Characters: Madagascar

This list applies only to the film franchise and its respective canon. For the character traits applicable to the The Penguins of Madagascar canon, go here.

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    Introduced in Madagascar 

Alex the Lion (born Alakay)

Voiced by: Ben Stiller

Marty the Zebra

Voiced by: Chris Rock

Gloria the Hippo

Voiced by: Jada Pinkett Smith

Melman the Giraffe

Voiced by: David Schwimmer

The Penguins

Voiced by: Tom McGrath (Skipper), Chris Miller (Kowalski), John DiMaggio (Rico), Christopher Knights (Private)

King Julien


Voiced by: Cedric the Entertainer


Voiced by: Andy Richter

Mason and Phil

Voiced by: Conrad Vernon (Mason)

  • Ascended Extra: Their screentime is fairly minimal throughout the series, but their role becomes more important in the later movies, being responsible for repairing the plane in 2 and pretending to be a human to represent the animals in 3.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Averted for the sake of Phil's sign language.
  • Never Learned to Read: Mason is illiterate. Phil, on the other hand, is the penguin's go-to translator for reading things.
  • Road Apples: Mason mentions throwing poo in the first Madagascar but is never seen doing it.
  • Shown Their Work: Phil's sign language is completely accurate.
    • Though they do admit that what he's actually saying is generally more complicated than what Mason translates (resulting in Bilingual Bonus if you know American Sign Language).
  • The Speechless: Phil.
  • Those Two Guys
  • Totem Pole Trench: When they try to buy train tickets in the first movie. In Europe's Most Wanted they dress as the "King of Versailles".


Voiced by: Elisa Gabrielli

The Fossa

Voiced by: Tom McGrath, Eric Darnell

    Introduced in Escape 2 Africa 


Voiced by: Bernie Mac

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Due to Actor Existence Failure. But he is not even mentioned in the third movie.
  • Ear Notch: In the prologue he had part of his left ear shot off by the poachers as he tried to save his son from them. By the time his vision clears from the blow, he doesn't notice that Alex's crate had fallen off the truck into the river and continue to chase the truck.
  • King of Beasts: He's the noble leader of the pride, respected by all animals on the savannah.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He's very disappointed that his son is better at dancing than fighting.


Voiced by: Sherri Shepherd

  • All There in the Script: She is never addressed by name in the movie, and is credited simply as Mom. Her name is revealed in the film's novelization.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Florrie is more accepting of Alex for who he is. She isn't disturbed at all by the fact that Alex prefers to dance instead of fight. Due to this, she acts as the voice of reason and tries to encourage Zuba that it is better that Alex came back to them as a king, dancing or no dancing.


Voiced by: Alec Baldwin

  • Captain Ersatz: Of Scar from The Lion King, with his manipulative nature played up for laughs. Unlike Scar, though, Makunga is just more of a pompous jerk instead of outright evil
  • Cats Are Mean
  • Ink-Suit Actor: He resembles a caricature of Alec Baldwin as a lion, even sharing his actor's trademark gray streak on his black mane.
  • It's All About Me: His reason of why he wants to become alfa lion. "I'm better looking. I've got better hair. I'm deceivingly smart. And I want everyone else to do what I say."
  • Jerk Ass:
  • Jerk Jock
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He meets his downfall when Alex tricks him into taking Nana's purse, then unleashing the old lady to attack him. Then Nana drags Makunga off the reserve with the other animals cheering.
    • The DVD Commentary confirms that Nana brought Makunga back to New York in a kitty cage!
  • Skunk Stripe
  • Smug Snake

Moto Moto

Voiced by:

