Jada Pinkett Smith says even though the "Madagascar" films are animated comedies, they have a lot of heart and deal with real life issues.The 40-year-old actress reprises her role as Gloria the hippopotamus in the newest sequel, "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," which was released on Friday, June 8.
"The thing I love about all of the 'Madagascar' movies that we've done - they're fun, but they also have a lot of heart," Pinkett Smith said in an interview provided by studio Paramount Pictures.
"Our movies are always dealing with really simple central issues, that basically are dealing with relationships, and how one relates to themselves and to the world, which is relatable across the board - whether you're an adult, or whether you're a child," she said. "So I think that coupled with some some pure fun - that's entertainment."In the film, Gloria is romantically involved with Melman the giraffe, who is voiced by David Schwimmer. He told OnTheRedCarpet.com that the two deal with relationship "hurdles" and must "work together and overcome their fears."
Pinkett Smith said she sees Gloria as "the mother of the crew," referring to Melman and fellow regular characters Alex the lion, portrayed by Ben Stiller and Marty the zebra, voiced by Chris Rock.
"When the boys get a little too out of line, or you know the boys are angry at each other, she's always the one that's kind of like, 'Come on come on we gotta get it together,'" she said. "I really feel like Gloria's the glue of the group and she's kind of an anchor."
In the 2008 movie "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa," the group was stranded in Africa. In the third movie, the characters end up in Europe and join a traveling circus.
Pinkett Smith explained why she thinks the "Madagascar" films have stayed popular since the first film's release in 2005.
"We're just old friends, we're just old friends and people just see us as really relatable characters," Smith said. "We're just a group of funny, fun jokers who, you know, you just enjoy going on a journey with. You just really love journeying with this group - cause we've journeyed."
Watch a trailer for "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" below.