Scar (The Lion King)
|The Lion King character|
|First appearance||The Lion King|
|Created by||Irene Mecchi
|Voiced by||Jeremy Irons
Jim Cummings (singing, The Lion King; speaking, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, The Lion King 1½)
|Occupation||King of the Pride Lands|
Scar is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Pictures' 32nd animated feature film The Lion King. The character is voiced by English actor Jeremy Irons, while his singing voice is provided by both Irons and American actor Jim Cummings; Cummings was hired by Disney to replace Irons when the latter damaged his singing voice. Subsequently, Scar appears in the film's sequels The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998) and The Lion King 1½ (2004), in both of which the character is voiced by Cummings, as well as the Broadway musical adaptation of the film, in which the role of Scar was originated by American actor John Vickery.
As the film's main antagonist, Scar was created by screenwriters Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts and Linda Woolverton, and designed and animated by supervising animator Andreas Deja. The Pride Lands' reclusive heir presumptive, Scar is introduced in the first film as the conniving uncle of Prince Simba and the envious younger brother of King Mufasa. Originally first-in-line to Mufasa's throne until replaced by his nephew Simba, who is born heir apparent to Mufasa and Queen Sarabi, a power-mad Scar decides to lead an army of hyenas in plotting against his family by murdering Mufasa and exiling Simba, ultimately blaming his brother's death on his unsuspecting nephew. Scar is loosely based on King Claudius, the antagonist of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, while his villainy was inspired by German politician Adolf Hitler. As the character's supervising animator, Deja, renowned for having animated some of Disney's most iconic villains, based Scar's appearance on that of Irons himself, particularly inspired by the actor's own facial expressions, as well as his starring role as the villainous Claus von Bülow in the film Reversal of Fortune (1990). The directors had also considered offering the role to actors Tom Hulce and Malcolm McDowell.
Scar has garnered a universally positive reception from film critics, who also greeted Irons' performance with similar enthusiasm. The first Disney character to explicitly commit murder, Scar sparked controversy due to his violence, dark-haired appearance, personality and allegedly effeminate characteristics, which some critics perceived as disturbing, frightening, racist and homophobic. Nevertheless, Scar, revered as one of Disney's greatest villains, has ultimately achieved iconic status, topping The Huffington Post 's best Disney villains list and ranking within the top ten of several similar lists compiled by Yahoo! Movies, the Orlando Sentinel, E! and CNN. Scar has also been exalted by Digital Spy and Entertainment Weekly as one of the greatest villains in movie history.
- 1 Development
- 2 Appearances
- 3 Cultural impact
- 4 Criticism and controversy
- 5 References
Conception and influences
Marketed as an original story, The Lion King was conceived in 1988. Originally entitled King of the Jungle, the film was eventually pitched to Disney executives, one of whom observed similarities between author Thomas M. Disch's treatment and William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. Citing these similarities as unintentional, co-director Rob Minkoff explained that "there was always the need to anchor [the film] with something familiar." While making The Lion King, Minkoff and co-director Roger Allers wanted to create "an animal picture based in a more natural setting", describing the film as "More true-life adventure than mythical epic" and nicknaming it "Bambi in Africa", a term coined by development executive Charlie Fink. Inspired by this, screenwriter Irene Mecchi began referring to the film jokingly as "Bamblet", a portmanteau of Bambi and Hamlet. Although not the first Disney film to have been inspired by Shakespeare's work, The Lion King arguably remains the studio's most prominent example because its characters "closely parallel Hamlet", while both stories revolve around their main characters struggling with the reality that they must confront their treacherous uncles and avenge their fathers' deaths. Naturally, Scar is loosely based on King Claudius, the antagonist of Hamlet. According to Slate, while Hamlet 's Claudius is mostly "a second-rate schemer ... consumed by anxiety and guilt," Scar very much "delight[s] in his monstrosity." Additionally, both Scar and Claudius are also consumed by jealousy. The Week observed that while both Scar and Claudius ultimately die, Claudius is killed by Hamlet, the play's protagonist, while Scar dies "at the hand of his former hyena minions, and not Simba himself." The character also shares similarities with Iago from Shakespeare's Othello as both antagonists are skillful in exploiting the fears of their nephews.
According to The Daily Beast, the original plot of The Lion King revolved around a rivalry and animosity between the lions and the baboons, while Scar, who was originally conceived as a baboon himself, was depicted as their treacherous leader. The character was subsequently re-written into a rouge lion, and therefore lacked any blood relation to Mufasa and Simba. Eventually, the writers felt that having Scar and Mufasa depicted as brothers would ultimately make the story more interesting. An abandoned supporting character, at one point Scar owned a pet python as a sidekick. Additionally, because the film was originally intended to be much more adult-oriented, Scar was to have become infatuated with Simba's childhood friend and eventual love interest Nala, wanting the young lioness to rule alongside him as his queen and consequentially banishing the character when she defiantly refuses his romantic advances. This concept was to have been further explored during a reprise of Scar's song "Be Prepared", but both the idea and the song were ultimately completely removed from the film because they were deemed too "creepy". To further emphasize the character's villainy and tyranny, the writers loosely based Scar on German politician Adolf Hitler. According to The Jerusalem Post, Scar's song "Be Prepared" "features goose-stepping hyenas in a formation reminiscent of a Nuremberg rally." This idea was first suggested by story artist Jorgen Klubien.
According to the directors, "[a] patronizing quality" was vital to Scar's role in the film. Minkoff told the Los Angeles Times, "When Scar puts the guilt trip on Simba, that's an intense idea ... probably something that is not typical of the other Disney pictures, in terms of what the villain does." Additionally, Scar serves as a departure from previous Disney villains because they "came off at least as buffoonish as they were sinister". Because Scar is the film's main antagonist, supervising animator Andreas Deja believed that "villains work really well when they're subtle", explaining, "to see them think and scheme and plot is much more interesting than showing them beating somebody up." By blaming Mufasa's death on an innocent Simba, Scar ultimately triggers "a cycle of guilt, flight, denial and redemption, as the hero goes into self-imposed exile before finally reconciling with his father's memory, returning to face his wicked uncle and generally coming of age." The character's first line in The Lion King essentially summarizes the entire film, providing foreshadowing. It reads, "Life's not fair is it? You see I-well, I ... shall never be King. And you ... shall never see light of another day," subtly revealing the plot as well as "the reason why [Scar] decides to murder his own brother."
