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Characters / The Lion King (2019)

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Characters featured in Disney's 2019 photorealistic remake of The Lion King.

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Pride Lands Lions


As a cub 
As an infant 
"My father once told me, 'Protect everything the light touches.' If I don't fight for it, who will?"
Voiced by: JD McCrary as a cub, Donald Glover as an adult.

The protagonist of the story, Crown Prince of the Pride Lands.

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Donald Glover has stated that this take on the character and story deals more with Simba's "transition from boy to man and how hard that can be when there's a deep trauma" than in the original film. Indeed, Simba is shown to have developed a non-existent self-image and self-loathing after his father’s death.
  • Adaptational Badass: Simba actually has a better showing in the final fight during the climax of the film compared to the original; holding his own better against the pack of hyenas and latter he rather decisively beats Scar in their duel rather than using his momentum against him to lunge him off the cliff.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: His mane was red in the original movie, but it's blond here.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Something original to the remake, but even in his new home with Timon and Pumbaa it's shown that not all the other Herbivore's are fully comfortable being around Simba, even after he's proven that he's willing to adjust his diet.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: What his journey was always supposed to build up to: becoming the new king of the Pride Lands after Mufasa's death. After Scar's defeat, the final scene of the movie has him climbing up the Pride Rock to the amazement of his subjects and roaring at the sky to cement his crowning.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He bit Scar in rage over learning his involvement in Mufasa's death, and defeated him above Pride Rock.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: As a cub, he is a rebellious and headstrong lion who dreams of being powerful and revered as king. When Nala tries to get him to escape the hyenas' lair, he refuses, saying he laughs in the face of danger. It takes Mufasa to bail him out of trouble and teach him some discipline.
  • Break the Cutie: Simba was a cheerful and lively cub until Scar murdered his father and made him believe he was responsible for his death. As an adult, despite living under the carefree Hakuna Matata philosophy, it's made clear he still carries much guilt over the incident.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Once again, this is a lion who lives not only with a meerkat and a warthog but now a whole community of prey animals. Though they fear him for being their natural predator, Simba manages to live on a diet of insects.
  • Cheerful Child: As a child, Simba was endearing with how ecstatic and curious he was. Though he had a rebellious and reckless streak, he was overall a well-meaning and innocent cub, which makes Mufasa's death even harsher on him given how broken and ridden with guilt he would become.
  • Childhood Friend: With Nala. Though they bickered with each other as cubs, their bond was always strong and it only grew even further than this upon reuniting as adults, where they fell in love and ultimately married.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Simba is this to Kiswahili speakers, "simba" being the word for "lion" in that language. (Although for everyone not in the know, it's just another foreign name.)
  • The Exile: After Mufasa's death and Scar's manipulation, Simba exiles himself from the Pride Lands. Though Scar did that to have him killed, he survived, only returning to the kingdom after years, if not decades.
  • Fearless Fool: With his curiosity instigated by Scar, Simba rushes bravely into the hyenas' lair, confident that he will take them on even though Nala points out how stupid it is, only to prove himself fearless. If it wasn't for Mufasa, he would have been killed.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: With his mane now blond, his heroic nature is made more symbolic. Despite his flaws as a child he grows up to be mature and noble lion.
  • Happily Adopted: Upon running away from the Pride Lands, he gets taken in by Timon and Pumbaa, who raise him to live by their words of Hakuna Matata. Simba lives happily with them and treat them as his family.
  • The Hero: He's the main character of the movie. His character arc from cub to grown lion, running away and returning home follow the classic example of The Hero's Journey.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: This time, he is feared by the other animals living in Timon and Pumbaa's community due to Simba being their natural predator, even though he means no harm. Upon returning to the Pride Lands, Scar is still able to convince his subjects that Simba was responsible for Mufasa's death.
  • Heroic Second Wind: As in the original, Scar guilt-trips him over Mufasa's death and nearly backs him off Pride Rock. But just as he's about to throw him off, Scar confesses that he was the one who killed Mufasa. In this version, rather than pounce on and strangle him, Simba outright bites Scar in the face and pulls himself up while furiously calling him out.
    Simba: My father! Your own brother! How could you?!
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Justified since he was a naive cub, but Simba had no idea of Scar's true intentions and trusted him as a wise uncle. It was this innocence that allowed Scar to feign benevolence to scheme against him.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: "I am Simba, son of Mufasa."
  • Ironic Echo: Upon returning and trying to wrestle away Scar's authority over the throne, Simba issues him the same punishment he gave him as a child, complete with same words: that he should "run, and never return".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mostly as a cub, where he is rebellious and entitled as a child, believing being king is all about lording your power over others and getting his way all the time. As an adult, he outgrows this mentality.
  • King of Beasts: Is the rightful heir to the throne of Pride Rock. Also, Mufasa invokes this trope when he teaches him about the duties and responsibilities of being king so he can succeed him.
  • Large and in Charge: As an adult, Simba has grown to be much bulkier and more imposing, though not as much as his father was and becomes the king at the end of the movie.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Though Simba and Nala are weirded out at the idea of being betrothed and married when they are cubs, they later grow much closer and fall in love as adults, and are Happily Married at the end of the movie.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: As an infant, he looks adorable.
  • Rightful King Returns: With Nala's encouragement, Rafiki's wisdom and Mufasa's guidance, Simba returns to the Pride Lands to confront Scar and reclaim his throne. The final scene of the movie is him succeeding and becoming the new king.
  • Royal Brat: His song "I Just Can't Wait to be King" shows him as a cub with an attitude who thinks being king is all about being obeyed and revered by everyone. Luckily Mufasa is there to give him some wisdom on how to become a good king.
  • Sore Loser: As a cub, he gets angry whenever he loses his playful scuffles with Nala, which is every time. However, when they do it again as adults and she still wins, he is a far better sport about it.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: As an adult, he becomes the spitting image of his dead father Mufasa. So much that Scar mistakes him for his murdered brother at first upon his return to the Pride Lands. Also, Mufasa is stated to have been as rebellious and difficult as a child as Simba was.
  • Took a Level in Badass: As a cub, he was bratty without any might to back it up, always losing his tussles with Nala and failing to scare the hyenas with his kitten's meow. As an adult, he is able to give a much better challenge to Nala and then take on hyenas and Scar in battle and now roars like a real lion.
  • Tranquil Fury: His state of mind upon returning to the Pride Lands to confront Scar. He keeps a cold tone of voice even though he is burning with hatred against his uncle for what he's done. Becomes a full blown Unstoppable Rage when he learns he killed Mufasa.
  • Tuft of Head Fur: This version of Simba sports a distinctive tuft in the middle of his mane, reminiscent of the character's cub design from the original film.
  • Warrior Prince: Even as a cub, he displayed his bravery by standing up to the hyenas and attempting to protect Nala. Simba would later grow into a more capable fighter who threw down with Nala to protect Timon and Pumba and later took on Scar in a fight and defeated him.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He idolizes his father and is very let down upon having disappointed him by going into the hyenas' den and being scolded by Mufasa after being saved from his reckless stunt. Upon being tricked into believing he caused his father's death and living in exile, Simba refuses to come back to his kingdom out of his guilt and self-loathing until Mufasa appears to him as a spirit and tells him how proud he is of him and how he must take his place the true king of the Pride Lands.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Though he doesn't fight her for real, Simba is not afraid to pounce on his friend Nala and wrestle her. Too bad she's stronger than him and always get the upper hand. It becomes a bit more serious when she attacks Timon and Pumbaa, but he stops after recognizing her.
  • You Killed My Father: Simba's motivation to return to the Pride Lands and confront Scar was to fulfill his destiny of becoming king and his outrage at his uncle is due to him having ruined his kingdom. However, Simba is driven into a massive rage when Scar reveals he killed Mufasa and is more determined than ever to make him pay for his crimes.

