of their species and where Alex the lion reunites with his parents.

DreamWorks Animation announced a sequel to Madagascar since 2005, when the first film had been released, with a release date planned for late 2008. It was originally subtitled The Crate Escape, before eventually changed its final title Escape 2 Africa. The film, like its predecessor, features several songs from various artists, with musical score being composed by Hans Zimmer, this time being joined by who performed five songs.

Released on November 7, 2008, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa received positive reviews from critics for its characters, humor and animation, with critics considering it an improvement over its predecessor, and grossed $603.9 million on a $150 million budget, making it the sixth highest-grossing film of 2008.[4] It was dedicated to Bernie Mac, who died on August 9, 2008 before the film's release.[5] A sequel, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, was released in June 2012.


In Kenya,[6] the alpha lion Zuba tries to teach his young son Alakay how to fight, but Alakay is more interested in dancing. Rival lion Makunga challenges Zuba for the title of alpha, but during their fight, Alakay is captured by poachers and put in a crate. Zuba gives chase and breaks the safety harness off of the crate containing Alakay, but is shot in the ear and incapacitated. The crate falls into the ocean and drifts to New York City, where Alakay is renamed Alex, grows up at the Central Park Zoo, and meets his lifelong best friends: Marty, Melman, and Gloria.

Years later, following their adventure in Madagascar,[b] Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria, along with Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private the penguins and Mason and Phil the chimpanzees, prepare to return to New York aboard a battered airplane piloted by the penguins, accompanied by King Julien, Maurice, and Mort. The plane runs out of fuel and crash lands in continental Africa. The animals find themselves at a watering hole on a nature reserve, and are excited to meet others of their species. Alex is reunited with his parents and impresses them with tales of his status as "the king of New York". Marty fits in with a herd of other zebras who look and sound just like him. Melman, a hypochondriac, is distressed that the reserve has no doctors, so the other giraffes appoint him their witch doctor. Seeking romance, Gloria attracts the attention of the smooth-talking male hippo Moto Moto. Meanwhile, the penguins set about repairing the plane, assisted by numerous chimpanzees recruited by Mason and Phil. They steal vehicles from humans on a safari and strip them for parts. Nana, a tough old woman who attacked Alex in Grand Central Station,[b] takes charge of the stranded tourists and helps them survive in the wilderness for the time being.

In a scheme to oust Zuba as alpha lion, Makunga insists that Alex complete a rite of passage which Alex mistakes for a talent contest. It is actually a fighting contest, and Makunga tricks him into choosing the strongest lion as his opponent, resulting in Alex's humiliating defeat. Despondent, Zuba relinquishes his title as alpha to Makunga, who banishes Alex from the watering hole. Meanwhile, Marty is dejected by the realization that the other zebras can do everything he can, believing himself no longer unique. Melman comes to believe that he is deathly ill and, having secretly loved Gloria for a long time, is saddened by Gloria's interest in Moto Moto. The four friends get into a heated argument with one another. Gloria has a date with Moto Moto, but loses interest when she realizes he is only attracted to her because of her size. After a pep talk from Julien, Melman finally reveals his feelings for Gloria.

The next day, the animals panic when the watering hole dries up. Determined to redeem himself, Alex mends his friendship with Marty and they leave the reserve to investigate upriver. Julien suggests that offering a sacrifice to the nearby volcano will restore the water. Melman, forlorn and believing he is dying, volunteers to be sacrificed. Gloria stops him from jumping into the volcano, and realizes that he loves her for more than her appearance. Alex and Marty discover that the stranded humans have built a camp and dammed up the river, and Alex is captured by them. Zuba rushes to his aid, but Alex saves them both by dancing for the humans, who remember him fondly from the zoo. Marty, Melman, Gloria, the penguins, and the chimpanzees arrive in the repaired airplane and help Alex destroy the dam, restoring the water. Makunga angrily makes a stand for control, but Alex tricks him into being subdued by Nana. Zuba offers Alex the title of alpha lion, but he declines, believing the title belongs to his father. Zuba claims the title belongs to them both, and father and son become co-leaders.

Skipper marries a bobblehead doll from the plane, and he, the other penguins, and the chimpanzees head off to honeymoon in Monte Carlo.[c] The foursome and the lemurs happily decide to stay on the reserve for a while.