Originally, American actor Tom Hulce and English actor Malcolm McDowell were considered for the role of Scar. However, the part ultimately went to English actor Jeremy Irons; Hulce would eventually go on to voice Quasimodo in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). Successfully recruiting Irons was considered an unprecedented achievement for the studio because, at the time, it was quite rare for a dramatic actor of Irons' caliber to agree to voice an animated character, especially, as in Irons' case, "so soon after winning an Academy Award." In fact, the Oscar-winning actor nearly declined because, in fear of jeopardizing his successful career, he was "[h]esitant to jump from a dramatic role to an animated feature." Prior to The Lion King, Irons was famous for starring as several villains and antagonists in live-action films "geared towards adults." Although he had starred in a children's film before, the actor admitted that it did not mirror the success of The Lion King, a film that has since become notorious for its cast of well-known, award-winning Hollywood actors, with animation historian Jerry Beck referring to it in his book The Animated Movie Guide as "the most impressive list of actors ever to grace an animated film."
As directors, Minkoff and Allers "work[ed] very closely with the actors to create their performance." Describing Irons as "a gentleman and a brilliant actor," Allers revealed that the actor was constantly offering "extra interpretations of lines which were fantastic." Producer Don Hahn recalled that Irons "really wanted to play with the words and the pacing," specifically referring to a scene in which Scar, voiced by Irons, coaxes Simba onto a rock and tricks the young cub to stay there and await his father's arrival alone, dubbing it "a father and son ... thing." According to Hahn, "The comedy in [Irons'] inflection comes from Scar sounding so disdainful he can barely summon the will to finish the sentence." Irons' physical appearance and mannerisms served as inspiration for Scar's supervising animator Andreas Deja, namely his flicking his paw in disgust.
In a reference to the role that earned Irons an Academy Award, Claus von Bülow in the film Reversal of Fortune (1990), the writers gave Scar one of von Bülow's lines, "You have no idea", which is uttered by Irons in a similar tone. According to author Rachel Stein of New Perspectives on Environmental Justice: Gender, Sexuality, and Activism, Irons relies "on his history of playing sexually perverse, socially dangerous male characters to animate his depiction of Scar." On the contrary, Irons revealed to Connect Savannah that the similarities between the voices of Scar and von Bülow were largely unintentional, explaining, "Whatever voice came was arrived at by looking at the initial sketches, and from the freedom the directors gave me to try anything." Irons concluded, "The fact that he may occasionally remind you of Claus, comes from the fact that they both share the same voice box."
While recording Scar's song "Be Prepared," Irons encountered challenges with his voice. The actor reportedly "blew out his voice" upon belting the line "you won't get a sniff without me," rendering him incapable of completing the musical number. Consequently, Disney was forced to recruit American voice actor Jim Cummings, who had also been providing the voice of The Lion King 's laughing hyena Ed at the time, to impersonate Irons and record the remainder of the song. Cummings told The Huffington Post that "[s]tunt singing" is actually something the actor continues to do regularly, having done the same for American actor Russel Means, voice Chief Powhatan in Disney's Pocahontas (1995). Critics observed that Irons "fakes his way ... through 'Be Prepared' in the grand tradition of talk-singing," drawing similarities between him and American actor James Cagney and English actor Rex Harrison. Deja revealed that, during a recording session, Irons' stomach was grumbling. Deja joked, "The growling sound could be heard in his recording, so we had to record that part of his dialog all over again." As a result of Irons' prominent British accent, critics have compared both the actor and Scar to Shere Khan, the villain of Disney's The Jungle Book (1967), voiced by English actor George Sanders.
Design and characterization
The Lion King was originally dubbed a "risk" because, at the time, studio executives strongly believed that "the best movies were about people". Concerned about the novelty of the film, Disney CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg decided to divide the studio into two separate animated feature films, The Lion King and Pocahontas, the latter of which was deemed "the home run" because, with its historical roots, Pocahontas was originally expected to be the more successful of the two films. Naturally, the studio's more seasoned, experienced animators gravitated towards Pocahontas, while newer animators and filmmakers who were forced to remain on The Lion King dubbed themselves the "B-team"; Allers, however, received Katzenberg's decision positively as an opportunity for "a lot of newer animators ... to step up to leadership roles". Among them was animator Andreas Deja, who became Scar's supervising animator. Well known for animating several Disney villains, Deja summed up the experience as "more fun than drawing heroes" because "You have so much more to work with in terms of expressions and acting and drawing-wise than you would have with a nice princess or a prince ... where you have to be ever so careful with the draftsmanship." The animator continued, "What happens at Disney is that if the people responsible for each movie see that you are good at animating a specific type of character, they will keep giving similar characters to you."
|"[A]t Disney ... the people responsible for each movie see that you are good at animating a specific type of character, they will keep giving similar characters to you. Also, I animated a couple of those villains because I asked to. I told the studio that I could do something good with these characters, since they really spoke to me. I showed that I had a passion for it, which I believe to be very important. Villains are very interesting characters, they have the most 'juice' in them, and they invite you to explore them. So, if something fascinates you, then you should probably explore it."|
|— Supervising animator Andreas Deja on animating Disney villains.|
Before animating Scar, Deja had just recently served as the supervising animator of Gaston and Jafar, the villains in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Aladdin (1992), respectively. Initially, the animator had contemplated animating "something different than villains", originally toying with the idea of animating hero Simba instead. However, Deja soon revisited the idea of animating Scar upon hearing that the character would be voiced by Jeremy Irons, explaining that animating "That kind of voice would be so much fun." Eventually, it turned out that even before Deja approached the directors, asking them for permission to animate Scar, Minkoff and Allers had already had Deja in mind for the character. The only lion in the film to have visible claws, Scar being an animal resulted in limited movement and expression. The animators experimented with "just tr[ying] to do something with a look," specifically "the way he tilts his head as he's literally talking down to [Simba]" in addition to raising his eyebrows, lifting his chin and "cocking his eyes to one sinister side." Minkoff said, "The main challenge ... was to tell an anthropomorphic story about animals. I think the level of anthropomorphism in the film exceeds many of its predecessors, which is something we were very proud of. We decided to take a different approach to other movies like Bambi, which was very naturalistic. Our characters had a more human feel to them ... Despite being animals, they look and act very human indeed." Hahn mused to Orange, "There were no humans in it ... nobody has thumbs even, so you can't pick anything up. It was a head-scratcher for a lot of people." It is implied that Scar's scar resulted in his name, indicating that "Scar" is actually the character's nickname or alias as opposed to his given name.
