Madagascar Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

Madagascar Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

Madagascar is one of the best DreamWorks animation projects of the 2000s. Its comedy and unique premise won over millions of people around the world. Over the years, there have been more Madagascar projects released in form of spin-off movies, televised series, and specials. Moreover, video games, theme park attractions, and more. Even though movies had not received amazing reviews, they won the hearts of millions of people around the world, and they truly connected us with Alex, Gloria, Marty, and Melman, who together with the supporting characters of Penguins, and King Julien, a ring-tailed lemur, carry this franchise.

Who would have thought that an animated movie about zoo animals that escape New York can work? Well, DreamWorks did. After the success of Shrek, this animated movie came in hot, and even though it did not have the same quality of the story as Shrek did, Madagascar still had something unique, and that is why, in this article, we will present you the list of Madagascar movies to watch in order. We will include everything from watch order to where to watch these movies, so if you are interested in our article, stick with us until the end. Without further ado, let’s start!

How Many Madagascar Movies Are Out There?

There are four movies in Madagascar franchise. As we mentioned before, Madagascar released a lot of content in the last 15 years. From live stage shows to television series, DreamWorks really worked hard to capitalize on the success of this cool franchise. We will include spin-off movies as well since they are also part of the Madagascar Universe. However, if we look closely, the true Madagascar storyline lies in three movies that were released every three years, from 2005 to 2012.

The story followed our main animal heroes and their journey. Penguins of Madagascar from 2014 are their own thing but are still connected to the main storyline, which means that technically there are four movies in the Madagascar franchise.

All in all, there are quite a few things to talk about in this storied franchise, so let’s get into it.

Madagascar Movies in Order (At Glance)

As usual, as it is with movie franchises, the story always starts with the first movie which tells us, viewers, the origin stories of the main characters. In this case, the first movie from 2005, follows the story of four animals in the New York Zoo – lion Alex, zebra Marty, hippo Gloria, and giraffe Melman. The chaos starts when Marty decides to escape the zoo with Penguins which leads them to the other side of the world, Madagascar. The second movie deals with the gang after the events of the first movie a few years later.

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They want to come back to New York but their plane crashes in Africa where they discover their true roots. The third movie from 2012 in the franchise, follows the story of the gang trying to rescue the Penguins and Chimpanzees from Monte Carlo after they got lost.

This is the list of Madagascar movies at glance:

  1. Madagascar (2005)
  2. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
  3. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)
  4. Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

What Is the Best Way to Watch Madagascar Movies?

The best way to watch Madagascar movies is the release date way. There are few flashbacks, especially in the second Madagascar movie, however, that does not warrant a viewer to watch firstly the sequel than the first movie.

Madagascar Movies In Order (Release Date)

1. Madagascar (2005)

Madagascar Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

The film that started it all, the first Madagascar movie has been directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath, with writers including Mark Burton, Billy Frolick and fore mentioned directors. The movie was released in 2005, and the dominance of Pixar movies needed to be beaten by DreamWorks after their success with Shrek.

DreamWorks assigned stars on their project that included Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, Sascha Baron Cohen, and more. The cast proved to be amazing and their talents elevated the characters even more. The Madagascar movie starts with the popular lion Alex, who is the main attraction at the New York zoo. His friends Gloria and Melmon have their own thing going on, and Marty is just bored, so he decides to escape the zoo with the Penguins, who want to go to Antarctica.

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However, nothing is easy, so Marty, together with his friends, gets stuck on a boat and ends up in Madagascar. That hits Alex really hard and the gang finally realizes their animal instincts which include Alex eating the meat of other animals, Gloria and Melman’s adaption to the wildlife, and Marty just loving everything. Of course, the animal gang meets other characters like lemurs and their King, Julien. The identity crisis that

The movie was not immensely rated but it really caught the eyes of a lot of viewers all over the world. It was a great success that DreamWorks managed to stand out amongst hit Pixar movies. The Madagascar movie tackled the premise of animals of captivity being thrown into the wild really well and the announcements of the sequel encourage a lot of fans.

2. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)

Madagascar Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

The original movie gained a lot of success and DreamWorks managed to release the sequel pretty fast, in 2008. DreamWorks was in the high that year since they managed to score another huge hit movie Kung Fu Panda, that the public really loved.

The directors stayed the same, Darnell and McGrath, but the writers changed a bit, and the two directors added Etan Cohen to their roster of writers. The talented cast stayed the same, and Madagascar included even more stars like will.i.am, and Fergie from Black Eyed Peas. This time, the second Madagascar movie follows the animal gang trying to get back to New York after spending a few years in Madagascar.

