Fridge / The Lion King

Fridge Brilliance
  • The song called "The Circle of Life" isn't just about the natural cycle of life, but also the cycle of revolution where the new king always gets usurped by the next contender to the throne, making the song even more brilliant!
  • Simba looks a lot like his dad but is noticeably smaller than him. It could be that Simba is still growing or subsisting on bugs and likely malnourished.
  • Scar is often accused of going from a Manipulative Bastard to a whiny oaf after coming into power, therefore making him a lot less threatening. When you think about it, though, Scar's entire character arc is based on how whiny and petty he is. He murders his brother and blackmails his nephew to get into power, but doesn't actually do anything but brag that he has it. He whines about his responsibility because he never wanted to be a proper king, he just want to be able to say he was, which makes him even worse!!
  • Why did Scar knock out Zazu when Zazu wanted to ask for help? Not for a comedic reason, but because Scar didn't want any witnesses to see him dispose of Simba's father. Scary when you realize he could've easily just finished Zazu off instead...
    • Zazu being the King's majordomo, it would've seemed strange to the lionesses that he too disappeared along with Mufasa and Simba. Someone would've asked about him. He wouldn´t be likely to die in a stampede due to being able to fly. So killing Zazu would've caused more trouble than good to Scar.
  • In the musical number "I Just Can't Wait to be King," Zazu has the line "This child is getting wildly out of wing" to rhyme with Simba's "Oh I just can't wait to be king." At first this feels like a forced rhyme, since the actual expression is "out of hand." Then you realize Zazu doesn't have hands.
  • Why is Shenzi so mean and bossy? Because she's a spotted hyena! Thats how they are in nature.
  • It's a small one, but during the stampede scene (when Mufasa accidentally lets go of Simba) we see a Wildebeest fall down seconds before Mufasa snatches him up. Later, when Simba is searching for his father, a lone Wildebeest trots off into the distance... The only way he could have fallen so behind is if he had fallen down earlier.
  • Two of these moments hit me about The Lion King, the other night:
    1. Most everyone I know, including myself, were confused at how ineffectual and whiny Scar became when he became king. However, look at how he treats his role as king to how Cub Simba treats it during his "I Just Can't Wait to be King" musical number; pretty similar, isn't it, with all that talk of "I'm king, I can do whatever I want"? Scar's showing as king is meant to be the logical extreme of that belief, focusing on the benefits of a role without thinking of or wanting any of the responsibilities, and how one would flounder under the pressure, as a result.
    2. Scar's plan to ascend the throne is pretty standard: kill Mufasa and Simba, win over pride by default. Typical movie villain evil plot, right? But hold on! The whole theme of the movie is the "circle of life" and everyone's roles in it, and guess how real lions usurp the throne of a pride? That's right: they kill (or maim) the head lion and kill the cubs (which curiously has the added effect of snapping the lionesses back into heat...which also fits the "Scar tries to rape Nala" scene in the Broadway musical). So, even in villainy, Scar's satisfying the great "circle of life", and makes his plot seem both sympathetic (as he's just as much a slave to the circle as everyone else) and creepy-sinister (Disney using a natural phenomenon as an evil act? My god, they're more devious than we previously imagined!). —Synjo Deonecros
    • Here's the thing, in real life, lions that challenge the head lion for the throne do so in a pitched fight, and both lions know its happening and the whole pride knows it... Scar killed Mufasa not in a fight for control, but by ambushing and throwing him to his death, then manipulated Simba into running off. He then proceeded to lie to the rest of the pride about it. So it wasn't 'nature', he didn't give Mufasa any chance at all, whereas in nature, they'd fight for that title one-on-one (or even two on one, since sometimes brother males will fight together against another). And as he lied, the other lions thought their beloved king had been killed in an accident and Scar was merely accepting a right, then find out Scar killed his brother in a cowardly attack and lied for years about it... So it wasn't so much that he did it, it was in how he did it!
      • In fact, in the very early parts of the movie, Mufasa directly asks Scar if he's challenging him, lending credit to the idea that Scar could have legitimately challenged and fought Mufasa for the kingship, but chose not to because he knew Mufasa was stronger and would likely win the fight — which was why he resolved to cheating and such underhanded tactics:
        Mufasa: Don't turn your back on me, Scar.
        Scar: Oh, no, Mufasa. Perhaps you shouldn't turn your back on me.
        Mufasa: Is that a challenge?
        Scar: Temper, temper. I wouldn't dream of challenging you.
        Zazu: Pity! Why not?
        Scar: Well, as far as brains go, I got the lion's share. But, when it comes to brute strength... I'm afraid I'm at the shallow end of the gene pool.
      • To add onto this, Scar, despite still trying to snivel out of conflict, ultimately managed to equal and nearly defeat Simba in combat. Simba, who had been living on a diet of insects for most of his adult life and was likely inexperienced in fighting outside the odd times Timon and Pumbaa were pursued by a predator. Similarly both the lionesses and hyenas were malnourished and beaten down from the pride's terrible condition, hence why even comic relief like Rafiki and Pumbaa could match them (notice also Nala could still pin Simba, but could no longer outright Curbstomp him like before and even Pumbaa nearly outran her). The whole climax could essentially be considered a glorified Sissy Fight.
