List of The Lion King characters
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The lead character of the series is Simba. During the course of the franchise, he grows up to take his father's place as the King of the Pride Lands.
- 1 Development
- 2 The Lion King
- 3 The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
- 4 The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
- 5 The Lion King 1½
- 6 The Lion Guard
- 7 Six New Adventures & other books based by The Lion King characters
- 8 References
A total of thirteen supervising animators from Walt Disney Feature Animation and Disney-MGM Studios were responsible for establishing the personalities and setting the tone for the first film's main characters. The animation team studied real-life animals for reference, as was done for the earlier film Bambi. The animation of the characters counted with supervision by wildlife experts such as Jim Fowler, who visited the studio on several occasions with lions and other animals to help the animators reproduce authentic behavior. Screenwriter Irene Mecchi joined the directing team to help in the character development process and define each character's personality. Story head Brenda Chapman spoke of the challenges of character development.
The Lion King
Simba (voiced by Matthew Broderick in the films, Cam Clarke in Timon & Pumbaa, and Rob Lowe in The Lion Guard) is the son of Mufasa and Sarabi. His name meaning "lion" in Swahili and "strength" in Shona. Simba grows up to take Mufasa's place as King of Pride Rock and becomes the father of Kiara and Kion.
Nala (voiced by Moira Kelly) is a childhood friend of Simba and the daughter of Sarafina. Although she is a prominent character in The Lion King, she makes minor appearances in The Lion King ll: Simba's Pride, The Lion King 1½, and The Lion Guard
In the first film, she is portrayed as Simba's childhood friend. After helping Simba enter the elephant graveyard, she has to be rescued by Mufasa when the hyenas attack them. Several years later, Nala encounters Simba as a young adult and develops a romance with Simba after encountering him in the jungle. After returning to Pride Rock, she helps Simba defeat Scar and take Mufasa's place as King of Pride Rock. In Simba's Pride, Nala is depicted as slightly older, calmer and less overprotective than her mate.
Timon and Pumbaa
Timon and Pumbaa (voiced by Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella in the films and TV series, respectively) are a meerkat and warthog duo. Although they are supporting characters in the first two films, they are featured as the main characters in The Lion King 1½ as well as the Timon & Pumbaa TV series. In the first film, they become friends with Simba and teach him the basics of life in the jungle. After helping Simba stop Scar's tyrannical reign, the two become Simba's royal advisors and adoptive uncles of the honey badger, Bunga.
Scar (voiced by Jeremy Irons in The Lion King and Jim Cummings in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride) is the main antagonist of The Lion King franchise and Mufasa's younger brother. In The Lion King, he commits a coup d'état by murdering his brother and exiling his nephew Simba, he becomes "King of the Pride Lands". However, Simba returns to Pride Rock and overthrows Scar to become King of the Pride Lands. The Lion Guard reveals that Scar was once a leader of the titular group and, like his great-nephew Kion, once possessed Roar of the Elders. He lost it after using it to destroy the members of his guard.
Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones in the films and Gary Anthony Williams in The Lion Guard) is Scar's older brother, Sarabi's husband and Simba's father who is introduced as the King of the Pride Lands. The name "Mufasa" means "King" in the Manazoto language. In The Lion King, he teaches Simba on what a king is supposed to be. However, Mufasa is killed during a wildebeest stampede initiated by Scar. He returns as a ghostly apparition in the clouds to help Simba return to the Pride Lands and remember who he is as King.
According to Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, they knew that Jones's voice was powerful similar to the lion roar. Jones is scheduled to reprise his role in the upcoming live-action adaptation of the film directed by Jon Favreau.
Sarabi (voiced by Madge Sinclair) is Mufasa's wife and Simba's mother. Her name means "mirage" in Swahili. In The Lion King, she serves as the Queen of Pride Rock. Years after Scar usurps the throne, Sarabi helps Simba fight against Scar and his hyenas. When Simba defeats Scar, Nala becomes queen in Sarabi's place.
Zazu (voiced by Rowan Atkinson in The Lion King, Edward Hibbert in Timon & Pumbaa, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, and The Lion King 1½, and Jeff Bennett in The Lion Guard) is a red-billed hornbill and majordomo to Mufasa and later Simba. After Mufasa's death, Zazu becomes a prisoner of Scar before Pumbaa releases him when Simba returns to the Pride Lands. He eventually acts as a scout and advises Simba on royal protocol. In the musical, Zazu is a puppet controlled by an actor dressed in blue striped clothes and a bowler hat, much like a stereotypical butler. Zazu's blue feathers have been replaced with white and the puppet is partially constructed from parachute silk with a slinky contained in the neck for ease in movement.
Rafiki (voiced by Robert Guillaume in the films and Timon & Pumbaa and Khary Payton in The Lion Guard), whose name means "friend" in Swahili, is a mandrill with an unnaturally long tail. He lives in a baobab tree in the Pride Lands and performs shamanistic services for the lions of Pride Rock.
In The Lion King, Rafiki is introduced in the opening scene when he travels to Pride Rock to perform newborn Simba's presentation ceremony. During the film, Rafiki sings a nonsense chant: "Asante sana, squash banana, wewe nugu, mimi hapana." This is a Swahili playground rhyme which translates to "Thank you very much (squash banana), you're a baboon and I'm not!" Like "hakuna matata" (no worries), the chant was heard by the filmmakers on their research trip to Kenya. Rafiki travels to the jungle where Simba lives with Timon and Pumbaa, and teaches him lessons about learning from the past. During the battle for Pride Rock, Rafiki saves Simba from a hyena. At the end of the film, Rafiki presents Simba and Nala's newborn cub.
