YMMV / The Lion King

Movie
  • Accidental Innuendo: Zazu's line in "I Just Can't Wait to be King" song:
    Zazu: I've never seen a king of beasts with quite so little hair.
  • Accidental Nightmare Fuel: Both versions of the crocodiles in the aforementioned song. The original ones are just downright creepy, whereas the new ones are freakishly creepy in the manner of Jay Jay the Jet Plane.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • There are more than a few people who view Scar as an Ambiguously Gay Depraved Homosexual, due to his lack of a mate and somewhat effeminate manner. The Broadway play seems to play this up to extreme levels. Scar goes from scary angry dude to Paul Lynde turned psychopath, which is still scary. This is ironic since a deleted scene (which was re-added for the musical) shows Scar choosing a grown up Nala as his mate and seeming rather disturbingly excited about making "little Scars" with her. So maybe more of a Depraved Bisexual?
    • Scar also has some parallels with Simba. Young Simba has a SONG dedicated to him proclaiming that when he's King he doesn't have to listen to anybody and "can do whatever I want". Later in the film Scar proclaims, "I'm the King! I can do whatever I want."
    • Due to the fact that Scar has a childish view of being king, like Simba, who's a cub, it could be argued that Scar is a Man Child. What doesn't help is that he does act very immature throughout the film. At first, he just acts like a moody teenager, acting rebellious towards Mufasa, Zazu, and Simba. However, as it becomes clear that he only wants to become king for the reason a child would, he acts like a toddler, throwing temper tantrums at anyone who makes him angry in the way a small child would. What doesn't help make him seem any more mature is that he is envious of Mufasa and Simba in a way a small child would be envious of someone, as he wants something just because someone else has it. It also doesn't help his case that he says things like "I'm the king, I can do whatever I want!"
    • Also, was Scar's hatred towards Mufasa caused only by envy or was there a solid Freudian Excuse (like being always The Unfavorite, maybe also mistreated by his brother)?
      • According to the children's books accompanying the movie, Scar's original name was Taka, which translates to 'garbage'. Imagine your parents literally naming you Garbage. It's no wonder he wants to overthrow Mufasa so badly. He's been mistreated and viewed as inferior his whole life. It kind of makes the horrible condition of the Pride Lands when Simba and crew return slightly tragic. His father most likely spent all of his energy teaching Mufasa how to take care of the Pride Lands and never bothered to tell Scar what he was supposed to do.
    • Mufasa. Noble, courageous king and loving father... or pompous Jerkass who threw his weight around to bully his little brother, was letting a bunch of hyenas starve for no reason, and who was raising his son to be as big a douche as he was?
      • Mufasa and his dynasty can easily be seen as pompous, racist tyrants and Scar as a Well-Intentioned Extremist trying to liberate oppressed people from Mufasa's regime. An alternative alternative take is that both Scar and Mufasa are jerks, Mufasa exiling the hyenas to the badlands, and Scar exploiting their desperation for his own gain.
    • Zazu. Mufasa's loyal adviser and careful supervisor of Simba during his childhood... or just the comical sidekick of both?
    • Timon and Pumbaa. Lovable slackers who save Simba's life and help him deal with his trauma, or two feckless wasters who encourage a vulnerable young boy to hide from his problems and responsibilities so he can stick around as their bodyguard?
    • The hyenas. Nazis banished for breaking the laws of the Circle of Life, or the oppressed underdogs just looking for food? Their apparent poverty and Scar's manipulation of it is just another eerie parallel to the Third Reich and the duped German population.
      • The way the hyenas are segregated into a wasteland and not allowed to coexist with the "higher" race (Pridelanders) can eerily be compared to how human minorities were treated during the Jim Crow era. Not only that, but the movie treats this Fantastic Racism in a positive light, which makes it uncomfortable to watch for some. Thankfully, Disney became aware of this later on, which is why a good hyena, Jasiri, was introduced later in the franchise.
      • The documentary Mickey Mouse Monopoly pointed this out.
