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Introduced in Madagascar
Alex the Lion
Voiced by: Ben StillerAlex (born Alakay) is an African lion. Alex is headstrong, protective and self-proclaimed leader of his friends. He is best friends with Marty (Zebra). He is used to the life of comfort in the zoo, but learns to adapt to the wild. He's smart, quick thinking and fast on his feet. He is a dancer by nature, often impressing others with his aerobatic feats. He does tend to be a little self-absorbed, often not seeing the problems of others above his own.
- All Animals Are Domesticated: An aversion is used as one of the film's main plotlines. Alex is mostly harmless when locked in the zoo and given enough meat. Even he's still sane when thrown in the wild for a day. However, that doesn't hide the fact he's a freaking lion, who's an obligate carnivore; he will have to hunt meat if he wants to survive. So come the first several days and his instinct activates...
- Camp Straight: Alex is quite flamboyant and loves to dance, but is in a relationship with Gia.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
- Funny Animal: He walks on two legs and is more anthropomorphic than most other characters.
- Game Face: When Alex "discovers" himself, his face becomes more eager.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Marty; their friendship is central to the first movie's plot.
- Horror Hunger: His appetite for meat (and the realization that his friends are made of meat) is one of the main sources of conflict the first movie.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Being the most childlike of the quartet, he has the right coloring.
- Interspecies Romance: With Gia.
- Ink-Suit Actor: He's basically Ben Stiller as a lion.
- It's All About Me: His idea of a birthday gift is to give them his own merch.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be a bit selfish and a bit of a show off, but he's still a very friendly guy.
- Keet: Loud, hyperactive and somewhat flamboyant.
- King of Beasts: In the first movie, he is referred to as "the King of New York". The second movie reveals that he's the son of the leader of a lion pride.
- Leader Wannabe: In Madagascar 3. The fact that he is technically the leader does not mean that others respect him (especially the members of the circus).
- The Merch: In-Universe example. Alex is quite popular in Central Park.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: As a cub.
- Super Strength: He was fully capable of ripping a telephone box off the handle. In the climax, he was able knock a large group of fossas in one blow.
- Took a Level in Badass: Alex started quite inept when thrown out of the zoo. Come the third movie, he's not only able to survive, he even chooses to not go back.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Gia in the third film.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: In the second movie, Alex strives to show his father he's a real lion.
- Would Hit a Girl: He isn't shy about hitting a psychotic old lady. To be fair, the old lady hit first.
Marty the Zebra
Voiced by: Chris RockMarty is a plains zebra who used to live at the Central Park Zoo, and is a good friend of Alex. Marty is a hopeless optimist; he usually sees the brighter side of many things, taking every situation in stride. He has black and white stripes, a furry coat, a mane, and a tufted tail. Marty is best friends with Alex and the two are rarely at odds. His carefree lifestyle tends to get on the nerves of his friends, but mostly serves to impress them; he is the one who helps hold the group together when things seem to get down.
- Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag: He walks quadrupedal throughout most of the movie, but he stands up on his hind legs when he is excited.
- Catchphrase: "Crack-a-lackin!"
- Fearless Fool: He isn't afraid of going out into the wild, or Connecticut.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- Funny Afro: Wears one in the third film and sings a very catchy song about it.
- Gone Horribly Right: He attempts to reach the "wilderness" of Connecticut...only to end up in the certifiably-wild Madagascar. Subverted in that he enjoys it even more; it's just that his friends loath it (at least initially).
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Alex.
- I Just Want to Be Special: He feels this way in Madagascar 2, when he realizes that all zebras look and act like him.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Designed to look like his voice actor Chris Rock.
- Jive Turkey: He has an African-American accent (courtesy of Chris Rock) and uses a lot of unusual slang (his Catch Phrase is "Crack-a-lackin'", for a start.
- Keet: Almost as hyperactive as his best friend Alex.
- National Animal Stereotypes: Marty is an African mammal living in America, making him an African-American, and he speaks in a Jive Turkey manner.
- Out of Focus: Just a supporting deuteragonist in the 3rd film along with Gloria and Melman.
- The Lancer: He jumps at the chance to do something wild and extreme.
- Undying Loyalty: In the first movie, he went to go save Alex despite the fact that he wanted to eat him.
- Wolverine Publicity: He was overexposed in the third film's commercials and advertisements.
- You ALL Look Familiar: When he was with the Zebras in Madagascar 2.
Gloria the Hippo
Voiced by: Jada Pinkett SmithGloria is a hippopotamus who resided in the Central Park Zoo as an attraction, all the while being good friends with Alex and Marty, and Melman's girlfriend (as of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa). She has gray skin, a snout, black fingernails, and a short stubby tail. She acts as the older sister to the gang, often putting her foot down when the boys start to lose control.