Critics such as Mental Floss observed similarities between the appearances of Irons and Scar. Deja admitted that Scar's appearance is very much based on Irons', specifically "us[ing] the actor's mouth shapes and facial expressions." Appropriately, the animators modified Scar's "character design ... to appropriate some of the actor's facial characteristics in nearly imperceptible ways." Irons declared he could "recognize himself" in Scar, particularly as the lion shared his baggy eyes. Additionally, Deja studied Irons in both Reversal of Fortune (1990) and Damage (1992) seeking the actor's facial expressions and tics. In Deja's opinion, "Voice makes a huge difference. If you have a great voice to work with, [the animator's] work is half done." On Irons, Deja praised the way in which the actor "has a way with words and phrasing," making it easier to determine an "acting pattern." In addition to this, live lions were brought into the studio to serve as creative reference for the animators. Inspired by Bambi, Minkoff explained that this process allowed "The artists [to] see how the animals looked up close and they could observe how they moved around, so it was a great way to study the wildlife." Deja refused to watch Disney's The Jungle Book in fear of being influenced by the film's villain, tiger Shere Khan.
Deja remains best-known for animating several of Disney's most famous villains, admitting to preferring animating villains as opposed to heroes, joking, "You don't say 'no' when you get offered a villain." However, after The Lion King, Deja finally decided to take a break from animating villains, being "worried about repeating himself". Deja refused to animate villain Judge Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) in favor of working on hero Hercules from Hercules (1997), along with Mickey Mouse in the animated short Runaway Brain (1995). Comparing Scar to other villains that he has played, Irons said that he "measures very highly," having "charm," "Machiavellian qualities" and being "iconic in some of the things he says."
Scar sings the musical number "Be Prepared," written by songwriters Elton John and Tim Rice, while contemplating Mufasa's death plot and bringing the hyenas along. Described as the film's "darkest" song, a "pompous," "fascistic paean to usurpers," the musical sequence depicts the lion "as a big-cat fascist." According to Business Insider, in addition to loosely basing the character on Adolf Hitler to further emphasize Scar's tyranny, the filmmakers very much directly based his song "Be Prepared," during which the Nazi's are referenced by having his army of hyenas goosestep while addressing them from a high ledge – similar to the way in which Hitler would have from a balcony – on the Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will (1935), a film that documents Nazi Germany during 1934.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the concept originated from a sketch by story artist Jorgen Klubien, in which Scar was depicted as Hitler. Although hesitant that Disney CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg would approve, the filmmakers ultimately decided to pursue it, describing the sequence as a "Triumph of the Will-style mock-Nuremberg rally." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reviewed, "those goose-stepping hyenas seem a little much in hindsight," while Film School Rejects coined it a "hellish gathering."
The Lion King
Scar's first appearance was in The Lion King (1994), in which the character, the Pride Land's reclusive heir presumptive, refuses to attend the ceremony of Prince Simba, his newborn nephew. When confronted about the matter by his older brother Mufasa, King of the Pride Lands and Simba's father, Scar reveals that his absence was because he is dissatisfied with the fact that, as a result of Simba's birth, he has been inevitably replaced as first-in-line to Mufasa's throne. When Simba grows into a rambunctious lion cub, Scar cunningly tricks him into traveling to the forbidden Elephant Graveyard, where he has hired a trio of hyenas to kill the young heir apparent. Scar's plans, however, are thwarted by Mufasa who rescues Simba from the hyenas but remains ignorant to the fact that Scar is behind their actions.
Enraged, Scar devises a plan to rid himself of both Simba and Mufasa so that he can become king by coaxing Simba into a gorge and triggering a wildebeest stampede, trapping Simba. Simba is, however, returned to safety by Mufasa, who is then pulled into the gorge by stampeding wildebeests. Weakened, Mufasa is unable rescue himself and asks Scar to help him. However, Scar releases Mufasa's grip, forcing him to fall back down into the gorge to his death. Consoling a distraught Simba, Scar subtly convinces the cub that Mufasa's death is his own fault and encourages him to run away and never return, sending his three hyena henchmen, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, to kill him. With Mufasa killed and Simba presumed dead, Scar ascends to the throne, becoming king of the Pride Lands.
In Simba's absence, Scar proves to be a cruel, tyrannical leader, sending the Pride Lands into a state of famine by squandering its resources while the hyenas reek havoc on the kingdom. Meanwhile, an adult Simba is visited by Mufasa's ghost who encourages him to return to the Pride Lands, defeat Scar and take his rightful place. Aided by his childhood friend Nala, a wise baboon named Rafiki and his wise-cracking friends Timon and Pumbaa, Simba storms Pride Rock. There Simba forces Scar to admit to the pride that he has been lying all these years and that he, in fact, killed Mufasa, initiating a grueling battle between the lionesses, now led by Simba, and Scar's hyenas. When cornered by Simba, Scar attempts to blame his villainous actions on the hyenas, unaware that they are listening nearby. Simba ignores him and gives Scar one last chance to run away and never return, but Scar refuses and they fight. Simba overpowers Scar and throws him over the cliff edge where the hyenas are waiting. Initially glad to be before his allies, Scar is soon terrified when the hyenas admit to hearing his betrayal just moments ago. Despite his pleas for mercy, they close in and maul him alive as the fires engulf them all.
The success of The Lion King spawned a Broadway musical based on the film, directed by Julie Taylor with a book written by The Lion King co-director Roger Allers and screenwriter Irene Mecchi. American actor John Vickery originated the role of Scar.
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
Having perished during The Lion King, Scar's appearance and presence in its sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998) is, naturally, quite limited in comparison. Story-wise, however, his role remains vital nonetheless. Upon Scar's demise, a rivaling pride of lions known as the Outsiders decide to remain loyal to Scar, led by the character's most faithful follower, Zira, by whom his antagonistic role is replaced. Having no children of his own, Zira's son Kovu is chosen to serve as Scar's heir, who practically mirrors Scar in appearance. Having banished the Outsiders to the Outlands, Simba forbids his daughter Kiara from pursuing a friendship with Kovu, but she befriends him regardless. Meanwhile, a vengeful Zira trains Kovu to murder Simba, but he has a change of heart as he begins to develop feelings for Kiara, much to Simba's initial chagrin, who distrusts him due to his prior association with Scar.
Scar makes a brief cameo appearance in the film in one of Simba's nightmares. Still haunted by memories of his childhood, the nightmare, referencing the wildebeest scene from the film prior, involves an adult Simba attempting to rescue his father as Scar watches. Scar, however, transforms into Kovu who, much like Scar, hurles Simba off the same cliff from which Mufasa met his fate.