      • Also, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed - friends, or family? Another alternate interpretation is who the true leader of the Terrible Trio is. Most tend to believe that it's Shenzi due to the fact that female hyenas are usually the pack leaders. However, some theorize that Ed is the true leader given that Shenzi and Banzai usually turn to Ed last for the final say.
    • In regards to the Hamlet parallels, is Nala based on Horatio or Ophelia? Or both?
    • Also one review has interpreted that Rafiki was meant to be a living version of Yorick.
  • Badass Decay: Scar suffers from this big time when he becomes King. Gone is the charismatic manipulative schemer of the story's first half, replaced in the final half with a far less intelligent, spoiled brat of a tyrant instead.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Matthew Broderick as Simba. Some people thought he gave a decent or even great performance as Adult Simba while other people felt he was miscast and thought his voice didn't fit or he was wooden and unconvincing in the role.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The "I Just Can't Wait to be King" scene (which also counts as a Disney Acid Sequence) and the scene where Timon does the hula. Justified in that they were both meant to be distractions. The first one does get a brief callback later during Simba and Nala's reunion.
    • The "When I was a young warthog" bit. It comes out of nowhere and is instantly forgotten once Timon stops Pumbaa from making a Precision F-Strike.
  • Broken Base: The announcement of a Live-Action Adaptation, naturally. While there is certainly more positive reception to the idea after the success and warm reception to The Jungle Book, there is naturally a camp that wishes they would leave the film alone.
  • Complete Monster: Scar is defined by his envy and hatred of his elder brother Mufasa. Hating that he isn't king, Scar hatches a scheme to remove Mufasa from the equation as well as the heir to the throne, Mufasa's young son Simba, When Scar's first attempt to murder Simba and his best friend Nala fails, Scar has his Hyena cohorts cause a stampede and personally throws Mufasa in to be trampled when he tries to escape it. He then convinces Simba the whole thing was his fault, convincing him to go into self imposed exile before ordering the hyenas to murder Simba anyways. Scar's incompetence as king leads to a famine, and when Simba returns, he sees Scar refuse to allow anyone to leave to go anywhere else, uncaring that this will condemn everyone to death. He proceeds to backhand Mufasa's widow Sarabi when she compares him unfavorably to her husband, and when he confronts Simba, Scar tries to break him by bringing up Mufasa's death. He only pauses in his attempt at a public execution to mock Simba that Scar was Mufasa's true murderer. Later, in a desperate attempt to save his own skin, he tries to blame everything on his loyal hyena henchmen, attempting to kill Simba even after the latter agrees to spare his life.
  • Creepy Awesome: Scar, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed.
  • Designated Monkey: Zazu seems to be this, merely for following directions.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The song "Hakuna Matata", rather like "The Bare Necessities" in The Jungle Book, does a very good job of making a slacker life with no responsibilities seem like a fun and wonderful thing to adopt. Granted, that is kind of its point in-story (to offer Simba something so attractive it would make him get over his suicidal depression and forget the things that traumatized him), but the upshot is that the song's message and popularity make it pretty easy to forget that what it's endorsing is actually a bad thing (at least, if taken to the extremes Timon advises and Simba nearly loses himself in).
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Scar. Especially with the Awesome Music that is "Be Prepared". Cue endless fanfics with him as the hero.
    • Shenzi and her pack. It sure doesn't hurt to have Whoopi Goldberg's talents.
  • Ear Worm: "I Just Can't Wait to be King", "Hakuna Matata" and "Be Prepared". The chanting at the beginning of the movie may count.
    • "Aaaaare you achin'?" "Yup yup yup." "Foooor some bacon? "Yup yup yup."
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed are among the most popular villain sidekicks within the Disney Animated Canon, which probably stems from their hilarious chemistry and the fact they end up the ones who axe off Scar. And Shenzi is very popular among Furries.
    • Sarafina; Nala's mother, could also count. She only has one line of dialogue yet there are fan comics and fanfictions about her and who her mate is and how she gave birth to Nala and/or Mheetu.