- Acro Fatic: And how. Just watch her dancing in the credits of the first film, for starters. And in the third film she can even balance on a tightrope without the rope snapping on her weight.
- Annoying Laugh: Melman will disagree with you, though.
- The Big Girl: Even though she is a female, she uses more power than any other character in the group.
- Big Beautiful Woman: According to Smith, she loved Gloria because she was both huge and sexy.
- Big Eater: Hinted. Melman says her favorite breakfast is six loaves of wheat toast, buttered on both sides, no crusts.
- Mostly averted in the first film. The filmmakers acknowledged that fat jokes directed at an animal that's normally several hundred pounds in real life would be too predictable.
- Brown Eyes
- Childhood Friend Romance: With Melman.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
- Funny Animal: Always walks on two legs and she is very anthropomorphic.
- Hartman Hips: Her hips are as wide as her stomach, if her dancing gives any idea.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Cute slender, Jada Pinkett Smith may not be heavy and fat like Gloria, but her ecstatic smile is still very blatant in that heavily built hippo.
- Interspecies Romance: With Melman in the sequel.
- Lightning Bruiser: Despite her massive bulk, she is quite capable of running quickly (as accurate for her species). This is especially true in the video games, where jalapenos can cause to run as much higher speeds than hippos are physically capable of.
- Living Emotional Crutch: In Melman's love confession to Gloria in Madagascar 2, he tells her that she was the one thing that kept him going while they were at the zoo.
- Love Revelation Epiphany: It's not until she finds out Melman is in love with her that she realizes she loves him too.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine Girl to Melman's Feminine Boy.
- Ms. Fanservice: Invoked/Parodied. A lot of the time, her butt is clearly visible.
- A lot of references to her butt are made throughout the films, during the intro of the second movie there's a close up of her shaking it, a majority of her dance moves tend to involve her swaying her hips or shaking her butt, she's given two love interests in the second movie, she's once shown with a pseudo-bikini in the first movie...
- National Animal Stereotypes: A large African mammal portrayed as a Sassy Black Woman.
- Official Couple: With Melman, from the second movie onward.
- Out of Focus: Just a supporting deuteragonist in the 3rd film along with Marty and Melman.
- Sassy Black Woman: Voiced by African American actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Gloria becomes a couple with Melman, the giraffe who knows everything about her and only wants her happy, instead of Moto-Moto, the hippopotamus who was only interested in her body.
- Stout Strength/ Super Strength: True to species, she is a powerhouse that can smash right through brick walls in a snap.
- Team Mom: The girl that holds all of the main cast together. Her voice actress has even commented on this, stating that Gloria "sees the rest of the group as being like her kids".
Melman the Giraffe
Voiced by: David SchwimmerMelman Mankiewicz is a male reticulated giraffe. He has a furry coat, whiskers, a snout, a long neck, brown spots, horns, and a tufted tail. He is somewhat of a hypochondriac, having doses of medicine for meals and doctor's appointments frequently. He even complains about having brown spots on his neck (the spots, in real life, are natural).
- Adorkable: Melman is the lovable scatterbrain of the foursome. This becomes a main subplot point in Escape 2 Africa.
- Ambiguously Jewish: His surname is Mankiewicz.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Does a sudden love confession to Gloria when the plane he boards in is about to crash land. Cut to Gloria sleeping and Alex and Marty's puzzling gazes.
- Camp Straight: Girly, does manicure/pedicure, and is generally restless on everything. And yet the second film reveals that he has been in love with Gloria since childhood.
- Childhood Friend Romance: With Gloria. The second movie established that Melman had a crush on Gloria since they were little.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
- Green Eyes
- Gullible Lemmings: He always falls for anything that he believes will cure his problems instantly.
- The Heart: He's very sensitive.
- Hidden Depths: The timid Melman actually likes adventure.
- Ink-Suit Actor/Recycled In Space: Since he's voiced by David Schwimmer, he's basically Ross Geller as a giraffe.
- Interspecies Romance: With Gloria.
- Lovable Coward: He's so afraid of everything that he's loved even by Gloria.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Gloria's Masculine Girl.
- The Medic: He knows all about vaccinations and diseases.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Besides resembling his voice actor David Schwimmer, he also seems to be inspired by Woody Allen, if being nerdy, neurotic, and Ambiguously Jewish is any indication.
- Official Couple: With Gloria, by the end of the second movie.