      • Further to the truth of how lion society operates, Simba's "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" is often maligned as him unthinkingly wishing for the time when his dad has died. But if Simba had grown up in the pride and Scar hadn't killed Mufasa, Mufasa would have driven Simba out to seek his own pride and become king of that, so Mufasa does not need to die for Simba to be king. This must have also happened to Mufasa and Scar, which explains why there are no other male lions around, particularly their ancestors, despite the fact that Mufasa is young enough to have an infant son. Once Scar's coup succeeded and Simba returned to challenge him, Simba became the king of the same pride in which he grew up.
  • I had two regarding The Lion King's Shakespearean inspiration (Kimba notwithstanding). Many years after the film's initial theatrical release, I just went OH! Hamlet!, but it wasn't until several years after the release of The Lion King 1 1/2 that I just suddenly went OH! Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead! — Seaside Messenger
    • I had that epiphany a few years ago: Simba = Hamlet, Nala = Ophelia and possible Horatio, Mufasa = The Ghost (King Hamlet), Sarabi = Queen Gertrude, Scar = Claudius, Hyenas = Polonius (evil advisers/henchmen), Timon and Pumbaa = Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (with a dose of the gravediggers as well—see their discussion with Simba about the night sky/afterlife). To take this further, Simba has a Hamlet-like reverie about death and avenging his father when Nala finds him and Rafiki shows him his father's ghost. — Trombone Child
    • You missed that Simba's Pride is Romeo and Juliet.
    • I always felt that Zazu was more Polonius than the hyenas were; the scene in "Can't Wait to Be King" where Simba and Nala are making fun of Zazu behind his back is a common interpretation of Polonius's speech to Ophelia and Laertes in Hamlet.
    • The central theme of The Lion King even has a connection to a throwaway line from Hamlet.
    Hamlet: A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and cat of the fish that hath fed of that worm.
    Mufasa: And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.
    • The second half of The Lion King is quite like Macbeth, arguably.
      • Second half nothing, Scar's role in the movie is a lot like Macbeth's role in the play Macbeth, since Scar, like Macbeth, murders the established king to personally become king, and manages to cover it up, while the lawful heirs/heir to the throne flee/flees the kingdom. Eventually, one of the exiled heirs to the throne returns, with others, and takes back the throne.
    • Scar also is a lot like Richard III. He's very charismatic to an extent that the audience is encouraged to root for him in the beginning of the story, but once he gets power, he's a tyrant and an awful ruler. Incidentally, while the above associates the Hyenas with Polonius, Zazu also occupies that role, being the advisor/prime minister who is a comical blowhard.
    • Someone could also argue that Simba's Pride is, at least in the beginning, Macbeth. Kovu is Macbeth, Zira is Lady Macbeth. Zira convinces Kovu to kill Simba (Duncan) and take over. Except that he ends up falling in love with Kiara and killing his own brother (Banquo).
    • It's well-known that The Lion King is based on Hamlet, but I had no idea it got down to such specific detail as this: in the latter, there exists the line, "Doubt that the stars be made of fire," which is exactly what Simba and Timon do when Pumbaa proposes the idea!
  • As some of you know, Jim Cummings had to do the last chorus of "Be Prepared" in the Lion King, since Jeremy Irons had strained his voice (or something like that, I dunno). I didn't notice when I was a kid watching it, but playing it like 20-30 times on YouTube made me realize: Scar may have been beginning to lose his sanity during this musical number, and the sudden change in tone could have illustrated that. This serves to explain why the Pride Lands went to hell in a hand-basket during the time Timon and Pumbaa raised Simba; any clan with a psychopath for a ruler is doomed to failure. It also explains why Scar confesses that he did in fact kill Mufasa: he's lost it. He realized he wasn't fit to rule and couldn't do anything about it, so he figured he'd at least take the rightful ruler down (and likely the entire society of the Pride Lands) with him. Why? He doesn't need a reason, he's NUTS! — Numbuh214
    • Considering Jim Cummings was the voice of the insane Ed...
    • Even better, Be Prepared pretty clearly compares Scar to Hitler (what with the goosestepping hyenas) and that hint of crazy overconfidence is one of the most well-known parts of Hitler's personality.
  • "Be Prepared" is musical propaganda for the benefit of Scar's army of hyenas (with a Shout-Out to Those Wacky Nazis). What if the main trio's seemingly inane questions like "And where do we feature?" were all part of the show, and they were already in on the plot to kill Mufasa?
    • "Be Prepared" has more than that. There's a line with an awesome double meaning. Scar declares becoming king is "at last being given my dues, and in justice deliciously squared", since to him it's a lapse of justice that he's not king and he will "square" it and set it right by killing Mufasa. However, due to the speed of the singing (it's in the more frenzied part of the song at the end), the listener hears it as [[Mondegreen "injustice, deliciously squared"]] as in will be a perfectly executed injustice. It's really a good looking to how Scar sees the world as about him.
      • Also worth noting; in that frenzied part, "at last I am given my dues" sounds sort of like "given my Jews", at least to my ears.
  • From the Broadway play: When Simba sings "Endless Night", he says "Where has the starlight gone?" Remember what Mufasa tells Simba about the stars?