  • Epileptic Trees: Some fans are speculating that, much like LeFou in the 2017 remake of Beauty and the Beast, Timon and Pumbaa's Ho Yay will be averted and the characters will be an outright gay couple in the upcoming live-action remake.
  • Evil is Cool:
    • Scar, so very much. His voice is cool, his design is cool, his Villain Song is cool, he's one of the few Disney villains to commit murder on-screen and actually succeed in his plans, and he's also an awesome fighter. He's a fan-favorite among the Disney villains, and one of the few who can give Maleficent a run for her money in terms of popularity.
    • But he's nothing compared to Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed.
  • Fanon: Has its own page.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • With the "Circle of Life" monologue, Mufasa taught many of us the concept of homeostasis.
    • Not as much as the above (it's second grade science), but Mufasa's technically right about bodies becoming the grass when they die (albeit indirectly, through Decomposition).
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Like Simba, Matthew Broderick was also involved in a killing. The difference, however, is that Matthew actually (by accident) killed two people in a car crash in Ireland when he was driving on the wrong side of the road.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    Pumbaa: Timon?
    Timon: Yeah?
    Pumbaa: Ever wonder what those sparkly dots are up there?
    Timon: Pumbaa, I don't wonder, I know.
    Pumbaa: Oh. What are they?
    Timon: They're fireflies. Fireflies that got stuck up in that big bluish black thing.
    • This was probably intentional, considering the number of Shout Outs in that film.
    • Early in the film, Zazu jokingly says that Scar will "make a handsome throw rug". Three years later in Hercules, Scar makes a cameo...as a throw rug.
    • During "Be Prepared", Banzai briefly wears a horned skull that resembles the Dovahkiin's characteristic helmet.
    • "What do you want me to do, dress in drag and do the hula??" In Nathan Lane's next movie, he does one of those things.
    • "Gee, he looks blue..." "I'd say brownish-gold..."
    • Timon and Pumbaa performing Ben E. King's "Stand by Me". Fast forward to 2016 and we have Final Fantasy XV, whose story also revolves around a prince journeying to reclaim his throne (among other similarities). The game's theme song? A cover of "Stand by Me".
    • There was originally going to be a naked mole rat in the movie, but it was replaced with a gopher because they were afraid of it turning out too disgusting. Later, Disney would give us Kim Possible, where one of the main characters was a naked mole rat... That wasn't disgusting at all.
    • One of Timon and Pumbaa's traits that defines their friendship besides "Hakuna Matata" is their insatiable appetite for bugs and doing anything to get them. Another pair of Heterosexual Life-Partners from Super Noobs would feature alien warriors with similar sounding names who have a very similar appetite except its for candy rather than bugs.
    • Shenzi was originally written for Tommy Chong in an attempt to reunite him with Cheech Marin, but turned it down because the two were not on speaking terms at the time. Chong eventually wound up in the second installment to the Disney Animated Canon to outgross this film.
    • Disney's Jungle Book remake drew some attention due to casting many actors who had also appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe note . Jon Favreau appears to be continuing this tradition in The Lion King remake, by casting Donald Glover, who appears in Spider-Man: Homecomingnote , as Simba.
  • Ho Yay: Timon and Pumbaa become huge Ho Yay targets during the film and the future appearances they would make afterwards. First off, they are mostly seen together. They also live together and travel together wherever they go. They also decide to raise a child together with that child being the lion cub Simba. This also may not count due to it not making it through the final cut of the film, but a deleted scene was supposed to have Pumbaa snuggling up next to Timon with Timon feeling a bit uncomfortable about it. For what it's worth, their actors consider them a gay couple.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Do not mention Kimba the White Lion to any Lion King fans (and vice versa) due to the ongoing "debate" (i.e., Flame War) as to whether or not Lion King ripped off Kimba.
    • It's not a good idea to mention you don't like Scar.
      • Speaking of Scar, it's generally not a good idea to ask whether or not his real name is "Taka" (like the tie-in books say) or if his name really is just "Scar".
    • Nala. Especially on the subject of who her father is.
