"It took a while to get used to," he says. "They have these little cameras that are filming you to get your expressions so that they can use it for the animators. So you just sort of have to do it a lot, I think, and sort of let it go. Once you start free forming ... you realize that you're looking ridiculous and making these crazy sounds."
Ben, a father of two, says it all came together when he saw the final version of the first film. When it came time to do the sequel, he was ready. "It was easier to just make a fool of myself in the studio," he says.
Chris and Ben usually voice their characters in a room by themselves, but during the sequel, they worked together for one day. "I got to see how good Chris is," Ben says. What impressed Ben most? He says Chris can come up with funny lines without having anybody there to react to them. In fact, he ad-libbed Oprah's favorite term in the film—crackalackin.
"My kids—especially my youngest—she likes to brag that her dad is the zebra from Madagascar, so any time there's a birthday party I have to say 'crackalackin' all day," Chris says.