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Hero Overview
Here come the people! Oh, I love the people!"
~ Alex
Your days of chasing animals are over, Dubois, because you just messed with the king!
~ Alex before throwing Chantel Dubois into his locked habitat.

Alex the Lion (born as Alakay and simply known as Alex) is the main protagonist of Madagascar franchise. He's the deuteragonist of Madagascar and the main protagonist of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Madagascar 3: Europe Most Wanted. He is set to be the protagonist of the first film's online prequel series Madagascar: A Little Wild. He also serves as the major character of the specials and the minor character of the short films and the Penguins of Madagascar movie.

He's a lion and "The King of New York." He was born in Africa. His father, Zuba, the alpha lion of his herd, tried to educate him to hunt, though Alex wanted to dance. When Makunga, Zuba's rival, tried to take his place as alpha lion, a group of human hunters trapped Alex and tamed him. Zuba couldn't rescue him. Ever since, he has lived in the Central Park Zoo, though he, and his three friends, Marty, Melman, and Gloria, have been shipped to the titular location, Madagascar.

He was voiced by Quinn Dempsey Stiller as a child cub and Ben Stiller as an adult lion who also portrays Derek Zoolander in Zoolander franchise and Larry Daley in Night at the Museum franchise.



Alex was born in Africa as Alakay to Zuba and Florrie, who were the leaders of their pride. One day, when he was a young cub, Alakay was being given fighting lessons by Zuba, however Alakay was more interested in dancing, much to his father's dismay.

Just then, Zuba's rival Makunga shows up and battles him for the title of Alpha Lion. Whilst this was going on, Alakay was lured away and captured by poachers, who placed him in a crate in their truck and drove off. After he defeated Makunga, Zuba goes after the truck in an attempt to rescue his son, but he gets shot in the ear by one of the poachers and he has been forced to watch helplessly as the truck drives off. The crate containing Alakay falls out of the truck and lands into the ocean and he has been swept away.

The crate drifts to New York at long last, where it is found and taken to Central Park Zoo. Alakay is renamed Alex and is placed in his own enclosure and meets three other young animals: a zebra named Marty, a hippopotamus named Gloria (who thinks Alex is cute) and a giraffe named Melman (who has feelings for Gloria), who later become his friends.


Around 10 years later, Alex goes to Marty and wishes him a happy 10th birthday (which is roughly 40 in zebra years) and gives him a snow globe as a present. Later that night, Alex, Gloria and Melman hold a party for Marty, but are stocked when he says that he wishes to go to the wild.

After Marty escapes the zoo, Alex, Gloria and Melman go after him and catch up with him at Grand Central Station, where they are tranquilized and put in crates to be shipped to Africa. The quartet wake up in their crates, but soon Alex and Marty argue and have a "crate fight." It isn't long before they get stranded and separated at sea. Soon, all four friends end up at Madagascar. They are then welcomed by King Julien, Maurice, Mort and many other lemurs just as Alex scares away the fossa, who have been terrorizing the lemurs. Alex and Marty have a brief fight but they later make up and Marty welcomes Alex to the "fun side of the island."

The next morning, Alex and Marty wake up and find themselves surrounded by lemurs who tell them they are in Madagascar. Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria enjoy themselves until Alex goes carnivorous and is sent to the carnivore side of the island. Marty sets out to find him and refuses to leave without him. Marty is chased by the fossa but Alex and his friends with a little help from the penguins defeat the fossa. Alex is then given fish from Rico, one of the penguins, instead of steak to sooth his meat craving. Alex and his friends then head back to New York with the ship the Penguins hijacked, but it turns out to be out of gas.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

In the next film, Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman, along with the penguins and chimps, have managed to fix up the old plane from the previous film. The Lemurs give them a heck of a farewell party, but they are joined by King Julien and Maurice.

The plane takes off and during the flight, Alex fell asleep but wakes up due to turbulence. He looks out his window and sees a creature on the wing of the plane, making him yell, "AUGH! Gremlin!"

But it turns out to be Mort, who had tried to board the plane, but Julien had locked him outside. He says waves hello to Mort, who does the same, but causes him to fall into the sea. He mentions to the others what he saw, but they shrug it off as some mild nostalgia to Madagascar.