As a cub 
"Simba, you have to take your place as king. We need you; come home."
Voiced by: Shahadi Wright Joseph as a cub, Beyoncé as an adult.

Simba's childhood friend and future love interest.

  • Adaptation Expansion: We see her escape the Pride Lands for help after the time skip here, knowing they will go to ruin under Scar if she doesn't.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: In the original film, she's just as reckless and curious as Simba when they were cubs. In the remake, Nala is portrayed to be the more cautious and level-minded of the two, wanting to leave the Elephant Graveyard the moment they found it.
  • Childhood Friend: With Simba.
  • Designated Girl Fight: In the climax she is specifically pitted against Shenzi, the matriarch of the hyena clan, as a pay-off to how Shenzi has spent Nala’s entire life taunting her over nearly eating her as a cub.
  • The High Queen: She officially become this at the end of the movie after marrying Simba. Though her plucky personality in defying Scar for the good of her kingdom already shows she had traces of the trope before her actual promotion.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: She was bethrothed to Simba since her childhood and, despite both being squicked at the idea at first, eventually become a Happily Married couple at the end of the movie.
  • Plucky Girl: This side of her personality is given greater emphasis in this version: she is willing to sneak off the Pride Lands at night to seek Simba, even stating that she wouldn't just lie down and let Scar rule unopposed. At the clímax, she even singles out Shenzi to fight, without any fear.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Though she was cautious at first of the graveyard and ran from the hyenas, she becomes more powerful as an adult, standing her ground against Scar and sneaking off the Pride Lands to seek Simba and later taking on Shenzi in a fight, stating she wasn't a cub anymore.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: She did not hesitate to rush to Simba's defense during the final battle at Pride Rock.

"Everything the light touches is our kingdom. But a king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day, the sun will set on my time here, and will rise with you as the new king."
Voiced by: James Earl Jones

Simba's father and King of the Pride Lands.

