Disney: The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
is the first sequel to Disney's The Lion King
, released in 1998.
Following on from the previous film's epilogue, Simba has assumed kingship of the Pride Lands after Scar's defeat and gained a daughter with Nala, Kiara. As she grows older the princess becomes rebellious towards her father's rules, and falls in love with Kovu, a lion from a banished pride called the Outsiders. The other pride's members were ousted by Simba because they refused to submit to him and continued to follow Scar even in death. Scar's former mate Zira, Kovu's mother, sees her son as the reincarnation of Scar's legacy and plots revenge against Simba through her son's romance with Kiara.
As the previous film was largely a loose adaptation of William Shakespeare
, this film is largely a retelling of Romeo and Juliet
mixed with elements of Macbeth
This film provides examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: In this case, Zira's claws - they have been shown to claw through solid rock.
- Accidental Kiss: Between Kiara and Kovu.
- Accomplice by Inaction: Zira guilt-trips Kovu this way after Nuka dies in the fight with Simba.
Kovu: I did nothing!
Zira: Exactly! And in doing so, you betrayed your pride, betrayed Scar!
Kovu: I want nothing more to do with him!
Zira: You cannot escape it! Nuka is dead because of you! You've killed your own brother!
- Alas, Poor Villain: When Nuka goes after Simba on the dam, whilst proclaiming "I'll do it for YOU MOTHER! — I'll do it for you.. And I'll do it for me!", and he inadvertedly gets dislodged, falls and manages to ask Zira "I'm sorry mother... I... tried..." causing Zira to go from What Have I Done to Never My Fault under three seconds flat.
- Even more so in the deleted extended version where Nuka actually asks with his last breath if Zira is finally proud of him.
- And This Is for...:
Zira: This is for you, Scar!
- Artistic License - Biology: During "Upendi", Rafiki gives Kiara a passionfruit (and tries to give one to Kovu), which she swallows happily. Real lions are obligate carnivores, and cannot digest fruits.
- Avenging the Villain: Scar's former mate Zira is trying to raise her son Kovu up to kill Simba for killing Scar and become the new king.
- Ax-Crazy: Nuka, to a point where it becomes disturbing for a lion of his age. He also looks like a psychopath.
- Award Bait Song: "Love Will Find A Way"
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Justified, since the Outlanders are only skinny and sunken-eyed from not getting enough to eat. After being accepted into Simba's pride, they're shown with the same build as the Pridelands' lionesses.
- Becoming the Mask: Kovu
- Best Served Cold: Zira's attitude towards revenge.
- Bilingual Bonus: Like the original Lion King, there's quite a bit of Swahili. Kovu means "scar". Zira is the verb radical of hate. Vitani is similar to Shetani, meaning Devil. Kiara means "princess" in Swahili. Upendi means love (noun form).
- Blowing a Raspberry: Young Kiara does this to the crocodiles as they try to reach her and Young Kovu after escaping them.
- Call Back: During one of Kiara and Kovu's romantic moments, Kovu licks Kiara in a very similar manner to the way Nala did to Simba in the first movie. Before that, Nala pins down Simba in a way that recalls their childhood.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Kiara tries to do this several times to her Overprotective Dad, but it never seems to take until Simba banishes Kovu, resulting in "You will never be Mufasa!" Also, Kovu kind of calls the old lady out:
Zira: You betrayed your pride! Betrayed Scar!
Kovu: I want nothing more to do with him!
- Continuity Nod: Kovu accidentally channels Scar through his reflection, same way Simba channels Mufasa.
- Cult: The Outsiders are the Cult of Scar.
- Dark Chick: Most of the Outsider lionesses are Dark Chicks, but Vitani is the most prominent.
- Darker and Edgier: Even in comparison to the first movie, the sequel is arguably much more intense. The villain of this one is motivated primarily by spitefulness, whereas at least Scar had the semi-pragmatic motive of greed. Zira's Villain Song is almost entirely about how much she Loves the Sound of Screaming, and said song is considerably more vicious than Scar's Villain Song. In general, the very style of this movie is arguably much darker than the first movie, like during the fire scene, wherein we see Kiara surrounded by flames, coughing from the smoke, and collapsing from exhaustion, or during Zira's first attack, when Simba is being mercilessly mauled by several other lions, and then there is "He Is Not One Of Us" where the pridelanders are all announcing their intense hatred for Kovu, who is not even guilty of what they are all accusing him of in the first place.
- Disney Acid Sequence: "Upendi" is Rafiki's How-To-Guide to making a Disney Acid Sequence!
- Disney Villain Death: Zira at least gets washed away in a raging river, rather than presumably leaving a nasty splat mark somewhere in the canyon.
- Double Meaning Title: Simba's Pride can refer to either the lions that follow him or the fact that he's initially too proud of his father's legacy as a good king to really understand what it took to build that legacy in the first place.