Scar makes a brief cameo appearance in Disney's Hercules (1997) as a limp lion skin coat adorned by Hercules, referencing the legendary Nemean lion. Coincidentally, Scar's supervising animator Andreas Deja also animated Hercules. Scar appears in the video game The Lion King, released in 1994. According to AllGame, Scar appears towards the end of the video game as Simba finally "must defeat his Uncle Scar who has killed his father" and "stop Scar and reclaim what is rightfully his." Released in 2000, Scar also appears in the video game The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure. Similar to Simba's Mighty Adventure 's predecessor, Simba's climactic "battle with Scar concludes the first six levels of the game." According to IGN, the video game also features the returning voices of the film's original main cast, including Jeremy Irons as Scar. Voiced by James Horan, Scar also appears as a non-player character in Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure and in the Square Enix video game Kingdom Hearts II as a villain who ultimately transforms into a Heartless as a result of the character's own "hatred and jealousy."
Scar has garnered universal acclaim from film critics, some of whom deemed Scar a better, more "interesting" character than main character Simba. Author Peter M. Nichols wrote in his book New York Times Essential Library: Children's Movies: A Critic's Guide to the Best Films Available on Video and DVD that Scar "is the most interesting character in the film", dubbing Simba and Mufasa "bores in comparison." Janet Maslin of The New York Times labeled Scar a "delectably wicked" villain. Maslin went on to extol Irons' voice acting, writing that the actor "slithers through the story in grandiose high style, with a green-eyed malevolence that is one of film's chief delights." The Austin Chronicle 's Robert Faires hailed the character as "a chilling villain." While Variety 's Jeremy Gerard described Scar as "a dangerous mix of jealousy, murderous intent and bitchiness", Desmond Ryan of The Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted Scar as "the most vivid villain in Disney features in generations, largely because of Jeremy Irons", writing that the actor "is as hilarious as he is heinous." Leah Rozen of People wrote that Scar "is a flawless realization of Irons' special talent."
Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune hailed Scar as the film's "best character", describing him jokingly as "Irons' Claus von Bulow with fur." Similarly, ComingSoon.net's Joshua Starnes wrote that Scar is "the best part of the film." Lauding both Irons' performance and Scar, Starnes continued, "He switches so quickly and easily from campy to deadly its like a showcase for how to do an over-the-top villain right." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly described Scar as "a figure of both pity and evil, and of treacherous comedy" with "Irons ... filling this devious coward with elegantly witty self-loathing." Acknowledging that "Villains are often the most memorable characters in a Disney animated film", Roger Ebert dubbed Scar "one of the great ones." James Berardinelli of ReelViews reviewed, "Gone is the buffoonery that has marked the recent trio of Ursula, Gaston, and Jafar", writing, "Scar is a sinister figure, given to acid remarks and cunning villainy." Berardinelli concluded, "The cold-hearted manner in which he causes Mufasa's death lets us know that this is not a lion to be trifled with."
"Simba is also influenced by his delectably wicked uncle, Scar (Jeremy Irons). Scar arranges Mufasa's disturbing on-screen death in a manner that both banishes Simba to the wilderness and raises questions about whether this film really warranted a G rating ... For the grown-ups, there is Mr. Irons, who has been as devilishly well-captured by Disney's graphic artists (Scar's supervising animator: Andreas Deja) as Robin Williams was in "Aladdin." Bored, wicked and royally sarcastic, Mr. Irons's Scar slithers through the story in grandiose high style, with a green-eyed malevolence that is one of film's chief delights. "Oh, and just between us, you might want to work on that little roar of yours, hmm?" he purrs to Simba, while purporting to be a mentor to his young nephew. Scar, who also gives a reprise of Mr. Irons's best-known line from "Reversal of Fortune," may not be much of a father figure, but he's certainly great fun."
A film that features the voices of several well-known A-list actors, namely Irons, Matthew Broderick (Simba), James Earl Jones (Mufasa) and Whoopi Goldberg (Shenzi), The Lion King has since gone on to be acclaimed as "one of the most impressive arrays of voice talents ever utilized in an animated film." Critics have repeatedly singled out Irons' performance, praising it extensively: Cindy White of IGN called Irons' performance "deliciously smarmy", while Andy Patrizio of IGN wrote that Irons voices Scar "in perfect Shakespearean villain mode." Rolling Stone 's Peter Travers hailed Irons for "deliver[ing] a triumphantly witty vocal performance that ranks with Robin Williams' in Aladdin." Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle commended Disney for "nail[ing] the voice talents", specifically Irons. The Philadelphia Daily News ' Bill Wedo described Irons' voice as "silken", while Graham Young of the Birmingham Mail hailed the actor's performance as "magnificent." Radio Times ' Tom Hutchinson wrote, "Jeremy Irons [is] a vocal standout as the evil uncle Scar." Annette Basile of Filmink echoed Hutchinson's statement, writing that Scar is "voiced with relish by stand-out Jeremy Irons." The Guardian 's Philip French opined, "Jeremy Irons is excellent as the suavely villainous lion Scar." David Sterritt of The Christian Science Monitor exalted Irons' acting, describing him as "positively brilliant." Also hailing the film's cast as "incredible," Desson Howe of The Washington Post highlighted Irons as a "standout." Praising the film for successfully combining "grand-opera melodrama and low-comedy hi-jinks", the Orlando Sentinel 's Jay Boyar concluded that "One reason they work so well together is that even most of the serious sections contain an undercurrent of humor, provided ... by the deliciously droll voice-performance of Jeremy Irons as Scar." Mathew DeKinder of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch felt that Irons successfully "handle[s] all of the dramatic heavy lifting."
Even film critics who generally disliked the film tended to enjoy Scar's characterization and Irons' performance. Terrence Rafferty of The New Yorker wrote, "Among the celebrity voices on the soundtrack, two performances stand out", namely, "Jeremy Irons, as the villainous lion Scar" who "does an elegant, funny George Sanders impersonation." Stephen Hunter of The Baltimore Sun described Irons' voice as "plummy-rich with rancid irony." Television Without Pity 's Ethan Alter admitted to enjoying Scar, praising the character as "a fantastic villain and easily the most fully realized of the film's characters, thanks both to Jeremy Irons' marvelously wicked vocal performance and some clever character flourishes on behalf of the animators." David Denby of New York, who otherwise criticized the film, felt that "Irons ... sounds like he's having a better time than he's ever had in movies before."