  • 100% Adoration Rating: Downplayed here. Though still beloved and mourned by everyone except his murderers, Mufasa wasn't vindicated in the hyenas' eyes like in the original. Thanks to Scar giving them the royal treatment (as opposed to taking a hands-off approach), the hyenas never express belief that life was better under Mufasa.
  • The Ace: Mufasa is heavily respected by both his pride and the animals of the Pride Lands except for Scar. Mufasa also manages to defeat several hyenas while saving Simba and Nala.
  • Adaptational Badass: He took on not three, but several hyenas to save Simba. Even Scar admitted outright that he tried and failed to physically challenge him.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: His mane was red in the original movie, but it's blond with darkish edges here.
  • Adult Fear: As he tells Simba after scolding him, Mufasa is not the fearless father and hero his son sees him as. He has his fears as well- namely, losing his son.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He's the king of the Pride Lands and the strongest lion around in his time. In this version, he took on dozens of hyenas to save Simba and is implied to have fought Scar for the throne in the past, and won. Notably, his brother had to rely on treachery and a stampede to kill him.
  • Basso Profundo: James Earl Jones once again lends his naturally deep, booming voice to the role.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Similar to his animated counterpart, Mufasa is an almost benevolent ruler to a fault, but if you decide to mess with anyone he loves...well, you'll realize why he's in charge.
  • Big Good: He's the king of the Pride Lands. Even in death, he remains an important part of Simba's life and appears as a spirit to give him guidance.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: He is the largest and strongest lion of the movie, who defeated several hyenas as well as Scar in the past and, when Simba brings up the hyenas' fear of him, boasts that nobody messes with him.
  • Cain and Abel: This is his relationship with his brother. Though he is the older sibling here, Mufasa is the one who gets murdered by an envious brother.
  • Fatal Flaw: Family. His love for his family is exploited by his brother Scar, who often tricks Simba into dangerous situations that forces Mufasa to rescue him at the risk of his own life. And even though Mufasa knows of Scar's envy and rage thanks to a brutal fight between the two over the throne, he refuses to banish him because he is still family no matter what. This eventually leads to his own death.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Though a stoic and wise king, Zazu states that Mufasa was once a headstrong and rebellious cub just like Simba.
  • Gentle Giant: Mufasa is the largest and most imposing lion in the film but is more notable for his just and wise rule of the Pride Lands than his ferocious strength, which is only reserved for situations of grave danger to him and his loved ones, such as his son. Other than that, he is a friendly and easygoing fellow.
  • The Good King: The Pride Lands thrive under his reign, and he provides Simba with valuable advice on how to rule the land properly.
  • Good Parents: He and Sarabi loved their cub very much. He admitted (in spirit form) that the thing that he was the most proud of as king, was having Simba as his son.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: A closer look at Mufasa's face reveals that he's gotten a few scars on his nose, which is realistic for a male lion who gets in fights.
  • Happily Married: He and Sarabi are a loving couple. So much that Sarabi refuses Scar's attempts to make her his queen out of grief over her mate's death.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Despite having clashed with Scar in the past, Mufasa still considers him family and trusts him. He never expected his brother to betray him and take his throne, even when he barely hides his envy and discontent. By the time Mufasa realizes who Scar truly is, it's too late for him.
  • King of Beasts: He is the ruler of the Pride Lands. Within the movie, he is considered the lion king, as his rule sets the standard Simba tries to live up to and Scar fails to reach.
  • Nice Guy: Mufasa is a noble lion and even when being stern towards his brother and son, does so within reason and never with any malicious and abusive intention. He is respectful towards even his prey animals, understanding their importance in the Circle of Life and teaches his son to be a fair and benevolent ruler.
  • Not So Above It All: Though Mufasa is a dutiful and responsible king who teaches his son to be like this, he is not above using his authority to make Zazu serve as target practice for Simba and laugh at his expense. Also, he boasts that nobody messes with him when Simba brings up how the hyenas were afraid of him.
  • Not So Different: Zazu points out to Mufasa, before his scolding of Simba, that he too was once a headstrong, impulsive cub.
  • Not So Stoic: Though normally more reserved, Mufasa was extremely worried when he learned his son was in danger at the stampede, as well as when he begged for Scar to save his life. He also was quick to confront his brother about his threatening remarks at the beginning of the movie.
  • Papa Wolf: It cost him his life during the wildebeest stampede, but earlier in the film, Shenzi's pack learned the hard way it was a bad idea to attack his son.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Mufasa is a good king because he is aware of the duties and responsabilities of being a ruler. And he is a mighty fighter on his own that defeats dozens of hyenas to save Simba and Nala and later risk his life to rescue his son from a stampede.
  • Sacrificial Lion: A literal example once again, as his death serves to show that The Lion King is not your typical Disney fairy tale, but a more adventurous movie where stakes are much higher than usual and death is a threat and possibility for anyone.
  • Spirit Advisor: Even in death, he appears in the clouds as a spirit to guide his son in crucial moments of his life. Telling Simba to take his place in the Circle of Life motivates him to return to the Pride Lands and confront Scar.
  • Thicker Than Water: The reason why he never banished Scar from the Pride Lands despite his brother being Obviously Evil. He lampshades it when confiding to Zazu about his brother: he may be difficult and troublesome but he is still family.
  • Vocal Evolution: Twenty-five years in real life have passed since James Earl Jones first voiced the animated character. As a result, Mufasa’s voice sounds noticeably weaker and older due to Jones’ aging. Jon Favreau opined that the change in Jones’ voice helps illustrate the feeling that Mufasa has been a successful king for a very long time.

Voiced by: Alfre Woodard

Simba's mother and Queen of the Pride Lands.

  • Adaptational Badass: When she insults Scar and he attacks her, she holds her own instead of going down in one hit.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Just like her animated counterpart and unlike her Hamlet counterpart, Gertrude, she doesn't marry her brother-in-law after her husband's death. It's more prominent here because the film adds the subplot of Scar trying to make Sarabi his mate.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Delivers one to Scar in the climax after hearing an inconsistency in his story of Mufasa's death, sparking his Villainous Breakdown.
    Sarabi: Scar, you said you didn't get to the gorge in time...
    Scar: That's true.
  • Ascended Extra: Sarabi’s role in the film is greatly expanded and has more lines in contrast to her animated counterpart. She most notably has a subplot in which she is wanted by Scar to be his Queen.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: She’s the largest, most powerful lioness in the pride befitting her status as queen. She is mentioned to already be leading the charge fending off a hyena intrusion early in the film. When she rejects Scar for the last time and he attacks her, she shows no visible difficulty in fighting back and later joins the final battle in earnest.
  • Berserk Button: She gracefully held her head high throughout Scar’s reign, even weathering starvation and his sexual harassment, for many years. However, when Scar snarls that he’s ten times the king Mufasa was, Sarabi venomously snaps back that he is nothing compared to Mufasa, and vigorously fights back when he attacks her.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Presumably in order to differentiate her from the other lionesses, she has spots on her forelimbs.
  • The High Queen: She rules alongside Mufasa as Queen of the Pride Lands. Following his death, the lionesses choose to respect her authority over Scar's.
  • Mama Bear: She challenged Scar's inconsistent story regarding the stampede, not only out of rage for the death of her mate, but in defense of her son.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: A Downplayed case. When Nala justifiably suggests deposing Scar since his rule is about to destroy the Pride Lands, Sarabi insists that they must respect the fact that, with Mufasa and Simba gone, Scar is by all appearances the rightful king. Nonetheless, she says they have to wait for the right opportunity to do something; and her patience runs out right before Simba returns as she openly engages Scar in a fight.

