“I'm a giraffe. I even walk like a giraffe with a long neck and legs. It's a pretty dumb animal, mind you.” Sophia Loren.
My favourite character in Madagascar which I have watched for at least 15 times and still find it to be insanely hilarious has always been Melman, the pathetic hypochondriac giraffe with incredibly exaggerated limbs. The main reason for me liking this character is that David Schwimmer did the voice over and really gave it a soul. FYI, David Schwimmer's character in Friends (Ross) is also my personal favourite. It is beyond me that out of dozens of friends and families whom I have asked, only Amin and I fancied Ross. The others are equally divided between Chandler, Joey, Rachel and Phoebe while NONE liked Monica. Well, I just love the fact that Ross is scholarly, loving, goofy and by my standards, good looking. Hurrmmm.. maybe I have a thing for nerdy underdogs...
As for Schwimmer in Melman's skin, I think it is truly spot-on. I mean, Chris Rock and Ben Stiller are good too but it seems that they're just saying the words like they'd usually do in normal life. Melman on the other hand has his own character that is totally apart from Schwimmer, with his hesitant nature and funny mannerism. I remember the scene in Central Park where Alex and Gloria were arguing about the train while Melman was the in background trying to lick off the sanitizer he found in the toilet. I laugh my heart out each time I see that scene, hell, even remembering it is funny enough.
So being the devoted fan, a warm and fuzzy feeling was delivered to my heart upon seeing Melman truly finding what he really loves in "Madagascar 2: Escape from Africa". He finally got to be a doctor and got the love of his life, Miss Bootylicious Gloria (oppss.... I hope I didn't ruin the story for those who haven't watched it :p). Although the central plot was about Alakay/Alex, I was more interested with the love triangle between Gloria, Alex and Moto Moto ("The name's so nice, you gotta say it twice"). It goes to show that apparent losers are actually winners and pathetics can be heroes.
Although Madagascar 2 did not meet my expectations, I must give credits for the development of Melman's character. While Alex and Marty were still dabbling with their friendship issues, Melman truly grew up. I'll continue loving Melman like I love Ross, contrary to the masses. You Go, Melman!