- Embarrassing Rescue: Subverted with Kiara trying to save Zira and played straight with Kovu saving Kiara.
- Empathic Environment: The thunderstorm during the Final Battle.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Zira's own followers defected to Simba after Zira threatened to kill her own daughter for refusing to participate in Zira's second attack.
- Evil Is Petty: Mentioned in Zira's Villain Song.
Now, the past I've tried forgetting
And my foes I could forgive.
Trouble is, I know it's petty,
but I hate to let them live!
- Face Palm: Rafiki has a real depressing one when he witnesses Kovu being driven into exile.
- Fartillery: Timon threatens Zira's Amazon Brigade by giving Puumba's tail a shotgun-pump and offering them a faceful of it. They run away screaming.
- Final Love Duet: "Love Will Find A Way" between Kiara and Kovu.
- Freudian Excuse: Zira expresses a very brief one at the beginning of "My Lullaby".
I've been exiled, persecuted, left alone with no defense.
When I think of what that brute did, I get a little tense.
(Assume "that brute" refers to Simba).
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: When Kovu wants Kiara to run away with him instead of going back to the Pride Lands, he suggests they start a pride "all our own". Not only is his tone when he says this very suggestive, he actually wiggles his hind end!
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Kovu ends up getting a scar identical to Scar's, but that happens after he's decided to become the mask. The song "Not One of Us" has the animals believing it's an evil scar.
- Heel Face Mole: Kovu claims to be this after rescuing Kiara, in order to gain entrance into Simba's pride.
- Heel-Face Turn: Kovu, and later on Vitani, who is the first lioness in Zira's pride to realise Kiara is right.
- Heroic Fire Rescue: Zira's plan to "prove" Kovu's loyalty and trustworthiness so as to get him into the pride and close to Simba is the classic subversion of this trope via Engineered Heroics.
- Hypocrite: Simba gives Kovu a speech about how fire (Scar) is a killer, but what's left behind (Kovu) could grow better if given the chance. He seems to forget about that last part when he exiles him as guilty of betrayal before being proven innocent.
- I Have This Friend: After Kovu's banishment, Timon and Puumba attempt to 'hypothetically' explain to Simba that Kiara ran off alone ... but Simba sees right through it.
Timon: There's this guy...
Pumbaa: But he's not a lion...
Timon: No. No, he's not a lion. Yeesh, definitely not a lion... and uh... uh, his daughter, um, say... vanished?
- Inevitable Waterfall: In the "Upendi" song.
- Also, the waterfall which presumably kills Zira at the end.
- Ironic Echo: Blink and you'll miss it, but Nuka's "Mother...I tried..." just before his death is echoed by Kiara's "Daddy...I tried," just after she fails to save Zira.
- Kissing Cousins: The creators of the sequel averted this in the middle of production realizing Kiara would have been in love with her cousin once removed. Instead, Kovu was Scar's protege, despite looking just like him which just brings up the question of who Kovu's father actually is...
- Lady Macbeth: To add to the Shakespeare analogies, Zira is the late Scar's Lady Macbeth.
- Considering she's absent in the first film and Scar acts almost entirely on his own, the trope fits more with her as Kovu's Lady Macbeth, as she (attempts to) stir him to evil.
- Leave Him to Me: Zira snarls near the end of the battle "Simba! You're mine!" and all Outlanders back away from him, to allow the two of them to prepare for their death duel.
- Like a Son to Me: Implied to be Scar's relationship with Kovu before his death, as he chose him to be his heir instead of his own son, Nuka.
- Love Makes You Evil: Zira's motivation is revenge for Scar's death. Well that's most of it, she's also got a chip on her shoulder from being exiled, but this is the main reason.
- Love Redeems: Kovu switches sides due to his love of Kiara.
- A Minor Kidroduction: Like in the first film, Kiara is shown as a cub in the beginning, but all that's shown are the events leading up to her meeting Kovu.
- Mood Whiplash: Timon and Pumbaa really do not belong in this movie, as their only purpose is to ruin genuinely dramatic moments with non sequitur jokes. On a more positive note, there's another dimension of Mood Whiplash, between Lighter and Softer moments and Darker and Edgier moments. Disney movies in general tend to have this, but this movie takes it even further than most, like when a cutesy song about all creatures being a big family is quickly followed by a Villain Song about revenge. That's a very deliberate tonal shift, intentionally juxtaposing the differences between the two families.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Way to go, Simba, for banishing your daughter's love interest that she finally calls you out for your actions.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Zira.
Zira: The battle will be bloody, but that kind of works for me.
- Nightmare Sequence: Simba's memory of the day at the gorge, wherein he ends up in the same position as his father, depending on Kovu as his savior, who morphs into Scar and lets him fall. When combining this with his talk in the midquel of having Bad Dreams, it's implied these are Recurring Dreams as well.
- Not So Different: Zira tries to tell Kovu this when her plan to groom him into Scar's successor begins to fall apart.
- Opposites Attract: The princess and the exiled peasant.
