David Schwimmer's character in the new animated film "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," goofy giraffe Melman, takes his love problems to new heights.
In the movie, which was released on Friday, June 8, Melman is involved romantically with Gloria, a hippopotamus voiced by Jada Pinkett Smith.
"In the first movie, Melman and Gloria are friends," Schwimmer said in an interview provided by studio Paramount Pictures. "There's something maybe, an undercurrent of something happening. In 'Madagascar 2,' romance blooms, and they fall in love and they start dating, basically. Well now in 'Madagascar 3,' they're a couple."
"I think that it's everything that kind of comes along with being in a new relationship - the challenges and the ups and downs - it's not all roses," he continued. "There are some hurdles that they have to overcome. I say ups and downs, highs and lows, and it's really true because one of the hurdles they have to overcome is the high-wire act, and working out, can they as a couple come up with and work together and overcome their fears - well at least Melman's fear of dancing and being 50 feet up in the air on a little, tiny rope."
On the hit NBC sitcom "Friends," which aired between 1994 and 2004, Schwimmer's character played nerdy paleontologist Ross Geller, the on-again, off-again love interest of Jennifer Aniston's character, Rachel. Their relationship was a main issue on the series, which made them famous.
In "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," Gloria, Melman and Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, voiced by Ben Stiller and Chris Rock, end up in Europe and join a traveling circus.
"The whole mission is just to get back to Central Park Zoo," Schwimmer said. "Everyone just wants to get home. But they don't know how to do it until they stumble upon this traveling circus. And so they kind of ingratiate their way into this kind of ramshackle circus that's kind of on the rocks, and then hopefully, they overcome a lot of their own fears that each of them has and end up doing really well, taking the circus to a new level, a little 'Madagascar' style on it."
The film may be following the veteran characters for a third go-round, but the cast also includes first-time characters. One newcomer, "Breaking Bad" actor Bryan Cranston, plays a Russian circus tiger named Vitaly. Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, last seen in movies such as "The Help," stars as his colleague, a jaguar, while "Almost Famous" actress Frances McDormand plays Monaco Animal Control Captain Chantel DuBois.
Schwimmer said her character is his favorite of the new ones, adding: "She is a very, very serious animal control agent trying to make trophies on her trophy wall out of all four of them, so she is determined at any cost to hunt them down and destroy them."
Watch a trailer for "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" below.