    • Kovu, for that matter. Is he Scar's son like the original plan was? Is he some random lion Scar adopted as his heir? Or was he just a cub Zira took in and brainwashed into thinking he was Scar's son for her own personal gain? Or is he Zira'a biological son with a lion that wasn't Scar? Is Kovu biologically related to Vitani and Nuka or not? No two fans will fully agree on the answer. Word of God has written out Kovu being Zira's son, and while that will certainly be debatable to the fans, it certainly makes option 3 the most likely if you take into account Kovu's age along with Zira's age.
    • Timon & Pumbaa. Not just the characters, but the show itself. Funny comic relief characters or annoying jerks who nearly caused Simba to lose all sense of responsibility? A fun Saturday Morning Cartoon with its own charm or a poorly-made series created to cash in on a superior film?
    • The film itself. Especially if you mention that it's overhyped.
    • The sequels certainly fall under this. It's generally not a good idea to ask whether or not the sequels are any good. You might get a pass for liking Simba's Pride, but there will definitely be some backlash for mentioning The Lion King 1 1/2 at all.
    • Kopa. Simba's son from the tie-in stories. Is he canon to the films or not? Fans will never fully agree.
      • The books themselves. Some say they're canon to the films. Others claim that they are not connected in any way except with the names of the characters.
  • Iron Woobie: Zazu, Timon, Pumbaa, and the Hyenas.
  • It Was His Sled: Mufasa dies.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: After murdering Mufasa, Scar sends the hyenas after Simba. The hyenas refuse to ventures into the thornbushes as Simba escapes through them, so they decide to let him go, assuming he'll die in the desert, and kill him if he returns to the Pridelands.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Scar all the way...except when it comes to being a king.
  • Memetic Mutation: Almost every line of the movie. A few examples:
  • Misblamed:
    • To a degree, Scar. His poor skills as a ruler didn't destroy the trees or dry up the water, and it's pretty apparent the region was suffering from a drought. However, he also did a terrible job managing what limited resources were to be had and forced the pride to remain in the area instead of following the herds to less drought-stricken areas, effectively making a bad situation much worse.
    • Timon and Pumbaa. Their "Hakuna Matata" lifestyle has its merits and isn't hurting anyone. "Put your past behind you and don't worry about anything" might be shaky advice if you're a young prince whose kingdom is currently being run by a tyrant, but Timon and Pumbaa raised Simba without ever knowing this about him. Indeed, if Simba had been anyone else, he would have been perfectly justified in riding out the rest of his days in that jungle grove, utterly free from responsibility.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Scar when he kills Mufasa. He provides the image for the Animated Films page. Arguably, he truly crosses it when he tells Simba his father's death is because of him, further traumatizing a kid who has just lost his father.
  • Narm:
    • This Scar moment during the Be Prepared musical number where it looks like Scar is posing for some porno magazine.
    • When Mufasa is saving Simba from the stampede and a wildebeest bumps into them, knocking Simba out of Mufasa's mouth. The sound effect is just hilarious.
  • Narm Charm: Some viewers thought the images of Mufasa in the sky were just ridiculously cheesy and goofy, especially in the sequel; others got a bit choked up, considering what a Tear Jerker both his death in the first film and his benediction to Simba when he took the throne were. In fact, the producers had thought about removing them for those reasons, before deciding to leave it in.
    • Really, the movie is generally overblown most of the time, but it makes it what it is, in a way.
  • Nausea Fuel: Pumbaa farts. Enough said.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • There are two lion brothers. One's the king, and his envious, childish brother, resentful of him, manages to get him out of the throne, so he can claim it himself. After he does, things go downhill, making everyone hate him. Sound familiar?
    • The part about a lion prince trying to do a proper roar (and failing to even scare vermin) is similar to a 1990 short called "Lion in a Roar".
    • "Simba"'s name just means "lion". It is probably not going to be used much anymore, but prior to the film's release it wasn't uncommon to see lions in fiction with this name. For example, the 80s cartoon Jem had one episode featuring a lion named "Simba" .
