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Western Animation / Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

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Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is a 2008 computer-animated comedy produced by DreamWorks Animation, and is the first sequel to 2005's Madagascar.

The film takes place shortly after the first movie. The penguins fix a crashed airplane and the zoo animals (plus King Julien and Maurice) try to fly back to New York but run out of fuel (or perhaps more accurately, run out of plane) and crash. They land in a wildlife reserve and discover not only that there are others like them, but also that the lion pride in charge is Alex's family.

This film is followed by a third film titled Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, which came out on June 8, 2012.


Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Downplayed: Melman calls Moto Moto "Mototo" at one point.
  • Actor Allusion: The subplot with Melman's crush on Gloria is remarkably similar to another subplot: TV's Friends where David Schwimmer's character Ross Gellar and his Belligerent Sexual Tension with Rachel Greene, which would eventually be resolved in the Series Finale.
  • Adult Fear: The opening. All of it. While his father Zuba is distracted for a minute, cub!Alex wanders off and is kidnapped by poachers. When Zuba realizes what's happened, he chases after the poachers' truck, desperately trying to save his son, only to get part of his left ear shot off by the poachers. Alex's crate is then knocked off the truck and into the river, where it ends up floating to New York. Zuba, however, doesn't notice, and continues to chase the truck. Until a grown Alex winds up back in Africa and reunited with them, Zuba and his wife believed their son was dead. Imagine how guilty Zuba must have felt for all those years, thinking that it was his fault his child was dead because he failed to protect him.
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  • All Love Is Unrequited: The childhood flashback shows Melman crushing on Gloria, who had a crush on Alex.
  • The Alleged Car: Plane in this case. So much so, that one of the visual signs of its malfunctioning is that one of the engines isn't on fire. The plane also has at least three skeletons still on board from its last flight - one in second class, one in first class, and one in the cockpit. A fourth skeleton was left behind in Madagascar hanging from a parachute trapped in a tree.
  • All There in the Manual: Alex's mother's name is confirmed in the film novelization—Florrie.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Melman to Gloria when the plane is crashing and he thinks they're all going to die. Only problem is, she's sleeping.
    Melman: (shouting) I LOVE YOU, GLORIA! I always have!
    Gloria: (asleep; snoring)
  • Annoying Laugh: Melman finds Gloria's laugh "amazing", but nobody else does.
  • Artistic License – Biology: When the little old lady and Alex fight, he's punched in the mouth and spits out a tooth. Said tooth looks exactly like a human molar, but lions' back teeth are shearing carnassials, not grinding molars.
  • Ascended Extra: Nana was only the subject of a brief gag in the first movie, here she's the main human villain.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Alex goads Nana into attacking Makunga by making her think Makunga deliberately stole her hand purse.
  • Bait-and-Switch: For a moment at the end, it almost looked like Melman and Gloria were the ones getting married. Turns out they were the best man and bridesmaid for Skipper and his hula doll.
  • Batman Gambit: Alex tricks Makunga into taking Nana's purse, and then lets her see that Makunga has her purse. Predictably, she proceeds to kick Makunga's ass.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Marty's dream of being with thousands of his own kind goes from being cool to depressing for him.
  • Betty and Veronica: Melman (the Betty) competes with Moto Moto (the Veronica) over Gloria (the Archie).
  • Blatant Lies: After Melman confesses his love for Gloria, the other animals stare at him. He then talks about how his love for Gloria was like "loving a beach."
    Melman: Like the beach, or the way you love a good book, or the beach...
  • Book-Ends: The Traveling Song/Alex on the Spot. Similar songs set to the same tune that play near the beginning of the movie when Alex is first introduced to the Zoo and again near the end of the movie when Alex dances for the tourists.
  • Brick Joke: The shark that chases Mort.
  • Carnivore Confusion: The lion pride are a group of wild carnivores, yet they aren't portrayed as hungry savages like Alex and the fossa were in the first film. On the same note, Alex or the other lions are never shown hunting or eating any animals.
  • Can't Spit It Out: After his Anguished Declaration of Love failed and discovering he has a "fatal" Witch Doctor disease, Melman struggles to tell Gloria how he feels about her. Lampshaded by Alex when the two are arguing.
    Alex: Just tell her, Melman!
  • Chekhov's Gun: Marty's constant reminder that Alex bit his butt in the first film becomes a Plot Point late in the film. invoked
  • Chubby Chaser: Moto Moto. He likes 'em big, he likes 'em chunky. The hippos of the movie seem to believe that the fatter the hippo, the better, since that's all he likes about Gloria.