In the sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Rafiki is more closely involved with the affairs and politics of the prides and is often seen with the lions. Mufasa's spirit persuades him to bring Simba's daughter Kiara and Zira's son Kovu together as a way of uniting the prides. Rafiki tries to make them fall in love by singing to them about a place called "Upendi", which means "love" in Swahili. In the end, he blesses the union of Kovu and Kiara and Kovu is welcomed into the pride. Rafiki appears briefly in The Lion King 1½, teaching Timon the philosophy of "Hakuna Matata", talking to Timon's mother about her son, and later convincing Timon to follow Simba to Pride Rock to confront Scar.
In the musical, the character of Rafiki was significantly modified. Because director Julie Taymor felt that the story lacked a strong female character, Rafiki was changed into a female mandrill and sangoma. She acts as narrator throughout the story, at one point speaking to the audience in a click language for comic effect. She sings the opening song "Circle of Life", a keening song called "Rafiki Mourns" following Mufasa's death, and a brief part in Nala's song "Shadowland", when she blesses Nala for her journey to find help. Instead of detecting Simba's scent on dust, Rafiki hears Simba's song "Endless Night" on the wind. Rafiki finds Simba and shows him that his father lives on in him through the song "He Lives in You". She is present during the battle, fighting a hyena, and adorns Simba with the king's mantle after his victory. And the play ends with her at the presentation of Simba and Nala's newborn cub.
Rafiki makes occasional appearances in the Timon and Pumbaa TV series and has his own segments called "Rafiki Fables" in the same show. He appears briefly in the Pride Lands world of Kingdom Hearts II.
Shenzi, Banzai and Ed
Shenzi (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg in the films and Tress MacNeille in Timon & Pumbaa and Kingdom Hearts II), Banzai (voiced by Cheech Marin in the films and Rob Paulsen in Timon & Pumbaa) and Ed (voiced by Jim Cummings) are the three spotted hyenas who make up Scar's henchmen. After Scar promises them that they will have food, the hyenas trigger the wildebeest stampede and chase Simba out of Pride Rock. When Simba returns to Pride Rock, Shenzi and Banzai are defeated by Pumbaa. The three turn on Scar when the latter tries to blame them for Mufasa's death and the ruin of the Pride Lands, and eat him alive.
Shenzi was originally going to be a male and be voiced by Tommy Chong to reunite him with Marin, who was playing Banzai, but the two had a falling out, so Shenzi was reconceived as a female and Goldberg was hired for the role.
Gopher (voiced by Jim Cummings) is a mole, who works for Zazu as an informant. In the film he is seen warning Zazu that the hyenas have invaded the Pride Lands. His scene is expanded in the 2003 special edition. He appears during the song The Morning Report and is spotted by Simba who tries to pounce him, but Gopher pops back inside the dirt. Gopher reappears, trying to get Mufasa's attention, but Simba notices him again, to which the gopher hides back in the dirt. For the third time, Gopher reappears near a small rock, and Simba notices him again to try to pounce him, Gopher disappears to which Simba hits his head on the rock.
The character is expanded in the television series. He acts as Zazu's primary lieutenant, even sharing Zazu's home within a large tree. He is seen reporting to Zazu on the movements of elephants. In one episode Gopher is (temporarily) given Zazu's job after Zazu makes an error while counting the animal population. Cummings reprises his role for these episodes.
The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
Quint (voiced by Corey Burton) is Timon and Pumbaa's archenemy, a sneaky, muscular man with black hair, a pink nose, and a shaven face, and he has varying roles. His wears different clothes in each episode because of the different jobs he has, but he is often seen wearing a hat. He also has different first names that show what his jobs are (in which they all happen to start with C).
Quint is a con artist who tricks Timon into stealing a gold nugget Pumbaa found in the episode "Yukon Con", a criminal who stole a suitcase that has $1,290,000 in the episode "How to Beat the High Costa Rica", an evil clock inspector who wants to get revenge on a timekeeper in the episode "Swiss Missed", a French chef who wants to make Speedy the Snail an escargot in the episode "French Fried", etc. In the episode "The Pain in Spain", two Quints are seen together, which may prove that there is more than one of him.
In some episodes, Quint appears to be a respectable man with an honest job, but he still seems to annoy Timon and Pumbaa. Notably in Season 2, Quint's face appears to be clean-shaven, except in the episode "Klondike Con" when he becomes a gold thief. Also, in the episode "Escape From Newark", his nose is the same color as his body for the first time.
Speedy the Snail
Speedy (voiced by Corey Burton) is a talking grayish/bluish snail with a shiny red shell and a yellow fedora. Timon and Pumbaa plan to eat him at first, but his ability to speak and sing and his bon viveur, good-humored attitude gets him to become friends with them. Timon gives him the name "Speedy", because he thinks that it would be a brilliant incongruity. Speedy always finds himself in danger, such as becoming a French gourmet snail and an earring out of his shell, and it's always up for Timon and Pumbaa to save him.
In the episode "The Man from J.U.N.G.L.E.", Speedy is revealed to be a superhero called Super Duper Hero X after Timon and Pumbaa were captured by his nemesis Chromosome Quint. Every episode featuring Speedy end with Timon and Pumbaa saying bye to Speedy when they return him home, a seagull capturing Speedy, and then Timon and Pumbaa trying to save him once again. Speedy's voice was based on that of Bing Crosby. Speedy also makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the episode "Washington Applesauce".
