List of Madagascar main characters
The Madagascar film series focusses on four major characters - all of whom are animals from Central Park Zoo in New York City. The four main characters are in the first movie, in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, and the 2009 midquel Merry Madagascar, in which they help Santa Claus to deliver presents around the world after he is accidentally shot down over Madagascar.
Alex, born Alakay, is a male lion dubbed the "King of New York" by the zoo. Alex was the zoo's main attraction, performing for the crowds who visited and was rewarded by the zoo staff with large helpings of steak. He shares a close friendship with Marty, although the two occasionally clash. Alex is voiced by comedian Ben Stiller.
In Madagascar, Marty's wish to explore the wild makes him sneak out of the zoo one night to catch a train to Connecticut (thinking it to be the wilderness). In the process of catching him, all four animals are caught, along with four penguins who were attempting to escape to Antarctica, and are sent to a wildlife reserve in Africa.
Alex's cravings for steak put a strain on his friendship with Marty after he finds himself attempting to eat his own friends, and tries to cage himself to prevent harming Marty.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa involved Alex's relationship with his parents, and the tensions it caused to Alex's friendship with Marty.
Marty is a streetwise zebra, and the first character of the entire franchise to appear on-screen. Marty is fun-loving, inquisitive and always eager to please. He shares a strong friendship with Alex, but can easily get upset whenever Alex attempts to assert himself. Marty is voiced by Chris Rock.
Gloria is an overweight hippopotamus, and the only prominent female character of the troupe. Gloria is often compassionate and kind, but will show her dominant side whenever necessary. Gloria is voiced by Jada Pinkett Smith.
Melman Mankiewicz is a hypochondriac giraffe who is under the impression that he suffers from almost every infection and disease in existence. Hence that his first reaction upon being transferred from New York to Kenya is fear that his new home will not be able to afford medication for him. Melman is voiced by comedian David Schwimmer.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa had a subplot of Melman's attempts to overcome his shyness and confess his feelings for Gloria.
All four characters can be briefly seen in unspeaking cameos in the 2005 short film The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper, which was set before the first film.
All four characters are inexplicably absent from the television series The Penguins of Madagascar, although banners featuring silhouettes of Alex and Marty can be seen hanging from lampposts around Central Park Zoo in some episodes.
 See also
- The Madagascar Penguins - for the penguin characters