Zuba is the deuteragonist of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
Zuba is the alpha lion of the Pride of Africa and the father of Alex, who was then known as "Alakay" and the husband of Florrie. It was from him that Alex got his birthmark on his paw. His rival is the main villain, Makunga.
He was voiced by the late Bernie Mac (who died before the film's release). And in the fourth film, he is voiced by Danny Glover, who also voices Barbatus in Antz.
Zuba was trying to teach a young Alex (then known as "Alakay") how to fight, but the cub was too distracted by dancing. When Makunga challenges Zuba to another fight, Alex wonders off only to come face to face with poachers who lock him in a crate. Zuba chased after the truck, and tried to free his son, only to get part of his left ear shot off by the poachers. By the time Zuba's vision clears from the blow, he doesn't notice that Alex's crate had fallen off the truck and into the river and continues to chase it.
Years later, when Alex and the gang crash land in Africa, they come face to face with Zuba. Zuba gets the impression that Alex has come to take over at first, but Florrie notices that they both have the same birthmark and realizes that Alex is their son, Alakay. Finally reunited with their long lost son, Zuba announced a celebration for his son's return.
That night, Zuba showed Alex about his childhood merchandise (including his last paw print before the poachers cub-napped him,and his old blanket "Foofie").
The next day, Zuba watches over Alex whose first attempt was to beat Teetsi to be the leader of the lions. Alex failed to his opponent, so Makunga gave him the Hat of Shame. A day later, Zuba feels disappointed about Alex failing his task. Alex is then banished from his pride. The next day, Zuba's wife Florrie forces him to get rid of the mess caused by Makunga. After Makunga gets beaten up by Nana, Zuba became the current leader now. It is unknown if he is still alive when Alex and his friends go to Monte Carlo.
Zuba did not appear in Madagascar 3, nor was he even mentioned.
As a younger adult, Zuba has dark gold fur, green eyes and a black mane and a hole in his left ear, which he got when trying to save Alex from the poachers.
As an older adult, Zuba remains the same except that his mane now has several grey streaks.
Zuba bears a resemblance to adult Alex, with the exception of his fur, eye and mane colour. They also share the same birthmark on their paw.
Younger Zuba with young Alex (then Alakay) and Makunga
Zuba defeats Makunga
Bernie Mac never finished his lines for Zuba before his death. Because of this, promotion and press was done by Sherri Shepherd, who did those and the voice of his mate Florrie. Also, some previously recorded lines of his were used too. Ben Stiller (Alex) stated "Working with Bernie was almost like he actually was a father to me."
Originally, Zuba and Florrie were to reappear in the 3rd film with Andre Benjamin filling in for the role. This was eventually scrapped for unknown reasons.
Zuba is similar to Mufasa as both are lions and both the father of the protagonist (Alex and Simba). Both were also the leaders of their pride before being overthrown by the antagonist (Makunga and Scar). However unlike Mufasa, Zuba does not die and later regains his position as Alpha Lion.