Madagascar (2005) Ending Explained – Why did Alex go crazy?

Madagascar Plot Summary

Madagascar is a 2005 animated comedy-adventure film which revolves around the ethical questions of animal captivity and the ideas of friendship and loyalty. It narrates the epic adventure of four friends, Marty the Zebra, Alex the lion, Gloria the hippo and Melman the giraffe. Apart from Marty, the other three enjoy the luxuries of “modern” life at the zoo. However, Marty wishes freedom in the wild and one day, he escapes.  

How does the group end up in Madagascar?

Being cooped up in the zoo all his life, Marty wished to be out in the wild. He escapes from the zoo on his way to the wild. Alex, Gloria and Melman find him missing in the middle of the night and decide to rescue him. They find him at the Grand Central but before they know it, the police surround the quartet. A zoo keeper shoots a tranquiliser at Alex and he loses consciousness.

When he wakes up, he’s in a box surrounded by the other three, all inside similar boxes. They are supposed to be transported to a Kenyan wildlife sanctuary but the ship is hijacked by the penguins who steer it towards the south. The boxes carrying the friends slide off of the ship and into the sea.

After drifting in the sea for a while, all four end up at the island of Madagascar.’

Why did Alex go crazy?

Inside the zoo, the animals are brought up in captivity. They are fed and taken care of. They have never known the perils of a food chain and so, despite being predator and prey, all of them are friends. Alex is a carnivore unlike Marty, Gloria and Melman. It’s his natural instinct to love steak.

However, since on the island and unaware about the realities of the world, he is unable to eat. The seaweed or the pineapples just don’t taste any good to him. So, after being hungry for a long time, his survival instincts kick in and all animals begin appearing like steak, that is, food.

Does Alex end up killing Marty and his friends?

Alex is shaken up by his behaviour towards his friends. He starts considering himself dangerous and is carried over to the predator side of the island by forces of nature. Landing near a cave, he carves spears out of wood and imprisons himself inside the cave so that he doesn’t end up killing anybody.

At the same time, Marty, Gloria and Melman chance upon a ship. They try to grab its attention. The ship ends up being the same ship which was hijacked by the penguins. Marty leaves to get Alex so that they can all go home. He tries to convince Alex but to no avail. The native predators of the island, the foosa spot Marty as a prey.

They attack him while Gloria, Melman and the penguins come to Marty’s rescue. However, as the foosa overpower them, Alex snaps back to his senses and rescues all of them by establishing his dominance over the foosa. Later, the penguins end up introducing fish as an alternative source of food to Alex and nobody gets killed.

Do the friends leave Madagascar?

Alex and friends decide to leave Madagascar and the lemurs, monkeys and other wild animals prepare a grand farewell for them. Since Alex established his dominance over the foosa, the herbivores are free from the threats of their predators. The four decide to travel to other places before going back to the zoo.

One of the penguins queries whether they should tell the four that the ship is out of gas but they decide to “smile and wave”. Thus, the friends do not leave the island.

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