  • Popular with Furries: The franchise is one of Disney's biggest fandoms and has a huge following amongst furries. It's gotten to the point where it's often assumed that every lion OC is a Lion King fan-character.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Rewatch Bonus: When Zazu informs Simba and Nala of their engagement, "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" is playing in the background.
  • Signature Song: "Hakuna Matata" is currently the most famous song from the movie, but "Circle of Life" and "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" are well remembered as well. All three were nominated for the 1994 Academy Award for Best Original Song. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" won it.
  • Superlative Dubbing:
    • Timon and Pumbaa seem to have less of a Base-Breaking Character status in certain other countries (some examples being the French, Norwegian and Polish dub) as people have noted their voices to be "less annoying" than the English.
    • The German dub is superbly cast (Thomas Fritsch as Scar, Joachim Kaps as Rafiki, Eberhard Prüter as Zazu and Ilja Richter as Timon are notable standouts), and the songs are very well translated.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Cub Simba and Nala can come across as this to some.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: There is much controversy (READ: Flame War) over whether this film is a ripoff of Kimba the White Lion or not. There are several differences, although there are many similarities. Here are the key differences in the narrative:
    • The Lion King lacks any human presence. In Kimba, humans were often present as enemies like Hamegg, or simply as unwittingly doing harm.
    • In Kimba, Claw is a rogue lion who wants to be king with two hyena minions, but is continually beaten down by Kimba after he attempts to take over the jungle when Hamegg kills Caesar. In The Lion King, Scar is Mufasa's treacherous brother with three named hyena minions and hundreds more nameless ones, so he hatches a plan to become king by organizing the death of Mufasa and Simba. He succeeds at killing Mufasa and scaring Simba away, and is a far more effective villain than Claw was. In addition, the hyenas in The Lion King were originally planned as African Wild Dogs - they were presumably changed either because African wild dogs aren't as well known as hyenas, or simply because hyenas look more "evil".
    • Claw is a lot closer to Scar in the manga, managing to become the de facto leader of the jungle in Kimba's absence and dying after his and Kimba's first battle instead of hanging around to suffer Villain Decay. He does not however have his hyenas in the manga. Scar also shares many characteristics with Hamegg, being smug, flamboyant, having Nazi associations (in the manga Hamegg is eventually revealed to have been a SS officer) and being the person who killed Kimba's father and sent him into exile. In the manga he is also speared by Kimba when he is defeated by him just to be killed by Claw instead, like Simba spares Scar before he is killed by the hyenas. Hamegg however has Hidden Depths and a sympathetic side that Scar do not share.
    • In The Lion King, the circle of life is used to get around Carnivore Confusion. In Kimba, Kimba decrees that the animals should only eat insects and plants and live in peace with each other; however, this causes quite a few problems, and Kimba has to learn the hard way that Caesar was right about the animals.
    • The Lion King is about Simba accepting his responsibility as king in the archetypal Hero's Journey; Kimba deals with the title character learning how to use his responsibility wisely after he's become a young king. Another key difference is that Simba is kind of a prick when he's a little kid, and Kimba is The Wise Prince. In fact, Simba much more closely resembles Kimba's Bratty Half-Pint son Rune, who goes trough similar character development, than he does Kimba himself. Likewise Mufasa is closer to adult Kimba than he is to Caesar who is much more of an Well-Intentioned Extremist (which, amusingly, somewhat becomes Simba's forte in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride).
    • In Kimba, both of Kimba's parents are dead and he more immediately becomes king. In The Lion King, only his father is killed, and he blames himself for it, running away from his responsibility. His mother, Sarabi, lives to see his coronation.
    • Oh, and despite being Dueling Shows, both are quite good on their own merits. It's best to think of the situation as being more like how The Magnificent Seven borrowed from The Seven Samurai, even though The Magnificent Seven was more of a direct lift of The Seven Samurai than The Lion King was of Kimba.