Fred (voiced by S. Scott Bullock) is a meerkat who was Timon's best friend back at the meerkat colony. He is a practical joker, employing such gags as the hand buzzer, the squirting flower, and the whoopee cushion. He also loved Timon's hyena jokes. When Fred visits Timon and Pumbaa, he pulls more practical jokes on the duo, such as impersonating Timon's mother or impersonating a Billy Goat guard. Timon and Pumbaa, however, don't find Fred's jokes very funny and they often overpower him. Aside from pulling practical jokes, Fred enjoys doing all sorts of activities, such as playing Turtle Tennis and Fishing for Flamingos. He also mentions that he and Timon have always gone Bowling for Buzzards.
At the meerkat colony, Fred's duty was to guard the Duke Meerkat's castle, although on the day the Duke left the colony, he snuck away to get a snack and convinced Timon that it was now his chance to go on a date with Princess Tatiana. When the Duke banished Timon from the colony after a cobra kidnapped the princess, Fred's new duty was to guard the back gate, which indicates that he has been demoted for failing to protect the castle.
Fred appears in a total of four episodes: "Tanzania Zany", "Mombasa-In-Law", "Once Upon a Timon", and "Mind Over Matterhorn".
Boss Beaver (voiced by Brad Garrett) is an ill-tempered and cantankerous beaver with a white hard hat. His lifestyle is the exact opposite of Timon and Pumbaa's Hakuna Matata lifestyle: Boss Beaver likes to work while Timon and Pumbaa like to relax. He owns a lumber mill and an amusement park called "Boss Beaver's Log Land". Boss Beaver also has three mottos: "Makuta Hamaka", which means "work real hard", "safety first" and "you break it, you buy it."
Boss Beaver's favorite quote is "I am Boss Beaver and the reason they call me Boss Beaver is that I am your boss and I am a beaver. Therefore, I am Boss Beaver." In the episode "Amusement Bark", it is revealed that he has a mischievous son named Boy Beaver, who keeps breaking things at his amusement park and getting Timon blamed for it. Boss Beaver appears in a total of three episodes. He also makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the episode "Washington Applesauce."
Irwin (voiced by Charlie Adler) is a clumsy, accident-prone penguin with a green scarf and a brown hat. Timon and Pumbaa befriend him at a boat stop in Antarctica when they see that he has two extra tickets for the duo to get on the ship. When Irwin leaves his home with the duo, it is shown that he has obviously injured all of his penguin "friends", as they are all seen wearing bandages. Timon dislikes Irwin's clumsiness, and tries to get rid of him by tricking him into playing a game of Hide-and-Seek. Irwin accidentally causes the boat to sink and Timon and Pumbaa run into him on an island. Timon confronts the penguin and he tricks him into playing another game and Irwin accidentally causes the island to sink.
Irwin meets Timon and Pumbaa again at a Hakuna Matata Megamall. Due to his clumsiness, Timon and Pumbaa try to avoid him by hiding in various stores. Irwin appears in two episodes of the series: "Frantic Atlantic" and "Shopping Mauled."
Toucan Dan (Jeff Bennett) is a dangerously clever criminal mastermind lying toucan who wears a red fez. He is a convincing liar and impersonator and would also do anything to get someone in trouble. In his debut episode "I Don't Bolivia", he keeps tricking Timon into freeing him from his cage. Later in the episode, while Timon impersonates Toucan Dan in order to not be in trouble with the police, Toucan Dan impersonates Timon and this makes Pumbaa have to decide which one is the real Timon.
Toucan Dan makes his second and final appearance in the episode "Alcatraz Mataz". In that episode, he frames Timon and Pumbaa for stealing a train car full of beak polish and the police throw them in jail. Angry at Toucan Dan, Timon and Pumbaa escape to catch the toucan and make him tell the truth.
Rabbit (voiced by Charlie Adler) is a large and tall pink bunny who appears to be very annoying, rude, obnoxious, argumentative, and tiring. He made his debut in the episode "Mojave Desserted". In that episode, Timon and Pumbaa save his life when he was drowning in quicksand and he decides to repay the duo hand and foot. Annoyed by Rabbit, Timon and Pumbaa hatch a plan to put themselves in danger and have Rabbit save them and then leave them alone.
Rabbit makes his second and final appearance in the episode "Africa-Dabra!," this time appearing as an unsympathetic and ruthless magician. After Timon pulls him out of a hat, he teams up with the meerkat to become part of his magic act, telling him that he has been looking for a partner for years. When he gets annoyed by Pumbaa ruining the magic acts, he breaks up Timon and Pumbaa's friendship. When Pumbaa finds out that Timon would never truly said anything mean about him, he gets revenge on Rabbit by trapping him in a cage
The Vulture Police (voiced by Townsend Coleman and Brian Cummings) are recurring characters in the Timon & Pumbaa series. They appear in a total of six episodes. They make their first appearance in the episode "The Law of the Jungle," where they arrest Timon for using the Forbidden Stick to scratch his back and take him to a rhino judge who gives a number of test to see whether he's innocent or guilty. In the episode "Yosemite Remedy," Timon and Pumbaa go to the police after a criminal raccoon steals their suitcase full of valuables. When they handcuff the thief, he tells them that he didn't steal Timon and Pumbaa's suitcase, he found it. The police let him go but later arrest him again when they find out that he really stole the duo's suitcase.
In the episode "Alcatraz Mataz", the Vulture Police throw Timon and Pumbaa in jail after they were convinced by Toucan Dan that they stole the train car full of beak polish. After Timon and Pumbaa confront Toucan Dan, the police show up and realize that it was really Toucan Dan who stole the train car, so they arrest the toucan. However, they also throw Timon and Pumbaa back in jail since they escaped when they told them not to.