- Out of Focus: Just a supporting deuteragonist in the 3rd film along with Gloria and Marty.
Voiced by: Tom McGrath (Skipper), Chris Miller (Kowalski), John DiMaggio (Rico), Christopher Knights (Private)A four-man penguin group that often help out the main characters.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Skipper is The Leader and by far the best fighter in the team.
- Ax-Crazy: All four are prone to violence, but Rico in particular is a few screws loose. They have also been called psychotic on more than one occasion.
- Badass Crew: All of them pull their own weight and are nothing to sneeze at when united.
- Big Damn Heroes: In all three movies no less!
- Big Good: Despite their various quirks, they're certainly the most competent out of the cast, always the ones responsible for getting the plot going, generally the ones solving the 'bigger' problems (Stealing the ship in 1, fixing the plane in 2 and actually running the Circus in 3, though the monkeys helped with the latter two), and are always Big Damn Heroes in all three movies (or at least leading the charge).
- Breakout Characters: They got their own TV series and movie.
- Butt Monkey: Private, being the youngest and least competent of the team, often ends up as the butt of jokes.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Nothing will cause these penguins to loose their cool (except for Private sometimes).
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Private goes through this in Penguins of Madagascar, wanting to be recognized as a meaningful and valued member of the team.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: They pretty much became the breakout characters of the franchise, eventually getting their own movie and TV series.
- Four Man Band:
- Flanderization: Rico coughs up a paperclip in the first movie, and this behavior isn't seen in the second. The third features a few more Bag of Holding stomach gags as popularized by The Penguins of Madagascar which had aired since then, and then Penguins of Madagascar takes this gag to the extreme.
- The Heart: Private is the cutest, kindest and often most sane of the team.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Rico. He keeps a lot of items in his mouth which he hurls out when needed. Or rather, he regurgitates. He basically just pukes the stuff up whenever they need it.
- Interspecies Romance: In Merry Madagascar, Private falls in love with Cupid the reindeer, while Kowalski develops a crush on Eva the snowy owl in Penguins of Madagascar.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As their movie shows. Really, they aren't bad peop-err-penguins, just little psychotic. Also, they love each other and they always help zoosters.
- Killer Rabbits: They may look cute and cuddly, but they're 100% capable of spy ops. And building weapons of mass distruction on a whim. See the Nucular reactor in Europe's Most Wanted.
- Knife Nut: The first thing Rico does when Alex questions the penguins authority is pull a switchblade out of no where.
- Minor Major Character: Rico in the first film is the least developed of the four penguins, having no dialog, a very standard design (the movies don't even show his scar) and very little screentime or personality until he begins taking on aspects of his cartoon counterpart in later films.
- The Nicknamer: Skipper. Except for his crew he calls no one by ther actual name.
- Officer and a Gentleman: Skipper.
- The Quiet One: Rico has only a handful of monosyllabic interjections throughout the three movies. The most he ever says is "Hai".
- Running Gag: Private getting slapped in the head, usually as a result of fumbling a high five.
- The Smart Guy: Collectively this whenever they work with the Zoosters, as they have the most technical know-how and make the best plans.
- Token Good Teammate: While none of them are evil, they are quite big jerks except for the naive and kind-hearted Private.
- True Companions: Penguins of Madagascar shows how strong the bond between them is, to the point where they consider themselves "brothers."
Voiced by: Sacha Baron CohenKing Julien XIII is a conceited, selfish, fun-loving ring-tailed lemur. As a self-proclaimed lord of the lemurs, Julien ruled over a great colony of lemurs in Madagascar using mostly his charisma and delegating, i.e. telling other people what they should do since he certainly had very little ability to lead. Nevertheless, he shows more intelligence and calmness compared to the other lemurs (aside from Maurice), which is shown when the very word "Fossa" drives all of them, except himself and Maurice, into a state of panic. He had parties for his people on Madagascar with much frequency.
- Animal Gender-Bender: Lemur colonies are matriarchal. Because of this, Wild Mass Guessing has pegged him as Ambiguously Transsexual.
- Breakout Character: Julien was actually a minor character in the first film. Fans adored him, and his Ear Worm song, and he's since become one of the most popular characters along with the penguins, appearing with them in The Penguins of Madagascar back in Central Park Zoo in place of the main characters, and starring in his own spinoff, All Hail King Julien.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: All Hail King Julien shows that the lemurs consider Julien the best king they've had in years, despite his eccentricities and self-centred nature.
- Camp Straight: He was Ambiguously Gay until the third movie, which gave him Sonya the bear as a love interest.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He talks to sky spirits, is very eccentric, and often has no concept of reality in his kingdom.
