This lot get as close as cute anthropomorphic cartoon animals will probably ever get to being red in tooth and claw, but there's a line that can't be crossed and although Madagascar tentatively pokes a hoof over it, this self-constraint ultimately adds to the irresolute feel of the final third.
This may not be the most innovative of the new generation of digital animations, but it's generally amusing. Possibly the best gag, surrounding the arrival of a group of pugnacious dissident penguins in Antarctica, is one you see approaching from a distance, but is still pretty hilarious when it arrives.
None of the characters are especially well 'drawn', but the stormy seas the animals tumble into inside crates is are memorably realised. The celebrity voiceovers were again a bit hit and miss, with a special mention for David Schwimmer on the miss side.
There are several enjoyable, adults-only references to movies like Planet of the Apes and American Beauty.