By peoplestaff225
Updated October 27, 2008 01:00 PM

Jeff Vespa/WireImage

The upcoming animated feature Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa features the voice work of Ben Stiller and a roster of A-list celebrities. Some special guest stars? Ben’s children Ella Olivia, 6, and Quinlin Dempsey, 3. "It’s fun to be in something that kids can enjoy," Ben told PEOPLE at the Los Angeles premiere of the flick. "My daughter isexcited to see it because she knows [she and her brother are] in there somewhere."

Though Ben and wife Christine Taylor, 37, keep busy with their various movie roles, Ben says it’s his children that keep the couple going. "Family — that’s the real stuff," the actor, 42, shares. "It keeps you grounded in life. You have to have a balance when you’reworking in this business of the time you spend at home with your familyand not working, and that becomes much more important when you havekids. [It] is for me."

While work requires travel, Ben shares that his schedule revolves around his kids. "You have to be aware of when the kids are in school and where you cango, and how long you can go away for, or if everybody can come along," he says. "This summer we were shooting [the sequel to] Night at the Museum in Vancouver and it was perfect because it was over the summer, so we were all up there and had a great summer together!"

As for the secret to his blockbuster-worthy acting skills? He says the approval of his kids is all he needs to know he’s done his job. "You see what they respond to and they like silliness and fun. It keeps you sort of loose."

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa hits theaters on November 7th.