The opening 20 minutes or so play out like a heist movie, with all the slick awesomeness that's involved. Throw in the slapstick comedy of animation and its potential for over-the-topness, and it's a lucky thing for the world that all the Zoosters want is a place to call home.
The Zoosters - without help from the Penguins, mind you - come up with a plan to break into a casino in Monaco. Why aren't the Penguins involved? Because the objective of the "heist" is to find the Penguins after they supposedly went AWOL.
Which segues into a moment of awesome for the Penguins, as they (with the chimps' help) are masquerading as the King of Versailles to build up the funds needed to commission a flight back to the U.S.
The entire car chase sequence. All of it.
The following retreat to the chimps' VTOL aircraft also counts, showcasing just how terrifying Dubois is:
Her scooter can't make the jump between two buildings? She makes the jump anyway, leaping off the seat of her scooter at the last second so she can land on the rooftop.
VTOL aircraft with a machine-gun turret? She snaps open her capture baton and blocks the rounds until said turrent suffers a misfire.
The circus act they put on in London. It needs to be seen to be believed. It especially works when you remember you likely saw the film expecting the Zoosters to screw it up and have the show end in disaster. Instead, you see Vitaly start cranking as Katy Perry's "Firework" builds to the song's chorus and as it does, you realize, "My God! They're pulling it off!"
Special mention goes to Vitaly's fiery hoop act done right, thanks to assistance from Alex's mane conditioner and claw trick, which afterward seems to make them friends for life. (Would that be literalFire-Forged Friends?) Not only is the act itself an awesome and badass He's Back moment... it's only the opening act. And somehow, everything that follows is even more awesome.
Not only that, but compare Vitaly's look between before he goes through the hoop, and after. Before, his fur is bristly, messy, and he has a bit of a pudge. After, his fur is silky smooth, and is trim and taut. Truly, Vitaly is back, thanks to Alex.
One last mention to our Husky Russkie, his awesomeness is able to defy the laws of physics. It's the whole basis of his act.
"What does a human say when he's passionate? He says, 'I'm an animal'! Well we ARE ANIMALS!"
Captain Chantal DuBois period.
The way she makes that leap off of that motorcycle from one building to another.
The penguins taking care of business when DuBois arrives in London to take Alex. All done in less than 20 seconds!
Skipper: Incoming! (smacks DuBois in the face with a 100 kilo sack) (she falls in the fully charged cannon; they tie her up with they already knocked-out guys) Skipper:(as Rico lights a match) Outgoing! DuBois: Wait! (blam!)
The entire flying circus rescue, ending with Alex fulfilling his made-up Trapeze Americano act to dispatch DuBois.
Vitaly freeing Marty from his cage by jumping through the keyhole. He even manages to put his afro on Marty when he does it.
Alex: Your days of chasing animals are over, DuBois. Because you just messed with the king! (throws DuBois into the cage that he was living in at the beginning of the first film. DuBois climbs up the stand and roars at Alex in rage.) Alex: This is where animals like you belong! Now sit! (DuBois gets tranquilized and sits down, dazed)Lie down.(DuBois falls down and we see the dart in her rump)Roll over.(DuBois rolls off the stand and onto the ground.)Good, DuBois. Now stay.
Also the way he goes about it. He sees everything go into place, and immediately tells Jonesy and Frankie to get ready for when he gives the signal. Keep in mind that the dogs were the most reluctant to rescue the Zoosters, and Alex is putting his life in their hands. They comply.
Alex finally wins a fight.
Vitaly's reaction to the circus dogs claiming that the Zoosters aren't circus:
Admit it; Frances McDormand's (DuBois) performance of "Non rien je ne regrette rien" is fantastic.
DuBois tearing up the $1M check to kill Alex. She just can't be bought.