Madagascar FANDOM Wiki

Poster for the DVD release in 2013.

Madagascar is a 2005 American computer-animated comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Twentieth Century Fox. It was directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath (in McGrath's feature directorial debut) and written by Mark Burton, Billy Frolick, Darnell, and McGrath. The film stars Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith, voicing a group of animals from the Central Park Zoo who find themselves stranded on the island of Madagascar.

Released May 27, 2005, Madagascar received mixed reviews from critics but was a success at the box office, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2005. It launched the Madagascar franchise which includes the sequels Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008), Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) and Madagascar: South American Getaway (2019); the spin-off films Penguins of Madagascar (2014), All Hail King Julien (2014) and its sequel (2017); several short films, television series, and specials; and a number of video games, theme park attractions, and live stage shows.


Alex the lion, Marty the starry-eyed zebra, Melman the hypochondriac giraffe, and Gloria the “hip” hippo all have a pampered life at the Central Park Zoo, New York City. Here they show off to the crowds and generally enjoy themselves. But Marty who is celebrating his tenth birthday longs to see the rest of the world and dreams of life in the wild. When he learns that the zoo’s penguins are planning to escape, he decides to follow suit and return by morning. He has a vague notion that the wild can be found in Connecticut as Gloria told him that there were some wide-open spaces resembling the wild. So one night, he sneaks out of the zoo and sets off on foot for Grand Central Terminal where he hopes to take the Metro-North Railroad to Connecticut.

When the others find him gone, they head for Grand Central Station via the Subway to try to get him back. Arriving at Grand Central, they scare away most of the passengers (except for one determined old lady who assaults Alex by bashing his head and his groin with her handbag), and catch Marty. Then they manage to wreck the information desk before being shot with tranquilizer darts, along with the penguins, Mason and Phil (two chimpanzees who also escaped). Anti-zoo campaigners use the incident as evidence that animals should not be locked up. Because of this, all the animals soon find themselves in wooden crates aboard a cargo ship to Kenya.

The penguins succeed in taking over the ship and changing its course, following their initial plan of making their way to Antarctica. During the penguins’ takeover, the crates containing Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria fall overboard and they become separated on the ocean. Alex is soon washed ashore on a tropical beach. All night he is alone, but in the morning, finds Melman stuck in his crate. Gloria and Marty soon wash ashore on the same beach. At first, Melman assumes they are in San Diego, California, and Alex is upset that he will be outshone by Shamu. But when they discover a large tribe of lemurs led by King Julien XIII (voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen), they realize they are not in the United States anymore. They are actually in the wild, on the island of Madagascar.

Alex blames Marty for deliberately ruining the group's lives at the zoo and divides the island between them, forcing Gloria and Melman to help him build a Statue of Liberty lookalike. His plan is to ignite the beacon, therefore, making it easy for a boat (which Alex believes is coming to rescue them) to see where they are. However, Melman inadvertently sets the whole statue on fire and destroys it (in a Planet of the Apes parody). Gloria and Melman then decide to join Marty (who is living comfortably on his side of the island), and Alex soon realizes that he has been unfair and selfish to his friend. Thus, deciding to join the others and begin life in Madagascar.

Meanwhile, the penguins have arrived on the snowbound, windswept, inhospitable Antarctica. After surveying it for a few moments, they decide that it is not as interesting as they thought it would be when Private says, “Well, this sucks.” Julien hopes that the lemurs’ new friends, whom he calls the “New York Giants”, will scare away the fossa, enemies of the lemurs who prey on them. Despite the protests of his advisor Maurice (who thinks that Alex as a carnivore, might be dangerous), Julien convinces the lemurs to welcome Marty and the others to their own little corner of paradise.

Unfortunately, Alex, who has only ever eaten pre-cut steaks until now, is beginning to regain his natural predatory instincts. After losing control and attacking Marty, he is considered too dangerous to be a friend to his zoomates or to any of the lemurs. Julien admits that Maurice has some sense in fearing Alex and banishes the lion to the far side of the island dominated by the fossa, just before everyone ends up running for their lives. Alex comes to his senses for a time after a knock on the head by a coconut thrown by Maurice and makes the decision to leave his friends behind rather than do something he’d later regret. Now completely aware of what has happened to Alex and the predatory nature of life in the wild, Marty is wracked with guilt. Julien tells him, Melman and Gloria that Alex found his hunting instincts and states that it's his fault, too as well as saying that they are on their own now, that no one is going to defend them until the penguins, leaving Antarctica behind, arrive at Madagascar with the ship. Realizing this may be a way back into New York, Marty (against Gloria’s advice) crosses over to fossa territory to reconcile with Alex, but he refuses out of fear and doesn’t want to hurt him because he is now a monster. But as Marty tells him he is not leaving without him and sings the song to cheer him up, Suddenly, the fossa attack him, and soon he, Melman, Gloria, the penguins (who showed up to save the three) and the chimpanzees end up fighting for their lives and godzilla end up fighting fossas and baboons fight fossas and Burt and Shanti and Burt Jr. smash fossas and Ted (bear) and Becky and Muffy, Buffy and Fluffy and Bada and Pinky and Joey and Kendall, James, Carlos, and Patrick and Logan and Shelly and Chameleons and Marlene and Kaa and Roger and Bing and Barry and Shere Khan and Stacy and Randy Rodger and Tom and Nessie and Bunnies and Macaws and Camels and Toucans and Bonobo attack fossas.

