Timon & Pumbaa (TV series)

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The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
Genre
Based onThe Lion King produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios
Directed by
  • Roberts Gannaway
  • Tony Craig
  • Rob LaDuca
  • Jeff DeGrandis
  • Eddy Houchins
  • Mauro Casalese
  • Brad Neave
Voices of
Theme music composerElton John (music)
Tim Rice (lyrics)
Opening theme"Hakuna Matata"
Ending theme"Hakuna Matata" (instrumental)
ComposerStephen James Taylor
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes85 (131 segments) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Tedd Anasti (Season 3)
  • Patsy Cameron (Season 3)
Producers
  • Chris Bartleman (Season 3)
  • Blair Peters (Season 3)
  • Bobs Gannaway (Seasons 1-2)
  • Tony Craig (Seasons 1-2)
EditorJohn Royer
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
DistributorBuena Vista Television
Release
Original network
Picture formatColor
Audio format
Original releaseSeptember 8, 1995 (1995-09-08) –
September 24, 1999 (1999-09-24)
Chronology
Preceded byThe Lion King
Followed by
Related showsThe Lion Guard

The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa, often simply referred to as Timon & Pumbaa, is an American animated buddy children's television series created by Walt Disney Television Animation.[1] Based on the 1994 Disney animated film The Lion King, it centers on Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog, as they live their problem-free philosophy "Hakuna matata". Voice actors Ernie Sabella and Nathan Lane reprised their film roles as the title characters, with the latter voicing in only season 1.[2]

The show ran for three seasons on CBS, Toon Disney, and in syndication as a part of The Disney Afternoon.[3] It aired from September 8, 1995 to September 24, 1999. It is notably the first Lion King-related media to feature onscreen appearances by humans, as humans did not appear in the film and the subsequent sequels. It is also the first of two television series to be based on the film, the second being The Lion Guard.

Bobs Gannaway and Tony Craig, who would later work on shows like 101 Dalmatians: The Series, House of Mouse, and Lilo & Stitch: The Series, served as the show's executive producers for the first two seasons. As of Season 3, the series was produced by Chris Bartleman and Blair Peters, with Tedd and Patsy Cameron-Anasti (who have previously worked on DuckTales and The Little Mermaid TV series) serving as the executive producers.

Premise[edit]

The show stars Timon, a meerkat, and Pumbaa, a warthog, both characters from the Disney animated film The Lion King. The series is primarily set after the events of the first film, although some episodes are set before or during those events. It involves the characters having misadventures in different settings, including the jungles of Africa, Canada, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Whereas the show focuses on Timon and Pumbaa, four episodes center respectively on Rafiki and the hyena trio Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, named Rafiki Fables and The Laughing Hyenas, and two episodes tell the backstory of Zazu.[4]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
12513September 8, 1995 (1995-09-08)December 29, 1995 (1995-12-29)Syndicated
12September 16, 1995 (1995-09-16)December 16, 1995 (1995-12-16)CBS
22113September 2, 1996 (1996-09-02)November 25, 1996 (1996-11-25)Syndicated
8September 14, 1996 (1996-09-14)November 9, 1996 (1996-11-09)CBS
339January 1, 1999 (1999-01-01)September 24, 1999 (1999-09-24)Toon Disney

Characters[edit]

Main[edit]

The Lion King alumni[edit]

The following characters from The Lion King appear in this series:

  • Simba (voiced by Cam Clarke): The protagonist of The Lion King and best friend of Timon and Pumbaa, who is now King of the Pride Lands and is occasionally the voice of reason around Timon and Pumbaa's mess-ups. Clarke later provided Simba's singing voice in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.
  • Rafiki (voiced by Robert Guillaume): A wise mandrill who gives good advice and is occasionally the butt of jokes. Guillaume reprises his role from The Lion King.
  • Zazu (voiced by Michael Gough): A pompous hornbill who works for Simba.
  • Shenzi, Banzai and Ed (voiced by Tress MacNeille, Rob Paulsen, and Jim Cummings): Three crazy hyenas and Scar's former henchmen who are usually spending their time looking for food, though their attempts to get it tend to backfire, after having killed Scar for his betrayal in the movie, they leave the Elephant Graveyard and now live in a cave at the Outlands. Cummings reprises his role of Ed from The Lion King, with Paulsen and MacNeille replacing Cheech Marin and Whoopi Goldberg as Banzai and Shenzi, respectively.
  • Gopher (voiced by Jim Cummings): A mole, and chief lieutenant of Zazu. Jim Cummings reprises his role from The Lion King.

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Speedy the Snail (voiced by Corey Burton imitating Bing Crosby): An easygoing blue snail who can talk and sing. Timon and Pumbaa originally planned to eat him, but ended up becoming friends with him instead. They often find themselves rushing to have to save Speedy from dangerous situations.
  • Fred (voiced by S. Scott Bullock): A maniacal meerkat who is an old friend of Timon. He loves to laugh and play around, as well as pulling practical jokes. He often uses Timon and Pumbaa as his victims, although they don't find his jokes very funny.
  • Boss Beaver (voiced by Brad Garrett): A stereotypical beaver whose life philosophy is the exact opposite of Hakuna Matata. He values hard work and is sometimes too harsh on his employees. He also emphasizes the importance of safe work conditions.
  • Irwin (voiced by Charlie Adler): A dimwitted, accident-prone penguin whose bad luck seems to be terribly contagious. Timon and Pumbaa became his friends after they were stranded in Antarctica and Irwin had two extra tickets to a cruise ship. They will try to avoid him at all costs.

Antagonists[edit]

  • Quint (voiced by Corey Burton): Timon and Pumbaa's human archenemy and the main antagonist of the series. He is a man of many disguises and his role varies from episode to episode, from mildly bothersome antagonist to full villain.
  • Toucan Dan (voiced by Jeff Bennett): A criminal toucan, wanted by the police. He is known for being a sly con-artist and always manages to trick Timon and Pumbaa (or just Timon) into helping him in his schemes and cons.
  • Cheetata and Cheetato (voiced by Rob Paulsen and Jim Cummings respectively): A pair of sophisticated cheetahs who hunt for their prey, enemies of Timon and Pumbaa and of Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. Although hard to tell apart, aside from their voices, Cheetata appears to be more eager and aggressive while Cheetato seems more likely to think things through and is the most conniving.
  • Smolder the Bear (voiced by Jim Cummings): A large brown bear with a very short temperament who Timon and Pumbaa often run into. He can be quite menacing and dangerous, but at least one episode shows that deep inside he is a nice guy.
  • The Three Natives (voiced by Jeff Bennett): A trio of natives who are really university students. Their "chief" is also a university student, and usually precedes what he says with "Bungala bungala!"
  • Little Jimmy (voiced by Joe Alaskey): A cute yet dangerous bluebird who is a criminal mastermind. He also has two voices: a cute, innocent voice to pass himself off as a hatchling and a gruff voice to prove his true maturity.

History[edit]

Production[edit]

On January 24, 1995, it was announced that a Lion King television series starring Timon and Pumbaa was set to premiere during the fall, as part of The Disney Afternoon.[5][6] Gary Krisel, who was then president of Walt Disney Television Animation, found Timon and Pumbaa to be the best new comedy team to come on the scene for a long time and that they had the potential to be just as classic as Abbott and Costello, Hope and Crosby, Martin and Lewis, and Nichols and May.[6]

Bobs Gannaway stated that he and Tony Craig wanted to expand on Timon and Pumbaa's personalities as a comedy team to keep the series fresh and to keep the show interesting, they decided to not have Timon and Pumbaa be locked into the Serengeti, but allow them to explore the world and meet different kinds of animals.[7] According to one of the show's writers Kevin Campbell, at the beginning of the series, he and Gannaway made a giant list of puns using country names to open the doors on how many places they could go. After figuring out which funny animal or obstacle situation Timon and Pumbaa would face, they used a "Which Animals Live Where" atlas reference book to find where in the world an episode could take place and check a list of country puns they could pick.[8]