    • The most famous iteration of Kimba in the West, the anime made in the 1960s with help from NBC, also contains a lot more, ah... fantastical elements, such as giant radioactive grasshoppers and unfrozen mammoths, and is far more comedic in tone than The Lion King, while still being Darker and Edgier than its Western contemporaries. The Lion King focuses more on heavier themes like guilt, the loss of a father/king, and accepting responsibility - it actually started a trend for Disney films to be Darker and Edgier, in that its follow-ups, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan and Tarzan often dealt with much heavier themes such as racism and war to variable success. However, The Lion King is STILL Lighter and Softer than the Kimba manga and later remakes of the series, which often edged into Bittersweet or even Downer Endings.
    • For what it's worth, the film may have originally been planned as a Kimba remake - however, because the rights to Kimba are entangled with multiple companies, including NBC (as with many anime that have been dubbed - that's why Jump Ultimate Stars can't make it to US shores, due to the dubbing rights being split among Viz, FUNimation and 4Kids, among others), it simply wasn't possible to get the rights. Regardless, production was far enough along that it was likely too late to change things aside from the names and Simba's fur color - in addition, the film's development had a lot of cut characters who didn't correspond to Kimba's cast. As a matter of fact, there are still two characters in The Lion King who bear no resemblance to anyone in Kimba - Timon and Pumbaa.
    • Timon and Pumbaa could be seen as highly mutated versions of Kenichi and his uncle who (at-least in the manga) takes care of Kimba until he returns to the jungle and also have something of a Fat and Skinny character dynamic. Only Kenichi sticks around however and his personality is completely different from Timon's.
    • Irony: The smoking gun in favor of it being originally planned as a remake and having to be retooled? Osamu Tezuka himself wanted to see Disney remake Kimba.
    • Matthew Broderick claimed once that when he signed on to do the film, he was point blank told that this was supposed to be an adaptation of Kimba.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Some fans feel Shenzi, Banzai and Ed could have been given more depth and portrayed in a more sympathetic light. The fact that they barely appear in the sequels and (from the sounds of it) won't appear in The Lion Guard doesn't help.
    • Sarabi is also relatively underutilized despite being The High Queen of Pride Rock. Her character is basically just a voiceless cameo in the sequels, but to be fair regarding the latter, that was primarily because her original voice-actress had died in real-life by that point.
    • Nala after the first movie due to getting Demoted to Extra.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Simba's middle years growing up in the Jungle with Timon and Pumbaa is entirely glossed over.
  • Too Cool to Live: Mufasa.
  • Tough Act to Follow: This movie was the tough act the rest of the Disney Renaissance had to follow. This most notably affected Pocahontas, which is the only Disney Renaissance film to be graded Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes, and Hercules, which got strong reviews but a relatively paltry take at the box office (and earned a lot of hatred in Greece).
  • Ugly Cute: Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. Shenzi is actually quite popular among furries.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Lots of viewers have mistaken Shenzi for a guy, which is rather hilarious when you consider how real female hyenas are near-identical to the males for very strange reasons.
  • Villain Decay: Scar suffers this, badly. He starts out as a Magnificent Bastard that manipulates everybody and actually achieves his goal by usurping the throne. And after that he degrades into a whiny oaf, a terrible leader, and a Man Child, as he acts like an overgrown toddler.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: Good luck to you trying to find anybody who knows the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" existed for over 30 years before this movie came out.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Several German critics did not take kindly to the film's references to Triumph of the Will. Some simply thought Nazi references were in bad taste for a kid's movie, while others actually accused Disney of endorsing fascist aesthetics. This review from Die Zeit offers one of the more extreme reactions.
  • Win the Crowd:
    • If there was any doubt on how this film would do, the teaser using the "Circle of Life" sequence and the rapturous audience reaction to it settled them all.
    • Disney briefly flirted with the idea of Re-Releasing Beauty and the Beast in 2010 as a 3D movie, but scrapped it. 2011, Lion King ended up getting the re-release to theaters and made well over $150 million. Disney is now planning to do the same type of re-releases with The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, and Monster's Inc.