Voice cast

See also: List of Madagascar (franchise) characters

Chris Rock at the Israeli premiere of the film, on November 22, 2008.


A sequel to Madagascar had been in development since 2005, when the first film had been released, with a release date planned for late 2008.[7] In the first teaser trailer, which was released in March 2008, the film was subtitled The Crate Escape.[8] By June 2008, the film was given its final title – Escape 2 Africa.[9] Los Angeles-based studio Duck Studios, animated the end credits scene using Cutout animation with a style inspired by African art.[10]


Critical response

Rotten Tomatoes reported that 64% of critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 5.9/10, based on 157 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is an improvement on the original, with more fleshed-out characters, crisper animation and more consistent humor."[11] Another review aggregator, Metacritic classified the film into the "generally favorable reviews" category with 61/100 approval rating based on 25 reviews, also a bit higher a score than the original.[12] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[13]

Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune stated in his review that the film "goes easy on the pop culture jokes, I should clarify: one of the smarter things in the script is how Alex, who digs his Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins dance moves, becomes the film's primary pop-cult gag."[14] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3/4 stars and wrote "This is a brighter, more engaging film than the original Madagascar."[15] John Anderson of Newsday gave the film 3.5/4 stars and stated "Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa, the sequel to the enormously successful DreamWorks adventure and a film that hews close to the whole Lion King/species-as-destiny/self-fulfillment paradigm."[16] Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal wrote: "The roots are shallow, but the sequel is good-natured, high-spirited and perfectly enjoyable if you take it for what it is."[17] Jim Schembri of The Age gave the film 3.5/5 stars, describing it as a "hugely entertaining, lightning-fast, ceaselessly funny follow-up to the adorable 2005 animated hit", and deemed it one of the best animated films of 2008.[18] Kelly Jane Torrance of The Washington Times gave the film 3/5 stars, writing that it "might not offer audiences cutting-edge animation or a particularly original story", but added: "It still has a lot going for it, though: foot-tapping music, laughs for young and old and the prodigious talents of Sacha Baron Cohen."[19]

Shubra Gupta of The Indian Express wrote that the film was "as spunky, witty and funny" as its predecessor, and praised the animation and characters, but criticized the story for "[taking] the same course as The Lion King, with a detour towards Shrek thrown in."[20] Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film 2/4 stars and wrote: "Take the flat tire that was Madagascar. Retread it with The Lion King storyline. Pump it up with air. Now you have Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa."[21] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 2/5 stars, describing it as "a frankly disappointing piece of opportunism, with a non-plot which shamelessly rips off The Lion King."[22] Anthony Quinn of The Independent also gave the film 2/5 stars, writing: "The visual invention and draughtsmanship are mightily impressive; a shame the drama's a bit of a bore."[23]

Box office

On its opening day, the film grossed $17,555,027 from 4,056 theaters with a $4,328 average. It went to be at No. 1 at the box office with $63,106,589 with $15,559 average per theater.[24] As of March 19, 2009, it achieved a gross of $180,010,950 (29.8% of total gross) in the United States and Canada along with a gross of $423,889,404 (70.2%) in other regions adding to a worldwide gross total of $603,900,354.[2]


Award Ceremony date Category Recipients Result
Annie Awards January 30, 2009 Animated Effects in a Feature Production Fangwei Lee Nominated
Writing in a Feature Production Etan Cohen, Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath Nominated
Critics' Choice Movie Awards January 8, 2009 Best Animated Film Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2009 Favorite Animated Film Won
Visual Effects Society[25] February 10, 2009 Outstanding Effects Animation in an Animated Feature Nominated


Main article: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (soundtrack)

Hans Zimmer returned to compose the score for the film, this time being joined by The soundtrack includes five new songs performed by; his cover of "I Like to Move It" was used in the end credits.

Home media

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on February 6, 2009, along with two episodes from The Penguins of Madagascar series: "Popcorn Panic" and "Gone in a Flash".[26] In the first week at the DVD sales chart, Madagascar opened at No. 1, selling 1,681,938 units which translated to $27.09m in revenue.[27] As of April 2010, 13.7 million home entertainment units were sold worldwide.[28]

The Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - Movie Storybook was written by Rob Scotton and illustrated by Michael Koelsch, and was published by HarperCollins Children's Books in 2008.[29][30] Koelsch had previously illustrated the Madagascar - Movie Storybook for Scholastic in 2005.[31][32]

Video game

Main article: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (video game)

A video game based on the film was made for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo DS,[33] and released on November 4, 2008, in North America.[34] The video game's gameplay is similar to the first movie's video game with the same characters and moves, although the environment is set in Africa.[35]


Main article: Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

A sequel titled Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted was released on June 8, 2012. Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman are still fighting to get home to New York. This time their journey takes them to a traveling circus in Europe which they will reinvent Madagascar style.


