[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jungle_emperor_leo_kimba__117_1280_4553.jpg]]
''Kimba the White Lion'' is a 1965 television series based on OsamuTezuka's manga "Jungle Taitei" (1950-1954), directed by Tezuka himself. The series follows a white lion named Kimba (Leo in the Japanese version), who due to the death of his father, is forced to become the king of the jungle. With the help of [[OldMaster an old baboon who once advised his father]] and a [[ThoseTwoGuys comically mismatched pair of buddies]], he must reclaim his kingdom from [[GoodScarsEvilScars a black-maned, scarred lion who has usurped the throne in his absence]].

[[Disney/TheLionKing Remind you of anything?]]

However, for all the comparisons between ''Disney/TheLionKing'' and the show, Kimba's story doesn't just consist of reclaiming the throne, but rather focuses on the aftermath as he tries to reassert his authority across the jungle, and [[{{Utopia}} create a new paradise where every animal has rights and prove that even animals can overcome the laws of nature]].

In some adaptions of the story, this really doesn't end well. However, due to the fact that this particular series was a collaboration between Creator/{{NBC}} and Tezuka's Creator/MushiProductions studio, the anime series remains high on [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism the more upbeat side of the scale]].

As an additional note, this was in fact the first Japanese animated television series produced in color.
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!!Tropes:
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: "The Gigantic Grasshopper" courtesy to [[ILoveNuclearPower radiation]].
* BittersweetEnding: If you take the 80's ''Leo the Lion'' into consideration, it's the ONLY version of the original story that doesn't end tragically. [[spoiler:Yet in spite of the high kill count, the near collapse of the animal's utopia when the humans' interest in their area is piqued, and Leo/Kimba's decision and ultimate fate... the last major threat to said kingdom has been removed, Rune has learned that there is good and evil in animals AND in humans finally understanding his father's [[KnightInSourArmor balanced perspective on the issue]], and through the actions of both father and son, [[EarnYourHappyEnding it's hinted that the animals are on the fast track to being considered sentient by humanity.]]]]
* BubbleGun: The Hunting Grounds has turrets that shoot out bubbles that trap its target inside a giant bubble.
* CaramelldansenVid: Strangely enough. It can be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRVcRi417Yc here]].
* CatsAreMean: Played straight with Claw, inverted by Kimba.
* CarnivoreConfusion: When Kimba became the new king, all of the carnivores, including the titular character, weren't allowed to eat one other. They eventually decided to feast on insects.
** In the 1993 dub and original Japanese, it's shown that Kimba struggles with allowing the carnivores to use the locusts as a food source, but it's that or the predators continuing to attempt to eat the other animals in the jungle. Even Kimba is not exempt from his natural urge, occasionally going wild with hunger (but stopping himself from actually doing the deed)
*** Later Inverted (or is it subverted?) when an artificial meat substitute is found
* CerebusRollercoaster: As typical of Tezuka, the manga is filled with both idealism and humor while still pulling no punches when it comes to showing kids how cruel and uncompromising the world can be and as well as the cost, but also necessity, of self-sacrifice. The anime series? [[LighterAndSofter Not so much]] (due to ExecutiveMeddling), but it still managed to sneak in a serious moment from time to time.
* CuteKitten
* DarkestAfrica: Both Played straight and subverted. The main chunk of story takes place in the last bit of frontier on an Africa on the fast track to becoming a world power. Kimba himself joins in by reorganizing the jungle along the lines of human civilization. In fact, a running theme of the story is the battle between this modernization and nature itself. [[spoiler:[[BittersweetEnding It's a tie]].]]
* DarkerAndEdgier: The 1980's remake series. This is probably because Osamu Tezuka gravely ill even during preproduction had almost no input into the remake, dying after the sixth episode was completed. In the final episode in the Japanese version, half of the main cast, including those that didn't even die in the manga, just got shot after a whole freaking 52 episodes of them appearing regularly.
* DemotedToExtra: [[BrattyHalfPint Rune's a crybaby and kind of a jerk]]. Now Rukio? [[TomBoy Rukio's awesome!]] I can't wait to see more of... uh... why are you shifting to Rune's perspective? The ending doesn't even treat her fairly. [[spoiler:We don't see her as an adult and she's given a one liner mentioning how she's married off to another pride. [[HopeSpot Her main purpose is to give us a a glimmer of hope that things might end well]]. Depending on what version you are watching, they don't.]]
* DoubleAesop: [[GreenAesop Humans and animals should love one another, and foster feelings of peace and understanding...]] [[spoiler:[[GaiasVengeance because nature is trying to kill everyone]].]]
* DownerBeginning: The series starts off with Kimba's mother being captured and his father being killed in the rescue attempt. Snowene lives long enough to give birth to her cub but soon as he's old enough and been told about his father and heritage, the ship gets caught in a nasty storm, Kimba is urged to escape before it hits. He's swept away and wakes up among the debris of the ship. Kimba quickly realizes his mother did not survive the storm.
* DubNameChange: At least 90% of the characters.