The Vulture Police make a brief appearance in the episode "Wide Awake in Wonderland," in the meerkat and warthog version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Cheetata and Cheetato
Cheetata (voiced by Rob Paulsen) and Cheetato (voiced by Jim Cummings) are a pair of sophisticated twin cheetahs, reminiscent of Warner Bros' Goofy Gophers, speaking in British accents and using similar phrases ("Indubitably," "How very kind of you"). In order to tell them apart, not only do they have different voices, they also have different personalities: Cheetata appears to be more eager and aggressive while Cheetato seems more likely to think things through.
The cheetahs first appear in the episode "Cooked Goose", where they are annoyed by Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed getting in the way of their wildebeest hunt, so they try sending them on various wild goose chases. They also appear in "Gabon with the Wind," where they are convinced by Timon that he is going to catch Pumbaa for them, when he is actually going to find his friend so that they can both run away to safety.
In the episode "Boary Glory Days", Timon and Pumbaa use Cheetata and Cheetato to play a game of Predator Tag. While the cheetahs are chasing Timon and Pumbaa, the duo outsmarts the brothers by having them jump over a mud pool and fall into it.
The Three Natives
The Three Natives (voiced by Jeff Bennett) are a trio of tribes who are really university students. They have a leader (also voiced by Jeff Bennett) who is also a university student and who usually precedes what he says with "Bungala, bungala." The natives first appear in "Boara Boara". This episode shows that they used to have a warthog king of the island, which is unknown what might've happened to him. Therefore, the natives might have not seen their king in a really long time. When Timon and Pumbaa visit the island, the natives mistake Pumbaa for their long-lost king and they make Timon his servant. Everything goes well until they make Pumbaa relight the fire and realize that he's an impostor when they see that he is unable to do so.
The natives also appear in the episode "New Guinea Pig," where Pumbaa decides to trade his tusks to them, and "Beast of Eden", where they steal a golden magic tooth that belongs to a beast and Timon and Pumbaa have to retrieve it from them. They also make a brief appearance in the episode "Mozam-Beaked" when Timon and Pumbaa go to Bora Bora to throw a woodpecker into the volcano.
Smolder the Bear
Smolder (voiced by Jim Cummings) is a grumpy, short-tempered, but nice grizzly bear, although he gets easily angered, such as when he is awoken from his nap or when someone gets his food order wrong. He also has a romantic interest in a beautiful supermodel named Leslie Lambeau (voiced by Grey DeLisle). He appears in seven episodes, from "Slalom Problem" to "It Runs Good".
In the episode "Jailhouse Shock," Smolder becomes cell mates with Little Jimmy, who gets even with Timon and Pumbaa by taking advantage of him by convincing him that the duo hurt him so that he could beat them up. Smolder starts to show compassion for Timon and Pumbaa in the episodes "Ready, Aim, Fire" and "Stay Away from my Honey!"
Tatiana (voiced by Tress MacNeille) is the daughter of the Duke Meerkat and the princess of the meerkat colony. She only appears in one episode but she's vital for Timon's past. After Timon leaves his sentry duty post to prepare for his date with Tatiana, a king cobra enters the colony and kidnaps the princess, which makes everyone believe she's dead and which causes Timon to get banished. After Timon and Pumbaa meet for the first time, they see that Tatiana is still alive and rescue her from a cobra. When Tatiana returns to the colony with Timon and Pumbaa, Timon is offered her hand in marriage. When the Duke makes him choose between Tatiana or Pumbaa, he chooses to be Bestest Best friends with Pumbaa.
Although "Once Upon a Timon" was meant to be Tatiana's only appearance, there is a female meerkat who bears a striking resemblance to her in the episode "Timon in Love". The only difference is that Tatiana has blond hair while the other meerkat has red hair and she's not wearing a tiara.
Sharla (voiced by Lisa Ortiz) is a female warthog who is the leader of Pumbaa's former sounder as well as Pumbaa's former girlfriend. While she only appears in one episode, she is vital for Pumbaa's past. She and three other male warthogs of the sounder banished Pumbaa from the group due to his awful scent, which was appalling even by warthog standards.
Years later, Sharla and the three warthogs carry around a big bag of bugs for the rainy season, but come across a flock of Guinea fowl, who are their natural enemies and nightmares. Due to the birds' abilities to remove their furs in just a few seconds, the warthogs refuge in a hut and make a distress call, which Pumbaa answers. When Pumbaa reunites with his sounder, he has Timon come up with ideas on how they can get rid of the Guinea fowl. However, none of Timon's ideas work, so Pumbaa suggests that he and Timon use the jeep so that they carry a fake bag of bugs (which have firecrackers inside) to distract the Guinea fowl while Sharla and the other warthogs leave the hut with the real bag of bugs.
Although Sharla banished Pumbaa from the group, they still have romantic feelings for each other. When Pumbaa (and Timon) show up to the hut, they tell each other that they have never forgotten one another. Sharla tells Pumbaa that he should stay with the group, but Pumbaa decides to continue living his Hakuna Matata lifestyle with Timon, which the female warthog understands.
Ned the Elephant
Ned (voiced by Frank Welker) is a high and mighty elephant who thinks he's wonderful at everything. He seems to enjoy teasing Timon and Pumbaa when they try to prove their worth to him. In the episode "Uganda be an Elephant", Timon states that Ned is the most popular guy in the jungle and Pumbaa decides to turn himself into an elephant in order to be popular as well. Although Ned is selfish and sarcastic, he gets a change of heart after Pumbaa rescues him and his hippo henchmen from falling off a cliff.
In the episode "Unlucky in Lesotho", it is revealed that Ned has a Good Luck Club, which lost most of its members due to Ned bringing an unlucky jar. Because he gets eaten by piranhas (or tigerfish), Ned is never seen or heard from again after this episode.
