Voiced by: David Schwimmer - in Madagascar films and specials Stephen Stanton - in Madagascar video games Zachary Gordon - as a calf
Melman Mankiewicz is a male reticulated giraffe. He has a furry coat, whiskers, a snout, a long neck, brown spots, antlers, and a tufted tail. He is somewhat of a hypochondriac, having doses of medicine for meals and doctor's appointments frequently. He even complains about having brown spots on his neck (the spots, in real life, are natural).
He is skittish most of the time, but often has moments of profound clarity. His experience being medicated has given him insight regarding how to treat injured animals who might otherwise dig a hole and die in it. His love for Gloria is deep, and is always a gentleman to her; to Marty and Alex, he's just another one of the "awkward" guys.
Melman had a residence at the Central Park Zoo, where he received constant medical treatment for problems that were all psychosomatic. He would undergo MRIs, CAT scans, injections, flu shots, and be put into braces and crutches for no particular purpose at all. In the Central Park Zoo, Melman was used to his cushy life taking pills and undergoing treatments. One night, Marty the Zebra escaped and Melman immediately informed Alex of this.
In a flashback in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, there is a hint that he had a crush on Gloria as a child (as he seems uncomfortable when she comments that Alex is cute). When the animals nearly die trying to fly back to New York in a salvaged air plane, he screams he is in love with Gloria; she is asleep and does not hear. In Africa, Melman is horrified to learn that once a giraffe becomes sick, it has no way to survive and therefore must simply wait in a hole to die. He takes the position of Witch Doctor to cure sick animals, introducing them to Western medicine and giving them longer and better lives.
While he proves to be very good at this job, he is informed by another giraffe that Melman has a brown spot on his shoulder, one which the previous Witch Doctor seemed to have gotten and "was gone" two days later. Thinking he only has two days to live, Melman initially waits in a hole, but then takes King Julien's advice and goes to declare his love to Gloria. He finds her on a date and simply tells her date what a wonderful girl Gloria is and to treat her right. When the watering hole dries up and King Julien decides to sacrifice an animal for the water gods, Melman offers himself. He is saved at the last moment, when Gloria tells him that she loves him back, and the two become a couple; it becomes apparent the "brown spot" was not fatal (the previous Witch Doctor is found alive and well, the brown spot in fact being a natural giraffe spot); however, there is not a scene where Melman is told of this. It is assumed that he figured it out when his "time" came and went and he was fine. He was last seen dancing off into the sunset with Gloria, Alex and Marty.
In Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Melman and the gang arrive at Monte Carlo to find the penguins, once inside the hotel, Melman, Alex and Marty argue over who should be the leader of the group. They are crushed by Gloria's weight and they fall into the casino. Whilst escaping the hotel with the other animals, they are pursued by DuBois. On the way they lose DuBois and manage to reach the Hotel Ambassador. While boarding the plane, Melman is grabbed by the neck when DuBois appears. Alex with a little help from Mort, cuts the rope and saves Melman.
Above the skies of France, the plane's engine fails and it crash lands into a suburban rail yard. Whilst running from the authorities who are closing in on them, Melman gives Alex the idea of boarding the train containing the circus. Upon arrival in Rome, Melman and the group realize how terrible the circus was. En route to London, Melman and the others are discussing how terrible the circus was before Alex tells them about his newfound inspiration.
Melman and Gloria create a dancing tightrope act that is performed in London. When Melman and his friends are pursued by DuBois, the circus discover their true identities.