"Life's not fair, is it, my little friend? While some are born to feast, others spend their lives in the dark, begging for scraps."
Voiced by: Chiwetel Ejiofor

Simba's paternal uncle and the main villain of the story.

  • 0% Approval Rating: This time, he only reaches zero at the end, after he blamed the hyenas for Mufasa's death. As the ruler of the Pride Lands, the hyenas were more supportive and loyal to him than in the original, where they raised complaints about his rule to him.
  • Adaptational Badass: He's much more of a fighter here in this remake.
    • Unlike his original counterpart, Scar did physically challenge Mufasa for the throne and it's heavily implied that his iconic scar is the result of their last conflict.
    • Though still a terrible ruler, he is not as lazy as before, personally hunting alongside the hyenas. A new moment in the story has him almost foiling Nala's attempt to sneak out of the Pride Lands to find Simba. Though the hyenas still devour him, he goes down with a fight in this version.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Relatively minor, but still counts. While he's not an idiot by any means, he's not as good of a liar as he was in the original movie, as shown by the contradictions in his story about Mufasa's death.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In some ways. In the original he knocked out Sarabi with a single blow and almost won the fight with Simba. In this, Sarabi holds her own against him for a short while before Simba intervenes and although he puts up a good fight with Simba, Simba eventually throws him off the cliff. Though to be fair, it's not a case of Scar being made less badass so much as it is the other characters taking a level in badass.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In this movie, he's paler in color compared to the 1994 movie, where he was a tawny brown with a black mane. In some shots and promotional images, however, Scar is shown to have grown a fuller, blacker mane during his reign over the Pride Lands.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Zigzagged.
    • His sarcasm focus more on malicious remarks this time and he gets a new scene trying to make Sarabi his queen- and punishing all the lionesses when she refuses.
    • Though he still blames the hyenas for Mufasa's death and gets killed by them, he treated them better beforehand this time: he doesn't claim to be Surrounded by Idiots and personally leads them in hunts. The hyenas don't complain about his rule this time, implying he was a better king to them in this version.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Chiwetel Ejiofor has described his version of Scar as more "psychologically possessed" and "brutalized" than his 1994 incarnation, with the added implication that the relationship between he and his brother Mufasa is already "completely destroyed" by the time Scar even comes around to the idea of regicide/fratricide.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • His alliance with the hyenas. Here they start off not trusting him at first. However, once they join him they become more supportive of him than in the original, never shown complaining about his rule.
    • After his coup, Zazu became his prisoner and personal jester of sorts in the 1994 movie. Here, Scar instead banishes him from the Pride Lands- and hunts him alongside the hyenas when he comes back.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When Simba returns to the Pride Lands, Scar does everything in his power to preserve his life, and his last moments in the film have him begging the hyenas not to attack him, to no avail.
  • Ambition Is Evil: A highly ambitious lion that stops at nothing to win the throne to himself and later keep it. In his pursuit of power, he is fully willing to deceive and kill. His version of "Be Prepared" keeps the line about how "his teeth and ambitions are bared".
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: A new addition to this version is how he wants Sarabi to be his queen. He says that she chose Mufasa over him long ago, and expects her to simply be his queen now that her husband is gone. For obvious reasons, she refuses. In a fun twist, this gives him more similarities to Claudius, his Hamlet counterpart.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: A darker variation. Scar is very disregarding of the royal family's traditions, which requires Mufasa to step in and scold him for his attitude, even more so when Scar not-so-subtly threatens him. Mufasa even confides to Zazu about how difficult his brother is much like an older sibling having to deal with a troublesome younger one. However, Scar turns out to be far more than just annoying.
  • Authority in Name Only: Zigzagged. He has Shenzi’s large, vicious hyena clan to loyally enforce his will, which is enough to keep the Pride Lands under his thumb, but he does not have the loyalty of the lionesses. Instead, they and Zazu report to Sarabi as their ruler and do not respect Scar. Sarabi only puts up with him because as the last living member of Mufasa’s family bloodline, he has a legitimate claim to the throne, but even then she has as little respect for him as the rest of the pride.
  • Ax-Crazy: Aside from his tyrannical rule and sociopathic nature, Scar is just plainly insane and vicious, which is better shown when he kills Mufasa. Though he manages to mask this behavior through most of the movie, he shows his true colors in the climax.
  • Backstab Backfire: Twofold. When cornered by Simba, he pretends to accept his punishment and flee the Pride Lands only to lower his guard and stun him and fight his nephew to death. That fails and he's surrounded by the hyenas, who overheard him pinning the blame for Mufasa's death on them and eat Scar alive for his treachery.
  • Berserk Button: Though he doesn't make a law against saying Mufasa's name here, he still gets angry when he gets compared to his brother, and claims to be "ten times" the king he was.
  • Big Bad: Like in the original movie, he's the movie's main bad guy.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mostly to Simba, who sees him as a Cool Uncle and has no idea of his true intentions. Zazu, however, advocates for his banishment and Mufasa apparently has clashed with him in the past.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: He sends the hyenas to kill Simba without making sure they succeeded. And then he reveals himself to Simba as Mufasa's true muderer, destroying the guilt he felt for long and giving him renewed willpower to fight back and expose his lies.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: He brings up this contrast between him and Mufasa once again, and relies on manipulation and deceit to advance his goals. He does put up a good fight against Simba in the climax, though. That being said, Scar clearly is ignorant about ruling a kingdom.