Little Jimmy (voiced by Joe Alaskey) is a cute, yet dangerous bluebird. He is similar to Toucan Dan, with the fact that he is also a criminal mastermind and he can also be dishonest. He also has two voices: his fake cute, innocent voice and his criminal voice. Little Jimmy first appears in the episode "Nest Best Thing," where he tricks Pumbaa into building a birdhouse for him, which is actually a hideout. The pigeon police show up and arrest Little Jimmy.
In the episode "Jailhouse Shock," Little Jimmy is cell mates with Smolder the Bear. In order to get revenge on Timon and Pumbaa for turning him in, he tricks Smolder into thinking that Timon and Pumbaa hurt him so that he could hurt them back.
Pimon and Tumbaa
Pimon (voiced by Billy West) and Tumbaa (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) are a buff meerkat and warthog duo who are evil counterparts of Timon and Pumbaa. They are shown to be bullies of the jungle, as they enjoy pushing Timon and Pumbaa around, giving them atomic wedgies, as well as being shown picking on a squirrel. They also have their own philosophy: Kahuna Potato, which means that they will never leave Timon and Pumbaa (or anyone) alone.
Pimon and Tumbaa make their first and only appearance in the episode "Kahuna Potato". After Timon and Pumbaa successfully catch some bugs, the bullies steal their bag of bugs, give the two wedgies, and walk off with the bugs. Fed up of being picked on by the bullies, Timon decides that it is time for himself and Pumbaa to learn how to fight. Timon and Pumbaa go to Rafiki to have him teach them self-defense, which Rafiki suggests that they should snatch some bugs off his palm and he will teach them the secret to Kung-Fu. After Timon and Pumbaa learn Kung-Fu from Rafiki, they go confront Pimon and Tumbaa, who show them that they also know Kung-Fu. While the two groups fight each other, the bullies give Timon and Pumbaa more atomic wedgies, causing the two to give up until Rafiki appears and tells the two to use Hakuna Matata to fight. Listening to Rafiki's advice, Timon and Pumbaa continue fighting Pimon and Tumbaa and they end up defeating the bullies.
Later that night, Pimon and Tumbaa get their hairs shaved off and feed Timon and Pumbaa the bugs they stole from them.
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
Kiara (voiced by Neve Campbell as a young adult and Michelle Horn as a cub in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and by Eden Riegel in The Lion Guard) is the only daughter of Simba and Nala and Kion's older sister. She has a cameo appearance in The Lion King and is a major character in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and The Lion Guard. Kiara is also a descendant of Mufasa and Sarabi, who are Simba's parents.
Kiara is portrayed as a feisty, playful, and adventurous princess whom Simba easily fears for her safety. As a cub, Kiara befriends Kovu and rescues him from a group of nile crocodiles. As a young adult, Kiara is rescued by Kovu as part of Zira's plan to avenge Scar's death and the two lions eventually fall in love. When Kovu is exiled from the Pride Lands following Zira's ambush on Simba, Kiara helps him return to the Pride Lands to reunite the Pridelanders and Outsiders. Afterwards, she becomes Kovu's wife.
Kovu (voiced by Jason Marsden as an young adult and Ryan O'Donohue as a cub) is the youngest child of Zira and Scar's chosen heir. Kovu means "scar" in Swahili, a reference to his character conception as Scar's son, which was changed due to the implications of him and Kiara being first cousins once removed and falling in love.
During his childhood, Zira trains Kovu to assassinate Simba and take his place as King of Pride Rock. As a young adult, Kovu rescues Kiara during a planned ambush and Simba reluctantly allows him to stay in the Pride Lands. While spending time with Kiara, Rafiki gets the two young lions to fall in love, and Kovu realizes he cannot hurt Simba. However, after Simba is ambushed by the Outsiders and Nuka is killed, Kovu angrily disowns Scar and leaves the Outlands but is quickly exiled from the Pride Lands as a traitor. Kovu returns to Pride Rock and stops the fighting between the Outsiders and Pridelanders with the help of Kiara. Simba later reconciles with Kovu and allows him to become his eventual successor.
Zira (voiced by Suzanne Pleshette in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and Nika Futterman in The Lion Guard), meaning "hate" in Swahili, is the mother of Nuka, Kovu and Vitani. She plots to avenge Scar's death by forming the Outsiders. However, after taking advantage of Kovu's friendship with Simba's daughter Kiara, she devises a plan to assassinate Simba. Eventually, the Pridelanders and the Outsiders fight each other, but with Kiara and Kovu's help, Vitani and the other Outsiders abandon Zira. Attempting to attack Simba, Zira is intercepted by Kiara and falls to her death despite the latter's attempt to rescue her.
Zira made an appearance in The Lion Guard alongside Kovu, Nuka, Vitani and the rest of her pride in the episode "Lions of the Outlands". She tries to convince Kion that using the Roar of the Elders against her and the other Outsiders would cause him to lose it just as Scar did, and to side with his fellow lions. However, Kion is eventually able to see through her deceptions and drives her and the others off with the Roar.
Nuka (voiced by Andy Dick) is the eldest child of Zira. His name means "stink" in Swahili. Jealous of Zira's greater relationship with Kovu, Nuka often attempts to gain his mother's approval. During the Outsiders' ambush, Nuka attempts to kill Simba to prove himself to his mother, but is crushed to death.
Vitani (voiced by Jennifer Lien as a young adult and Lacey Chabert as a cub), a Swahili portmanteau of the words "Vita" ("War"), "Ni" ("I Am"), and "Shetani", is the middle child and only daughter of Zira. Although she has a prominent appearance in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, she makes a cameo appearance in The Lion Guard. As a young adult, Vitani is Zira's strongest lieutenant, supporting and acting on her mother's violent plans. With Kovu and Kiara's help, Vitani and the Outsiders turn on Zira and join the Pridelanders to stop the fighting between the two prides.