Unfortunately, the plane has some difficulties, causing the plane to crash-land into an unknown savannah. Alex has a brief argument with Skipper, who reassures him they'll fix the plane. Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman then see a jeep of tourists, and they chase after them to get help. But it turns out among the tourists is Nana, the old lady who beat Alex up in the previous film at Grand Central Station. The two engage in a fistfight, this time proving to be equals, but Nana uses underhanded tricks to beat Alex, as she kicks him in the crotch just like before. But Alex managed to steal her cell phone, but it turns out to be out of service. However, they come across a ridge to see the savannah with many animals and Marty correctly guesses they've arrived in Africa while Alex feels some familiarity with the landscape. The four friends approach the animals whereupon Alex makes a fool of himself trying to "communicate" with them, but it turns out the animals can speak just as well as they can. Suddenly, an elderly lion named Zuba, and his wife, Florrie, show up, and Zuba believes Alex is a rival lion, coming to challenge him for the title as Alpha Lion. But Florrie recognizes Alex as their son, Alakay, and their suspicions are confirmed when they see the birthmark on Alex's right paw which matches the one on Zuba's. They share a loving reunion, unaware that Zuba's rival, Makunga is plotting to take over.

Alex tells his folks and the pride that he's the "King of New York," which they take seriously, and they celebrate Alex's return with open arms. Makunga, however, reminds them that Alex has yet to become a formal member of the pride because he never passed a certain coming-of-age ceremony where young lions prove their skills. Alex mistakenly believes this ceremony is a talent show of sorts and eagerly accepts. That night, Zuba and Florrie show Alex a couple of his old things when he was a cub, and explain how he was lost. Apparently, when Alex was a young cub, Zuba was watching him, trying to teach him how to fight (though Alex was more interested in dancing). Makunga appeared and challenged Zuba, and while they tusseled, Alex was captured by poachers. Zuba and Florrie explain that Zuba chased after them for weeks, far off the preserve, but finally they felt they had to accept that Alex was killed. They bid Alex good night and leave him to sleep.

In the morning, Alex prepares with a few cubs for the ceremony, when Makunga, with his wicked scheme in mind, pretends to give Alex some advice by recommending a certain lion for his opponent, a lion named Teetsi.

When Alex faces Teetsi, who is in actuality a humungously brawny lion, Alex starts dancing, not knowing the ceremony is meant to be a fight, and easily loses. To avoid having to banish his own son, Zuba abdicates his role as the Alpha Lion, which Makunga takes. His first act is banishing Alex and his parents from the pride, and to make Alex wear a ridiculous hat of fruit.

In a dry location, Zuba snaps at Alex for not telling him he wasn't the fierce warrior he thought his son was. Alex blames Zuba for not warning him the ceremony was a fight, and Zuba hurts Alex by saying he isn't a real lion. His feelings hurt and feeling bad for ruining his parents' lives, Alex goes back to his friends where the plane is being reconstructed by the Penguins and Chimps, but they become split apart by their own respective problems, and the zebra Alex mistook for Marty is not Marty, who is hurt that Alex couldn't tell him from the other zebras, and mistakenly thinks Alex only cares about his own problems.

Problems arise, however, when the water hole and river dry up, and no one knows what to do. Alex volunteers to go find the source of the problem, hoping to repent for his parents, but Makunga laughs it off, but is angered when the animals make it clear they want Zuba back in power.

Before Alex leaves, he goes to the zebra herd where he tries to find Marty, who refuses to speak to him. Deciding to go, he turns to the herd and apologizes to Marty, and reveals he can see him. Marty goes along with Alex to fix the problem, off the reserve. As they make their way through the jungle, Alex explains the problems he's facing to Marty. They find the river is being dammed up by the tourists (whose jeeps were stolen by the Penguins to repair the plane) and they are being led by Nana. The tourists capture Alex but Marty escapes to warn the others.

Meanwhile, Florrie lectures Zuba and asks him why isn't it enough that their son has returned to them when Makunga shows up, pretending to be frantic about the dried-up river and tells them Alex went off to discover the problem, but he's really tricking Zuba to go after Alex, and hopefully be rid of both of them. Zuba does indeed go off to find Alex, who is about to be cooked alive by the Tourists when Zuba shows up and saves him, but one of the tourists has a gun. Luckily, Alex saves himself and Zuba by dancing to the tourists who are from New York and recognize Alex. Nana still tries to shoot them, but they are saved by the arrival of the Penguins, Chimps, Marty, Melman, and Gloria, the plane reconstructed into a helicopter powered by the chimps. The plane destroys the dam, while Alex and Zuba are in a large barrel, releasing the river, which the father and son float down back to the water hole. Makunga appears and still refuses to let them back, even after they give him a handbag. So, in retaliation, they sic Nana on Makunga, who attacks him for having her handbag, and drags him off the reserve.

