Alex (born as Alakay) is the main protagonist of the Madagascar films. He is voiced by Ben Stiller as an adult and Quinn Dempsey Stiller as a cub.
Alex is an African lion and was the self-proclaimed king of the zoo.
Alex loves the zoo and was surprised when hearing Marty's wish to leave and live in the wild. As the main attraction of the zoo, he is featured heavily on merchandise and gives an "Alex the Lion" snow globe and other merchandise to Marty for his birthday. He also shows an infatuation with steak, though later remarks that sushi tastes better.
As a cub, Alex was born on a African wildlife reserve and named Alakay. He was the son of the alpha lion, Zuba, and was constantly given lessons on hunting, though he displayed no interest in the activity. Instead, he would dance around rather than pounce on the toy his father used to train him. During one of the sessions, Alex was captured by poachers. In an attempt save his son, Zuba pursues the truck. He rips off the safety harness and is shot in the ear, falling off the truck. As the truck turns the crate he was contained in fell into a river (Due to no harness) and eventually floated to New York. Alex arrives in New York after floating over the Atlantic Ocean when his transport crate fell into the sea. He is brought to the Central Park Zoo and proves to be very popular with the public. Also he is afraid of the ocean or water based on the first film Madagascar.
In The Penguins of Madagascar in A Christmas Caper, a stuffed animal Alex is seen briefly and its head is quickly dismembered by Nana's Poodle Mr. Chew. Alex has a small cameos with his friends celebrating Christmas and singing a version of "Jingle Bells" at the end.
After Marty leaves in an effort to take a train to the wild, Alex, Gloria, and Melman pursue him and are shot with tranquilizer darts by humans. Animal-rights activist pressure the zoo into releasing them back into the wild, but on the ship to the preserve, Alex and his friends fall into the ocean. They wash ashore on Madagascar, and, while Marty is excited to be free, Alex wishes to go home but later changes his mind. He grows very hungry after days of being unable to eat, not realizing that steak is animal flesh, and starts to regain his hunting instincts. Hunger drives Alex into a crazed state, which causes him to hallucinate everyone as steak and attacks Marty. After realizing what he did to Marty, Alex barricades himself in the predator area of the island. Marty pursues him, unwilling to leave his friend, but is attacked by the fossa, the native predators of Madagascar. After overcoming his hunting instincts, Alex works to defend Marty, and is later given sushi by the Penguins to satisfy his hunger.
The animals are still stuck on Madagascar, tempted to leave for New York on Christmas Eve. As they go, King Julian mistakenly shoots them down, mistaking them for the Red Night Goblin. Having heard the story and believed it, Alex shoots down Santa, only to discover his identity, and that they've given him amnesia. Feeling guilty, Alex suggests that they can help Santa deliver his presents, but on the way return home.
Before Alex (whose birth name is revealed to be Alakay) encounters his parents, Zuba and Florrie, who are overjoyed to see their son and in the end, becomes alpha lion, he re-encounters the old lady and start fighting but allows Nana to win so he could acquire her purse (he later pulls out her cell phone and attempts to reach an operator). Zuba assumes that Alex is strong after hearing that he is the "King" of New York and arranges a rite of passage into the pride. Makunga, Zuba's rival, persuades Alex to challenge Teetsi during Alex's rite of passage. Teetsi was revealed to be a bulky, strong lion and Alex quickly loses. In order to keep from banishing Alex, Zuba transfers his control to Makunga, and in turn Alex, Florrie, and himself are banished. Zuba was mad at Alex after realizing that he is not a fierce warrior. The next day, the watering hole is shown to be dried up and Alex leaves with Marty to find out the cause. They leave the safety of the reserve, prompting Zuba to follow Alex and bring him back. Alex discovers that stranded New Yorkers had created a dam, and through use of dancing, he is recognized by the attacking New Yorkers. With the help of the others, the dam is destroyed and they return to the preserve. His father learns to respect his habits, and they remain in Africa instead of flying home with the penguins.
Valentine's Day is one of Alex's FAVORITE holidays! Back in the zoo, he was practically showered with valentines from numerous admirers, but now that he's in Africa, he's finding that Valentine's Day is not what he was used to... can he still enjoy the day even though he's not getting the amount of attention he's used to having, especially since his best friend is getting all the attention he himself is used to and more?
This 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. 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 Captain Chantel DuBois and the animal control 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. Then Alex and his friends end up joining Circus Zaragoza from now on.
Alex appears as a vision to guide Skipper.
Alex seems to be fairly strong, but the fact that Alex loses the challenge in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, and is kicked in the crotch by Nana in Madagascar gives the impression that he is weak, but this is not true, because he reveals right after that he let her win in order to get her purse, something that's evident in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa where he has a short but equal fight against Nana.
Indeed, even for a lion, Alex is shown to be unusually strong, such as when he broke the zoo's public telephone, and lifted Melman, Marty and Gloria (a being whose weight is more than enough to break apart a thick concrete wall) all at once almost effortlessly. He also defeated many fossa almost single-handedly.