  • The final battle of Simba and Scar is not just for control of the Pride Lands, it's a final trial by fire for Simba which becomes a triumph for the young lion not simply because he defeats the usurper, but he does it differently from his father's style. Whereas Mufusa fights with passion and fury, Simba relies more on his intelligence; namely when Scar leaps at him, Simba manages to stay calm and position his hind legs for a defensive judo-like move to throw him off.
    • This is also important because Scar always ran on the idea that he should rule because Mufasa was stronger but he was smarter. Simba using his head helps undermine that argument.
    • A related piece of fridge brilliance: Simba originally used his father's more aggressive style, particularly as a cub. Nala kept winning, as both a cub and an adult through smarts and the exact kinds of maneuvers that Simba used to finish Scar.
  • At the beginning, when Zazu tells Scar that Mufasa is coming to see him, Scar says "Now, look, Zazu, you've made me lose my lunch.". He was obviously referring to the mouse he was holding, but it's also referring to Mufasa's coming. "Losing your lunch" means getting sick, so Scar was getting sick of Mufasa. This is obvious when Scar has apparently made a law against mentioning Mufasa by name.
  • Scar's attacking Simba seems like a dirty method to kill Simba to keep kinghood after begging for his life. However, when listening to the dialogue, Simba tells him to "Run, Run away, Scar, and never, ever return," virtually the exact same line Scar told Simba after the stampede. Remembering what happened immediately after Scar told him to leave and never come back (i.e., siccing the Hyenas to kill him), the conclusion can be made that Scar feared that Simba would most likely do something very similar after telling him to flee, which would likewise possibly mean that he was not simply fighting to retain his position as king, but he's actually fighting for survival.
    • And then Simba does manage to evict him from Pride Rock and the hyenas do manage to kill him. Bonus Fridge Brilliance points for how this played out.
  • This troper always laughed a bit at Simba and Scar's fight at the end of the film, feeling that it looked too much like a catfight. Then it hit me, they are having a catfight.
    • As someone who works with lions, this troper can tell you that they don't actually fight with that much distance between their sissy paw-swipes and shoves. A lion fight a loud, close combination of fast-and-dirty brawling and trying to dunk the other's head in the mud—not nearly as majestic as that scene makes it out to be.
  • The Lionesses don't make a move to help Simba while Scar is blaming him for Mufasa's death and backing him off a cliff. This would seem to indicate that his apparent responsibility for Mufasa's death has turned them against him...except Simba has challenged Scar for position as King. Interfering would be breaking the rules of the challenge, until a winner is decided it's entirely between Simba and Scar. After Simba makes Scar confess to murder the hyenas jump Simba and the lionesses have their chance to get in on things, though they still don't attack Scar himself.
  • After watching Doug Walker's Disneycember review of The Lion King, I thought his conclusion made a lot of sense: that the film delivers a Broken Aesop about facing the pain of your past because it turns out Simba simply never did the thing he was trying to put behind him — instead of him learning how to deal with a painful past or guilt, he learns it never applied to him. It made so much sense, in fact, that I wondered why I never thought that as a kid because, when you're a kid, nothing annoys you more than a story that chickens out at the last minute like that. At the last minute... That's when I realized why I never saw such a Broken Aesop myself: because we the audience know the entire time that Simba didn't really cause his father's death! If we'd been led, like Simba, the entire movie to think he really had to face the pain of being responsible for Mufasa's death, suddenly revealing, "Hah, gotcha! That doesn't even apply here!" at the end would have been cheap. We know from the start, however, that Simba is not responsible for what he feels guilty for and, thus, don't spend the movie sympathizing with him and hoping he'll overcome the guilt but spend it waiting for him to learn and escape from the burden he never needed to carry. The plot didn't chicken out, it just unfolded the inevitable way it should.
  • Despite only being "evil" when following Scar, the hyenas get slack from the lions for no discernible reason. Considering that hyenas and lions are bitter rivals in nature, its not surprising they get slack.
    • There is a discernible reason: the hyenas are constantly invading the pridelands to hunts. Hunting territory is one of the most heavily fought-over things in the real world.
    • The lions and the other animals may resent the hyenas for being scavengers preying on the sick, young or the food of those who earned it (although in reality the reputation of scavengers should rest on striped hyenas, not the spotted ones used in the film). This also ties into the Aesop of accepting responsibility and taking ones place in the Circle of Life, which they shirk by becoming the henchmen of Scar, who is himself unable (or unwilling) to accept the responsibilities of a king.
  • Timon and Pumbaa hanging out together always seemed a bit odd to me since they are so different from each other. Then watching a show on Nat Geo Wild gave me the reason. Warthogs get infested by bugs like ticks easily and in order to take care of that problem they rely on meerkats to to eat the pests. Timon gets a free meal and Pumbaa gets relief from pests.
  • "Hakuna matata" contains the line "It's our problem-free/philosophy". You can't have a "problem-free philosophy": philosophy is about solving problems, not ignoring them. It makes sense for Timon and Pumbaa to not worry about problems they are powerless to solve (namely, their positions on the food chain), but for Simba to adopt it as a way of life puts him in an impossible position, philosophically speaking, since he's actively avoiding the problem which he knows on some level he must deal with (i.e. his responsibilities as Mufasa's son) and avoiding it by not worrying about it only makes it more likely that it will catch up with him in the end — which, indeed, it does, in the form of Nala.