- Cool Crown: King Julien is constantly exchanging his crowns for larger more elaborate models based on what he can find, losing one doesn't bug him as it is an excuse to trade up for an even bigger one.
- His most iconic crown is his first crown made of wood and leaves that he gives to Alex as a present at the end of the first movie.
- His second crown is made entirely out of leaves and, as he is quick to point out, is much taller than his old one, featuring a gecko as the centerpiece. He leaves the gecko in charge of the kingdom in the second movie and loses the crown in a plane crash.
- He makes a third crown of wood and feathers upon landing in Africa and keeps it for the rest of the movies.
- He wears an extremely tall wooden tribal crown as part of a volcano sacrifice. This crown seems to be purely ceremonial as he switches back to his feather crown afterward.
- Fat and Skinny: With Maurice.
- Flanderization: His selfishness, incompetence, ego, stupidity and weird accent (although the last one could be chalked up to Danny Jacobs replacing Sacha Baron Cohen).
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: His relationship with Sonya in the third film.
- Hot Guy, Ugly Wife: With Sonya. Although he's more cute and fluffy than "hot", that's still in stark contrast with Sonya who's a non-anthropomorphic bear.
- Interspecies Romance: With Sonya the bear.
- It's All About Me: Even more so than Alex. Not being the protagonist doesn't help matters.
- Jerkass: To his friends, the main cast, and especially Mort.
- Large Ham: He has lots of this thanks to his dancing skills and charismatic nature.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: The ending of the first film implies this may be the case for Julien. May. The second film also hints at this, as he cannily manipulates the panicking savannah animals into sacrificing Melman "before [they] come to [their] senses".
- Plucky Comic Relief: Although all characters in the movies are comedic to some extent, Julien steals every scene he appears in.
- Those Two Guys: With Maurice.
- Upper-Class Twit: He's a king with no physical knowledge other than knowledge of the Sky Spirits.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Julien speaks with a sort of Indian-meets-African accent.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: When Jumping Out of a Cake, he wore coconuts and a grass skirt.
- Wolverine Publicity: Has appeared in almost everything from the Madagascar film series.
Voiced by: Cedric the EntertainerMaurice is a "big boned" (overweight) Aye Aye; he is King Julien's advisor - not that Julien ever listens to him - and is highly skeptical of his ruler's mad plans.
- Deadpan Snarker: As he's much more sane than Julien and the other lemurs, he often makes sarcastic comments on them.
- Fat and Skinny: The fat to Julien's skinny.
- Hyper Competent Side Kick: He's a lot more intelligent than his boss.
- Only Sane Man: Among the lemurs, anyway.
- Out of Focus: He's mostly just there to be a Servile Snarker and rarely ever contributes to the plot. In the third film, even Mort ends up being more useful.
- Seldom-Seen Species: He's an aye aye.
- Servile Snarker: He's a loyal servant to King Julien despite being much smarter and snarkier than him.
- Stealth Pun: He's an aye aye that spends most of his time being Julien's yes man.
- Straight Man: He is a serious foil to the insane King Julien.
- The Starscream: Subtle. When it appears Julien has fallen to his death early in 3 he starts to break into a Slasher Smile, only to scowl in disappointment when it's revealed he survived.
- Those Two Guys: With Julien.
Voiced by: Andy RichterMort is a small cute and cuddly goodman's mouse lemur. Though quite timid, Mort can also be shrill and vocal in confrontations.
- Butt Monkey: He gets chewed out by Julien, chased by a shark, and berated by the circus animals.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He dreams about feet and King Julien at night.
- Cute Critters Act Childlike: He's a young adult lemur with the face of a cuddly baby.
- Determinator: He doesn't let the fact that he missed the plane keep him from following Julien to Africa.
- The Ditz: He loves feet and has the worst brain-power of the lemurs.
- Fearless Fool: Mostly in Madagascar 2, where he holds on to the wing of the airplane without worrying that he'll fall off (which he does), and is only mildly scared when an enormous Great White Shark lunges at him.
- Madeof Iron: His immunity to pain has been shown multiple times throughout the series.
- Older Than They Look: According to the movie commentary, he's actually an adult - mouse lemurs all look like babies.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Apparently even more so than Private as seen in the end of the Penguins of Madagascar Movie, where he was used to power the machine to restore Private to normal. He still had side-effects...just not as noticable as Private's Butt-hand during it's first use.
- Seldom-Seen Species: A mouse lemur.
- Small Annoying Creature: Julien labels him as this.
