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Madagascar: Back 2 Africa.

Those unruly New York zoo animals keep the fun alive.

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If kids actually sit and watch an 89-minute cartoon about a talking lion, zebra, giraffe and hippo without screaming for Mountain Dew and asking every 10 minutes if it's over yet, that's a sign of a pretty good children's movie. And so it was at the advance screening of Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath's animated comedy, the sequel to the madcap 2005 adventure that put a boatload of New York City zoo creatures on the titular African island. Now, the animals once shipwrecked in Madagascar make an escape for New York, only this time they end up crashing in Africa. A fast pace and decent dialog (with voice work from Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Alec Baldwin and the late Bernie Mac) helps Mad 2 hit its most critical benchmark: It keeps the kids entertained without boring the parents. Starts Fri., Nov. 7.

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