  • During his time with Timon and Pumbaa, Simba learns to eat insects, or "grubs". Lions eat other animals, of course, and despite not being as big and substantial as, say, an antelope or a giraffe, insects technically count as animals. Also, lions in real life will scavenge for insects if they're hungry enough.
    • At equal weight, insects actually have more protein than say, beef. Provided insects were available in VERY large quantities, it could be possible for a large carnivore to survive on them for a while.
  • While listening to "Be Prepared" the lyrics "Thick as you are, pay attention! My words are a matter of pride." I took "pride" to mean "proud", but a group of lions is also called a pride.
  • Recursive Fridge Logic: If the circle of life is such a big deal, why are the hyenas starving? Don't scavengers have a place in the circle?
    • No, they don't. Mufasa explains it to Simba by saying, "When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass." For the lions, the circle goes: antelope dies to become food for lions, lion dies to become food for antelopes. Hyenas are a threat to the circle because they can eat virtually anything, but they don't produce anything for anyone else to eat: as soon as they become the dominant species in the lion kingdom, the ecosystem breaks down, symbolized by the drought: no more water, no more grass, no more antelope, no more food for anybody.
      • Except hyenas, especially the spotted hyenas seen in the film aren't scavengers. They kill almost all their own food. They were thought to be scavengers because they hunt at night, but are often driven away by larger animals (including heavily scavenging lions) and wait until they are done. Hyenas' powerful jaws are able to crush bones, so they can also eat more of the prey than lions.
  • First, Rafiki is the first of the Pridelands to realize that Simba is alive. It's possible that he told Nala to go out and scout for help (i.e., Look for Simba and bring him home). He neglected to mention his discovery of Simba purposely, in case word spread. Secondly, Nala seems unsurprised to see Rafiki that one morning, and his own presence in the same jungle is awfully convenient. It's entirely possible that they went looking together.
  • Early in the movie, after Simba's shown the kingdom, he goes to his uncle to talk about it, all excited. He then asks, "When I'm king, what'll that make you?" Scar is clearly joking when he answers, "A monkey's uncle" and it's treated as a throw-away joke. But later in the movie, Rafiki starts chanting what sounds like gibberish at Simba, who's reflecting on his father and rebuffed Nala telling him he's the king. When Simba finally asks Rafiki what his gibberish even means, Rafiki answers, "It means you are a baboon, and I'm not!" Again, treated as a throw-away joke... But think back to a PREVIOUS throw-away joke... When Simba's king, Scar jokes that he'll be a monkey's uncle. Nala's just declared Simba the king not too long ago, and not long after THAT, Rafiki calls him a baboon - A MONKEY. Scar's joke proved true - By Rafiki's words, he is a monkey's uncle!
  • When Scar smacks Sarabi, he finds the adult Simba watching and extremely angry glare, and Scar practically shits himself, muttering "Mufasa!?! No, it can't be! You're dead!" Maybe deep down, Scar still feared retribution from Mufasa if it turned out he didn't actually die that day.
  • When Zazu gives the morning report to Mufasa, he says "Cheetahs never prosper". Of course it's a pun on Cheaters Never Prosper, but maybe it has another meaning: cheetahs, as rival predators, are ostracized in the kingdom ruled by lions (although a lesser extent then hyenas), and thus do not prosper.
    • Even if they aren´t ostracized (and they probably aren´t, considering they go to Simba's presentation at the beginning of the first film, and are seen to be the animals standing closest to Pride Rock during the gathering in Simba's Pride), this counts as Truth in Television, as in real life, cheetahs do not prosper in places were lions are abundant, due to the lion's actively chasing them away from prey and even killing them if they can catch them.
  • All of the people Simba meets from his exile onwards to his return to become king is representative of the qualities that make him a good king and makes Scar a bad king from lacking. Timon and Pumbaa rescue him from the vultures, but he is still an empty shell, likely not caring if he lived or died. While not the best at teaching responsibility, their upbringing gives him a love for life and an appreciation of paradise, the vision that a king must have to be willing to care for their kingdom. However, this alone leaves him ignoring his past and squandering his potential. Later, Nala returns and begins to remind him of his heritage. Her telling him of the plight of the Pridelands under Scar teaches him the consequences of shirking responsibility, and their fight at the start demonstrates the need for him to use intelligence to apply his strength. But, his concern for his subjects is still useless if he doesn't see his ability to help them. Thus, Rafiki comes to teach how the pain that almost destroyed him cannot be undone, but can still be learned from. He stresses the importance of accepting mistakes and changing to make sure they are not repeated. It's then he rediscovers his father, Mufasa, the strength and passion of a king he once aspired to, but most now fulfill. His final lesson is in reuniting with his mother Sarabi. In coming to her aid when Scar strikes her, he finds the importance of family and how the family most look out for each other. It is this last lesson that completely contrasts him with Scar, who he spares despite him murdering his father "Because I am not you." And he is right, Scar does not possess vision of a better world, or concern for the kingdom, or much intelligence aside from a silver tongue, or a willingness to learn from past actions, not strength or bravery or loyalty to family.