  • Cloning Blues: Technically, no, the herd of zebras are not clones, but they may as well be, and Marty has a hard time feeling special around them.
  • Compressed Vice: Melman's crush on Gloria flat out didn't exist in the first movie. It was, however, shown in a flashback in the second movie as having existed for years.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Both Zuba and Alex have a birthmark in the shape of Africa on their right paw. It's how Zuba identifies Alex as his son.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Alex doesn't quite fit in because he's more of a theater performer who loves dancing and really isn't into playing sports. Coming-Out Story, anyone?
  • Fantastic Racism: When the chimps go on strike angry that Skipper rejects maternity leave for them, chimps are holding signs with one that reads "CHIMP POWER" and another sign with a No symbol with a penguin in it. Hypocrisy, much?
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The newspaper article briefly seen at the beginning of the movie dates Alex's arrival in New York as April 8, 1972, suggesting the modern day plot takes place some time in the 80s.
  • Funny Background Event: When Alex is trying to find Marty in the middle of a herd, one of the zebras really wants Alex to leave his Carmen Miranda-style fruit hat.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: During her fight with Alex, Nana gives him a titty twister.
    Nana: Come in, Tokyo!
  • Glass Smack and Slide: Mort the mouse lemur tries to follow the rest of the gang as they are about to take flight. However, just as he's jumping toward the plane, King Julien closes the door and Mort smacks flat against its small window, before sliding down.
  • Gossip Evolution: The monkeys' relaying of Alex's message changed "She's got a gun, let's get out while we can" to "Let's have fun and take out the dam" and "No, pull up. You'll kill us. There's got to be another way." to "No pull up. Kill us. There's no other way." And "pass it on" was "basset hound".
  • Gullible Lemmings: The desperate animals of the reserve, when Julien proposes making a sacrifice to a supposed nearby volcano god, solely so he can take some kind of power.
  • Groin Attack: Alex was kicked "right the batteries" (as Marty put it), at the end of the fight with old lady. She kicked Makunga in the crotch as well, at the end of the movie, when he took her bag.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Gloria sleeps through all the racket the plane makes and only wakes up when it crashes.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When Melman sees Gloria on her date with Moto Moto, he says something like, "You don't know how lucky you are. You've found the perfect woman, so you better treat her like a princess." Then he goes on to describe in depth what he would do if he were in Moto Moto's shoes.
    Melman: And breakfast in bed, every morning. Her favorite is six loaves of wheat toast, buttered on both sides, no crusts.
    • This becomes his reason for a planned Heroic Sacrifice when Melman offers himself up for Julien's crazy plan to sacrifice to the Rain Gods. He believes he's dying anyway, so he figures he might as well go down trying to get Gloria some water.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Gloria interrupts Melman's attempted sacrifice in the volcano because she returns his feelings.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gloria discovers that Moto Moto is a pretty shallow guy, as he only asks her out because she's the fattest girl he's ever met. Moto Moto is still a pretty friendly guy, however, takes part in the search for water underground and seems to still be friends with Gloria even after she rejects him.
  • Jump Scare: The shark popping out of the water and onto the beach to chase after Mort.
  • Kiss of Life: Used as a diversionary tactic by Private when he pretends to get hit by a tourist jeep and plays dead. While the tour guide is administering CPR, the penguins steal the jeep.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Makunga eventually meets his downfall when Alex tricks him into taking Nana's purse, then unleashing the old lady to attack him. Then Nana drags Makunga away as the other animals cheer.
    • The commentary confirms that Nana brought Makunga back to New York in a kitty cage!
  • Leitmotif: Africa gets the Born Free theme.
  • Loving Details: Melman recites a lot of minor details about Gloria when he interrupts her date with Moto Moto, including her favourite flowers and favorite meal. This convinces Gloria that Melman really loves her, while Moto Moto is only interested in her because of her bulk.
  • Love Revelation Epiphany: Melman is in love with Gloria but she doesn't know yet. By the time she finds out, Melman attempts to sacrifice himself to the volcano for the others safety and then Gloria realizes she has feelings for him too.
  • Love Triangle: Melman/Gloria/Moto Moto.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: As a tribute, the film starts off with Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman as kids.note 
    Young Melman: (to Young Gloria, dismayed) You think he's [Alex] cute?
  • Marilyn Maneuver: King Julian's grass cheerleader skirt momentarily goes upwards from jumping out of a cake before fixing it to congratulate the four.
  • Pec Flex: Moto Moto does this a few times.
  • Planet of Copyhats: Apparently, all hippos are sassy like Gloria, all giraffes are neurotic and hypochondria-prone like Melman, and all zebras are laid-back and wise-cracking like Marty (as well as look and sound exactly like him). Averted with Alex, who's an odd one out of his species with his flamboyant mannerisms and love of dancing.