Mason and Phil
Voiced by: Conrad Vernon (Mason)Mason and Phil are two sophisticated common chimpanzees at the Central Park Zoo, who prefer to drink cups of coffee and "read" the newspaper in the morning. Mason speaks with a stereotypical British accent, while Phil doesn't speak and communicates through American Sign Language. While Mason is unable to read, Phil can and is used to decipher writing while Mason translates the ASL.
- 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.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Request maternity leave...despite them both being males.
- Drunk on Milk: Phil drinks Root Beer in the first movie, and generally acts hungover while in his zoo habitat.
- 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. Phil however only talks in Sign language, necessitating Mason to translate for him on a few occasions.
- Nice Guy: The two are fairly pleasant and are always loyal team players to the gang.
- Road Apples: Mason mentions throwing poo in the first film but is never seen doing it.
- Satellite Character: Although they become more important as a part of the penguins' plans in later movies, they also become defined solely by that, to the point where the Odd Couple character traits they show in the first movie disappear.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Phil, of all people, when Dubois bursts into the casino in Monte Carlo.
- 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, who communicates with American Sign Language instead.
- Those Two Guys: The translators and spokesanimals of the zoo.
- 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 GabrielliNana is an elderly lady with a German accent and the archenemy of Alex the lion.
- Ascended Extra: She appears only in a short gag in the first movie, but plays a much more important role in the second.
- Badass Bystander: This is a lady who kicked one lion in the wingdings on two separate occasions on two continents and then stared down what was essentially a wrecking ball on a plane without so much as flinching.
- Blood Knight: She has it out for bad kitties, including lions.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Hasn't been seen since the second movie.
- Cool Old Lady: At least the humans from the second movie consider her this, after she gives them a Rousing Speech.
- Determinator: She won't stop until every bad kitty is punished and/or maimed.
- Elderly Blue-Haired Lady: Not literally, but the Penguins identify her by the codename 'Bluehair'.
- Killer Rabbit: That poodle of hers. He even has the incredibly fitting name of Mr. Chew.
- Made of Iron: While her fight with Alex in the first movie is one sided, she even beats him in the second when he is actively trying to fight back. The penguins throw her out of a moving vehicle and ram her for good measure and she still gets up just fine.
- Never Mess with Granny: Or she'll beat the crap out of you. Even if you're a lion much bigger than her.
- When Elders Attack: A very vicious old woman who can easily beat up a lion.
Voiced by: Tom McGrath, Eric DarnellThe main antagonists of Madagascar. They terrorize the lemurs and attempt to eat them. According to Julien, "they're always annoying us [the lemurs] by trespassing, interrupting our parties, and ripping our limbs off.
- Expy: They are very similar to the Hyenas from The Lion King.
- Hulk Speak: All of the fossas speak like this.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Spelled 'Fossa', pronounced 'Foosa' (although the misspelling "Foosa" also appears in the movie).
- Seldom-Seen Species: You won't find many people who know what a fossa is.
- You All Look Familiar: All of the them look the same. The only difference is their fur color.
- Zerg Rush: They prefer to attack in packs (which is Artistic License – Biology, since real life fossa are solitary).
Introduced in Escape 2 Africa
Voiced by: Bernie MacZuba is a lion who is Alex's father and the alpha lion of the pride in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Due to Actor Existence Failure, 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.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he may have been insensitive towards Alex's choice to dance over fighting, he does love his son and would do anything to protect him.
- King of Beasts: He's the noble leader of the pride, respected by all animals on the savannah.
- Papa Wolf: His first instinct when baby Alex was kidnapped was to run straight for him...even after being shot. He also doesn't waste time going after his son when he thinks he might be endanger.
- Parents as People: He loves his son, but was admittedly disappointed of Alex preferring to dance.
Voiced by: Sherri ShepherdFlorrie is Alex's mother, Zuba's mate, and the alpha lioness of the pride in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
- 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: Along with her husband, she is not even mentioned in the third movie.
- Good Parents: Unlike Zuba, Florrie accepts Alex for who he is and calls out her husband over his stubbornness in the matter.
- Nice Girl: Florrie is caring, understanding, and accepting.
- 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 at all, dancing or no dancing.
Voiced by: Alec BaldwinMakunga is a male lion with a large black mane styled in a pompadour (similar to Elvis Presley's hair) and green eyes, and is the main antagonist of the second film. He is Zuba's rival and wants to take his place as alpha lion.
- Cats Are Mean: He's a cunning, malevolent lion.
- Cats Are Superior: He is vain, egotistic, and treats the other animals as inferior.
- Expy: 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
- 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 alpha 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: He's this to the lions and by extension, the entire reserve.
- Jerk Jock: He wants to be king so bad and he's got the brawn to do it.