    • If Scar had personally ensured Simba's death when he was still a cub, Simba wouldn't have had the chance to develop physically or emotionally in ways which would enable him to defend himself against Scar later. Simba would not have stood a chance against Scar, and The Pride Lands would have been left without any hope at all.
  • To drive the Scar/Hyenas and Hitler/Nazis parallel even further would probably be how he came to power. It would be unusual for a whole lot of hyenas to listen to a lion due to their bitter rivalry. But if we were to assume that like Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed where the rest of the hyenas are starving would be much like an economically-ruined Germany in the Interwar Period. Who would be willing to listen to anyone who is charismatic enough to round them up. With a dash of Russian Revolution too if Scar was to assassinate the alpha hyena much like Lenin and the Bolsheviks overthrowing the Czar of Russia to become the Soviet Union.
  • The "I Just Can't Wait to be King" sequence. In-Universe, it's Simba's and Nala's way to distract Zazu so they can sneak off to the Elephants' Graveyard. However, a deeper meaning is evident when you look at the movie as a Coming of Age story, in which being king is a metaphor for growing up (or perhaps even becoming a parent). The lyrics of the song reflect exactly how little kids think being an adult works: able to do whatever you want, eat all the candy you want, stay up as late as you want, watch all the television and play all the games you want, with no one telling you what to do because you're the boss. As indicated above and elsewhere on this site, Scar takes this idea to its logical extreme, and becomes an adult that has never outgrown these childish notions — in effect, a Manchild.
  • It would seem as though Scar and the hyenas both have a bad habit of playing with their food: in both instances where they have their prey trapped (the mouse for the former, Simba and friends for the latter group), they allow said prey to escape by gloating about how they'll enjoy devouring them.
  • A small detail but, the hyenas checking with Ed before killing Scar can be seen as a Take That! on multiple levels. The reason they decide to kill Scar is because he threw them under the bus and tried to scapegoat them for Mufasa's death (not that that helped, anyway). Now, Scar has always been portrayed as the ruler over the hyenas, often belittling them and abusing them while they carry out his will. Prior to this scene, Shenzi and Banzai's interactions with Ed seemed to imply that their relationship with him was similar to their species relationship with Scar, Ed representing the hyenas and Shenzi and Banzai representing Scar. But them asking for Ed's approval showed that the trio, and the hyena population in general, were equals, and were sick of working for a tyrannical Jerkass.
  • If you watch the night sky closely after Simba declares his intent to return to the Pridelands, you can see a shooting star follow Simba as he runs. A silly little detail, until you remember Mufasa's speech to Simba under the stars. The stars are kings of the past, there to provide guidance and Mufasa promised Simba he would always be there to guide him. So when Simba leaves the jungle to return to the Pridelands it's MUFASA'S star that follows after him, keeping the promise that he made to his son in life. This is emphasised again during Simba's coronation when the clouds break and we see a single star shining brighter than the others with Mufasa's voice speaking out to his son.
  • This troper always found it a bit odd that Simba would instantly accept Scar's attempt to pin the blame of Mufasa's death on him, especially since he was taken to the gorge by Scar and told to wait there in the first place. Granted, the poor cub is likely traumatised by the whole thing, but afterwards even a little bit of thought should have told him that something was off about Scar's explanation of events. Then it hit me: just before he leaves to signal the hyenas to start the stampede, Scar tells Simba to "work on that little roar", which Simba then proceeds to do (with the implication being that he wants to prove Scar wrong about his roar being little - which calls back to Scar's earlier mind trick on Simba to get him to go to the elephant graveyard). He tries a few roars, the loudest of which directly leads into the start of the stampede. Simba never saw the hyenas scaring the wildebeest; he likely assumed it was his attempt at roaring that caused the stampede and thus killed his father.
  • Right before "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," Simba and Nala are weirded out by the fact that they're betrothed, and Simba states that the tradition will be the first thing to go once he's king. While their situation turns out to be a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, their daughter does indeed wind up choosing her own mate, and while Simba has his misgivings about Kovu, none of them are related to a previous betrothal, so apparently he did indeed abandon that tradition (though strictly speaking there was lack of eligible males at Pride Rock to betroth Kiara to anyway).
  • Was the downfall of the Pride Lands a total coincidence that we should let Scar off? No! Scar tells Sarabi at the end that "We're not going anywhere." In the 4-6 years while Simba's been gone the hyenas will have had babies. And those hyenas will have become old enough to have babies. When males hit 2 years old they have to leave their Clan, but Scar wasn't letting hyenas leave either. In likelihood the Lionesses weren't being allowed to kill any hyenas like they normally would. More food, equals population boom. As for the drought, well, Africa gets droughts quite a lot. The Horn of Africa is rather susceptible to them. While it's certainly not Scar's fault, it's something that a responsible king would have known was a possibility during his reign. Scar didn't just disrespect the Circle of Life, he disrespected the traditions of his own minions and was a lousy king in general.
    • In "A Tale Of Two Brothers" we see that there was a drought in the Pride Lands during Ahadi's rule. He dealt with it by banishing all hyenas. Not exactly fair, if you're a hyena, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Can't blame the hyenas for feeling hard done by when the drought lifted and they were still forcibly kept out of the Pride Lands under the pretence that they weren't part of the Circle of Life. In certain respects Ahadi was portrayed as slightly stubborn and unnecessarily strict, and Mufasa was supposed to be an improvement.