Accolades and legacy
Achieving iconicism, Scar is often revered as one of Disney's greatest villains, with journalists praising the fact that the character "will do anything to become King of the Pride Lands". Likewise, Scar has been deemed one of the greatest animated villains of all-time. According to IGN, Scar, Simba and Mufasa have since become "household names thanks to the [film's] enormous popularity ... but back in 1994 who could have predicted that these characters would enter the lexicon of Disney's most popular creations?" In an article highlighting the "Top Animated Villains", Sky.com wrote that "Jeremy Irons salivated vindictively as the voice of Scar." In 2013 Entertainment Weekly ranked Scar among the "10 Over-the-top Animated Movie Villains", writing, "you could only expect over-the-top when you pair such a grasping, conniving character with Jeremy Irons' seductive voice." Likewise, in 2014 Digital Spy 's Alex Fletcher wrote of the character in his article "Who is Disney's greatest ever villain?" that "The scene in which he lets Mufasa ... fall into a stampede of wildebeests left lasting emotional trauma on an entire generation." Matt Mauney of the Orlando Sentinel ranked Scar the sixth "greatest Disney villain of all time".
|“||Scar walks the fine line between gravitas and camp, and most of the credit has to go to Jeremy Irons' superb sarcastic drawl. His main complaint is simply that life isn't fair, and that his status as Mufasa's younger brother makes him ineligible to rule over Pride Rock. Anyone with siblings, royal or not, can relate on some level. And although it's honestly a little cringe-worthy to watch Scar mince his way through 'Be Prepared,' he proves himself an adept orator, inspiring legions of goose-stepping hyenas to throw off the shackles of the oppressive lions. Of course, his manipulative and opportunistic nature is also his undoing; he's a bit too quick to turn on the hyenas after the final battle, and they literally rip their former leader to shreds.||”|
In 2014 The Huffington Post hailed Scar as the greatest Disney villain in its "Definitive Ranking Of 25 Classic Disney Villains". Describing the character as "full-throttle evil", author Lauren Duca joked that "Even his Hamlet doppelgänger King Claudius was less ruthless." Similarly, BuzzFeed ranked Scar first in the website's "Definitive Ranking Of The Top 20 Disney Villains", with author Javi Moreno writing that the character "took away the innocence of an entire generation." Scar also topped About.com's "Top 10 Disney Villains" list, with author David Nusair opining, "There are few figures within Disney's body of work that are as deliciously reprehensible and vile as Scar ... heightened by Jeremy Irons' gloriously smug voice work." Separately, Nusair featured Irons among the "Top 5 Celebrity Voice Performances in Animated Films", writing that the actor "has played a lot of villains over the course of his career ... but none have had the lasting impact as Scar from The Lion King." Animation World Network ranked Scar the sixth best cartoon villain in 2012. Similarly, Babble.com also placed the character at number six. In commemoration of the release of Disney's Maleficent, Yahoo! Movies ranked Scar second on the website's list of "the 12 most famous Disney villains from worst to best" in 2014, while Moviefone ranked the character the sixth, with author Gary Susman praising Irons' performance. E! ranked Scar fifth: authors John Boone and Jenna Mullins wrote that the character "plotted one of the most painful deaths in Disney history, so you know he'll never be forgotten."
According to CNN, Scar is one of "Disney's scariest characters", held responsible for one of the "darkest Disney animated movie moments." Ranking the character fifth, The Stanford Daily wrote, "From his habit of sadistically toying with his prey to his dumb hyena coven to the way he leads the kingdom of Pride Rock into a period of starvation and sorrow, he's a backstabbing dictator of an uncle." Before killing Mufasa, Scar utters "Long live the King", which author Richard Crouse of Metro dubbed the character's "Most evil line." Additionally, "Be Prepared" has been revered as one of the greatest songs ever performed by a Disney villain. Official Disney Blogs wrote that the song, with its "hyena backup singers, and the best bone-rattling percussion of all the villains' songs," Scar proves himself "an expert crooner of villainous plots." Aside from Disney and animation, Scar is often hailed as one of the greatest movie villains of all-time. Digital Spy featured the character who, according to author Simon Reynolds, "underlined the sheer blackness of his heart by ruthlessly killing Simba's father," among the "25 greatest movie villains". Similarly, in 2012 Entertainment Weekly ranked the character the twenty-fifth "Most Vile Movie Villain" ever, while Total Film ranked Scar sixty-seventh in 2014.
Criticism and controversy
Scar became the first Disney villain to successfully explicitly kill someone. Like Disney's Bambi before it, The Lion King – dubbed the studio's "darkest" film at the time of its release – was unprecedented in terms of its serious themes, namely guilt, murder, treachery, revenge and death, specifically the on-screen assassination of one of the film's heroes. According to IGN, "The film's story concepts of morality and mortality ... was new for Disney," with The Washington Post predicting that "the death of the heroic Mufasa will be the most widely debated aspect of The Lion King, with people taking sides as to whether such things are good or bad for kids just as they did over the killing of Bambi's mother." Similarly, Variety opined, "a generation that remembers the death of Bambi's mother as traumatizing should bear that experience in mind when deciding who goes to The Lion King." Film critics and parents alike expressed concern that Scar's violent ways would frighten and disturb younger viewers. Referring to Scar's murdering of Mufasa, The New York Times questioned "whether this film really warranted a G rating." Critics also cautioned Scar's death; Movieline warned audiences that the film "shows a fairy tale's dark sense of justice," for example when "Scar was eaten by his hyena allies after betraying them." ReelViews ' James Berardinelli commented:
"Death, something not really touched on in the last three animated Disney tales, is very much at the forefront of The Lion King. In a scene that could disturb younger viewers, Mufasa's demise is shown. It is a chilling moment that is reminiscent of a certain incident in Bambi. The film also contains a fair share of violence, including a rather graphic battle between two lions. Parents should carefully consider before automatically taking a child of, say, under seven years of age, to this movie."
The Los Angeles Times warned that "The on-screen death of Mufasa and a violent battle at the finale may disturb small children," echoed by The Philadelphia Inquirer. However, film critics also felt that Disney's treatment of Scar was at times too light-hearted and comedic, with the Deseret News complaining, "a climactic battle between Simba and his evil Uncle Scar ... is [a] very bad choice near the end, as Simba and Scar battle in slow-motion, a serious moment that seems unintentionally comic." According to The Seattle Times, "Some critics have complained that the movie is too funny and good-natured to accommodate the rather grim story it's telling." Considered "an odd mix of deadly seriousness and slapstick humor ... Simba fights Scar to the death" while "intercut with ... Poomba [sic] ... doing a parody of Travis Bickel."