- 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: One trait he shares with his voice actor Alec Baldwin is a gray streak on his mane.
- Smug Snake: He relishes the moment when his plan to become leader of the Pride falls into place.
Voiced by: will.i.amMoto Moto is a big-bellied, handsome, muscular hippopotamus with a deep voice, whose main hobby is flirting with anything of the female species.
- Big Beautiful Man: He is big and bulky, but also clearly a Mr. Fanservice.
- Big Ol' Unibrow: Part of his macho appearance.
- Chubby Chaser: This is the main reason why he is attracted to Gloria.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The "jerk" part is how shallow he is, since he only likes Gloria because she's the fattest hippo he's ever met. The "heart of gold" factor comes into play in that he's still a pretty nice guy, helping the animals look for water and remaining friends with Gloria after she presumably rejected him.
- Meaningful Name: According to the November 2008 issue of National Geographic Kids, "Moto Moto" in an African language (they didn't say which one, possibly Swahili) does mean "hot hot".
- Mr. Fanservice: His sexiness is played up, both in his character design with huge pecs (that he often flexes), and the way the camera pans over him. Also see Meaningful Name above.
- Pec Flex: Has a habit of doing this to impress Gloria.
- Put on a Bus: Not seen or mentioned in the third film.
- Romantic False Lead: He appears to be Gloria's potential boyfriend, but eventually gives way to Melman.
- Soul Brotha: His voice actor will.i.am wanted to make him sound like Barry White.
- Top-Heavy Guy: He has enormous pecs, a fairly large belly, and tiny legs.
Introduced in Europe's Most Wanted
Voiced by: Bryan CranstonVitaly is a Russian-accented Siberian tiger that leads a traveling circus in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.
- 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: After being burned, he vowed never to do his signature trick again and eat borscht all day.
- Catch Phrase: "So be it!" - which with his accent sounds like "Soviet".
- 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 B.S.O.D.: Has gone into a perpetual one ever since screwing up the ring jump. Alex finally helps him snap out of it.
- Heroic Build: Of the Russian variety.
- Hot Guy, Ugly 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.
- The McCoy: He's a Russian tiger who serves as the leader of the circus animals.
- 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: His act, his leitmotif, and his body emanate Mother Russia.
- My Greatest Failure: Screwing up the ring jump.
- National Animal Stereotypes: A Siberian Tiger portrayed as a Husky Russkie.
- 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: His strive for perfection bit him in the end and he almost tries to kill himself in the end.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: He seems to have taken up knife and sword tricks in place of his ring jump.
- Top Heavy Tiger: Part of his Heroic Build. Justified, as he1s both an athletic circus performer and, well, a tiger.
- Underwear of Power: He wears blue briefs, and his Beyond the Impossible circus routine (jumping through rings much smaller than him) can be considered a superpower.
- Up, Up and Away!: He assumes this position when leaping through the ring.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Shown off in a very well-done scene in his boxcar. He gets better.
Voiced by: Jessica ChastainGia is an Italian-accented jaguar who is part of the traveling circus in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.
- Action Girl
- The Chick: The only prominent female in the circus gang.
- Interspecies Romance: With Alex.
- Secondary Sexual Characteristics: Masculine Lines, Feminine Curves
- Plucky Girl
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Gia was quite affected by Alex's passionate speech and was heartbroken when she discovered that he and his friends lied to her and the others.
- The Spock: The most level-headed and reasonable of the circus trio.
- Tsundere: Type B to Alex. Her tsun side only comes out when the circus (or specifically, Vitaly) is threatened, or seems to be.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Alex in the third film.
- Younger than She Looks:Gia: Show me!
Alex: Pfft, 'show me'. What are we, five?
Gia: I am five!
Voiced by: Martin ShortStefano is an Italian-accented New Zealand sea lion with curly whiskers. He is part of the traveling circus in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and is a happy, fun-loving Italian sea lion who always looks on the brighter side of things. A true entertainer at heart, he is up for any challenge to save the circus, even convincing Alex that the show must go on.
- Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: He wears a ruff.
- Adorkable: Even more so in the concept designs!
- Break the Cutie: In the third act.
- Distressed Dude: Twice!
- The Ditz: Only slightly below average intelligence (or so he claims).
- Dumb Is Good: He may be dumb, but he makes up for it with his skill.
- Funny Foreigner: Acts and sounds like a stereotypical Italian. "He talks with his hands", says Craig Kellman, "so his shoulders were important".
