Trivia / The Lion King

  • Absentee Actor: While her children will appear in The Lion Guard, at present, it appears Zira will not (just imagine the sheer Mood Whiplash she would cause in the Lighter and Softer show!)
  • Actor Allusion:
  • AFI's 100 Years… 100 Songs:
    • #99, "Hakuna Matata"
  • AFI's 10 Top 10:
    • #4, Animation
  • All-Star Cast: The film that started the trend of hiring a slew of name actors for an animated film rather than less well known voiceover specialists. Though it is not the first to do so, it is the most successful movie in the Disney animated canon for a reason and this was a big part of it.
  • And You Thought It Would Fail/Magnum Opus Dissonance: Most of the top animators picked working on Pocahontas instead of The Lion King, as they thought that would become Disney's next critical darling/box office hit (Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was one of the main brains behind The Lion King, was the biggest victim of this because this trope combo happened to him THREE times (with Oliver & Company and The Little Mermaid earlier, and The Prince of Egypt and Shrek at DreamWorks later.)
  • Cut Song: There are quite a few. A song for Mufasa to sing called "To Be King", a song for Sarabi titled "The Lion In The Moon", a reprise of "Be Prepared" and "Warthog Rhapsody", which was the original Hakuna Matata and was reworked for the midquel. Additionally, a "work in progress" trailer that was attached to the beginning of Disney's The Fox and the Hound Walt Disney Classics video had a snippet of a different version of "Can You Feel The Love Tonight". Keep Circulating the Tapes Indeed.
  • End of an Era: In a number of ways.
    • It was the last Disney feature to be produced by the power duo of Jeff Katzenberg and Michael Eisner, who's power struggle for control of the company led to their seething hatred of one another and had finally gotten out of control when their mediator Frank Wells died in a helicopter crash. Katzenberg, who had felt as though his contributions to the films he produced were being taken for granted, left Disney following his lobbying for CEO to found DreamWorks Animation.
    • This was one of the last, if not the last, hugely successful hand-drawn animated films. The following year saw the release of the first fully computer-animated feature, Toy Story, which blew the Disney Animated Canon's own Pocahontas out of the water. The fact that it began Disney's string of notoriously formulaic "be yourself" mega-musicals, which paled compared to flashy new CGI films, ended up souring the medium's reputation at the Turn of the Millennium, eventually leading to all Hollywood studios abandoning hand-drawn animation outright by the middle of the decade.
  • Executive Meddling: A positive and amusing example: Mufasa's infamous death scene was originally several seconds shorter than it appeared in the final film. At one pencil test review, Jeffrey Katzenberg turned to the animators, pointed to his dry eye and announced "I'm not cryin'!" The result was a longer scene that touched every single emotional nerve in an effort to become as sad as possible.
  • Fan Nickname: Common within the fandom. For example there's an Outsider dubbed "Dotty" by many due to the small dots under her eyes.
  • In Memoriam: The film is dedicated to Walt Disney Company president Frank Wells, who died in a helicopter crash three months before the film was released.
  • Manual Misprint: One of the lyric sheets for the soundtrack gets "Be Prepared" wrong.
    You won't get a sniff out of me!
  • Non-Singing Voice: Simba and Nala have separate actors for their speaking and singing voices, both young and adult. Jeremy Irons sings some of Scar's lyrics, but partway through, the harsher lyrics were replaced by that of Jim Cummings, since Irons blew his voice out doing the "YOU WON'T GET A SNIFF WITHOUT ME!" line in "Be Prepared", resulting in Cummings subbing for him.
  • The Other Darrin: When Jeremy Irons blew out his vocal chords after several takes of "Be Prepared," Jim Cummings stepped in to record the last verse. Only trained ears can hear the difference.
  • Playing Against Type: In the Mexican Spanish dub, Banzai is voiced by Jesus Barrero, who, at the time when the movie was released, his most famous role was Pegasus Seiya!