The show was one of the last Disney productions to air on CBS, which had a cross-promotion agreement with Disney, as Disney bought ABC in 1996, the same year that this show (and all other Disney properties still airing on CBS at the time) left the network. Also, in 1995, Westinghouse acquired CBS outright for $5.4 billion. As one of the major broadcasting group owners of commercial radio and television stations (as Group W) since 1920, Westinghouse proceeded to transform itself from its legendary role as a diversified conglomerate with a strong industrial heritage into a media giant with its purchase of CBS.[citation needed] Music underscore by Stephen James Taylor featuring frequent use of a microtonal xylophone and pan pipes based on an African tribal tuning.[citation needed]

Animation production was done by a consortium of overseas animation studios, including Walt Disney Television Animation (Australia) Pty. Limited, Toon City, Wang Film Productions, Thai Wang Film Productions, Rough Draft Korea Co., Ltd., Sunmin Image Pictures Co., Sunwoo Animation, Koko Enterprises, Toonz Animation, Gnome Productions, Jaime Diaz Productions, Project X Animation, Shanghai Morning Sun Animation, Sichuan Top Animation and Studio B Productions.

Broadcast[edit]

The first two seasons of the show aired simultaneously on The Disney Afternoon and CBS, whereas the third and final season aired on Toon Disney. Reruns of the series aired on Disney Channel from 1997 to 2008. Reruns were shown on Toon Disney up until the channel's demise on February 8, 2009. As a result, the show went off the air for three years.

On March 23, 2012, the show returned to television when Disney Junior was launched as its own channel. However, only selected episodes were shown and some episodes were abruptly edited (presumably due to scenes being deemed inappropriate for preschoolers). As of 2014, the show was removed from the channel.

Music[edit]

Name Notes
Stand By Me Music video
Yummy Yummy Yummy Music video
The Lion Sleeps Tonight Music video
Alone Together From the episode "Once Upon a Timon"
Beethoven's Whiff Musical episode
Bumble In The Jungle Musical episode

Home media[edit]

VHS releases[edit]

U.S. releases[edit]

Six VHS cassettes containing 18 episodes were released in the United States under the name Timon & Pumbaa's Wild Adventures.

VHS name Season(s) Episode count Release date Episodes include Stock Number
Grub's On[9] 1 3 January 30, 1996
  • "Saskatchewan Catch"
  • "French Fried"
  • "The Laughing Hyenas: Big Top Breakfast"
6706
Hangin' With Baby[10]
  • "Never Everglades"
  • "To Kilimanjaro Bird"
  • "Rafiki Fables: Good Mousekeeping"
6705
True Guts[11] January 30, 1996
  • "The Pain in Spain"
  • "How to Beat the High Costa Rica"
  • "The Laughing Hyenas: Cooked Goose"
6709
Don't Get Mad, Get Happy[12] May 8, 1996
  • Yosemite Remedy
  • Kenya Be My Friend?
  • Rafiki Fables: The Sky Is Calling
6711
Live & Learn![13]
  • "The Law of the Jungle"
  • "Uganda Be an Elephant"
  • "Be More Pacific"
7646
Quit Buggin' Me[14]
  • "Frantic Atlantic"
  • "Swiss Missed"
  • "Going Uruguay"
7647

European & Australian releases[edit]

Three VHS cassettes containing 21 episodes were released in Europe and Australia, each containing six episodes and a music video. The first VHS, Around the World with Timon And Pumbaa, features an original story told through bridging sequences in which, after Pumbaa develops amnesia from a lightning strike, Timon tries to restore his friend's memory through the episodes featured on that video.