She was originally named "Shetani" ("She-Demon" in Swahili) in early drafts of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, but this was softened to "Vitani", which is a portmanteau that can be roughly translated to "I Am War" or, more commonly, "Demon of War".
The Lion King 1½
Ma (voiced by Julie Kavner) is Timon's mother. Generally encouraging and optimistic, she believes in Timon convinces Uncle Max to give him a job as a sentry or look-out. After Timon fails in his duty, she remains convinced that he can still find a place in the colony, but when he insists that he has to go, Ma supports him.
Later, she gets worried about Timon after speaking to Rafiki and searches for him. They finally reunite at Pride Rock and Ma helps in the battle against the hyenas by digging a long tunnel to trap them. After Simba becomes king, the death of Scar and avenging Mufasa, Timon takes them and the entire meerkat colony to the jungle paradise he and Pumbaa discovered.
She is mentioned by Timon in The Lion Guard episode "Beware the Zimwi", where it is said that her cousin's friend knew an ox that was eaten by the Zimwi. It's unknown if she's still alive or not.
Uncle Max (voiced by Jerry Stiller) is a prominent member of the meerkat colony and relative of Timon and Ma. He has grey head-fur and a very large nose. Max is a pessimist by nature and very paranoid, believing that a meerkat's fate is to be "food for other animals! Feared by nothing and eaten by all!" Max reluctantly agrees to let Timon be a sentry for the colony and attempts to train him for the job, but is nearly eaten by the hyenas when they attack. He is glad to see Timon go but ends up going with Ma to find him. Max appears again towards the end of the film, where he and Ma encounter Timon and Pumbaa at Pride Rock, and helps Timon get rid of the hyenas by digging a tunnel. Max finally believes in Timon, and after Timon takes the meerkats to his jungle paradise, Max teaches the meerkats tai chi instead of how not to be eaten.
Some of Max's role was originally going to be filled by Timon's father, who was considered for inclusion in the film but ultimately dropped.
The Lion Guard
Kion (voiced by Max Charles) is the son of Simba and Nala, Kiara's younger brother, Mufasa, Sarabi, Sarafina and Nala's father's grandson and Scar's great-nephew. His name is derived from the Swahili word "Kiongozi" ("leader") and he has a power called the Roar of the Elders which when used causes the lion spirits of the Pride Lands past to roar with him.
In The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, Simba has Kion organize the titular guard along with Bunga, Beshte, Fuli, and Ono; he serves as the group's leader due to his strong sense of responsibility. When Kiara is cornered by Janja and his clan, Kion and the Lion Guard rescues her and force the hyenas to leave. In The Lion Guard, he also demonstrates a strong yet open sense of discernment, which warms him to scavengers like Jasiri the hyena and her clan. However, more cunning neighbors such as Zira of the Outsiders and Reirei the jackal have used his trusting spirit to exert their will, only to be soundly subdued when Kion's instincts come into play.
Bunga (voiced by Joshua Rush) is a young honey badger, Kion's best friend and the bravest member of the Lion Guard. He is also the adoptive nephew of Timon and Pumbaa. Bunga is shown to be very adventurous and he rarely acts serious or even sits still, as he is always on the move, working off boundless energy and enthusiasm, and makes even the most dire of situations into a fantastic time. Though this makes him a great friend and playmate, it lands him into trouble more often than not. Not only is he willing to put himself in bodily harm, such as his stunt in leaping off Pride Rock, but he will face down predators such as the hyenas in order to save his friends. According to Kiara, Bunga is "brave, bordering on stupid," but a valued member of the Lion Guard nonetheless. His catchphrase is "Zuka Zama," which means "pop up, dive in" in Swahili. His name means 'fool' in the same tongue.
Fuli (voiced by Diamond White ) is a cheetah, one of Kion's friends and the fastest member of the Lion Guard, as well as its only female member. She is quite prideful in her running abilities and shows extreme delight for being able to outpace a pursuer of any species. Despite being friends with Kion, she is somewhat resentful of the Lions for lording over the Pride Lands and was skeptical about Kion's Roar of the Elders. Despite these negative traits, she was willing to join the Lion Guard with her friends to defend the Circle of Life when Janja and his clan invaded the Pride Lands. Her catchphrase is "Huwezi," which means "you can't (catch me)" in Swahili. Her name means 'very fast' in the same tongue.
Beshte (voiced by Dusan Brown) is a hippo, one of Kion's friends and the strongest member of the Lion Guard. Being one of the most popular animals of the Pridelands, Beshte is shown to be kind-hearted. His friendliness extends to everyone, as he acts like a big brother to the younger members of his herd, a friend to animals of all different species, and a protector of the Pride Lands at large. Beshte can also, however, be sensitive, being especially tactful when his friend Kion is unable to use the Roar of the Elders. For an animal so large and full of life, Beshte has an appropriately large heart and never fails to treat his friends with kindness. His primary catchphrase is "Twende Kiboko!", which means "let's go, hippo!" in Swahili - a secondary one is likely his question phrase, "What's the kerbubble?", when sensing a disagreement of almost any sort. His name means 'friend' in the same tongue.
Ono (voiced by Atticus Shaffer) is a cattle egret, one of Kion's friends and the keenest of sight of the Lion Guard, as well as its only non-mammal member. He is one of the more easygoing members of the group, being friendly and group-oriented. He is used to spending time around other animals and is content to be part of The Lion Guard. Ono is also shown to be blunt, as he is able to lay out his feelings without sugar-coating. He is by far the most realistic member of the group, as he always thinks things through before jumping in.