Fridge Horror
  • Just in case the scene where Simba finds Mufasa's body wasn't creepy enough, Simba goes through the motions of the actions he used to wake Mufasa up earlier on in the film...
  • "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" is very much Harsher in Hindsight, considering what happens to Mufasa the next day. And even though he didn't mean it that way, Simba was basically singing "I Just Can't Wait For My Dad To Die".
  • Whatever did happen to Mufasa's body? Think about this for a second. The Hyenas chased Simba out of the Pridelands, and supposedly came back to where the chase started. Given the Hyenas eating habits (which is not at all altered by the movie), and that Scar is their boss, it's not hard to think he allowed them to eat Mufasa's corpse. Considering that Mufasa was trampled to death, his body may not be all that worse for wear.
    • Averted in the musical, in which the lionesses place his body on a bier and mourn over it.
    • There is also the possibility that a way was found for Mufasa to go back to nature and become part of the great Circle of Life. Maybe after the mourning on the bier is over, the lionesses took his corpse to the fields to decompose and become the grass that the antelope would eat, as he said in an earlier part of the movie to Simba?
      • There's more than one way in which one can decompose and feed the grass. Hyena droppings being one of them...
  • As a cub, Simba had a massive ego, and thought that being king was all about getting your way and bossing others around. He and Scar were Not So Different after all. If not for the film's events (and his father teaching him right from wrong), he could've ended up an immature, self-serving despot, just like Scar.
  • In the Game Boy port of the video game, the "Cub" difficulty ends at the Stampede level. There's only a few possibilities of what could happen, and none of them are good.
    • There is another way to think about it. In the film, when the stampede ends, Simba sees his father's dead body, Scar tells the cub that it was his fault Mufasa died, and he is promptly banished from the Pridelands and chased by bloodthirsty hyenas into the desert, where he thinks he will surely die. This is the exact moment where Simba's childhood and innocence died. He is no longer a cub.
    • Simba didn't kill Scar, the hyenas did, and when Scar asked if he would kill him, he said "No, Scar. I'm not like you." Also, his line from his talk with Kovu:
    Simba: Scar couldn't let go of his hate... and in the end, it destroyed him.
  • That chameleon young Simba kept growling at couldn't run very fast. Seconds later, there's a stampede...
    • And here we all thought there weren't enough horrible (and Fridge-Horrible) things about the stampede ...
      • Unlike the lions, the chameleon is tiny. It could easily have hidden somewhere out of the way.
  • After Timon & Pumbaa revive young Simba after finding him unconscious in the desert ("You almost died!"), the depressed cub's immediate reaction is to attempt to head straight back into the desert. If 'Hakuna Matata' hadn't happened, the movie might've been a whole lot shorter.
    • To be fair, Simba might not have put that much thought into it. He's not purposefully killing himself, he just doesn't give a damn whether he dies or not, and doesn't want to be around people. Y'know, kind of like half of this generation.
  • After the hyenas killed Scar, there was still the little problem of half the pridelands being on fire. Even though heavy rain extinguished the fire a few minutes later, many hyenas probably didn't make it to safety without severe burns, let alone injuries from smoke inhalation. Young cubs would be especially susceptible to the latter, and would have difficulty outrunning the flames.
    • And you know who would have been a young cub at that time, according to the sequel? That's right; Nuka. That actually explains why his development is so wonky in that film; he never gets a full mane, is scrawny and mangy, and he's termite-ridden. It's all because he inhaled smoke as a baby.
  • The "Be Prepared" song from The Lion King. Sure, scary hyenas playing with skeletons in steam and fiery colors is Nightmare Fuel by itself, but that one parade scene really hits home after you've learned a little about history.
    • Now, knowing what the parade scene was based on, watch it in German.
    • Also, this Troper is of the opinion that if you didn't watch the film, it looks like the hyenas are EATING ONE OF THEIR OWN at the beginning!
    • The hyenas ate Scar. Eternal Nightmare Fuel.
      • It's even worse if you know how hyenas "hunt". They've been known to eat things alive, and their jaws are rather powerful, so think of all the pain you could suffer before dying. Not to forget the blazing heat in that scene, due to the close fire.
      • I heard that hyenas primarily eat their prey alive, and they consume the ENTIRE body, bones and all. There's a good chance both Scar and Mufasa ended up as hyena crap.
      • Yep. Hyenas aren't designed to ambush and strangle like lions or crush spines like tigers. They chase prey to exhaustion then disembowel it. They eat while the prey still lives because they are often driven away from their kill by lions, leopards, and other hyenas.
      • Scar WAS the bad guy. Scar killed an innocent lion and framed his nephew.
      • Yeah, but being eaten alive is still a rather grisly punishment for him.
    • A minor one. Zazu was imprisoned inside a ribcage. Its length and girth were approximately similar to that of... Mufasa. Scar didn't just kill his brother, he defiled his remains.
      • What's worse is that he probably got the hyenas to prepare his remains...
      • Look at that scene again. At one point, Scar uses a skull for a puppet. A skull with fangs. Consider for a second what male lions do to cubs that aren't their own...