** This caused some confusion when the localizers of the sequel series learned NBC's trademarks had lapsed, and attempted to go back to using the Japanese names. To try and justify it, they hinted that 'Kimba' may have been Leo's nickname when he was younger. This may have worked had a few characters not pronounced it 'Kye-mba'.
*** It also would have helped if dub Leo hadn't said that "Kimba" translated to "coward" in the language of animals, and was apparently called that when the other animals didn't trust him as a king. But to someone who has seen the original series and knows that his father chose that name, that makes no sense... ah screw it, it was the best the dubbers could come up with.
** The dub also played a bit with ThemeNaming, with [[Theatre/JuliusCaesar a certain Shakespeare play as an inspiration]] This is arguably an improvement, as one of the villains went from the rather laughable "Toto" to Cassius, better reflecting the nature of his character and his past with Panja/Caesar.
** Another improvement would be "Bubu", the most serious villain, to "Claw".
* FantasticRacism: Specklerex had an issue with white lions during his debut episode.
* GoldFishPoopGang: Tom and Tab
* TheGoodKing: Kimba and his father.
** Downplayed in the case of Caesar in the Manga and original Japanese: while Caesar was a good king to his loyal subjects, he had little mercy for animals in captivity. Believing that in fact, animals that served humans were unfit to live and fair game for good eatin' however in the dub this particular detail was generally omitted, and it was instead implied that Caesar was as progressive as his son. Though that makes some episodes somewhat awkward (like Sampson's return, who offers some former pack-mules to Kimba as an offering for a celebratory meal).
* [[spoiler:TheHeroDies: Kimba in all but the 60's TV series and the TV special. The 1989 series doesn't come out and say it but whatever happened, our hero's been shot and is currently bleeding to death....[[GainaxEnding then there's a shot of the clouds]].]]
* HumansAreBastards: [[EgomaniacHunter Hamegg's near insane]], [[CorruptTheCutie Being left on her own in darkest Africa causes Merry to fall apart into a dominatrix leading a bloodthirsty tribe,]] and Lamp? Lamp is a bad man. There are several exceptions as seen with Kimba's human friends though, and ultimately [[spoiler: [[WorldHalfFull Kimba's sacrifice in the manga and movie is hinted to have bridged a very large gap between man and animal]].]]
** HumansAreFlawed
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: Unless a named character is called [[DeathByOriginStory Caesar]], odds are that he or she will dodge any bullet that comes his or her way.
* KingOfBeasts
* LighterAndSofter: The original manga was filled with [[TearJerker some heartbreaking scenes]], [[DiabolusExMachina horrible events happening for no reason]], [[DownerEnding and one of the most infamous endings to a shonen manga ever]]. As for the anime series? It still edges into some pretty sad territory, but things don't self-destruct this time around.
* MisplacedWildlife: You'd think Kimba would be the king of a savanna...
** ...[[FridgeBrilliance Which actually turns out to be a plot point]] involving the [[AncientEgypt heritage]] of the White Lions to begin with. The unusual background also let NBC give Kimba super strength and vitality.
** The main reason why the Neo-Jungle isn't working in the TV special. Mixing species together turns out to be a bad idea. [[spoiler:Turns out this was intentional. The Director had planned to use the mixed jungle to weed out the weaker animals and create new species. [[AGodAmI He kind of let this get to his head]].]]
* MoodWhiplash: The first episode. It literally goes from tragedy to comedy and back every minute or so.
* NeverSayDie: The 60's dub. "I'm just going to lie down for a minute..."
* NiceHat: "Tommy, you aren't supposed to ''eat it''!"
* NotSoDifferent: While we have some humans that don't have any second thoughts about killing animals, we also have a few animals that are more than happy to lead humans, whether they're good or evil, to their deaths.
** In Leo the Lion, this is what Totto tells Leo after he (supposedly) kills Mandy.
* NuclearNasty: The Gigantic Grasshopper.
* OfficialCouple: Kimba and Kitty.
* PantheraAwesome: Many characters are big cats.
* PrettyButterflies: Kimba followed a swarm of migrating butterflies to get to land when he was lost at the ocean during the first episode.
* PunnyName: The dub has its fun with Paulie Cracker, Speedy the Cheetah and the like. Kimba/Leo's kids are given this treatment in the manga... thanks to Paulie/Coco remembering the names mean to 'sleep' and to 'wake up'.
--> '''Tommy''': You swindler!
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Kimba's family.
* ShoutOut: Manga/AstroBoy appears in a display line-up of robots in one episode.
* SlidingScaleOfAnimalCommunication: The anime is at Level 8. The manga is at Level 4.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler:Claw and Hamegg]] in almost every adaption. [[spoiler: Kimba]] in the 1966/1984 series.
* TalkingAnimal: [[CaptainObvious Make a guess]].
* TerraDeforming: In episode 5, Kimba visits the World's Fair and sees, among other things, plans to melt the frozen polar regions so the space will be habitable.
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: Averted. Just like many of Tezuka's other works.
** Well, there's this one pink baby alligator named Ali who has a yellow bow. [[SubvertedTrope It's a boy.]]
* UnusualAnimalAlliance
* WouldHitAGirl: In Gypsy's Purple Potion:
--> Gypsy: You wouldn't hit an old lady-
--> Cassius: WOULD I!?
* {{Vibroweapon}}: "AAAHHH, it's a saw shark!"
* VillainSong: The Black Four has one. It was considered creepy enough that NBC had it excised from the dub.