When it comes to his role on the Lion Guard, Ono is brave and has a knack for following the rules. He obeys Kion's orders without question and proves himself to be plucky and thrifty, considerably useful when it comes to scouting out a situation. His principles are clear in his willingness to fight with his full heart for the Circle of Life, and he is a valued member of the Lion Guard for his intelligence and ability to see things from afar. Ono's catchphrase is "Hapana!", which means "oh no!" in Swahili. His name means "passion" in the same tongue. It also means "good" in Hawaiian.
Zuri, voiced by Madison Pettis, meaning "beautiful" in Swahili, is a lioness cub and one of Kiara's friends. She appears to be vain about her appearance, as she constantly sharpens her claws on trees in order to keep them shiny. Unlike her friends, Zuri is delicate and timid. She shows considerable anxiety and fear in the face of simple circumstances and harbors deep disgust for grubs.
Tiifu, voiced by Sarah Hyland, is a lioness cub, and a friend of Kiara's. She is shown to be kind and patient, as seen when she comforts an overreacting Zuri. She is a great rule-follower and trusts the judgment of her friends, showing faith when she leaves Kiara to fetch help as Janja invades the Pride Lands.
Janja's clan are a spotted hyena clan that live in the Outlands.
- Janja, voiced by Andrew Kishino, is the cunning leader of the hyenas in the Outlands and one of the main antagonists.
- Cheezi, voiced by Vargus Mason, is an excitable hyena who is usually seen sticking his tongue out. He looks similar to Ed.
- Chungu, voiced by Kevin Schon, is a hyena of the Outlands clan with Janja and Cheezi, that has a slightly heavier build than Janja.
Jasiri, voiced by Maia Mitchell, is a friendly female spotted hyena who makes her first appearance in the episode "Never Judge a Hyena By Its Spots." She is open to making friends with lions. Bold and spunky, Jasiri is able to look past differences and focus on where different species have common ground. Unlike Janja and his clan, she dislikes selfishness and gluttony, and she respects the Circle of Life. She has blue eyes and mauve fur, unlike the other hyenas.
Makuu, voiced by Blair Underwood, is a young, sleek, and well-built Nile crocodile who leads the crocodile fleet that lives in The Pride Lands after defeating the previous leader Pua in battle. He is shown to be boastful and loves to bask in the attention of others. Unlike his predecessor, Makuu has no respect for tradition or the Circle of Life, and certainly not for authority (except his own), seeing both Pua and Kion as weak and cowardly. He appears to only respond to strength and power, as he was awestruck by the Roar of the Elders and gave into Kion's second demand to leave Big Springs while trying to save face. In Season 2, Makuu has decided to become a better leader for his float, reforming from his trouble-making ways.
Reirei's family is a family of black-backed jackals who first appeared in the episode "The Kupatana Celebration". They trick the Lion Guard into letting them into the Pride Lands so that they can devour all the animals. At Kupatana, the jackals attack the Pridelanders until they are defeated by the Lion Guard. Simba himself approaches the jackal family and roars, sending them scurrying back into the Outlands. Reirei and Goigoi reappear in the episode "Too Many Termites", where they attempt to eat a pack of aardwolves, but are stopped by the Lion Guard. They are the first canine villains to appear in the Lion Guard.
- Reirei, voiced by Ana Gasteyer, is a clever, scheming, and manipulative jackal who wreaks havoc in the Pride Lands.
- Goigoi, voiced by Phil LaMarr, is a jackal who only thinks with his stomach and has the tendency to fall asleep.
- Dogo, voiced by Jacob Guenther, is one of Reirei and Goigoi's sons who uses his innocent looks to his advantage to win the trust of others in order to take advantage of them.
Ushari, voiced by Christian Slater, is an Egyptian cobra who is shown to strongly dislike Bunga. He is rather quiet, only speaking when provoked. However, when disturbed, he becomes aggressive and irate.
Basi, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, is Beshte's father and leader of his and his son's pod. He is amicable and open, willing to engage in conversation and negotiate according to the customs of the Pride Lands. Even in the face of adversity, such as Makuu's violent takeover of Big Springs, Basi maintains his temper and graciously offers the crocodile a chance to return once the fish have returned in plenty.
Being so learned in the ways of the animals, Basi is knowledgeable and wise. Despite being an animal with a very different way of life, he understands the customs of the crocodiles and how this affects his pod's everyday life. Unlike the inexperienced young Makuu, Basi grasps an understanding of the Circle of Life and how every animal must give and take in order to keep it in balance.
Several African leopards appear in the series; two are antagonists, while one is an ally of the Lion Guard:
- Makucha (voiced by Steven Blum): an aggressive, powerful leopard who comes to the Pridelands in pursuit of the okapi Ajabu, and who proves to be quite an adversary to the Lion Guard due to his speed and strength.
- Badili (voiced by Jack McBrayer): a friendly leopard who was initially too timid to stand up to Mapigano, who tried to take over his territory.
- Mapigano (voiced by Jorge Diaz): a mean leopard who attempts to take over Badili's territory until Badili gains confidence through training with the Lion Guard and drives him out.
- Mjomba (voiced by Charlie Adler) is a grumpy and impatient aardwolf. He has a hunched back, bushy black eyebrows, gray fur, and darker gray markings. His inner ears are pink, and his nose is black. Like the rest of the pack, he adores termites.
- Ogopa (voiced by Marieve Herington) is a bright and cheerful aardwolf. She has blue-gray fur and black markings, as well as a narrow muzzle and a black nose. Her yellow eyes are large and framed by a few eyelashes, and her inner ears are pink with a couple of hairs sprouting from each. Like the rest of the pack, she adores termites. She is easily frightened and has a tendency to jump to conclusions. She also tends to add afterthoughts after she states her opinion on a subject.