    • James Earl Jones will reprise his role of Mufasa for the live-action reimagining. Of all the actors fans would like to see back, Jones was one of the chief players because he's so damn iconic, and his casting has been warmly received.
  • The Woobie:
    • Simba's father was murdered by his uncle, who made him think it was his fault.
    • Mufasa was betrayed and murdered by his own brother, whom he trusted implicitly.
    • Nala's best friend ran away from home after his father died and she grew up under Scar's despotic rule.
    • Sarabi. Her husband was murdered and he was forced to serve the guy who did it.
    • Zazu, in much the same way as Sarabi. His best friend was murdered and he was forced to serve the guy who did it.
    • The Hyenas are more of the Jerk Ass Woobie variety. As much as they worked for Scar it was more out of desperation for food and being too stupid to realize that Scar was only using them.
  • Woolseyism:
    • In the Spanish release of the film. In the scene where Banzai is kicked in the ribcage by Shenzi before he mentions Mufasa again. In the original English dub he says "¿Qué pasa?", a Spanish line that means "What's up?". In the Spanish dub the line was dubbed as "¿Con mostaza?" which means "With mustard?". This was likely done because of phonetic similarities, but since this comes right after Scar jokes about the hyenas eating Zazu, it fits the scene perfectly. Likewise in the German dub he says "Mit Wasser?"note  which sounds pretty similar to "Qué pasa". In the Polish version, Banzai says "Kiełbasa" note , which is pronounced "Kieubasa" and sound phonetically similar to the original.
    • In the original English version, when Rafiki first starts bothering Simba, Simba simply calls him a "creepy little monkey." In the German dub, his line is Was soll denn das Affentheater? Idiomatically this translates as "What's with the crazy antics?", but Affentheater, which means "farce" or "craziness," translates as "monkey theater." In essence, not only is he saying Rafiki's crazy, but it's a clever pun on his species. (A similar English pun could've been, "Will you quit with the monkey business?")
    • In the Mexican Spanish dub, during the final duel between Simba and Scar, Simba's voice became more deeper and creepier, compared how his voice sounds in the original English version, when he speaks loudier than usual, and how he normally sounds before that battle in that dub, probably to emphatize he's going to kill Scar for good this time.
      • In the Japanese dub of the same scene, Simba uses kisama on Scar for the same effect, while his voice tone goes between the English version (louder) and the Mexican one (deeper). Oddly enough, Scar doesn't use kisama on Simba, despise being the main villain and the one who wants to see Simba dead more than anyone.
    • Also, in the Japanese dub, Scar speaks with a thick French accent in his voice, not to mention he uses sometimes adieu rather than sayonara, possibly to simulate Scar's British accent.

Video Games
  • Goddamned Boss: Scar gets very annoying. His attacks are not hard to dodge, but getting the right moment to drop him in the highes point of the Pride Rock can be tedious. If he is not panting and you try to drop him, you lose. Likely, you will have to drop him unsuccessfuly many times.
  • Ear Worm: Both of the console games do a decent job recreating the movie's soundtrack in chip tune.
  • Executive Meddling: At Disney's insistence, the second level was made harder in order to encourage sales of the game rather than rentals. The thinking was that if a game was too easy and took little time to beat, people would only rent the game rather than buy it. The second level was originally going to be a Breather Level.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Averted with the console games; while they are tough, they're still solid games. Played straight with the NES and Game Boy ports of the games, which feel like lesser derivatives of the Genesis/Super Nintendo games; the former wasn't even finished!
  • Porting Disaster:
    • As above, the Europe-exclusive NES port was a port of the Game Boy version. Despite limited colour, it had sluggish and delayed controls. Physics and jumping precision were also non existent in this version. To make things worse, the box cover says ten levels. The game itself only has six, meaning the Adult Simba levels were either glitchy or they didn't bother to program it in. It's quite telling that when pirate companies made their own NES version, while it was still an Obvious Beta, it was still far superior to the official NES release.