!!Jungle Emperor (2009) TV Special Provides Examples of:

* [[ABoyAndHisX A Boy And His Lion]]: Kenichi meets Leo and, despite some misgivings on Leo's part to begin with, they strike up a firm friendship.
* AlternateUniverse: This version of the story takes place [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture in the future]], wherein mankind has screwed nature up so much they have to create an artificial environment for the animals to live in.
** AlternateContinuity
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:The Neo-Jungle is destroyed, the animals are left in the hands... er, paws... of a literal [[IncrediblyLamePun scaredy-cat]] emperor, and the real jungle has been blasted into all oblivion. At the same time, they now have a way to communicate with humans, a cure for the rampant plague that would have killed them, and a new-found drive and determination. [[LeftHanging We just never get to see what happens]].]]
* [[spoiler:CloningBlues: Toto. To the point where he's blinded by rage for all of humanity.]]
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Oyama. Sort of. Money isn't his objective so much as [[spoiler:[[AGodAmI godhood]]]]
* DidntSeeThatComing: [[spoiler:[[TheDragon Goda]] is taken down by a brightly colored finch...[[HoistByHisOwnPetard Well, that and his electric prod, and a conveniently placed pool of water]].]]
** [[spoiler:He manages to appear later for [[LastBreathBullet one last spite-filled attack on said finch]].]]
* GenderFlip: Coco is now female...for some reason.
* InterspeciesRomance: One sided anyway. The now female Coco has a fairly obvious crush on Leo. [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend 'Course she'll deny it if you bring it up.]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Applies to the monkeys. Sure, they pick on both Leo and Kenichi, but at the end of the day are more then willing to follow their emperor. [[spoiler:And fight TheDragon and provide a bridge for Leo nearly sacrificing their lives.]]
* MythologyGag: At one point, Kenichi sees a flock of birds, very VERY similar to the original Jungle Emperor opening.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: "Launch the '''[[OhCrap carnivorous locusts]]'''!"
* PapaWolf: Panja of course, who won't let anyone so much as lay a paw on his cub. Even extends to Oyama who will gladly lay aside his ambitions for Kenichi's safety.
* SceneryPorn: The Neo-Jungle may be manufactured, but dang it's pretty.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: All over the dang place. At first, things seem [[LighterandSofter much happier than the original series]] due to the simple fact Leo's parents are still alive... Then we learn that without going through the ordeal of losing both his parents, [[ShrinkingViolet he's not the same lion]]. Mankind has recreated the jungle willing to spare no expense. [[spoiler:Oh, it's being used as an experiment to try and manufacture "perfect" animals. Things then go into [[DespairEventHorizon total despair towards the end, when no one wants to fight the humans, because they can do whatever they want without consequence]]... until Leo decides he has enough and leads the animals on a all or nothing assault on Eternal Earth. [[CrowningMomentofAwesome And wins]].]]
** CerebusRollerCoaster
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Leo gets one towards the end. While the other animals think opposing the humans will be utterly useless, he decides he's had enough of being a crybaby.
-->'''Leo:''' My father was strong right? He was a real Jungle Emperor, right? But I'm different from Father. I'm small, weak, I'm afraid of heights, I'm really just a cowardly lion. But... Father said I was strong. That's why... That's why, I'm going!
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