  • Breaking Speech: When Simba returns to reclaim his throne, Scar uses his guilt over Mufasa's death to make him doubt himself and to smear him in front of the other lions. It would have worked had he not revealed to be the murderer of Mufasa.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Downplayed in this remake. He is a dangerously deceitful and masterful planner but an incompetent king. However, instead of leaving the lionesses and the hyenas to sort out the hunting tasks, he personally leads the latter in bringing food home.
  • Cain and Abel: He is at odds with his brother Mufasa, and has him killed so he could take his throne. Scar's initial dialogue with Mufasa also implies they have fought in the past as well.
  • The Caligula: As is with his animated counterpart. Upon taking the throne, he proves to be a terrible ruler that turns the Pride Lands into a barren wasteland, and chasing away prey animals, putting his subjects at the risk of starvation.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Downplayed in this remake, given Simba never calls him weird and he never agrees with such statement. However, in his song "Be Prepared", he still describes his plan as "the coup of the century" and "the murkiest scam", making it clear he knows what he's doing is evil.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Scar is absolutely convinced of his greatness as a king and reacts with rage at any criticism. When Sarabi brings up Mufasa's rule when compared to Scar's, he claims to be a much better king and attacks her in a rage.
  • The Chessmaster: Scar manipulates every other character and situation to his benefit. He could get Simba and Nala killed by the hyenas, then has his nephew trapped in a stampede while he kills Mufasa and pins the blame on Simba, while sending the hyenas to kill him. Even when Simba returns, he uses his guilt over Mufasa's death to break him, and almost succeeds.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Scar is loyal to no one but himself. He betrays his own family, killing his brother and trying to do the same to his nephew, and later sells out the hyenas to save his own life.
  • Classic Villain: Representing Pride and Envy.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Though he claims to be weaker physically, he gives quite a fight against Simba in the climax, even though he chooses to throw some burning embers in his eyes to stun him first.
  • Consummate Liar: He successfully convinces the Pride Lands that Simba murdered his own father and ran away, as well as that he is sad for having lost his brother. It takes years for his lies to be exposed.
  • Cool Uncle: He acts as one to Simba in his childhood, always instigating his curiosity. Too bad he was too naive to see what his uncle really was.
  • Cornered Rattlesnake: When his schemes lie in shambles and his crimes are exposed, Scar is left powerless and desperate, and has no resort but fight Simba with everything he's got to win. When he fails to convince the hyenas to join him again, he goes down with a fight.
  • The Coup: His main plan in the movie is to kill his brother Mufasa, his nephew Simba and take Pride Lands to himself. Lampshaded in "Be Prepared", where he calls it the "coup of the century".
  • Dark Is Evil: Despite his paler fur now, it is still darker than that of all the other lions, and he is the only evil one amongst them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His dry wit remains, though he loses some of his more harmless sarcastic remarks (such as the "monkey's uncle") in favor of straight-up malice and dismissiveness. When Simba is chasing a beetle without success, Scar gives him some advice on hunting, to which Simba replies that he can already hunt, prompting this gem: "Let's pray we're never attacked by a beetle."
    Scar: Go away, Simba. I don't babysit.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: Scar makes it very clear that he seeks to become the king solely because of power and he no intention of actually being a fair and just ruler. As his fight with Simba at the climax shows, he is firmly convinced that Pride Lands belong to him and it is his "destiny" to rule it.
  • Devoured by the Horde: Eaten alive by the hyenas after they overhear him attempting to pin Mufasa's death on them. Unlike his animated counterpart, though, Scar more visibly tries to fight back before the hyenas swarm him.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Despite his grand promises of plenty of food for the hyenas and the claim of a "clear" and "wide-ranging" vision, Scar has little to no idea of what it actually means to be king. He is pragmatic enough to treat the hyenas better than the lionesses to ensure their support but never gives any thought to the threat of starvation by overhunting and how it could affect him.
  • Dirty Coward: Scar only acts high and mighty when he has the upper hand. As king he is cruel and oppressive towards his subjects but acts scared when Simba corners him- only to lower his guard and attack him. Though he blames the hyenas to save his life, he tries to reason with them again when they corner him.
  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted. Though Simba throws him off a ravine, seemingly to his death, Scar actually survives it, only to instead meet his actual demise by being devoured by the hyenas.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When Sarabi refuses to be his queen, he punishes all the lionesses by having them eat after the hyenas - which means they'll often get no food for themselves.
  • Driven by Envy: What drives Scar through the movie is his envy of his brother for being the king and his nephew for being the next in line. This time, he also resents Mufasa for having Sarabi as his mate.
  • Ear Notch: His right ear is torn.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted. Scar is selfish and only thinks about himself and nobody else but, in contrast to his animated counterpart, seems to be actually a lion of his word. In the original film he told the hyenas they will never starve under his reign but it is implied he never lived to his word as Shenzi and Banazi moan there is no food and Scar wearily offers them Zazu as food instead. In this film he keeps to his side of the bargain after telling the hyenas they will get plenty of food once he is king and even goes as far to help them hunt. He even goes as far to punish Sarabi when she refuses to be his mate by having the hyenas have first dips of the food first while the pride starve. However, he still blames them for Mufasa's death once they have no more use to him. Scar was just being pragmatic.
  • Evil Brit: As per tradition, he is the only lion to have a British accent, despite being directly related to the rest of the main cast.
  • Evil Counterpart: Both Simba and Scar are princes at the beginning of the story and display the same careless attitude about being king, believing it to be all about the power and the privilege and not the duties. However, Simba eventually outgrows such beliefs and is ready and willing to be the just ruler Mufasa taught him to be. Scar, on the other hand, never learned the responsabilities of being king and rules thinking it's all about him and he can do whatever he wants.
  • Evil Genius: Scar is the most evil character in the story and also the most intelligent, playing several characters right into his schemes.