VHS Name Episode Titles Release Date
Around the World with Timon & Pumbaa "Boara Boara"
"Yukon Con"
"Saskatchewan Catch"
"Stand by Me" (music video episode)
"Brazil Nuts"
"Truth or Zaire"
"Never Everglades"
September 12, 1996
Rereleased: June 7, 2004
Dining Out with Timon & Pumbaa "French Fried"
"Russia Hour"
"Swiss Missed"
"To Kilimanjaro Bird"
"Don't Break the China"
"Rocky Mountain Lie"
"Yummy Yummy Yummy" (music video episode)
August 15, 1997
Rereleased: March 14, 2005
On Holiday with Timon & Pumbaa "Kenya Be My Friend?"
"South Sea Sick"
"Uganda Be an Elephant"
"The Pain in Spain"
"How to Beat the High Costa Rica"
"You Ghana Join the Club"
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (music video episode)
August 15, 1997
Rereleased: March 14, 2005

DVD releases[edit]

Three DVDs containing 21 episodes were released in Europe and Japan.

DVD Name Episode Titles Release Date
Around the World With Timon & Pumbaa "Boara Boara"
"Yukon Con"
"Saskatchewan Catch"
"Stand by Me" (music video episode)
"Brazil Nuts"
"Truth or Zaire"
"Never Everglades"
June 7, 2004[15]
Dining Out with Timon & Pumbaa "French Fried"
"Russia Hour"
"Swiss Missed"
"To Kilimanjaro Bird"
"Don't Break the China"
"Rocky Mountain Lie"
"Yummy Yummy Yummy" (music video episode)
March 14, 2005[16]
On Holiday with Timon & Pumbaa "Kenya Be My Friend?"
"South Sea Sick"
"Uganda Be an Elephant"
"The Pain in Spain"
"How to Beat the High Costa Rica"
"You Ghana Join the Club"
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (music video episode)
March 14, 2005[17]

Video on demand[edit]

United States[edit]

The series was made available in its entirety on Disney+ on November 12, 2019, in remastered high definition.

International[edit]

The first two seasons of the show was made available on the DisneyLife streaming service in the United Kingdom.[18]

The entire series is currently available for purchase on Amazon Instant Video in Germany.[19]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Daytime Emmy Awards

Other media[edit]

Video games[edit]

Game Publisher Platform Release date
Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games THQ (SNES)
Disney Interactive (PC)
Super NES
Microsoft Windows
November 1997 (SNES)
December 15, 1995 (Windows)

Impact and legacy[edit]

Some of the show's crew returned for The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, The Lion King 1½, and The Lion Guard. Show writer, Ford Riley, not only went on to develop the latter, but has since been a series creator, writer and lyricist on many Disney properties.[20] Kevin Schon, who voiced Timon in the series as of its second season, reprised his role as the character in The Lion Guard (as well as its pilot film), along with some other related media, such as House of Mouse. Edward Hibbert continued to voice Zazu in the two direct-to-video follow-ups to The Lion King.

Much of the show's staff members (including executive producers Tony Craig and Bobs Gannaway) went on to work on House of Mouse and Leroy & Stitch. The Timon and Pumbaa-centric episodes of the former and the duo's cameo in the latter most likely served as tributes to the show.