  1. ^ a b The billing block in the poster and home media release is mistakenly credited as "DreamWorks SKG".
  2. ^ a b As depicted in Madagascar (2005)
  3. ^ As depicted in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)


  1. ^ a b c "AFI|Catalog".
  2. ^ a b "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  3. ^ "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 27, 2022.
  4. ^ "2008 Worldwide Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  5. ^ Rodriguez, Brenda (November 24, 2008). "Remembering Bernie Mac". People. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  6. ^ "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa": A wildly successful sequel". The Seattle Times. November 6, 2008. Retrieved November 6, 2008.
  7. ^ Fritz, Ben (September 14, 2005). "D'Works will rely on animal instinct". Variety. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  8. ^ Sciretta, Peter (March 13, 2008). "Madagascar: The Crate Escape Movie Trailer". /Film. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  9. ^ Sciretta, Peter (June 4, 2008). "New Photos: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". /Film. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  10. ^ "DUCK Designs Titles for 'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa', Staff". December 3, 2008. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  11. ^ "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 5, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  12. ^ "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved June 4, 2022.
  13. ^ "Cinemascore :: Movie Title Search". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on August 9, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  14. ^ Phillips, Michael (November 7, 2008). "A tamer wild bunch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger (November 5, 2008). "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  16. ^ Anderson, John (November 5, 2008). "'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa'". Newsday. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  17. ^ Morgenstern, Joe (November 8, 2008). "Buddy Comedy 'Role Models' Rolls Off Rails". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  18. ^ Schembri, Jim (December 20, 2008). "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". The Age. Archived from the original on December 23, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  19. ^ Torrance, Kelly Jane (November 7, 2008). "MOVIES: 'Madagascar 2' knows how to move it". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  20. ^ Gupta, Shubra (December 20, 2008). "Movie reviews - Indian Express". The Indian Express. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  21. ^ Rickey, Carrie (November 7, 2008). "Time to get these animals out of Africa". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on January 1, 2009. Retrieved November 7, 2008.
  22. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (December 5, 2008). "Film review: Madagascar - Escape 2 Africa". The Guardian. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  23. ^ Quinn, Anthony (December 5, 2008). "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (PG)". The Independent. Archived from the original on January 17, 2009. Retrieved November 1, 2021.
  24. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results from 11/7 - 11/9". Box Office Mojo. November 9, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  25. ^ "7th Annual VES Awards". visual effects society. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  26. ^ "DreamWorks Animation Gives a Whole New Reason to Look Forward to Friday ..." DreamWorks Animation. January 8, 2009. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  27. ^ "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  28. ^ "DreamWorks Animation Reports First Quarter 2010 Financial Results" (Press release).
  29. ^ Flexer, Michael J.; Author, No; Hamashima, Lawrence; Pictures (1994-2006), DreamWorks; Studios, Koelsch (2008). Madagascar: the Crate Escape - Movie Storybook. HarperCollins Children's Books. ISBN 978-0-00-728436-8. ((cite book)): |last2= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ "Michael Koelsch on WorldCat". WorldCat. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  31. ^ Frolick, Billy (2005). Madagascar: Movie Storybook. Scholastic. ISBN 978-0-439-69627-2.
  32. ^ Frolick, Billy; Frolick, Billy; Koelsch Studios (2005). Madagascar : movie storybook. Internet Archive. New York : Scholastic Inc. ISBN 978-0-439-69627-2.
  33. ^ Adams, David (November 16, 2005). "Activision Extends DreamWorks Deal". IGN. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  34. ^ "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa™ and Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warriors™ Now Available at Retailers Nationwide". DreamWorks Animation. November 4, 2008. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  35. ^ "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa :: DS Game Review Read more: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa :: DS Game Review". Kidzworld. November 4, 2008. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
Video game