  • Evil Gloating: As in the original, when Simba, still blaming himself for his father's death, is dangling from the edge of Pride Rock, Scar indulges in this, gloating about how he saw the look in Mufasa's eyes in a similar situation and admitting to Simba that he was the one who killed Mufasa. This time, it backfires in more ways than one; not only does this rightfully enrage Simba and get him to pull off a Heroic Second Wind, but Sarabi overhears him and notices an inconsistency in Scar's story, since he had previously said he hadn't made it to the gorge in time.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Scar is the main villain and is prone to dramatic delivery and shouting than the main heroes, specially at the climax during his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Evil Plan: His ultimate objective in the movie is to become the king of the Pride Lands, and he must have both Mufasa and Simba killed for that to happen.
  • Evil Prince: Envious of both his brother and nephew due to the former's success as king and the latter taking his place in the line of succession.
  • Evil Uncle: He's Simba's uncle and the main antagonist.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Once again, Scar gets a deep voice to mark him as a menacing villain, this time of Chiwetel Ejiofor.
  • Evil Will Fail: Even before Simba returned to his kingdom, Scar's own incompetence as a ruler already destroyed the Pride Lands and turned everyone but the hyenas against him.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Like in the original, Scar gets devoured by a pack of hyenas. However, this time a portion of it happens onscreen rather than entirely done in the Shadow Discretion Shot.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He still feigns affability and politeness in his interactions with others, though less convincingly this time, as Mufasa and Zazu seem aware of his true nature.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: Downplayed this time. Though he makes grand promises of banquets for the hyenas in exchange for help in assassinating Mufasa and Simba, he actually makes good on them- but solely for the hyenas. They are rather loyal to him this time, getting to eat while the Pride Lands are ruined.
  • Foil: More than in the animated original, Scar contrasts with Mufasa in roughly every way.
    • Mufasa is bulky, Scar is lean;
    • Mufasa has brighter fur and mane while Scar's are darker;
    • Mufasa loves his family regardless of disagreements while Scar is willing to kill them for his sake;
    • Mufasa believes in being a protecting the kingdom for everyone while Scar believes in the strong dominating the weak and have himself on top;
    • Mufasa is loyal to his loved ones and tries to help his son even in death, while Scar cares for no one other than himself and is willing to betray his minions to save his own hide.
  • Genius Bruiser: Scar is a genius first and foremost, achieving victory through meticulous planning. The bruiser part comes out on the climax, where he takes on Simba in a fight.
  • Genre Blindness: Despite being more effective and succesful than most Disney villains, Scar still makes mistakes such as trusting the hyenas to kill Simba even after they failed for the first time. Though he acts a slightly more competent ruler towards his minions this time, he still gloats to Simba about Mufasa's death and have his own schemes ruined.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The most noticeable scar on his face is the one over his left eye.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Scar is unhealthily jealous of Mufasa, who enjoys the privileges that come with being king. This time he lacks the literal green eyes his 1994 counterpart has, though.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His fearsome hyena minions that kept everyone in fear during his despotic rule as king end up being the ones that kill him. Shenzi even returns him the line he used to manipulate them into joining his scheme: "A hyena's belly is never full".
  • Hypocrite: He begs Simba to spare him upon his return, playing the family card and claiming not to have need for violence. This is the same guy who murdered his own brother and tried to do the same to his nephew- and tries to do it again. Another example happens in the middle of the movie, when he chides Sarabi to stop being selfish when she rejects his advances; however, she retorts that he's the one being selfish, satisfying himself while everyone around him suffers.
  • I Thought You Were Dead: His reaction to Simba's return to the Pride Lands is this twofold: Scar initially believes he's Mufasa but is also just as surprised to realize it's Simba, since he thought the hyenas killed him.
  • If Only You Knew: As in the original film Scar pins the blame of his evil deeds on the hyenas and calls them "revolting scavengers" in an attempt to escape Simba’s wrath. Unfortunately for him Shenzi, Kamari & Azizi overhear him and are rightfully furious that he was using them for his own personal gain and get their revenge by killing and presumably devouring him.
  • It's All About Me: His tenure as king consists basically of benefitting himself at all costs, which leads the Pride Lands to ruins. As his fight with Simba shows, he is firmly convinced that the kingdom is his and no one else's.
  • Jerkass: And that's putting it mildly. When not being manipulative, backstabbing and self-centered, Scar is just plain nasty overall: He tries to eat Zazu for chasing away a mouse Scar was trying to eat, dismisses his own nephew as a "little hairball" and treats him with disdain on his first hunt. After becoming king, he's even worse, punishing Sarabi's lionesses when she won't be his queen and attacking her in rage when she brings up Mufasa.
  • Just Between You and Me: When he has Simba dangling from a cliff, he reveals to him that he murdered Mufasa, which leads to his lies being exposed.
  • The Kingslayer: Scar murdered the then current monarch of the Pride Lands- his own brother Mufasa- to take his place.
  • Kinslaying Is a Special Kind of Evil: What is widely agreed to be his most heinous moment in the story is his killing of his brother Mufasa. Not only that, he attempted to kill his own nephew twice when he was still a cub. There is a sharp contrast between the importance of family to Simba and Mufasa and Scar's disregard towards his own kin.
  • Kneel Before Zod: When he's about to push Simba off Pride Rock, he booms "bow to your KING!"
  • Knight of Cerebus: Given that his more comedic lines and moments are absent and he gets new villainous acts, Scar becomes an even more outstanding example of this trope than before, doing away with any humor and levity whenever he is onscreen.
  • Lack of Empathy: Scar is completely uncaring and indifferent to others' grief after Mufasa's death. Worthy of notice in this version is when he bluntly tells Sarabi to get over her mate's death — and punishes her when she won't be his queen.
