Madagascar is back for more in 'Escape 2 Africa' and in terms of kids' entertainment, its crack-a-lackin 'tastic.
All the favourite characters return for the Escape including Alex the lion (Stiller), Marty the zebra (Rock), Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer).
They're exactly where we left them, marooned on the beautiful, yet remote, island of Madagascar. They hatch a daft but do-able plan to return to New York and their home in Central Park Zoo.
However as you might imagine all does not go as planned when the penguins opt to fix and fly the plane. Crash landing into Africa and amongst their peers, new loves are found, old loves rekindled and a lot more partying is on the agenda, only this time the gang are going native.
It's no 'Shrek' or two, or The Third in terms of original plot and character development. The plot swerves dangerously close to 'The Lion King's' territory at one stage, complete with evil lion tactics but overall its good, clean family fun. In 'Shrek' style there are a couple of gags for the adults too courtesy of throwbacks to 'The Simpsons' and 'The Twilight Zone'.
As before, poptastic music plays a big role in the film's success, with great tunes throughout. Will.I.Am, who voices Hippo Moto Moto, also recorded the music, including 'I like to Move It'. Tina even got a Turner (sorry, the cheese is contagious) with 'Private Dancer' getting a dusting off.
In one scene Gloria is getting her groove on with alpha male Moto Moto and things get a little too suggestive for its G certificate, not quite in a 'Team America' way but suggestive nonetheless.
In the original, Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen) was a little annoying but this time around Etan Cohen has provided him with some of the funniest set-ups and one-liners. However it’s the penguins who really deliver, they're the kiddy version of the Frat Pack, providing numerous quirky oddball comedy moments throughout. Alex and co pale in comparison to these flightless friends.
There's room for a Madagascar 3, however this may land the favourites dangerously into hunting season as the premise may have run its course. Unless of course Paramount choose to follow the march of the penguins.