Although universally acclaimed, Scar has sparked considerable controversy regarding the character's appearance and personality, specifically his darker-colored fur and alleged sexuality. The general public, however, appears to have remained largely oblivious to such concerns according to David Parkinson, author of The Rough Guide to Film Musicals. The Washington Post felt that "Scar clearly is meant to represent an evil African American because 'while Simba's mane is gloriously red, Scar's is, of course, black." Meanwhile, Scar's mannerisms and voice which, according to Nightmare on Main Street: Angels, Sadomasochism, and the Culture of Gothic 's author Mark Edmundson, resemble "a cultivated, word-weary, gay man," has been deemed homophobic by some commentators because, according to The Independent, "the arch-villain's gestures are effeminate" while, in addition to the film being "full of stereotypes," the character "speaks in supposed gay cliches." Susan Mackey-Kallis, author of The Hero and the Perennial Journey Home in American Film, observed that Scar is "more effeminate [and] less brawny ... than" both Mufasa and Simba. Additionally, "Even though [Scar] would be expected to mate with one of the lioness, he is never seen intimated by any." While Disney executives ignored these accusations, Slant Magazine defended the studio, explaining that Scar's black mane is simply an example of "the animators' elementary attempts to color-code evil for the film's target audience." Similarly, author Edward Schiappa wrote in his book Beyond Representational Correctness: Rethinking Criticism of Popular Media that Scar's voice was simply meant "to convey the sort of upper-class snobbishness evinced by George Sanders's performance as Shere Khan in The Jungle Book." More recently, the possibility of an incestuous relationship involving Simba, his mate Nala, Scar and Mufasa has surfaced. According to Johnson Cheu, author of Diversity in Disney Films: Critical Essays on Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality and Disability, the fact that Scar, Mufasa and Simba appear to be the only male lions present in The Lion King suggests the possibility that either Scar or Mufasa is Nala's father, which would in turn make Nala either Simba's half-sister or cousin.
- "The Lion King". TV Guide. CBS Interactive Inc. 1994. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Hartl, John (June 24, 1994). "'The Lion King' Is A Royal Treat". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Geirland, John (2011). Digital Babylon. United States: Skyhorse Publishing Inc. ISBN 9781611456417.
- Knolle, Sharon (June 14, 2014). "'The Lion King': 20 Things You Didn't Know About the Disney Classic". Moviefone. AOL Inc. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- "THE ORIGINS OF 'THE LION KING'". James Cummins Bookseller. James Cummins Bookseller. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- "Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff Interview". Movie Muser. Muser Media. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Rayfield, Jillian (March 13, 2013). "7 movies that are cleverly disguised Shakespeare adaptations". The Week. THE WEEK Publications, Inc. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
- Noyer, Jérémie (September 30, 2011). "Lion King D-rectors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff: 2D's for a 3D hit!". Animated Views. Animated Views. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Bonanno, Luke (September 30, 2011). "Interview: Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, The Directors of The Lion King". DVDizzy.com. DVDizzy.com. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- "Roundtable Interview: The Lion King". Blu-ray.com. Blu-ray.com. September 28, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Patrizio, Andy (February 24, 2005). "Bambi: Platinum Edition". IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Flecker, Sally Ann. "The Next Big Thing". Sarah Lawrence College. Sarah Lawrence College. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Susman, Gary (September 13, 2011). "17 Things You Might Not Have Known About 'The Lion King'". Moviefone. AOL Inc. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- "Lion King, The (1994)". LarsenOnFilm.com. J. Larsen. 1994. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Rokison, Abigail (2013). Shakespeare for Young People: Productions, Versions and Adaptations. United Kingdom: A&C Black. p. 206. ISBN 9781441125569.
- "Hamlet and The Lion King". 123HelpMe. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Vejvoda, Jim (April 12, 2014). "9 Genre Movies Inspired by Shakespeare". IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- Hunter, Stephen (June 24, 1994). "In 'The Lion King,' the animation roars". The Baltimore Sun. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Butler, Isaac (June 12, 2014). "The Tragedie of Scar, King of Pride Rock". Slate. The Slate Group LLC. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- "Scar and Claudius". The Lion King and Hamlet. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Tookey, Chris. "Lion King". Movie Film Review. Chris Tookey. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Fallon, Kevin (June 26, 2014). "'The Lion King' Turns 20: Every Crazy, Weird Fact About the Disney Classic". The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast Company LLC. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- "The Origins of The Lion King". Lion King Tickets. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Roy, Gitanjali (June 24, 2014). "Do You Know These 20 Things About The Lion King? Be Prepared". NDTV. NDTV Convergence Limited. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
- "10 Unknown Facts About The Lion King". Dope & Famous. Dope and Famous. May 2, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Galindo, Brian (May 29, 2013). "20 Things You Didn't Know About "The Lion King"". BuzzFeed. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
- "In the first drafts of The Lion King, Scar wanted Nala to be his queen!". OMG Facts. OMG Facts. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- "12 Things You May Not Have Known About 'The Lion King'". Doctor Disney. February 27, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Roulette, Matthew. "'Be Prepared (Reprise),' 'The Lion King' — Disney Songs You've Never Heard". TheFW. SCREENCRUSH NETWORK. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- "'Lion King' song animation based on Nazi propaganda film". The Jerusalem Post. The Jerusalem Post. July 7, 2014. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- William, Chris (May 15, 1994). "SUMMER SNEAKS '94 : You Can't Hide His Lion Eyes : It's no coincidence that Disney's latest jungle villain bears a wicked resemblance to Jeremy Irons; just ask the animator". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- "Scar". BuddyTV. BuddyTV. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- "You Can't Hide His Lion Eyes". The Incomparable Jeremy Irons. May 15, 1994. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Hassenger, Jesse (March 14, 2013). "'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Mulan' Are from Disney's Artistically Vital Years". PopMatters. PopMatters.com. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- "The Lion King". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Nastasi, Alison (May 31, 2014). "The Fascinating Real-Life Inspirations Behind Disney Villains". Flavorwire. Flavorpill Media. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Redmond, Aiden (September 15, 2011). "Jeremy Irons and James Earl Jones on 'The Lion King 3D' and Keeping It Together When Mufasa Dies". Moviefone. AOL Inc. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Carr, Kevin (December 25, 2002). "THE LION KING: IMAX EDITION". 7M Pictures. CyberChimps. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Beck, Jerry (2005). The Animated Movie Guide. United States: Chicago Review Press. pp. 145–146. ISBN 9781569762226.
- "Special Features: Q&A with The Lion King directors Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers". Flickering Myth. Flickering Myth. September 23, 2011. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Ebert, Roger (June 24, 1994). "The Lion King". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- T. J., Barnard. "8 Incredibly Subtle Movie In-Jokes You Totally Missed". WhatCulture.com. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
- Stein, Rachel (2004). New Perspectives on Environmental Justice: Gender, Sexuality, and Activism. United States: Rutgers University Press. p. 267. ISBN 9780813534275.