    • Also, the Disney Animated Storybook version of The Lion King on Windows had an engine that made use of an API that was untested with certain graphics drivers, which made it crash in certain P Cs. This directly lead to the creation of DirectX, as well as the Doom 95 port to promote it.
  • That One Level: The console game features a waterfall in the 'Hakuna Matata' level that is a real pain in the butt to climb. There's also the very annoying puzzles with the monkeys in level 2 and the tricky ostrich rides between them (a mistake in the ostriches section can be fatal).
    • While many think the Adult Simba levels are somewhat easier than the cub levels, everyone agrees that "Be Prepared" is an exercise in frustration. The level is full of Goddamned Bats…including hyenas, cheetahs and literal bats. On top of that, there are lava geysers shooting from the floor, lava dripping from the ceiling and at one point, a river of lava that you have to traverse on a tiny floating rock. Good luck not getting knocked off. Oh, and not to forget that it's the only level in the game that is obviously not based on any scene from the finished movie. (Hakuna Matata is also based on a scene that ended up cut, but without Word of God you'd never realize.)

Stage Musical
  • Complete Monster: Scar commits the same crimes that his movie counterpart did and goes beyond that. During the musical, Scar became more and more paranoid as time went by and he also felt that he was being tormented by his older brother even in death. Unwilling to admit that he was terrible at governing the Pride Lands, he instead condemns all his subjects to death so that he wouldn't have to accept that maybe he wasn't as good at being a king that he thought he would be. He also attempted to force himself onto Nala (a scene cut from the film), which becomes even more disturbing in hindsight considering that he tried to have her killed along with his nephew when they were children. The musical version of Scar is nothing more than an egotistical, treacherous, and murderous feline.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Endless Night becomes even more heartbreaking after you learn that the actor who originated Adult!Simba on Broadway committed suicide due to a poor relationship with his father.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "The Madness of King Scar", in light of the plot of the animated sequel that was released a year after the musical premiered.
    "Without a queen, what am I? A dead end, no line, no descendants, no future. With a queen, I'll have... cubs!"
  • Hype Backlash: 15+ years on, this show still regularly sells out in New York City, on tour, and in foreign sit-down productions (it's the only Disney show to truly become a blockbuster in London's West End). But with regards to the hardcore musical theatre fan community... it has a lot of haters on the Broadway.com message boards who think it's only worthwhile for the beautifully-staged "Circle of Life" number — which is, of course, the first scene — and nothing else. They chalk up its continued popularity to its Long-Runners status giving the illusion of quality, package tour groups, families who won't expand their horizons to "real", non-corporate theatre, and foreign tourists who easily understand it. Because its popular, critical, and awards success (in particular beating Ragtime for Best Musical at the 1998 Tony Awards, even though that show won the Book and Score awards) only encouraged more and more Screen To Stage Adaptations, particularly of animated/family-friendly features as opposed to more sophisticated, adult fare, it's one of a handful of shows accused of turning musical theatre as a medium into a shell of its former self (other shows with similarly bitter reputations include the Andrew Lloyd Webber canon, Mamma Mia! and Wicked, and to a lesser extent The Producers). Oddly, the stage version of Beauty and the Beast proceeded this show by four years and received a much chillier critical reception at the time, but musical theatre fans are rather more forgiving of its long-running success even though it's arguably just as guilty of Lion King's perceived sins.
  • Newer Than They Think: The addition of "The Morning Report" to the movie's 2003 Platinum Edition DVD and VHS seemed to some viewers like a case of Disney restoring a Cut Song originally intended for the film, a la Beauty and the Beast hitting IMAX theaters and home video the previous year with "Human Again" inserted. However, the insert and sheet music for the Original Broadway Cast recording list a 1997 copyright date for "Morning Report", indicating that Sirs Elton John and Tim Rice wrote it especially for the play (the Beauty and the Beast Broadway soundtrack and sheet music list a 1991 copyright date for "Human Again", as opposed to the 1994 premiere of the play).
  • Older Than They Think: The bulk of the new songs, with some changed lyrics, originate from the album Rhythm of the Pride Lands, which was released in 1995.

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