Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is a 2008 sequel to the 2005 film, Madagascar about the continuing adventures of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, Marty the Zebra, and Melman the Giraffe. The film, distributed to theaters by Paramount Pictures, starts as prequel, showing a small part of Alex's early life, including his capture by hunters. It soon moves to shortly after the point where the original left off, with the animals deciding to return to New York. They board an airplane on Madagascar, but crash-land in Africa, where each of the central characters meets others of the same species; Alex is reunited with his parents. Problems arise, and their resolution occupies much of the remainder of the film.
The previous title was "Madagascar:The Crate Escape", which was featured on a trailer with Ben Stiller. This, along with Soul Men, was Bernie Mac's last film performance. There were many cultural references in this film, one being Sandy Koufax on the cover of a Life magazine. As a cub, Alex the lion was called Alakay and was the son of Zuba, the alpha lion. Though Zuba tries to teach Alakay to be a hunter, the cub is more interested in dancing. When another lion named Makunga challenges Zuba to a fight for the position of alpha lion, Alakay is captured by poachers. Though Zuba tries to rescue his son, Alakay is forced into a crate.
The crate falls into the ocean where it drifts to New York. There, Alakay is renamed Alex and sent to the Central Park Zoo where he grew up, meeting Gloria, Marty, and Melman.In the present time, Alex, Gloria, Melman, Marty, King Julien, Maurice, and Skipper and his fellow penguins board a repaired airplane in the hopes of using it to fly back to New York. Mort tries to board the plane but King Julien doesn't want him on board and locks him outside. The plane takes off and starts with a relaxing journey, Alex spots Mort clinging to the wing of the plane and waves to him (causing Mort to wave back and fall of the wing into the sea). The plane soon ends up crash-landing in Africa when it runs out of fuel. In Africa the animals are amazed to find more of their kind. Alex is reunited with Zuba and his mother. Marty quickly fits into a herd of zebra who all look, sound, and talk exactly like him. Melman takes on the position of witch doctor amongst the animals. Gloria, interested in finding a mate, attracts the attention of a smooth-talking but shallow hippo named Moto Moto. Meanwhile, the penguins set about repairing the plane. They carjack several jeeps from New Yorkers on vacation, leaving the tourists stranded and lost in the jungle. A tough old woman called "Nana" takes charge, reminding them that they are New Yorkers and always survive. The next morning Mort washes up on the shore of Africa and sets off to find King Julien, only to be chased by a shark.