    Introduced in Europe's Most Wanted 


Voiced by: Bryan Cranston

  • Beyond the Impossible: After being successful in jumping hoops; He wanted to jump through the next level; this time through rings. As in, too small for all of the daintiest of fingers rings. Everyone constantly comments on how what he does should be physically impossible. He did take it a bit too far by coating himself with olive oil and ordering Stefano to light the hoop on fire; Suffice to say, the result wasn't pretty. Alex helps him overcome this by convincing the tiger to instead use Non-flammable hair conditioner and the result is tremendous; Vitaly jumps through the flaming hoop unharmed this time. For the climax he breaks into Marty's cage by jumping through the keyhole, and breaks Marty out by jumping back out the keyhole while holding Marty.
  • Broken Ace
  • Commander Contrarian: At first.
  • Defrosting Ice King: After Alex helps him overcome his fears with his ring act to become a star again, you couldn't ask for a better male friend outside of the Zoosters for Alex.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: On borscht.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: A rare example where the eyes do match the trope, and only in retrospect, but after learning from his Backstory that screwing up the ring jump cost him his fur and had it grow back "bristly" instead of soft, it seems evident that his mockery of Alex's glossy fur is a form of Sour Grapes. He's certainly quite happy to get soft fur "like a kitten" again after using the hair conditioner.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: He wears blue briefs and a golden belt. It's less than a half-dressed cartoon animal usually wears, but still beyond being an Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal.
  • The Heart: Of the Circus.
  • Heroic BSOD: Has gone into a perpetual one ever since screwing up the ring jump. Alex finally helps him snap out of it.
  • Heroic Build
  • Hot Guy, Ugly Ex-Wife: All we see of his ex-wife (who ran away with a musician) is a single photograph: she basically looks like him with lipstick.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: He's basically Bryan Cranston if he were, well a tiger.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Very jerkish at the outset, and in the end showing a soft heart as big as he is.
  • Knife Nut: keeps a big amount of throwing knifes, despite the fact that they have nothing to do with his act.
    • Must just do the knife throwing on his off-times (and bitterness)
  • The McCoy
  • Meaningful Name: Vitaly's name is one letter away from "vital" and he is The Heart of the circus. "As Vitaly goes, so does the circus."
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong
  • My Greatest Failure: Screwing up the ring jump.
  • Not So Above It All: Joins in on the Afro-Circus dance at the end, even donning a Funny Afro like the rest.
  • Papa Wolf: Extremely protective of his circus and his fellow circus animals. If his "I missed" remarks are to be believed, he will kill anyone who threatens the circus.
  • Pride: This is both his Fatal Flaw (as being too convinced of his infallibility is what pushed him to go too far with the ring jump) and how he restores his reputation (by believing in himself again).
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: He seems to have taken up knife and sword tricks in place of his ring jump.
  • Top Heavy Tiger
  • Up, Up and Away!: He assumes this position when leaping through the ring.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Fire: Shown off in a very well-done scene in his boxcar. He gets better.


Voiced by: Jessica Chastain


Voiced by: Martin Short


Voiced by: Frank Welker

Captain Chantel DuBois

Voiced by: Frances McDormand

    Introduced in Penguins of Madagascar 


  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: After the North Wind are captured by Dave's forces and about to be killed, he desperately tries to talk one of Dave's henchmen into letting them go in exchange for a fish.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: He has the North Wind retreat and leave Skipper, Rico and Kowalksi in Dave's clutches, to Privates chagrin. Later on, they arrive just in time to give the penguins a little help during the final battle.
  • Jerkass: He has a very low opinion of Skipper's team to begin with, dismissing them as "helpless", taking credit for their accomplishments, and he even has them drugged and carted off to a safehouse rather than let him interfere in the clash against Dave. He would later taunt Skipper over losing Private.
  • The Leader
  • Noble Wolf
  • No Name Given
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: His name is classified, in that it is a secret. Skipper, however, assumes he means his name actually is Classified and refers to him as that throughout the film.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: By the end of the film. He thanks the penguins by giving them jetpacks.


Voiced by: Annet Mahendru
  • The Chick
  • Expy: Could be considered one of Doris the Dolphin from "The Penguins ofMadagascar"
  • Interspecies Romance: She is shown to reciprocate Kowalski's feelings once Dave is defeated, kissing him passionately.
  • The Owl-Knowing One: She's a snowy owl, and she manages the intelligence of North Wind.
  • Smurfette Principle: She's the only major female character.
  • The Stoic: The most composed and straight-faced among the North Wind. She even retains the same serious facial expression for most of the film.
    • Not So Stoic: Her composure does slip a few times, like when Classified is pelted with the contents of a chemical toilet, or when she kisses Kowalski.

Short Fuse

Voiced by: Ken Jeong


Voiced by: Peter Stormare

Dave/Dr.Octavius Brine

Voiced by: John Malkovich
  • Accidental Misnaming/My Name Is Not Durwood: Skipper gets his name wrong most of the time, calling him "Debbie", "Dwight", etc.
  • Big Bad
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: He's an octopus, and so are his minions.
  • Evil Is Petty: He acknowledges that turning every penguin on Earth into a monster won't make people like him, but it will make them hate penguins, and he'll enjoy that.
  • Freudian Excuse: Every zoo he went to, his spotlight was stolen by penguins, causing him to hate them with a passion.
  • Mad Scientist
  • Master of Disguise: He can take on the appearance of a human (whom he calls "Dr Octavius Brine"), by squishing and contorting his body, wearing a wig and glasses, and changing color.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Dr. Blowhole from the television series: another aquatic animal supervillain with personal vendetta against the penguins.
  • Toothy Bird: He's the only octopus in the film with visible teeth (Heck, a mouth that is placed in the position a human would have).
  • Tragic Keepsake: His collection of snowglobes, each one from a zoo that rejected him.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Feels this way at first... Then decides to fill the emptiness with more revenge!