  • Large Ham: Chiwetel Ejiofor nails down this aspect of Scar: being bombastic and intense. His rendition of "Be Prepared" starts out more subdued than the original, but becomes more dramatic in the end.
  • Lean and Mean: Although bulkier than his emaciated animated counterpart, compared to Mufasa, Scar is noticeably skinner. And he is also the main villain of the story.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He appeals to Simba's curious and rebellious nature to get him and Nala killed in the hyenas' den and uses the promise of food to get the hyenas on his side to overthrow Mufasa.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: His entire orchestration of the wildebeest stampede. Under the excuse of helping Simba train his roar, he has the young cub believe he caused the situation that required Mufasa to go and save him and die in the process, not knowing that he was murdered personally by Scar. He has the hyenas kill Simba away from the Pride Lands to avoid suspicion and makes the whole event look like an unfortunate tragedy where father and son died.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: His killing of Mufasa gains an additional layer of meaning when Scar tries to make Sarabi his queen in this version: he killed his brother so he could have his mate as well.
  • Narcissist: An inflated sense of self-worth, an adamant belief that he is a better king than Mufasa despite the obvious evidence to the contrary, extreme selfishness and a despotical rule that only exists to benefit himself at the expense of others... So much that this line from his original song remains: "Meticulous planning, tenacity spanning decades of denial is simply why I'll be king undisputed, respected, saluted and seen for the wonder I am."
  • Near-Villain Victory: He actually achieved his goal of ruling the Pride Lands and held on to the throne for years. He also managed to almost kill Simba after making him doubt and blame himself again for Mufasa's death.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Not making sure the hyenas killed Simba means his nephew can one day return to challenge him. Also, revealing to Simba that he murdered Mufasa rid him of his guilt and led to the lionesses knowing the truth about him.
  • Never My Fault: Obviously. Scar once again tries to blame his evil deeds on the hyenas. He also refuses to accept the Pride Lands are suffering under his reign.
  • No Ontological Inertia: All the devastation throughout the Pride Lands that happened under Scar's rule is fully undone shortly after he's defeated.
  • No Song for the Wicked: Downplayed. While it was feared that "Be Prepared" would be omitted due to poorly-chosen wording about the songs, it ultimately did put in an appearance, albeit in a modified, more low-key form that is more screamed than sung.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Subverted. Though he prefers manipulation and scheming because he cannot take on Mufasa physically, he proves to be quite a competent if dirty fighter against Simba when he's run out of options. He's much more active in this version than in the original, even leading the hyenas and the lionesses on the hunt.
  • Not Good with Rejection: In this version, Scar lusts after Sarabi and tries to make her his queen after Mufasa's death so he will have total control of her pride. When she refuses, he punishes all the lionesses by giving the hyenas the right to eat first, which means the lionesses will get little to no food at all.
  • Not So Similar: He starts the movie believing himself and the mouse he captured to be both victims of an unfair life where they were born to beg for "scraps", as he puts it, even though he becomes a murderous tyrant later. He also tries to pull this on Simba, who rightfully rebukes him by saying he is not like Scar.
  • Obviously Evil: Despite his more realistic design, his darker fur and scar over his eye still make him look more menacing than the other lions, and he just happens to be the only evil one of their kind. Even the hyenas don't trust him at first.
  • Odd Name Out: Among the royal family and its associates, he is the only one without an African name (assuming his backstory of being named Taka was removed). He also becomes an example of this trope within the hyenas, since Banzai and Ed were renamed Kamari and Azizi.
  • Oh, Crap!: His extended reaction from Simba's return up to their fight: a state of fear and desperation, in which he tries everything in his power to turn the situation to his side. He later falls into it again when the hyenas are about to eat him for Scar having blamed them for Mufasa's death.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In this version, Scar becomes more competent in assuring the hyenas the food they want- even having them eat before the lionesses- to better ensure their support. He no longer hoards all the food to himself and alienates the hyenas, so that they can serve as his muscle against the lionesses.
  • Pride: One of Scar's main characterization aspects returns here: being a prideful and arrogant lion who shows a lot of narcissism in his song and believes himself to be a greater king than Mufasa, despite his ruination of the Pride Lands.
    Zazu: You will answer to the king!
    Scar: I answer to no one.
  • Princeling Rivalry: He believes that he should be next in line to be king and is at odds with his nephew - the rightful heir to the throne.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: As king, he displays the exact belief Simba had about being king as a cub: believing that he could do whatever he wanted without any care for others. Simba eventually was shaped into a much wiser and humbler lion who is concerned about his subjects while Scar became a self-centered tyrant who explicitly maintains that the kingdom is solely his.
  • Putting on the Reich: Less obviously than in the original film but he's still a social darwinist who stands above the hyenas and gives a New Era Speech whilst they chant beneath him. The way they are filmed as they look up at him is vaguely Goebbelsian as well.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a nasty one to Simba at the film's climax, mercilessy preying on his self-loathing and guilt over Mufasa's death. He almost succeeds, only to reveal his crimes himself and get exposed as the true murderer.
  • Red Right Hand: The scar over his left eye, and his right ear is torn as well.
  • Relative Button: The moment Scar's plans begin to fail is when he mocks Simba before he is about to kill him with the look in Mufasa's eyes before he fell to his death. It gives Simba a renewed willpower to fight back against his uncle and have his lies exposed for the entire kingdom to hear.
  • The Resenter: Once again, he resents Mufasa for being king and Simba for being next in line for the throne. However, he gets a new motive to resent his brother: Sarabi having chosen him as her mate instead of Scar.
  • Reverse Psychology: This is how he gets Simba to go to the elephant graveyard: he implores his nephew not to go to to that dangerous place and the only the bravest of lions go there, fully knowing that Simba's ego and curiosity will lead him to that place.