- DeYoung, Bill (October 23, 2013). "Film Festival: Jeremy Irons". Connect Savannah. Connect Savannah. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- Owen, Luke (June 25, 2014). "The Lion King 20th Anniversary – Seven Things You Didn't Know". Flickering Myth. Flickering Myth. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
- Shirey, Eric (September 26, 2011). "Jim Cummings Laughs it Up About His Role in 'The Lion King'". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- McCullin, Brendon (May 2, 2014). ""SEX" Dust and Other Secrets in 'The Lion King'". Hollywood.com. Hollywood.com, LLC. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Hill, Jim (September 19, 2011). "Has Disney Been 'Lion' About Jeremy Irons' Singing Voice?". The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Lloyd, Christopher (September 14, 2011). "The Lion King 3D". The Film Yap. The Film Yap. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Sæthre, Stine; Jebelean, Andreea. "Interview with Andreas Deja". The Animation Workshop. The Animation Workshop. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Asher-Perrin, Emily. "The Lion King Turns 20 Today ... and It Was the Most Unlikely Success Story You Will Ever Hear". Tor.com. Macmillan. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- "20 Things You Didn't Know About The Lion King". Bubblews.com. Bubblews LLC. May 29, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- Radford, Ivan (October 7, 2011). "Interview: Roger Allers and Bob Minkoff (The Lion King 3D)". i-Flicks.net. i-Flicks.net. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Callaway, Tim (April 28, 2014). "Disney Animator Andreas Deja in the MCL". The Mouse Castle. Mouse Castle Media. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Strike, Joke (May 15, 2012). "The 10 Best Cartoon Villains – Part Two: The Evil Villains". Animation World Network. AWN, Inc. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Jacobson, Colin (May 11, 2003). "An Interview with Animator Andreas Deja". DVD Movie Guide. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- "AN INTERVIEW WITH ROB MINKOFF AND ROGER ALLERS, CO-DIRECTORS OF THE LION KING". JustLoveMovies.com. October 4, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- Carnevale, Rob (October 6, 2011). "The Lion King 3D - Don Hahn interview". Orange. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
- Erbland, Kate (September 15, 2011). "Review: 'The Lion King' Makes Me Cry All Over Again In 3D". Film School Rejects. Reject Media, LLC. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- "The Faces Behind 31 Disney Villains". Mental Floss. Mental Floss, Inc. April 4, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
- Redmond, Aiden (September 15, 2011). "Jeremy Irons and James Earl Jones on 'The Lion King 3D' and Keeping It Together When Mufasa Dies". Moviefone. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
- Clark, Maria Pilar (March 3, 2011). "Disney's master animator Andreas Deja calls 'Bambi' animated poetry". Chicago Parent. Journal Inc. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- "Ten Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Lion King". D23.com. Disney. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Wallace, Aaron (March 17, 2008). "UltimateDisney.com's Interview with Andreas Deja, legendary Disney animator and expert". DVDizzy.com. DVDizzy.com. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Hill, Jim (June 19, 2007). "Andreas Deja : "... If you take the drawing out of Disney, it just isn't Disney"". Jim Hill Media. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- "Biography: Andreas Deja". AnimationResources.org. Animation Resources Incorporated. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Daly, Steve (July 8, 2014). "Mane Attraction". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly Inc. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- Canavese, Peter (2011). "The Lion King (2011)". Groucho Reviews. Peter Canavese. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Hinson, Hal (June 24, 1994). "'The Lion King'". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Pallotta, Frank (July 1, 2014). "The Darkest Song From 'The Lion King' Was Based On A 1935 Nazi Propaganda Film". Business Insider. Business Insider Inc. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
- DeKinder, Mathew (September 16, 2011). "REVIEW: Disney's Circle of Life comes around again". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Stltoday.com. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Booker, Christopher (2004). The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. United Kingdom: A&C Black. p. 286. ISBN 9780826452092.
- Robinson, Mark A (2014). The World of Musicals. United States: ABC-CLIO. pp. 406–407. ISBN 9781440800979.
- "4 Disney Easter Eggs Secretly Hidden In 'Frozen'". The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. December 13, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Galindo, Brian (June 7, 2013). "27 Disney Movie Easter Eggs You May Have Seriously Never Noticed". BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed Inc. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- Franks-Allen, Sara. "10 Disney Easter Eggs You May Have Missed". TheFW. SCREENCRUSH NETWORK. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- "The Lion King". IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- Baker, Christopher Michael. "The Lion King". AllGame. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- Zdyrko, David (February 7, 2001). "Disney's The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure". IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- Marriot, Scott Alan. "Disney's The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure". AllGame. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- "Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure". August 3, 2014. Inyxception Enterprises, Inc. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Scar". Kingdom Hearts Insider. KHInsider. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- Roten, Robert (1994). "The Lion King – A good try, but not as good as Beauty and the Beast". Laramie Movie Scope. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Nichols, Peter M (2003). New York Times Essential Library: Children's Movies: A Critic's Guide to the Best Films Available on Video and DVD. United States: Macmillan. ISBN 9781429934732.
- Maslin, Janet (June 15, 1994). "The Lion King (1994) Review/Film; The Hero Within The Child Within". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Faires, Robert (June 24, 1994). "The Lion King". The Austin Chronicle. Austin Chronicle Corp. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Gerard, Jeremy (June 13, 1994). "Review: 'The Lion King'". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Ryan, Desmond (June 24, 1994). "From Disney Springs A King Of The Beasts". Philly.com. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Rozen, Leah; Gliatto, Tom; Kaufman, Joanne (June 20, 1994). "Picks and Pans Review: The Lion King". People. Time Inc. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Siskel, Gene (June 24, 1994). "Entertaining 'Lion King' Lacks The Flair Of Disney's Best". Chicago Tribune. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Starnes, Joshua (2011). "The Lion King 3D". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline Media, LLC. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Gleiberman, Owen (June 24, 1994). "The Lion King (2002)". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly Inc. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Berardinelli, James. "Lion King, The". ReelViews. James Berardinelli. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Olson, Scott Robert (1999). Hollywood Planet: Global Media and the Competitive Advantage of Narrative Transparency. United Kingdom: Routledge. p. 117. ISBN 9781135669577.
- Booker, M. Keith (2010). Disney, Pixar, and the Hidden Messages of Children's Films. United States: ABC-CLIO. p. 58. ISBN 9780313376726.