      • Watch the scene again and you'll notice that the skull is smaller than Scar's, so the odds of it being a lion's skull is pretty small. The shape of the skull he uses is actually spot-on for a baboon skull.
  • Simba is told that he has no choice but to marry Nala, since arranged marriages are their tradition. They seem happy, but what if future heirs are arranged into unhappy marriages?
    • Well, Simba apparently ended that tradition by the second film. Even if he hadn't, it wouldn't be that hard to head off problems. As lionesses usually give birth to multiple cubs there would be no reason to betrothed two cubs that weren't even friends, Kiara and Simba being odd, possibly tragic, cases. This coming up would be the least of a cub's problems, as the king is probably as negligent of his kingdom as he is his cub.
      • A lot of people seem to assume that Nala was a "gift" from another pride, so it's not too much of a stretch to assume that Simba could have done the same thing for Kiara. Still begs the question of why he didn't seem to be actually actively looking for someone for Kiara to marry, though...
      • It could be because Simba really did go through with getting rid of arranged marriages, like he said he'd do when he was a cub after finding out he and Nala were betrothed.
  • Since most of the animals talk in the film, the Lions would be eating their own servants.
    • Most of the animals. Disregarding the third installment (which is more of a parody anyway), the rule in this movie seems to be that the more likely an animal is to be a prey, the lesser their sentience. So baboons, warthogs and meerkats are sentient and can talk, but wildebeest decidedly cannot.
      • True...but since the wildebeest's only screen time was them being chased by hyenas and stampeding, their only sensible line would have been..."Oh, Crap!."
      • Actually, there's a deleted line of dialog in the original movie that has Mufasa talking with an antelope in the scene when he speaks to Simba about the circle of life. Mufasa even knows his name. The dialog went something like this: "Catch you later, Fred!" to which the antelope answers "Not if I can help it!". And both the songs I just can't wait to be king and Not one of us have zebras and other prey-like animals singing anyway.
  • Don't lions usually have more than one cub per litter? There is a conspicuous lack of siblings for Simba...
    • Lion cubs have a disturbingly high mortality rate. Its not unreasonable that Simba is the only cub to survive. If he had a twin the other cub probably got sick and died. With Mufasa's poorly placed trust in Scar, the king doesn't seem like he'd think having more than one cub would be a bad thing, especially if the other cub wasn't a male.
  • Nala was originally supposed to have a younger brother named Mheetu. The original stampede scene involved Scar, a random rogue at this time, luring him into the gorge. Simba tries to save him but gets stuck, forcing Mufasa to save them and the inevitable happening. It's never been said what happens to Mheetu afterwards. The portion where Simba leaves and lives with Timon and Pumbaa wasn't written yet as they were his childhood friends at the point but he probably left the Pride Lands. Considering Scar was a rogue and what rogues do to male cubs that aren't their own...
    • Unless Mheetu was Scar's, in which case a rogue male could have come in, killed the cub, then ran off before Scar could react. When Scar finds out about it, he might have plunged as his once-lush kingdom then crumbled and died before him, the food they relied on diminishing and the water the needed depleting, Scar would have been slowly going insane from the suddenness of the kingdom becoming a Crapsack World. He tries to court as many lionesses as he can in a attempt to spread his genes as much as possible, then he begins to slip right into the psychotic Scar of the second half of the film. This not only is Fridge Logic, but it also doubles as a bit of Fridge Horror, considering that Scar was only craving for power, was not intentionally being a brat, and seemed to have no idea of the hard work of being a royal lion... It puts Scar a little closer to Woobie territory, if you think of it.
    • This is going a bit too far into WMG territory to be believable. First of all, in that version, there's nothing stating Scar would be Mheetu's father, which is only Fridge Logic used to explain Nala's parentage in a pride with only two lions. If Scar was a rogue, it's highly unlikely that he would have been Nala's father, let alone Mheetu's. Second, no-one said a rogue lion would show up to kill Mheetu in that scenario. It's far more likely that Scar would just do it himself; he's proven it's in his character to do exactly that already, and besides, it's common in lion culture to kill or drive out lions who reach maturity.
  • Consider the stampede from Zazu's point of view. After noticing the wildebeests being on the move and Scar arriving to reveal Simba is in the gorge, all three of them go racing to save him. He finds Simba on the tree, rejoins the others, and points out his location to Mufasa, who then goes racing to the rescue. He decides more help is needed and is about to go back to the rest of the pride when Scar swats him and knocks him out. But this happened to him from behind so he had no idea what happened—for all he knew, he knocked himself out running into the cliff wall or a tree branch, or something was thrown up by the stampede. Either way he's knocked out...and when he wakes up it will be to the news that Mufasa and Simba are dead, and Scar and the hyenas are now ruling the Pride Lands. So from his perspective, everything has gone horribly wrong—because he didn't make it back in time to fetch any help. Add this to what Scar does to him and he becomes quite The Woobie.
    • Nobody knows the trouble he's seen. Nobody knows his sorrow.
    • With this in mind, one can't help but wonder if Scar decided to pull an encore performance of his "it's all your fault" trick on Zazu like he did on Simba.
  • By the end of the first movie, Timon and Pumbaa are now living with carnivores who regularly eat meat. They may have protection due to their closeness with Simba, but it's still a lifetime of watching other animals being slaughtered and eaten. Added to the fact that there was a famine going on...the two better not venture too far out alone.