References in other media[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 361–362. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1997). The Encyclopedia of Daytime Television. Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 262. ISBN 978-0823083152. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 498–499. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ Disney's Retired Cartoons (YouTube video). Fastpass Facts. 4 July 2019. Event occurs at 19:17-19:37. Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Disney's `Lion King' Roars Off to Television". SFGate. Accessed 24 January 1995.
  6. ^ a b "'TIMON & PUMBAA' TV SHOW TO FEATURE 'LION KING' PAIR". Orlando Sentinel. Accessed 24 January 1995.
  7. ^ "Disney's Little Big Screen: Turning Animated Features Into TV Series". Animation World Magazine. Accessed September 1998.
  8. ^ "The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa Debuts in Syndication". D23. Accessed 22 August 2019.
  9. ^ Timon & Pumbaa: Grub's on [VHS]: Ernie Sabella, Kevin Schon, Jim Cummings, Quinton Flynn, Jeff Bennett, Corey Burton, Rob Paulsen, Frank Welker, Tress MacNeille, Robert Guillaume, Nathan Lane, Charles Adler, Chris Henderson, Daryl G. Nickens, James W. Bates, Joan Considine Johnson, Kati Rocky, Sib Ventress: Movies & TV. ASIN 6303925332.
  10. ^ Timon & Pumbaa: Hangin With Baby [VHS]: Ernie Sabella, Kevin Schon, Jim Cummings, Quinton Flynn, Jeff Bennett, Corey Burton, Rob Paulsen, Frank Welker, Tress MacNeille, Robert Guillaume, Nathan Lane, Charles Adler, Chris Henderson, Daryl G. Nickens, James W. Bates, Joan Considine Johnson, Kati Rocky, Sib Ventress: Movies & TV. ASIN 6303925324.
  11. ^ Timon & Pumbaa: True Guts [VHS]: Ernie Sabella, Kevin Schon, Jim Cummings, Quinton Flynn, Jeff Bennett, Corey Burton, Rob Paulsen, Frank Welker, Tress MacNeille, Robert Guillaume, Nathan Lane, Charles Adler, Chris Henderson, Daryl G. Nickens, James W. Bates, Joan Considine Johnson, Kati Rocky, Sib Ventress: Movies & TV. ASIN 6303925340.
  12. ^ Timon & Pumbaa: Don't Get Mad [VHS]: Ernie Sabella, Kevin Schon, Jim Cummings, Quinton Flynn, Jeff Bennett, Corey Burton, Rob Paulsen, Frank Welker, Tress MacNeille, Robert Guillaume, Nathan Lane, Charles Adler, Chris Henderson, Daryl G. Nickens, James W. Bates, Joan Considine Johnson, Kati Rocky, Sib Ventress: Movies & TV. ASIN 6304032129.
  13. ^ Timon & Pumbaa: Live & Learn [VHS]: Ernie Sabella, Kevin Schon, Jim Cummings, Quinton Flynn, Jeff Bennett, Corey Burton, Rob Paulsen, Frank Welker, Tress MacNeille, Robert Guillaume, Nathan Lane, Charles Adler, Chris Henderson, Daryl G. Nickens, James W. Bates, Joan Considine Johnson, Kati Rocky, Sib Ventress: Movies & TV. ASIN 6304032137.
  14. ^ Timon & Pumbaa: Quit Buggin Me [VHS]: Ernie Sabella, Kevin Schon, Jim Cummings, Quinton Flynn, Jeff Bennett, Corey Burton, Rob Paulsen, Frank Welker, Tress MacNeille, Robert Guillaume, Nathan Lane, Charles Adler, Chris Henderson, Daryl G. Nickens, James W. Bates, Joan Considine Johnson, Kati Rocky, Sib Ventress: Movies & TV. ASIN 6304032153.
  15. ^ "Timon And Pumbaa: Around The World With Timon And Pumbaa DVD: Amazon.co.uk: Timon & Pumba: DVD & Blu-ray". Amazon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2014-01-21. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
  16. ^ "Timon And Pumbaa: Dining Out With Timon And Pumbaa - Volume 2 DVD: Amazon.co.uk: Timon and Pumbaa: DVD & Blu-ray". Amazon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2014-01-24. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
  17. ^ "Timon And Pumbaa: On Holiday With Timon And Pumbaa - Volume 3 DVD: Amazon.co.uk: Timon and Pumbaa: DVD & Blu-ray". Amazon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-05-10.
  18. ^ "What Disney movies and TV shows are available on DisneyLife in the UK?". Vodzilla.co.
  19. ^ "Disneys Abenteuer mit Timon und Pumbaa - Prime Video". Amazon.de.
  20. ^ "Returning to "The Lion King" Pride Lands with Showrunner Ford Riley". Creative Content Wire.

External links[edit]