- White, Cindy (September 16, 2011). "The Lion King 3D Review". IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- Patrizio, Andy (September 26, 2003). "The Lion King: Special Edition". IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- Travers, Peter (June 15, 1994). "The Lion King". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- Stack, Peter (March 3, 1995). "Disney's 'Lion King' Let Loose / Story, animation tops in jungle tale". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications, Inc. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Wedo, Bill (June 24, 1994). "Manely, It's Great 'The Lion King' Surpasses Its Hype With Quality". Philly.com. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Young, Graham (October 7, 2011). "Film Review: The Lion King (U)". Birmingham Mail. Trinity Mirror Midlands. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Hutchinson, Tom. "The Lion King". Radio Times. Immediate Media Company Limited. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Basile, Annette (September 19, 2011). "The Lion King 3D". Filmink. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Philip, French (October 9, 2011). "The Lion King 3D – review". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Sterritt, David (June 15, 1994). "Disney studio roars with 'The Lion King'". The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Howe, Desson (June 24, 1994). "'The Lion King'". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Boyar, Jay (August 9, 1998). "'Lion King' Superbly Blends Drama, Comedy". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Rafferty, Terrence (1994). "The Lion King". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Ethan, Alter (September 16, 2011). "The Lion King: Fathers and Sons". Television Without Pity. Bravo Media LLC. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- Denby, David (1994). New York Magazine. United States: New York Media, LLC. p. 78.
- Quinn, Anthony (October 6, 2011). "The Lion King 3D (U)". The Independent. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
- "Top 10 Most Evil Disney Villains". Listverse. Listverse Ltd. June 9, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- Pirrello, Phil; Goldman, Eric; Fowler, Matt; Collura, Scott; White, Cindy; Schedeen, Jesse (June 24, 2010). "Top 25 Animated Movies of All-Time". IGN. IGN Entertainment Inc. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Despicable Them: Top Animated Villains". Sky.com. BSkyB. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
- "10 Over-the-top Animated Movie Villains". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly Inc. March 6, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Fletcher, Alex (May 29, 2014). "Scar, Gaston, Maleficent: Who is Disney's greatest ever villain?". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- "Pictures: Best Disney villains". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Mauney, Matt (May 30, 2014). "The 30 greatest Disney villains of all time". Orlando Sentinel. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Tolf, Sarah. "Disney's Most Magnificent Bastards". Tor.com. Macmillan. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
- Duca, Lauren (January 28, 2014). "A Definitive Ranking Of 25 Classic Disney Villains". The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Moreno, Javi (Jan 27, 2014). "A Definitive Ranking Of The Top 20 Disney Villains". BuzzFeed. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Nusair, David. "Top 10 Disney Villains". About.com. About.com. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Nusair, Disney. "Top 5 Celebrity Voice Performances in Animated Films". About.com. About.com. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Castiglia, Carolyn (2013). "The Top 15 Disney Villains Ranked from Bad to Worst". Babble.com. Disney. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- Perkins, Will (May 29, 2014). "Ranking the 12 most famous Disney villains from worst to best". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Susman, Gary (May 25, 2014). "Disney Villains: Ranking the Top 30 of All Time (PHOTOS)". Moviefone. Moviefone Canada. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Boone, John; Mullins, Jenna (May 15, 2014). "All of the Disney Villains, Ranked". E!. E! Entertainment Television, LLC. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Burdette, Kacy; France, Lisa Respers (Kacy Burdette and Lisa Respers France). "Disney's scariest villains". CNN. Cable News Network. Retrieved July 20, 2014. Check date values in:
- Keeling, Robert (February 14, 2012). "The 11 darkest Disney animated movie moments". Den of Geek. Dennis Publishing Limited. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- "Top 5: Scariest Animated Disney Characters". The Stanford Daily. THE STANFORD DAILY. May 18, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- Crouse, Richard (May 27, 2014). "From Maleficent to Scar: The greatest Disney villains". Metro. Free Daily News Group Inc. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- Galindo, Brian (October, 15, 201). "Counting Down The 12 Greatest Disney Villain Songs". BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed, Inc. Retrieved July 20, 2014. Check date values in:
- Hurley, Laura. "10 Best Disney Villain Songs". WhatCulture.com. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- "Disney Villain Signature Songs On A Scale From 1 to Fabulous". Official Disney Blogs. Disney. 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2014.
- McKinney, Noah (June 24, 2014). "Top 20 Movie Villains Of All Time". moviepilot.com. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- "25 greatest movie villains: The Joker, Darth Vader, Lex Luthor, more". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- Reynolds, Simon (May 12, 2013). "25 greatest movie villains: The Joker, Darth Vader, Lex Luthor, more". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- Markovitz, Adam (July 19, 2012). "50 Most Vile Movie Villains". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly Inc. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- Wales, George (January 30, 2014). "100 Greatest Movie Villains". Total Film. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
- Vraketta, Georgia. "The Representations of Gender, Sexuality and Race in Disney's The Lion King". Academia.edu. Academia. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
- "Lion King, The". Film4. Channel 4. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- "20 Years Later, How The Lion King Changed Feature Animation Forever". IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. June 15, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- Minow, Nell (August 1, 2005). "The Lion King". Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media Inc. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Willmore, Alison (September 15, 2011). "REVIEW: Lion King 3D Makes Refreshing Use of Extra Dimension". Movieline. PMC. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Turan, Kenneth (June 15, 1994). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'The Lion King' and His Court Jesters : The Sidekicks Steal the Show in Disney's Animated Opus". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Hicks, Chris (December 17, 2002). "Film review: Lion King, The". Deseret News. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Mapes, Marty (December 27, 2002). "The Lion King (IMAX)". Movie Habit. Marty Mapes. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Parkinson, David (2007). The Rough Guide to Film Musicals. United Kingdom: Penguin. p. 121. ISBN 9780756647124.
- Twomey, Steve (July 28, 1994). "'The Lion King' a Roaring Success Despite Lambasting". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Edmundson, Mark (1999). Nightmare on Main Street: Angels, Sadomasochism, and the Culture of Gothic. United States: Harvard University Press. p. 45. ISBN 9780674624634.
- Reeves, Phil (July 27, 1994). "Right-on critics maul 'Lion King'". The Independent. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- "Disney Movie Is Sexist And Racist, Adults Howl". Chicago Tribune. Chicago Tribune. August 2, 1994. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- "The Salina Journal". Newspapers.com. Newspapers.com. July 26, 1994. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Mackey-Kallis, Susan (2011). The Hero and the Perennial Journey Home in American Film. United States: University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 102. ISBN 9780812200133.
- Gonzalez, Ed (September 28, 2003). "Film Review". Slant Magazine. Slant Magazine. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
- Schiappa, Edward (2008). Beyond Representational Correctness: Rethinking Criticism of Popular Media. United States: SUNY Press. p. 65. ISBN 9780791478493.
- Cheu, Johnson (2013). Diversity in Disney Films: Critical Essays on Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexuality and Disability. United States: McFarland. p. 138. ISBN 9781476600093.