Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa [Blu-ray Review]

Studio: DreamWorks SKG

Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, Alec Baldwin, Bernie Mac and Sacha Baron Cohen
Directed by: Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath

Running Time: 89 minutes
Ratings: PG USA/Canada

Movie Review

For Christmas my 6-year-old bought me a stuffed ‘Alex’ from Madagascar 2. On Christmas day I played it up running around with the 3-foot Alex doing my best of the “Alex the Lion” impersonation of his intro. I’m not really sure why that’s relevant to this review, but I just wanted to share.

Anyhow, I can honestly say that I enjoyed Escape 2 Africa more than the first adventure on Madagascar island. The storyline is more amusing, our favourite characters get more screen time, and best of all is the great voice cast. With addition of Alec Baldwin and late Bernie Mac to the already great assemble of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, and Sacha Baron Cohen the voice performances are only enhanced.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is a wonderful family film despite having a few words I wish my kids wouldn’t have heard. There are plenty of laughs in this film about the bond between family and friends.

Get ready to “Move it, movie it”.

Crave Factor – 8

Video

Let me sum up the video as quickly as possible. Perfect.

Alright. I can’t leave it like that. The plains of Africa look stunning. The colour palette is incredible and there isn’t a blemish to found anywhere. The amount of detail is shocking.

Crave Factor – 10

Audio

I’ve never been to Africa. I may never go to Africa, but I suspect the ambience that’s presented from the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track emulates the sounds of the plains to near perfection. The surrounds are used perfectly at all times and the dialog is always clear amongst the soundtrack and audio effects.

It’s a perfect compliment to the pristine video.

Crave Factor – 9

Extras

This Blu-ray is jam packed with goodies. Let’s start things off with ‘Animators’ Corner’ a picture-in-picture commentary featuring producers Mieille Soria and Mark Swift along with co-writers and co-directors Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath. While they speak through most of the PIP there’s also behind the scenes, if you will, footage, as well as interview bits from the cast.

The commentary track is with the same folk and appears to be the exact same as Animators’ Corner without the video track, and the extra background and interview bits.

There’s also a ‘Trivia Track’, which provides some interesting info and some not so interesting info, but it’s still fun to read. A minor complain is that I wish that the background of the trivia banner was partially transparent.

Let me sum up the rest of the goodies:

  • It’s a Family Affair: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – interviews with cast, directors and producers.
  • The Making of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – A short making-of.
  • Crash Landing – overview of the plane crash sequence.
  • African Adventure – animators and directors trip to Africa
  • Jambo Jambo: Swahili Speak – Self explanatory
  • The Bronx Zoo: Madagascar – The Zoo manager takes you through their new Madagascar exhibit.
  • More Penguins – 2 TV episodes
  • Mad Music – Collection of DreamWorks music videos as well as videos from this movie.
  • Trailers – Monsters vs. Aliens, Secrets of the Furious Five, Penguins Sneak Peek, Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Activision Game

Crave Factor – 7

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

I like to Move it, Movie it! It’s true. Anyway, I enjoyed Escape 2 Africa and so did my kids. The Blu-ray release is solid. Strong audio and pristine video are only complimented by some decent bonus features. My opinion. If you don’t own it… shame on you!

Overall Crave Factor – 9

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