Saturday, February 7, 2009

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Blu-ray Review

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Blu-ray Review
written by Loys Johnson
Disc Size: 42.3 GB
Film Size: 25.4 GB
Film Rating: PG

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. As technology develops more and more, we get better product, and Madagascar is certainly an upgrade in visuals from the previous film. Detail is great, with the majority of scenes being quite stunning. Colors of course were perfect and vibrant, and really leaped off the screen. The film has a very nice 3-D pop to it, and it's sure to impress. 10/10.

A 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track is included, and sounds very nice. The film is a bit front heavy, but that's not to say it won't impress. Dialogue was front and center, clear at all times. The film's music made a nice use of the surround speakers, as did the film's sound effects. Towards the end, the track got significantly more impressive due to what was happening in the scene. The audio was simply fantastic, and a nice improvement over the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track on the DVD. 9/10.

Filmmakers' Commentary
The Animators' Corner (Picture-in-Picture video commentary)
Trivia Track
It's A Family Affair: The Cast of Escape 2 Africa (9:13) (HD)
The Making of Escape 2 Africa (11:05) (HD)
Crash Landing (3:40) (HD)
African Adventure (7:18) (HD)
Jambo Jambo: Swahill Speak (Interactive Learning)
The Bronx Zoo: Madagascar (8:17) (HD)

More Penguins (Two mini-Episodes from the Nickelodeon show):
Popcorn Panic (12:08) (HD)
Gone In A Flash (12:09) (HD)

'I Like To Move It' Music Video (2:49) (HD)
'Big And Chunky' Music Video (1:07) (HD)
'She Loves Me' Music Video (1:24) (HD)
'Traveling Song' Sing Along (1:32) (HD)
Alex's Dance Off (3:20) (HD)
Dreamworks Animation Video Jukebox (HD)
Test Flight of Air Penguin Game (Interactive Game)
Trailers (HD/SD)
The Heart Of The Lion (11:58) (SD)

There are a bunch of features, including a Blu-ray exclusive Picture-in-Picture track. The trivia track features fun random trivia, it's really anything goes. There was a bit of behind-the-scenes with the voice talents, as well as how the animators planned the hilarious plane crash scene. Also included is 2 mini-episodes that make one episode from the new Nickelodeon show. There are a few music videos that were featured in the film, as well as an interactive game. BD-Live is active, and currently features video on Lions in the wild, it was actually pretty cool. 7.5/10.

Blu-news Summary
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa was a nice surprise, I actually thought it was better than the first film. The returning characters and new characters are all extremely funny, and were mixed nicely. Character development was actually quite impressive compared to the first film, I really loved the background story opening, and just felt the story developed into a great sequel, when it really could have been a total mess.

The Blu-ray release is stunning, featuring fantastic video, great audio, and a nice package of extras. The Blu-ray release is 'Highly Recommended For Both Kids And Adults.'

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