  • Referenced by...: See ReferencedBy.The Lion King.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: A Lion King coloring book from 1996 got plagiarized and produced as a Kung Fu Panda predecessor in 2011 in an attempt to defraud Katzenberg's other studio and Panda copyright holder DreamWorks Animation; when they found the original book, it sunk that attempt and got the person behind it charged with fraud. In addition, Disney could possibly sue the man for plagiarizing one of their works directly, which they've always frowned on (it's likely DWA will sue him to retrieve the money they spent on legal bills.)
  • Throw It In: Nathan Lane supposedly ad-libbed some of his dialogue, including the "hula" line.
  • Trope Namer:
  • Troubled Production:
    • A director fell out due to conflicts with the creative team. The script needed much fine-tuning. And an earthquake hit California during the final months of production, forcing the animators to work at home.
    • Cheech Marin said once that he doesn't remember exactly when he recorded his dialogue for Banzai, but he said it had to have been still The '80s. He also said that by the time the movie finally came out, he had forgotten he was even in it!
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Shenzi was originally supposed to be voiced by Tommy Chong, and would have reunited Chong with his former comedy partner, Cheech Marin. However, the two were not on speaking terms at the time, and the character was changed into a female due to hyenas being matriarchal, with Whoopi Goldberg performing the voice. Cheech and Chong have since reunited and Chong made his way into another Disney production.
    • In 1990, Nala had a younger brother named Mheetu, there was a fox character named Bhati, there was supposed to be a second meekrat character early in the film named Tesma, and Simba's early cub designs looked different.
    • Scar was unrelated to Mufasa at first, but the writers decided his takeover would have more impact if he was family instead of a rogue.
    • Some characters' names were changed at different stages of production. Pumbaa was originally named "Harold" and Nala was "Nadra". Nala's father was supposed to be a character.
    • Mufasa's stint as Rafiki's Spirit Advisor was originally planned to be much more obvious, with the former Lion King's ghost actively speaking to the shaman. Wisely realizing this might come across as unintentionally hilarious, or at least a breaking of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief, the directors decided to instead have all interactions between Rafiki and Mufasa symbolized by the blowing of the wind. This fact is later emphasized when the wind blows around Simba, just before he listens to Kiara and accepts the Outlanders back, and explains why he looks so happy and on the verge of tears at the end, even before he hears Mufasa say "Well done, my son."
    • Timon and Pumbaa were nearly voiced by Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson. This was suggested by Tim Rice, who wrote Hakuna Matata after watching Bottom. The characters would have also been a lot more jerkish towards each other (basically Richie and Eddie as a meerkat and a warthog). However, Katzenberg thought this characterization was too unlikeable.
    • The film was originally Darker and Edgier. It was to be themed around a war between two prides of lions. Scar (a rogue at the time) was the leader of the "Mbala" pride, with Mufasa leading the "Ndona" pride. There was also a group of hyenas, led by Banagi (who later became Shenzi), who would have served as secondary antagonists. Kwashi was a baboon similar to Rafiki, though not as wacky. Noticeably it was much more violent and incest filled than the final product (a similar concept to this, albeit Lighter and Softer, was in the first Direct-to-Video movie).
    • Disney has an official app about the movies development.
  • The Wiki Rule: Here is the wikia for the franchise.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Timon and Pumbaa's VAs consider them to be a gay couple. (helps that one is openly homosexual)
  • Working Title: Before it was released, the film was originally called "King of the Jungle." This was scrapped when someone pointed out that, well, lions don't live in the jungle.

Other Trivia:
  • One interesting fun fact; The Lion King is one of only three animated films note  to win Best Picture note  at the Golden Globes. And this was the before the creation of the Animation Category.
  • The Lion King is the first animated Disney film without any human (or rather, humanLIKE) characters.
  • Almost every character in this film has a Hamlet counterpart. The (debatable) list is as follows:
    • Simba is Prince Hamlet.
    • Mufasa is King Hamlet.
    • Scar is Claudius.
    • Timon and Pumbaa are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
    • Zazu is Polonius.
    • Nala is Horatio (and a less hysterical Ophelia).
    • Sarabi is (a less involved) Queen Gertrude.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/TheLionKing