- Technically, Kovu is a prince, but of the exiled Outlanders and to the late Scar so still counts.
- Parental Bonus/Getting Crap Past the Radar:
Kovu: (to Kiara) Let's get out of here. We'll run away together! (wiggles his backside with a seductive voice) And start a pride all our own.
- Parental Hypocrisy: Simba is very over-protective of Kiara. At one point, Nala points out to Simba that Kiara's just like they were when they were cubs, and Simba explains that this is what worries him.
- Physical Scars, Psychological Scars: Kovu gets a scar across his eye from his abusive mother Zira, while she blames him for Nuka's death.
- There's also Zira's ear, which is partially torn, but it remains unknown as to how she got it.
- The Power of Hate: Zira holds an immense grudge against Simba for killing Scar, who was her mate. She is raising her son Kovu into hating all Pridelanders. Later in the film she stoops as low as threatening to kill her daughter, Vitani which sickeningly causes her former followers to turn against her and join Simba's pride. Unfortunately she stubbornly refuses to let go of her hatred which causes her to fall into the river, even refusing to let Kiara, Simba's daughter, save her.
- The Power of Love: "Love Will Find A Way".
- Rescue Romance: How Kovu tries to impress Kiara and gain her trust. Thanks to her independent streak and being sick of her father's smothering and overprotectiveness, it doesn't go the way Kovu planned, at least at first.
- Retcon: A tie-in book cast Simba's and Nala's cub as a male named Kopa.
- Some Fanon theories try to correct this by having Kopa have died somehow, some of which cast this as the reason Zira was exiled...
- Save the Villain: After attempting to attack Simba, Zira is tackled by Kiara and the two are sent tumbling off the cliff. In a very familiar TLK fashion, Zira is left clinging for her life and risks falling into the raging river below to her death. Kiara attempts to save her ("Zira... give me your paw!"), but she meets her watery fate regardless.
- Shamed by a Mob: When Kovu is mistakenly believed to have been part of the plot to attempt to kill Simba, and a huge crowd is singing about their hatred for him.
- Shout-Out: Word of God says this film is Romeo and Juliet + The Manchurian Candidate.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Kovu mentions this in a line.
- Suicide Is Painless: What Zira's death might have been before the directors decided to cut part of her death from the final version. The cut scene features Kiara reaching out to save Zira...only to have Zira look back at Kiara with the most frightening smile of the movie and whisper "No... nev-er." just before intentionally letting go of the ledge. The directors evidently thought this was just a bit too dark for a movie who's plot is driven mostly by Zira's obsession with revenge.
- Standing Between The Enemies: Kovu and Kiara at the climax of the story.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Obviously, as this was based on Romeo and Juliet. (Continuing in the tradition of Lion King based on Shakespeare.)
- Stars Are Souls: A Call Back to the first movie.
Kiara: "My father and I used to do this all the time. He says all the great kings of the past are up there."
- Take My Hand: "Give me your paw!"
- Taking the Bullet: Kiara intercepting Zira's attack on Simba.
- "They Still Belong to Us" Lecture: Zira pulls a very successful one right after Kovu's Heel Realization.
- This Is Unforgivable: The song "One of Us" includes "...But do not forget what we cannot forgive" as some of the lyrics to it.
- The Unchosen One: Nuka is a perfect example of this, being more elligible for the role of his father's (and mother's) protege and getting shafted in favor of Kovu.
- Villain Song: And how! "My Lullaby" (written by Joss Whedon!) is probably the most twisted and messed-up song in Disney's catalogue since Frollo's number from Hunchback of Notre Dame - it is almost exclusively about Zira outlining her very gruesome, blood-soaked dreams of revenge against Simba against a pounding orchestra.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Nuka. Rare variation in that it's his mother's approval, not his father's, that he longs for.
- Simba too, albeit with less subtlety than the first time around. Forgetting the moving testimonial he'd received from his father's ghost, and unable to get over his past, Simba refuses to trust Kovu or see him as anything but a reincarnation of Scar, all in the mistaken belief that this is what his father would do (and therefore, would make Mufasa proud of him). Luckily Nala, as usual, is the voice of reason while Kiara, with typical bluntness, makes it quite clear to her father that he is not and never will be Mufasa. And just to hammer the point home that Simba does not have to emulate his father's reign (or his perception of it) in order to receive his love and pride, Mufasa's ghost actually says the words, "Well done, my son" after the prides are united and peace is declared.
- What Could Have Been: The original idea was for Kovu to be Scar's biological son, however, this had to be changed as it would have made him and Kiara related.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Sarabi's voice actress died before the sequel was made, so they just left Sarabi to a cameo as a background lioness with no lines.
- What Would Mufasa Do?: Actually Simba's biggest failing. He's so focused on trying to be as good as Mufasa that he ends up making knee-jerk reactions when something unexpected happens and cocks everything up. Kiara calls him out on it big time.