- Genius Ditz: He's the one who inspires Alex to reignite the circus animals' passion for performing. Alex even suggests to him that he's smarter than he seems, but he denies it.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Inverted. Character designer Craig Kellman based Stefano's face on his own. On the other hand, Stefano sure does have Martin Short's big elastic smile.
- Keet: An extremely energetic and talkative sea lion.
- The Kirk
- Large Ham: Think The Great Gonzo meets Roger Rabbit.
- Nice Guy: He forgives the foursome, Marty in particular, really fast after they betrayed him.
- Non-Ironic Clown: He works at a circus, wears a ruff and has a goofy appearance with a broad smile and a large nose. He's also the nicest, friendliest circus animal in the movie.
- Sweet Seal: This sea lion is a goofy, lovable Non-Ironic Clown.
Voiced by: Frank WelkerSonya (vocal effects provided by Frank Welker) is the traveling circus’s most ferocious Eurasian brown bear who appears in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Her emotions are hard to read due to her lack of anthropomorphism, but she seems genuinely upset after she and Julien have a fight and accepts him back happily.
- Badass Biker: She can give even DuBois a beating with nothing but her biking skills.
- Bears Are Bad News: She appears to be scary before falling in love with Julien. And she can put on quite fight with her bike.
- Hot Guy, Ugly Wife: With King Julien. He's a cute, anthropomorphic lemur, she's a realistic brown bear.
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Her relationship with King Julien.
- Interspecies Romance: With King Julien.
- Morality Pet: Sonya is probably the sole being that Julien loves more than himself.
- Nearly Normal Animal: The only one in a cast of Civilized Animals.
- Nonstandard Character Design: She is more realistic than the other characters.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Her bow and tutu.
- The Unintelligible: The only animal who's unable to speak.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Do not endanger Julien.
Captain Chantel DuBois
Voiced by: Frances McDormandCaptain Chantel DuBois is a Monegasque animal control officer. She serves as the main antagonist of the third film.
- All Animals Are Dogs: A rare human example.
- Authority Equals Ass Kicking: The leader of the animal control squad, and an Implacable Woman.
- Ax-Crazy: She even tries to kill the animals when they are back in Central Park Zoo.
- Big Bad: The first true example in the franchise. Unlike the fossa who are just predators, or Makunga who's a pompous jerk, she's determined to kill Alex.
- Dark Action Girl: She punched her first snake at the age of 7. Given everything else she's done during the course of the film alone, this is probably not an exaggeration.
- Determinator: She'll stop at nothing until she catches the zoo gang (in particular that lion), even when they're far outside Monaco and thus out of her territory.
- Diabolical Dogcatcher: It's pretty much a given that she didn't get into animal control for the money.
- Establishing Character Moment: When she first rides through the smoke, her shadow is that of the Devil.
- Evil Redhead: She has red curls and is cruel and vicious.
- Implacable Woman: She punches through solid brick walls in order to catch up with the aircraft the Zoosters are escaping in.Julian: Hey, this lady is really starting to freak me out.
- Just Desserts: The end of the third film indicates that she's headed for this fate.
- Knight of Cerebus: She tries to saw Alex's head off during the climax.
- Knight Templar: Her task is to capture escaped animals to keep up safety and order in Monaco. She just takes it a bit too seriously.
- Made of Iron: She takes on more punishment than a normal human possibly could.
- Magic Music: Apparently DuBois' singing is so emotional and heartfelt, it heals her injured colleagues instantly, causing them to burst dramatically from their various body casts.
- Psycho for Hire: She works with the police, but is completely Ax-Crazy.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: To the point that just from smelling and tasting tracks left behind she can not only identify all sorts of impossible things about her quarry (height, weight, what they last ate), but she actually sees ghostly after-images of them showing their last actions.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!:"It was never about the money. It was about... the lion."
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A foreign badass woman with a grudge against Alex? Sounds like a certain old lady.
- Underestimating Badassery: Averted in both directions. The penguins' file on her says she's the best - and Alex and company quickly agree - and DuBois doesn't take anyone lightly.
- Taking You with Me: Determines to go down into a pool of eels with Alex's head.
- Unflinching Walk: Nothing fazes her.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Captain Dubois is out to murder Alex. As in literal, first-degree, premeditated murder. Even after Alex is re-contained in the zoo (at which point her warrant expires, and Alex becomes zoo property), she makes it very clear that she won't be satisfied while Alex still draws breath.
- Even before they arrive at the zoo, as in leaving Monaco entirely, she and her cronies continue to pursue them far beyond the boundaries of where they would legally be allowed to pursue the Zoosters.
- Worthy Opponent: Sees Alex as this.
