As of 2015, Tyler Perry has written, directed and starred in 13 Madea movies since 2002, beginning with "Madea's Family Reunion." In January 2015, Perry released his first animated work featuring Madea, "Tyler Perry's Madea's Tough Love."
The remaining Madea movies are "Tyler Perry's Madea's Neighbors From Hell," "Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas," "Madea Gets a Job," "Madea's Witness Protection," "Byreeen: the Baby Mama From Hell," "Madea's Big Happy Family," "I Can Do Bad All by Myself," "Madea Goes to Jail," "Meet the Browns," "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," "Madea's Class Reunion."
Tyler created Mabel "Madea" Simmons as a comedic foil for his plays and movies. The character is a tall, overweight senior citizen who is confrontational and unafraid to defend herself. She often alludes to and sometimes brandishes her gun. Even though her name appears in the titles of many movies, she tends to serve in a supporting role in Perry's films. However, she is the primary character in the 2009 movie "Madea Goes to Jail."
In many cases, the Madea character is used to impart a lesson to viewers. In "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," for instance, she teaches that no matter how justified a person's anger toward one has wronged her, it is essential to forgive.