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Unfortunately, their transportation crashes and burns in the middle of Africa, and they once again need to adapt to the wildlife. Alex in particular finds out a lot about himself and meets his parents for the first time there. Penguins are a menace once again, Gloria finds a pack of hippos led by ladies man Moto Moto, and Melman realizes that he is jealous and in love with Gloria. Alex has an identity crisis once again and is pressured by the expectations of his parents to be an alpha lion and the leader and his opponent and main archrival of the movie, Makunga.

In all of this, a huge drought is in full force and animals do not have enough water to survive. King Julien makes up that there needs to be a sacrifice to the volcano for the gods to be merciful and send water, and Melman being a hypochondriac and a heartbroken giraffe, decides to sacrifice himself. Gloria stops him and a pair confess love to each other. In the end, Alex with Marty saves the day, and the gang decides to stay in the reserve a bit more.

It was a really successful sequel and the second Madagascar movie was the sixth highest-grossing movie of 2008.

3. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)

Madagascar Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

The third installment of this franchise was next and in 2012, the original two directors of Madagascar movies, Darnell and McGrath, decided to add another director, Conrad Vernon. The writing staff changed once again, and Darnell added Noah Baumbach to his writing staff. The cast got even better and the additions of amazing star power in Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Martin Short, and Frances McDormand, only announced a success for this movie.

This time, the story follows the gang trying to get Penguins and Chimpanzees from Monte Carlo. The gang with the addition of King Julien, Maurice, and Mort, decide to find them and all together go home to New York. Another crash strands the animals this time in France and they aboard the circus train where they meet circus animals – sea lion Stefano, jaguar Gina, and tiger Vitaly. The trouble follows the animals all across Europe, and everything goes wrong when animals’ performances go awry in Rome, and mobs of people are angrily chasing the animals away. Alex and Gina fall in love with each other, and even King Julien falls in love with the Euroasian brown bear, Sonya.

They all learn to help each other and eventually they get captured by deBouis and taken back to their cages in their zoo in New York, which is reminiscent of the first movie. Circus animals help the original gang, and everyone is happy in the end.

This is the third movie of the Madagascar franchise and it got a lot of success in 2012. Critics praised the fun for children and the ability to attract the older individual to watch this movie.

4. Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

Madagascar Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

The last movie of this franchise, Penguins of Madagascar this time follows the story of Penguins and their separate journey. The voice actors stayed the same for this movie as well, and the likes of John Malkovich, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, and Peter Stormare, propelled the movie massively.

The critics loved the movie, even though it did not perform at the box office that well, like previous Madagascar movies.

The directors are Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith, with writers being Alan Schoolcraft, Brent Simons, Michael Colton, and John Aboud. This movie follows the story of our already known Penguins who leave New York and join North Wind intelligence to catch octopus Dave, who wants to seek revenge on all penguins across the world. The premise of the movie is simple and cool, and it revolves around Private who wants to be recognized by his team – team Classified.

Everything is resolved in the end after stopping the villains, and the ending left nothing to expect of future Madagascar projects. Or maybe…?

Where To Watch Madagascar Movies?

Because Madagascar movies were distributed by 20th Century Fox and developed by DreamWorks, all rights are now belonging to Disney hence why all Madagascar content is on Disney+. Other platforms are Netflix, Hulu, and ESPN+, depending on the area.

Are Madagascar Movies Connected?

The three Madagascar movies are strongly connected because it follows the story of the same group throughout the three movies. However, even though Penguins of Madagascar are their own story, and actually quite separated, at the end of the movie when we see King Julien, only confirms the connection between the first three Madagascar movies and the latest Madagascar movie release.

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Will There Be More Madagascar Movie?

Rumors of the Madagascar 4 movie are something that was hinted at years ago, more specifically, in 2015, however, the supposed last movie of the Madagascar franchise has been canceled after its announced release date in 2018. There are a few reasons why Madagascar 4 was never released. The first reason revolved around Pacific Data Images being shut down in 2015, and the consequence of that was the termination of more than 500 DreamWorks employees.

The second reason is that despite great critical acclaim for their movies, DreamWorks did not perform at the box office, and the third reason why DreamWorks canceled the fourth Madagascar movie was that NBCUniversal bought DreamWorks in 2016, and began restructuring the whole studio. Furthermore, there was also a new policy for DreamWorks only releasing two movies a year, because of the whole overhaul.

However, despite all of these reasons, it is 2022, and DreamWorks is still creating and developing projects of their most successful franchises like Kung Fu Panda, so there is a huge probability that we will see Madagascar 4 movie in the future.

  • Dora is an avid sports fan who started taking interest in TV and movies while attending University of Osijek. Characters, storylines and cinematography is something she started analysing very intensely, which made her respect the art of TV and movies more.