Hopelessly outnumbered by the hungry creatures, Alex appears with a huge roar. But instead of attacking his friends, He whispers "It's showtime" at Marty's ear, meaning that Alex is completely back to normal. Using the fossa’s natural fear of him, Alex roars the Fossas stampede away from lemur territory forever. At a girly ending, following a celebratory feast, at which Alex’s hunger is finally sated by the discovery that he likes sushi even better than steak, the friends return to the ship and head back home. The penguins, who stayed behind, decide not to break the news that the ship is out of fuel, thus setting the stage for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

Voice cast[]

  • Ben Stiller as Alex, a masai lion and the main protagonist.
  • Chris Rock as Marty, a plains zebra and Alex's best friend.
  • David Schwimmer as Melman, a hypochondriac reticulated giraffe who is one of Alex's friends.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria, a female hippopotamus who is Melman's love interest and one of Alex's friends.
  • Sacha Baron Cohen as King Julien XIII, a Indian accented ring-tailed lemur and the supreme ruler of the lemurs.
  • Cedric the Entertainer as Maurice, an aye-aye lemur and King Julien's royal advisor.
  • Andy Richter as Mort, a Goodman's mouse lemur.
  • Tom McGrath as Skipper, the leader of the penguins.
  • Chris Miller as Kowalski, a penguin and Timo, a tenrec who is only seen attending Julien's meeting.
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg as Rico, a smart and silent penguin and Abner and Nigel, two lemurs.
  • Christopher Knights as Private, an eager, lowly penguin.
  • Conrad Vernon as Mason, a chimpanzee (Phil, the other chimpanzee, is unvoiced).
  • Eric Darnell and Jim Cummings and Alec Baldwin and Paul Winchell and Kevin McDonald and Frank Oz and Rodger Bumpass and Joan Cusack and Wanda Sykes and Dan Castellaneta and Wallace Shawn and Kath Soucie and John Goodman and Danny McBride and Jennifer Tilly and Kevin Michael Richardson and Tress MacNeille and Bill Fagerbakke and Gary Anthony Williams and John Ratzenberger and Jim Henson and David Ogden Stiers and Sterling Holloway and John Fiedler and Peter Cullen and and Tom McGrath as a group of Fossas who attack the lemurs, and later, Marty, Gloria and Melman. They are the main antagonists of the film.
  • Frank Welker as Hector and Horst, two lemurs.
  • David P. Smith as Pancho and Becca, two lemurs and an arachnid.
  • Karen Disher as Dorothy, a mongoose lemur.
  • Cody Cameron as Willie, a red lemur who is seen attending Julien's meeting.
  • Elisa Gabrielli as Nana, an elderly New Yorker.
  • Bob Saget as an unspecified off-screen zoo animal.
  • David Cowgill as a police horse.
  • Stephen Apostolina as a police officer.


According to co-director Tom McGrath, the idea for Madagascar began as a once-sentence prompt, and it took two years of development for the idea to be refined to the point where the four main characters were finalised. In 1998, DreamWorks and PDI had started development on an animated film titled Rockumentary, which featured a Beatles-esque penguin rock band. The idea was scrapped, but after production on Madagascar started, director Eric Darnell decided to revive the penguins, but make them a commando unit instead of a rock band.

Home media[]

Madagascar was released on DVD and VHS on November 15, 2005, by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. The DVD included a short animated film The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper, and a music video "I Like to Move It," featuring characters from the film dancing to the song. A Blu-ray version of the film was released on September 23, 2008.

The Madagascar - Movie Storybook was written by Billy Frolick and illustrated by Michael Koelsch and was published by Scholastic in 2005. Koelsch also illustrated the Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - Movie Storybook in 2008, and the Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - Movie Storybook in 2012.

Madagascar was included on The Walt Disney Company's streaming service Disney+ on February 1, 2020.


Madagascar is the soundtrack to the 2005 DreamWorks film of the same name. It was released by Geffen Records on May 24, 2005. Of particular critical note was the cover of "I Like to Move It" by Sacha Baron Cohen, which has since become a recurring theme song throughout the Madagascar franchise.


  1. Born Free (Performed by: The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square)
  2. I Like to Move It, Move It (Performed by: Reel 2 Real featuring Mad Stuntman)
  3. Boogie Wonderland (Performed by: Earth Wind & Fire)
  4. Holiday for Strings (Performed by: Walter Schumann)
  5. Stayin' Alive (Performed by: The Bee Gees)
  6. The Candy Man (Performed by: Sammy Davis Jr.)
  7. Here We Go (Performed by: Bowling for Soup)
  8. I Second That Emotion (Performed by: The Chosen Few)
  9. Doctor Jones (Performed by: Aqua)
  10. I Like to Move It, Move It (Album Version) (Performed by: Sacha Baron Cohen)
  11. Hawaii Five-O (Performed by: The Ventures)
  12. Chariots of Fire (Performed by: Vangelis)
  13. National Geographic Fanfare (Performed by: The United Kingdom Symphony Orchestra)
  14. It's Gonna Be Me (Performed by: *NSYNC)
  15. What a Wonderful World (Performed by: Louis Armstrong)
  16. I Like to Move It, Move It (Film Version) (Performed by: Sacha Baron Cohen)



Universal teamed up with 92 major companies to promote Madagascar, including Taco Bell, Krispy Kreme, Lindt, Sacramento Zoo, Round Table Pizza, Baskin-Robbins, Jamba Juice, Hasbro, Hallmark, Panda Express, and Burger King. A large range of licensed merchandise was released in connection with the film, including toys, stuffed animals, many sorts of candy, T-shirts, cookie decorating kits, baked goods and other products from Burger King. Some items were available exclusively at Walmart stores. Merchandise for Madagascar includes toys, stuffed animals, many sorts of candy, T-shirts, cookie decorating kits, baked goods, and other products from Burger King. Some items were available exclusively at Toys R Us stores.