Afterward, Zuba and Alex return, and Florrie hugs them both. Zuba and Alex decide to share the title as Alpha-Lion, and later Zuba marries Skipper to a bobble-head hula girl, and as they bid the Penguins and Chimps farewell, Zuba tricks Alex with one of Alex's own stunts, and they share a brief laugh as they all head back to the herd, and Alex reveals to the audience he was able to recognize Marty from all the other zebras by the bite marks which scarred Marty's butt (from when Alex bit Marty in the butt in the previous film), setting the stage for Madagascar 3.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

The film begins on Alex's birthday in Africa. He and his friends decide that it is high time that they returned home to New York, as they are tired of waiting for the penguins to return from Monte Carlo.

The group ends up going to Monte Carlo on their own in hopes of finding the penguins and convincing them to take them home. Unfortunately, they are spotted by the humans in the casino where the penguins are hiding and end up becoming a target for animal control officer Chantel DuBois, who relentlessly pursues them with the intention of mounting their heads as trophies, particularly Alex. Luckily, they end up finding Circus Zaragoza and decide to purchase the circus so that they could use it to get a contract for an American tour so that they could return to New York City. In the process, Alex meets Gia the jaguar, and develops an interesting partnership with her when it becomes apparent, the circus is not a very good one and he and his friends have to revamp it in order to win the contract. Alex and his friends each come up with new acts.

Alex ends up doing trapeze tricks with Gia for his act, and finds himself falling in love with the beautiful exotic jaguar. When they do get the contract, the group returns to New York, upsetting their new friends in the process, Alex ends up deeply hurting Gia when she finds out that he is a zoo animal. When they actually get back to the zoo, The gang finds that it is not as great as they remembered and that, quite frankly, they miss their new friends and decide that they would much rather join the circus and live with their new friends.

The Zoosters, however, are ambushed and knocked out by DuBois and her henchmen and put back in the zoo. The circus animals, the penguins, the lemurs and the chimpanzees come and break them out however, and then Alex grabs Gia during her trapeze and releases the balloons to the children the two of them sharing a loving look. Alex and his friends end up joining Circus Zaragoza, dancing along to Marty's Afro circus song and and then asked skipper what he did with DuBois. It is then revealed to the audience that Dubois and her henchmen are being shipped in crate to where it began, Madagascar.

Madagascar: A Little Wild

Alex is set to appear in the upcoming Hulu series Madagascar: A Little Wild, which takes place many years before the events of the films and will focus on the childhood adventures of Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman.


In the first film, Alex was categorized by a myriad of weaknesses: he was faint-hearted, argumentative, eccentric, pushy, conceited, narrow-minded, shrewd, smart-alecky, violent and selfish. He was almost in love with himself and saw himself in an extremely high position: on Marty's tenth birthday, Alex showered him with gifts that had the same things in common - they all portrayed models and images of him, and had his name on them, and were generally merchandises based entirely on him. He went into a widespread period of mixed rage, depression, vindictiveness and misery when he was exiled to Madagascar, and furiously blamed Marty. He wasn't distraught because they all being sent to a different place - he was in complete despair because he was being sent away from a place where he was the hero and the complete centre of attention.

However, throughout the films, he became brainy, brave, caring, resourceful, heroic, and loyal to his friends.

Audio Sample

Hollywoodedge, Lion Roar Snarl Growl AT013501
Lion Roar (1994 Lion King Simba Roar)


  • Alex's birthday is November 30, which is also the birthday of his voice actor, Ben Stiller.
  • Alex is one of two main characters in the Madagascar franchise, whose original voice artist (Ben Stiller) brought in a child of his own to do his cub voice (that being Ben's son Quinn Dempsey Stiller), the other being Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith brought her daughter Willow to voice the young Gloria). However, he is also the only one who, as a cub, was voiced by two actors, the other one being Declan Swift (son of producer Mark Swift).
  • Alex's Africa shaped birthmark is not present in the first film as animators hadn't come up with that part of his story yet. However, it is present in everything made after the second film, including the Christmas Special Merry Madagascar (which takes place between the first and second films).
  • Despite being the main protagonist of the film series, he is the second main character to appear in the franchise. The first being Marty, who is actually the deuteragonist of the film series.


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Shorts, TV Shows and Video Games
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           Madagascar logo Heroes

Main Characters
Alex | Marty | Melman | Gloria

Skipper | Kowalski | Rico | Private

King Julien XIII | Maurice | Mort

Madagascar: Mason and Phil | Lemurs
Escape 2 Africa: Zuba | Florrie | Moto Moto
Europe's Most Wanted: Vitaly | Gia | Stefano | Sonya | Esmeralda, Esperanza and Ernestina | Manu and Maya
Penguins of Madagascar: Classified | Eva | Short Fuse | Corporal

The Penguins of Madagascar: Marlene The Otter | Burt Elephant | Roger the Alligator | Lemmy (LEM-R) | Eggy | Doris
All Hail King Julien: Clover | Masikura | Xixi

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