Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

First Hit: The crisp preciseness and fine tuning of the animation is fabulous and the film held my and a theater full of kids’ interest.

Watching animation today is not like watching animation of the past. Early animation, like the original Popeye, Steamboat Willie, and Mighty Mouse cartoon animation, used thousands and thousands of still pictures moved in rapid fashion to create wonder fluid character movements.

As the 1970s and 1980s rolled in the cost of doing animation like this fell by the wayside and fluid movements by animated characters became a thing of the past. The producers left our minds to fill in the movements for us by reducing the number of still pictures used for movement.

Although, this was cost effective, anyone who really liked animation disliked the loss of beautiful clear movement. So in the 70s – 90s we were generally shown lousy animation except for Disney films which still used the old school process.

Then came the age of computer animation and the pinnacle effort of the animated film “Toy Story” which raised the bar to a level by which other computer animated films are measured. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa continues in this tradition in that the crisp clarity and realism, in an animated way, of the film is wonderful.

Movements of the animals take on both animal like characterizations but also a humanness that engages the audience. Although with this film the story line is rather convoluted, it works and the characters are lively and fun to watch.

The voiceovers by the actors involved are wonderful and border on being too adult at times, but then again it’s been a long time since I’ve been on a playground.

The animation is crisp and precise; just watch the fine hair on the characters and the water effects. I’m not sure why they picked a tough old lady from New York is one of the main antagonists but, in the end, it works.

Overall: The quality of the pictures is stronger than the story line, but in the end it was very satisfying and the kids in the theater loved it.