|“||(Zuba: Why do you even wanna become the alpha lion?) I'm better looking, I have better hair, I'm deceivingly smart. And I want everyone to do what I say.||„|
|~ Makunga explaining why he wants to be Alpha Lion.|
Makunga is the main antagonist of DreamWorks' 17th full-length animated feature film, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. He is Zuba's arch-nemesis.
Role in the film
Makunga is seen at the beginning of the film, watching Zuba training his young son Alakay, who is more interested in dancing, much to Zuba dismay. Makunga reveals himself and says that it's dissapointing that Alakay isn't growing up the way Zuba wants him too. An annoyed Zuba questions Makunga if he is challenging him again. Makunga replies that once he becomes Alpha Lion, Zuba will have more time to spend with his "pathetic excuse of a son". Zuba asks Makunga why he wants to become Alpha Lion to which he responds, "I'm better looking, I have better hair. I'm deceivingly smart. And I want everyone else to do what I say." While Zuba fights Makunga, (and defeats him rather easily), Alakay wanders off, getting captured by poachers and eventually ending up in New York and is renamed Alex.
Years later, an adult Alex and his friends wind up in Africa, and Alex reunites with his parents. Makunga thinks of using him as an advantage to finally become the Alpha lion. At Alex's welcoming ceremony, Makunga suddenly stops the celebration and reminds Zuba that Alex must perform the Rite of Passage in order to be officially accepted into the pride. Alex, believing it to be a breeze, accepts the opportunity.
As Alex prepares for the Rite of Passage, Makunga comes along and tricks him into choosing Teetsi (a large, slender, muscular lion who is also Makunga's henchman) as his opponent. As Alex "fights" With Teetsi (mistaking it to be a dance battle), Makunga laughs, saying to himself, "This is even better than i thought!" When Alex loses the fight, Makunga dethroned Zuba as Alpha lion and banished him, Alex and Florrie and makes Alex wear the Hat of Shame (which is a ridiculous-looking coconut shell decorated with a whole bunch of fruit at the top).
When the water hole is dried, Makunga suggests that the animals would have to fight for the water. When the animals object to this insane proposal, Makunga tells them if they're thirsty they'll have to look for water off the reserve. The animals object to this notion as well, knowing that poachers are outside the reserve. However, Alex steps in and states that he himself went off the reserve and survived. He then states that he himself will leave the reserve to bring the water back. While the other animals are amazed at Alex's bravery, Makunga laughs derisively at him and sarcastically suggests to the young lion that he do a rain dance. Determined to prove the pompous Makunga wrong, Alex sets off on his quest and Makunga continues to insult and mock him as he leaves. Realizing Makunga has no regard for anybody but himself, the animals criticize his leadership and demand Zuba back, making Makunga seethe with fury.
After the dam was destroyed and the water was returned, Alex and Zuba trick Makunga by giving Nana's handbag to him as a "token of appreciation", then releasing the old lady. When Nana sees Makunga holding her purse, she proceeds to attack him as she kicks him in the crotch, stomps on his foot, whacks his paw with a ruler, wet-willies, arm-burns and spanks him, before dragging him away by the ear as the other animals cheer happily.
The DVD commentary confirms that "Nana brought Makunga back to New York in a kitty cage".
Makunga is very greedy, mean, cunning, egotistical, and overall conceited in nature. Makunga is also especially sly, sneaky, deceitful, and manipulative, as he tricked Alex into challenging huge bulky lion Teetsi, knowing full well Alex would easily lose and Zuba wouldn't have it in him to banish his son for his failure, thus Zuba resigns the alfa lion position and Makunga takes it.
When Makunga takes the role of the alpha lion, he is not very good at it, due to his incompetence he tries to hide and he comes up with insane solutions to the water drought (like having to fight for the water or leaving the reserve to find it). All in all, Makunga's supreme ego leads to his downfall when Alex tricks him by giving him Nana's purse as a gift, then releases the old lady, who proceeds to give the pompous jerk the beating he deserves.
Makunga is a fat dark tan lion with green eyes and a black mane with a gray streak in it (when he is older).
- Makunga is the only main Madagascar film antagonist who does not meet or interact with any of the movie trilogy's other main characters. The only one he meets and interacts with is Alex.
- Makunga wants to be the Alpha lion, because he is better-looking, has a better mane, is deceivingly smart, and wants everyone to do what he says.
- Makunga bears a similar appearance and has a similar role to Scar from the 1994 animated Disney film, The Lion King.
- They are lions with green eyes and black manes.
- They also appear as the main antagonists in the film.
- They aspire to inherit the throne of the protagonist's father although they are not the true heirs (however, Makunga is a rogue lion not related to Zuba's family, while Scar is the brother of Mufasa (curiously, in the original script of The Lion King, Scar was set to be a rogue lion not related to Mufasa's family).
- Both are poor leaders.
- They were finally defeated by the film's protagonist (however, Scar was eaten by his minions at the end of the film, but Makunga didn't die, although he was defeated and dragged to New York by Nana).
- However, the two of them are completely different by morals. Makunga was just a pompous jerk instead while Scar was Pure Evil. So compared to Scar, Makunga was a saint.
- Despite being based on Scar, Makunga doesn't have a pink scar over his left eye.
- The reason for this is while Makunga is an antagonist who wants to usurp the throne, Scar actually succeeded in killing a protagonist.