  • Planet of Steves: Every zebra in the sequel acts and nearly looks the same as Marty (not to mention that like Marty, they're all voiced by Chris Rock). Alex is only able to tell Marty apart from the others because of the teeth marks on his butt from the previous film.
  • Pop-Star Composer: co-wrote and performed the songs and music of this film.
  • Previously On…: Part of the beginning of the film recaps how the Zoosters got to Madagascar.
  • Retcon: A few plot elements are introduced as if they have always been there:
    • Alex's birthmark is the most notable example, being rather prominent in size and location, but not seen at all in the first movie.
    • Melman's crush on Gloria did not come up in the first film at all, but here it is introduced as if he has been in love with her since childhood.
    • While Alex was shown to be fairly energetic, there was never any indication that his performance at the zoo consisted of anything besides posing and roaring. Here he's known well enough for his dancing that New York tourists are able to recognize him by it.
  • Savage Piercings: Spoofed - when the other giraffes make Melman their Witch Doctor, they present him with the requisite nose bone: "Don't worry, it's a clip-on."
  • Scene of Wonder: The zoosters have this kind of moment when they look over the African plains and see others of their own kind for the first time.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: Moto Moto is introduced rising out from the water and SexyWalking to Gloria to flirt with her.
  • Shown Their Work: The flashback to Alex as a cub arriving in New York City has the Twin Towers in the background, making it one of the few post-9/11 movies to feature them.
  • Shout-Out: Alex being frightened when he sees Mort outside the plane wing and then momentarily mistaking him for a [[Film/Gremlins Gremlin]].
  • Stupid Question Bait: Subverted when Skipper is organizing the newly recruited (by Phil and Mason) monkeys to repair their plane.
    Skipper: (addressing the Monkeys) Stop lollygagging, and let's get to work. We'll divide into three groups. Group Alpha, you're in charge of sheet metal fabrication. Group Bronson, you'll handle assembly. Group George Peppard, you'll handle craft services. Any questions?''
    Mason: (about to say something)
    Skipper: (interrupts him) Good! Now let's get to work!
  • Summon Bigger Fish: How Alex and Zuba ultimately dispose of Makunga. Specifically, they sic "Bluehair" on him.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: The fish in the dried-up water hole.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Melman saying Gloria has a beautiful laugh as she snorts happily causes Alex and Marty to look at each other, and give frozen smiles.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: Gloria stops Melman from foolishly jumping into the volcano and sacrificing himself to bring water after she finds out about his feelings towards her.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Alex, on his quest to save the watering hole. Marty disagrees.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: When the penguins get the airplane ready for take-off:
    Skipper: Lights.
    Kowalski: Check.
    Skipper: Flaps.
    Kowalski: Check.
    Skipper: Engine.
    Kowalski: Check.
    Skipper: Coffee maker.
    Kowalski: Check.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: In the teaser to Escape 2 Africa, Melman admits that he loves Gloria. At first, this seems to be a gag based on the fact that their plane is falling out of the sky (especially given the characters' reactions), but it turns out that it's the driving point of Melman's plotline in the movie.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm:
    • Makunga manipulates Zuba into surrendering leadership of the pride and the reserve, and takes power.
    • However, Julian also more or less takes over the reserve when he convinces the desperately thirsty animals of the reserve to make a sacrifice to the volcano god.
  • Wedding Bells... for Someone Else: About at the end of the sequel, we're lead to believe that Melman and Gloria are getting hitched. Then it pans down to reveal that its really Skipper marrying Lola, a bobble-head doll, which was an even weirder coupling.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Julien: "Which of you is attracted to me?"
  • Wiper Start: The penguins' first attempt at Rico hotwiring the safari jeep results in this.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: The gold and diamonds the animals dig up at the watering hole while desperately looking for water. The penguins, who are from New York and are well aware what gold is worth to humans, take it all for themselves (the loot comes back in the third film, although the trope is no longer in play). Marty and the Zoosters are also aware of its value in civilization, but they have greater concerns.
  • Would Harm a Senior: Alex is more than willing to get in a one-on-one fight with the little old lady who beat him up in the first film. Despite Alex being a fully grown male lion, the old lady still wins the fight.
  • You No Take Candle: Alex, while trying to explain his plane crash to the animals in Africa.
    Lioness: he dancing about a plane crash?


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