  • Why is Scar called "Scar"? We know from later films that his name was "Taka," but as of The Lion King, everyone refers to him as Scar. Yet almost all of the other characters are called to by their proper names. His name is a nickname, a reference to a horrible, disfiguring incident that was no doubt extremely painful, terribly frightening, and possibly dangerous to the health of his eye. The creatures that are supposed to be closest to him and are supposed to love him best—his family, his brother—use the reminder of a horrifying wound as his name, effacing all the identity and dignity a proper name implies.
    • Scar's regular name (which, when translated, isn't much nicer) comes from a storybook sold after the debut of the Lion King back in 1993. In the book Scar gave himself his much more well-known name/nickname as a reminder of what occurred the day he got his scar. After a while, especially if Taka/Scar refused to answer to anything but 'Scar', the pride would have gotten used to calling him that if for no other reason than to not antagonize him.
  • Since Lion King is based on Hamlet, did Scar sleep with Simba's mom? If you thought the possibility of Scar allowing the hyenas to eat his brother's corpse is creepy, what about your uncle having sex with your mother after killing your dad?
    • Entirely possible. It's called a levirate marriage; the brother of a deceased man is obliged to marry his brother's widow. Keeping the power within the clan.
      • Unlikely. That's, to my knowledge, a custom from the Middle East, not Africa. And that's not what that type of marriage was for. The idea behind a levirate marriage was to produce children to take care of the woman in her old age. Also the firstborn son of such a marriage was always considered the son of the deceased brother rather than the biological father so that the father's family name would continue on. Such a marriage also occurred only if the deceased had fathered no children to begin with.
  • Wait. If Mufasa and Scar are the only male lions in the pride, then Nala's dad is probably... Simba's father or Simba's uncle. Oh, Crap!.
    • Averted with an episode of [1] which revealed that Nala's father was neither Mufasa nor Scar, but rather a member of the Lion Guard. Who was killed by Scar.
  • Under Scar's rule, the Pridelands are utterly desolated; the herds have long since left, and there's no water for miles. So how did the lions and hyenas (and possibly Zazu) survive for so long? They likely became cannibalistic.
    • In Real Life animals are cannibalistic anyway, when need be.
  • Hyenas are known to devour their prey alive (as seen with Scar). If they had succeeded in either attempt to kill Simba, this is most likely the fate that would have befallen the helpless cub.
    • Actually, hyenas devour LARGE prey alive, mostly because once it's down, it's a waste of time to actually kill it before they start eating. Small prey generally dies much more quickly and easily.
  • The stampede starts right after Simba's roar that manages to scare the lizard. Considering what happens as a result of the stampede, what if Simba thought he had inadvertently caused it? The poor kid already thinks his father died trying to save him, making it his fault. But if the stampede itself was his fault too? Then it's just like the elephant graveyard where his own action caused his father to have to rescue him, only this time it didn't work out as well.

Fridge Logic

  • Shenzi and Banzai are not brother and sister.
    • No canonical material, anywhere, ever mentions them as brother and sister, although on rare occasions they are mentioned as "friends". Considering how tightly Disney holds a reign on all works with the name "Disney" on it, you'd think somebody would have mentioned it somewhere if they were brother and sister. It's not like being brother and sister is exactly controversial.
    • Listen to the line "Now wasn't it her mom ate your dad" from Shenzi to Banzai in the musical. Considering Disney's incest and adultery free logic, this means Shenzi's parents are not Banzai's parents. This too would have been monitored by Disney. Also, if they were brother and sister, she would have said "ate our dad". And then the line would become far too matter-of-fact and displaced for someone speaking about their own father.
    • Watch their behavior in the movies and the television series. It's highly humanized, just like all animals in the movie. Shenzi and Banzai don't talk to each other like brother and sister, and they don't act like brother and sister. Banzai and Ed, on the other hand, have a much more brotherly relationship, in that they're constantly trying to beat each other up. Banzai calls Shenzi things like "baby" and "girlfriend". Shenzi calls Banzai "honey". No matter how close you are to your siblings, you don't speak that way with them.
    • An educational comic series for The Lion King once had a puzzle in which you had to work out the hyenas ages. Apparently Banzai and Ed are both a year older than Shenzi, and hyenas only breed about every 2 years.
    • Banzai seems to have some status in the clan. To have any sort of status in a clan, male hyenas need to get in really close with high-ranking females. Shenzi is the Matriarch of the clan, for Scar has no reason to bother with her at all otherwise.
    • Female hyenas give birth to 1-3 cubs, but have only 2 nipples, meaning that the third cub usually dies, meaning a third sibling is almost impossible.
    • In real life, male hyenas are kicked out of their clan when they reach sexual maturity to find a new Clan, while females stay behind and often inherit the rank of their parents. At their ages, Banzai and Ed would almost certainly be recent arrivals to the clan, while Shenzi would have been born there.
  • Due to the oddity of their genitals, female hyenas give birth "through" their pseudo-penis. The problem is that most of their cubs get stuck in this narrow tube during labor, and choke to death. Maybe Ed had this kind of birth complication, and has been suffering from permanent brain damage since.
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