Introduced in Penguins of Madagascar
Voiced by: Benedict CumberbatchClassified is a courageous yet slightly arrogant British gray wolf and the team leader of North Wind. He is the North Wind's counterpart of Skipper.
- 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.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: 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. Despite this, he truly believes in the North Wind's mission of protecting animals.
- The Leader: The head of the North Wind.
- Noble Wolf: A heroic wolf who leads a team that protects animals in danger.
- No Name Given: 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 MahendruEva is a Russian snowy owl and North Wind's intelligence analyst. Kowalski has a crush on her.
- The Chick: The only female in the team.
- Expy: Replaces Doris the Dolphin from The Penguins of Madagascar as Kowalski's Love Interest.
- Interspecies Romance: She is shown to reciprocate Kowalski's feelings once Dave is defeated, kissing him passionately.
- 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.
- The Owl-Knowing One: She's a snowy owl, and she manages the intelligence of North Wind.
- Satellite Love Interest: She gets very little characterization besides being smart and straight-faced. Yet, Kowalski finds her incredibly attractive.
- The Smart Guy: She collects intelligence for the 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.
Voiced by: Ken JeongShort Fuse is a Belgian harp seal. He is the North Wind's explosive and demolitions expert.
- Demolitions Expert: For the North Wind.
- Killer Rabbit: He is an adorable seal that carries massive guns.
- Meaningful Name: Doubly meaningful: he has zero patience for shenanigans, which made his reactions to the Penguins' antics all the more hilarious, and he is a demolitions expert who uses small bombs with short fuse.
- Motor Mouth: He goes into lengthy rants when he is frustrated.
- Seldom-Seen Species: A harp seal.
- Sweet Seal: Subverted. He looks and sounds the part, but sure doesn't act like it.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: The explosives he uses are small enough to fit in his flippers.
Voiced by: Peter StormareCorporal is a Norwegian polar bear and the muscle of the North Wind team. He seems to like penguins and he freaks out when other penguins are taken.
- Beary Friendly: He is gentle with those not on his bad side and has a soft spot for penguins in particular.
- Beary Funny: His obsession with cute animals is Played for Laughs.
- The Big Guy: The largest member of the North Wind, an enormous polar bear.
- Cuteness Proximity: During the North Wind's first encounter with the penguins, he hugs and fawns over them.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: Repeatedly smashes his team's tech and almost hugs the Penguins to death.
- Dumb Muscle: He's the strongest and least intelligent member of the North Wind, especially losing his mind when he sees cute animals.
- Everyone Has Standards: Despite his love for penguins, even he's a little miffed that Skipper, Kowalski, and Rico destroyed the North Wind's airship.
- Extreme Omnivore: Experiences stress eating occasionally. However he tends to grab the nearest object rather than the nearest edible food, which includes flight control panels. This is apparently common enough that his team has a procedure to break the item out of his mouth.
- Gentle Giant: An enormous polar bear who is incredibly fond of small and cute animals.
- National Animal Stereotypes: A Norwegian polar bear.
Voiced by: John MalkovichDave is a villainous and disgruntled octopus who serves as the main antagonist of Penguins of Madagascar.
- Accidental Misnaming: Skipper gets his name wrong most of the time, calling him "Debbie", "Dwight", etc. At one point he calls Dave Ramirez.
- Big Bad: The main villain of the movie.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even though he hates penguins with a burning passion, he doesn't want to kill them, even expressing shock when he believes his machine blew Private up. He just wants to make them unlikable.
- 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.
- Four-Legged Insect: Most of the time he (and his hench-octopi) have only six tentacles instead of eight. Interestingly, in one brief gag where Classified counts Dave's tentacles, he is animated with eight of them.
- Freudian Excuse: Every zoo he went to, his spotlight was stolen by penguins, causing him to hate them with a passion.
- Humanlike Animal Aging: Dave has humanlike longevity, being an adult when the penguins were still babies. In real life, octopuses don't live longer than a few years.
- Laughably Evil: He's vile and vengeful, but his sheer hamminess makes him hilarious to watch.
- Mad Scientist: Inventor of the Medusa Serum, a chemical that turns animals into monsters.
- 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.
- Nonstandard Character Design: He is the only octopus character to have near-human facial features as opposed to the more realistic ones his minions have, and no explanation is given as to why (especially considering it's shown he was like this even during his zoo days). He is also a lot more cartoonish when compared to the other cast, who rarely stretches and squashes as he does.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Dr. Blowhole from the television series: another aquatic animal supervillain with personal vendetta against the penguins.
- Tom the Dark Lord: A terrifying Mad Scientist octopus, simply called "Dave".
- 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!