- Haya (voiced by Ogie Banks) is a nervous and shy aardwolf. He has dark gray fur with longer fur on his cheeks and black markings, and his inner ears are pink with a few hairs sprouting from them. His upper teeth protrude from his dark muzzle. Like the rest of the pack, he adores termites. Like Ogopa, he tends to add afterthoughts after stating his opinion.
Six New Adventures & other books based by The Lion King characters
Kopa is the son of Simba and Nala, appearing in the book series The Lion King: Six New Adventures, and is shown to look a lot like his father as a cub, except with a tuft of hair on top of his head. The book series was released before Simba's Pride, therefore Kopa does not appear in the film.
Ahadi is the husband of Uru, the father of Mufasa and Taka (Scar), the grandfather of Simba, the great-grandfather of Kopa, Kiara and Kion and the king of the Pride Lands during the events of The Lion King: Six New Adventures story A Tale of Two Brothers. He is shown to look a lot like Mufasa except with darker fur.
Uru is the wife of Ahadi, the mother of Mufasa and Taka (Scar), the grandmother of Simba, the great-grandmother of Kopa, Kiara and Kion and the queen of the Pride Lands during the events of The Lion King: Six New Adventures story A Tale of Two Brothers. She is absent from the book but is mentioned to have left to search for water to save the kingdom.
Mohatu is the father of Ahadi or Uru, the grandfather of Mufasa and Scar, the great-grandfather of Simba, and King of the Pride Lands during the events of the story The Brightest Star. He went to find water for the animals of the land during a drought and helped the animals get on with each other. When he died, he became a star which was brighter than the others. He is shown to look a lot like a darker furred version of Mufasa, having facial features like Simba's and was said to have been one of the greatest kings of the Pride Lands.
Ni is a character who appears in The Lion King: Six New Adventures story Nala's Dare. He is a young lion who has left his pride to start his own and travels through the Pride Lands during Scar's reign and saves Nala from hyenas before leaving after meeting the rest of the Pridelanders.
Kula is a character in The Lion King: Six New Adventures story Nala's Dare. She is one of Nala's friends and one of the cubs of the Pridelanders who lived during Scar's reign.
Chumvi is a character in The Lion King: Six New Adventures story Nala's Dare. He is one of Nala's friends and one of the cubs of the Pridelanders.
Joka is a giant python in The Lion King: Six New Adventures story A Snake in the Grass. He is extremely intelligent and is able to formulate complicated plans in a short amount of time. He has the power to twist his words into whatever he rightly wants and uses hypnotism to lure unsuspecting victims into believing his empty words. The name Joka translates as 'dragon' in the Swahili tongue
Jelani is Rafiki's lazy cousin in The Lion King: Six New Adventures story Follow the Leader. Despite being considered leader of his troop, he is unconcerned about the suffering of his subjects, as he is often too concerned about his own welfare to lead them to a new home.
Kwaheri is Kopa's monkey friend in The Lion King: Six New Adventures stories Nala's Dare and How True, Zazu? He is social, talkative, and critical to his friends. He often flaunts his talents around Kopa to either spark a reaction or just be a show-off.
Boma is a cape buffalo who appears in The Lion King: Six New Adventures stories A Tale of Two Brothers and How True, Zazu?. His grandparents were killed during an attack by army ants. He is the leader of the cape buffalo and he is aggressive, controlling, selfish, strong, and short-tempered. He is also somewhat seclusive and gruff, as he doesn't seem to understand that there is a balance between species and refuses to share the last remaining water-hole during a draught, which can affect the whole of the Pride Lands. It is due to him that Taka got his scar after which he renamed himself to Scar. If challenged or insulted he becomes very angry. However he is mildly co-operative if not insulted or challenged. Taka tries to get Mufasa in trouble by telling him to talk with Boma to share the water-hole. Mufasa tries to reason with him to share the water-hole however he refuses. Scar then roars and tells him that he must obey or challenge Mufasa. He then chases after Mufasa who is rescued by Rafiki. Rafiki starts to grow tired while running but is picked up by Mufasa who then jumps across a ravine. Boma is unable to make the jumps and falls into it. Mufasa tells him that he doesn't have to fight but he keeps hurling thret while saying that the other buffaloes can still harm Taka. Taka is then attacked by three buffaloes during which he receives his scar. Ahadi stops this attack with a large herd of animals and has an elephant push Boma out of the ravine.
Zazu is Ahadi's majordomo. She only appeared in A Tale of Two Brothers, though she was mentioned in How True, Zazu?. She turned out to be Zazu's mother. Flirtatious and gossipy, Zuzu is a very maternal bird who never passes up the chance for some juicy gossip, much like her son, Zazu. Her talkative nature and nosy habits often make her a bit of an annoyance to the other animals, though Ahadi puts her personality to good use in order to get a better grip on the doings of his kingdom. Zuzu is also known for being loyal and brave, as she was willing to help Rafiki even though she did not fully understand the danger Mufasa was in. It said that she retired, and gave Zazu her place as the king's majordomo.
- "Bambi Notes". The Walt Disney Company. Archived from the original on 2007-02-28. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- "Lion King Production Notes". Lionking.org. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- Couch, Aaron (February 17, 2017). "'Lion King' Remake Casts Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa". Hollywood Reporter.
- "Wildlife Wednesdays: Zazu's 'Cousin' - Abyssinian Ground Hornbill Chick - a New Addition at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge". Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "What's behind those wild 'Lion King' masks?". www.adn.com. Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Lion King spinoff voice cast includes Rob Lowe, Gabrielle Union, James Earl Jones, and more - EW.com". Entertainment Weekly's EW.com.