  • Romancing the Widow: An unsympathetic version of the trope. He wastes no time trying to make Sarabi his queen when she is likely still grieving Mufasa's death, and bluntly tells her to get over it. When she refuses, he punishes her and her pride of lioneses.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: As tyrannical as he is, Scar takes it upon himself in this version to personally hunt alongside the hyenas, making him more active as a ruler than before. At the climax, he actually fights when he has no other options left.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: New to this version is a scene in which Scar almost foils Nala's attempt to sneak out of the Pride Lands at night. He would have found her hiding spot if it wasn't for Zazu appearing to distract him and the hyenas.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Scar wanted to become king solely because of the power he would get. As a ruler, he is a tyrant who has no respect for the duties a king is supposed to have and instead believes he can always get his way and do whatever he wants.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Simba had actually little to no influence on Scar's defeat. Most of it was due to Scar getting exposed by consequence of revealing his own crime and being overheard by the hyenas when he blamed them for Mufasa's death. His defeat was his own fault in the end.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: More than before, Scar is the complete opposite of his brother, being everything he's not. These differences are a huge factor in his motivation to take over the Pride Lands, as Scar believes in the right of the strong to take everything for themselves and, above all, ruling only for his own sake and benefit.
  • Sic 'em: When Simba runs away from the Pride Lands, Scar commands the hyenas to pursue and kill him. When exposed at the climax, he shouts at the pack of hyenas to kill everyone: Simba, Nala and all of their supporters.
  • Shadow Archetype: Scar's time as a tyrant of the Pride Lands serves as a reflection of what Simba could have been without a proper guidance and teaching on how to be king. Simba eventually outgrew his belief that being king is all about the power and prestige while Scar lived it until the end, never understanding the duties that came with the throne.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He claims to be a much better King than Mufasa was, despite his obvious disaster of a rule. No matter how much he tries to assert himself as a leader, he has no respect from the lionesses, who look up to Sarabi- and later Simba- for authority.
  • Smug Snake: While certainly clever, Scar isn't quite as brilliant as he thinks he is. And certainly not "ten times" the king Mufasa was. After all, he turned the Pride Lands into a wasteland and ended up revealing his own crimes to the kingdom. He desperately claimed to the hyenas he would make up for it, to no avail.
  • The Social Darwinist: Believes that Mufasa is weak for being restrained in hunting and that the mighty should be free to prey upon the weak. It makes sense given that in The Lion Guard, the supporters of Scar are shown to be social darwinists.
  • The Sociopath: More than the original, Scar displays all possible signs of sociopathy: feigning niceness and politeness while he is, at heart, self-centered, greedy, irresponsible and unwilling to admit fault, as well as being disloyal and treacherous. His attempts to make Sarabi his queen show that he has no empathy or care for her suffering at all.
  • Stronger Than They Look: This time he does have a bulkier and more imposing design than the original but still believes himself to be weaker physically than Mufasa. However, he does give Simba a difficult fight, nearly winning against him.
  • Stupid Evil: Even though he didn't bother to make sure the hyenas killed Simba as requested, his plan ultimately works for many years. When Simba returns, Scar was about to win again and succesfully exploited Simba's guilt over Mufasa's death to turn the lionesses against him and have him thrown off Pride Rock to his death... until he chooses to reveal himself as the murderer for no other reason than to be cruel.
  • Treachery Is a Special Kind of Evil: One of Scar's most noticeable personality traits is being a disloyal and treacherous bastard, killing his own brother when he expected help. His double-crossing of the hyenas is what ultimately kills him.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: His coup against Mufasa ends up replacing a beloved and just king with a cruel and oppressive despot. Scar even gives a speech promising change before officially installing himself as the new king.
  • The Usurper: With the help of the hyenas, he forcefully brings Mufasa's rule and life to an end and installs himself as the new king of the Pride Lands.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Granted, the more photorealistic nature of the remake comes along with a more serious tone, though it still retains the more innocent and heartfelt moments. Yet Scar was made an even more irredeemable villain, who not only murders Mufasa and takes the throne but also sexually harasses Sarabi. He loses his more harmless moments of comedy here, making him pure threat and seriousness.
  • Villain Ball: The moment he gloats to Simba about the look in Mufasa's eyes before he died is a needless act of cruelty that serves to give Simba the strength and rage he needs to fight back. If Scar hadn't done that one evil act, he would have won.
  • Villain Has a Point: Though he was doing it for his own nefarious purposes, Scar wasn't wrong in telling Simba to stay out of the Elephant Graveyard because of how dangerous the place was. Scar was explicitly counting on Simba being reckless enough to prove his bravery by going there.
  • Villain Reveals the Secret: Justified and inverted. When cornered by Simba upon his return to the Pride Lands, Scar uses his guilt over Mufasa's death to trick Simba into revealing to the whole kingdom that he is to blame for his father's death, turning the lionesses against him. And then, when Scar is about to let Simba fall from Pride Rock, he ends up revealing his own secret that he was Mufasa's murderer.
  • Villain Song: "Be Prepared", just like in the original. Albeit shortened this time around, but made more intense in exchange.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Sarabi delivers the Armor-Piercing Question in the form of "How did you see the look in Mufasa's eyes?!", therefore exposing him as the true murderer of Mufasa, Scar loses all composure and angrily orders the hyenas to "KILL THEM ALL!", culminating in him screaming this gem during his final fight against Simba:
  • Villainous Crush: New to this version is an attraction to Sarabi. He resents Mufasa for getting to have her as his mate and wants her to be his queen after he takes the throne.
  • Villains Want Mercy: When Simba returns to the Pride Lands and starts turning the lionesses against him, Scar quickly begs for mercy, even blaming the hyenas for his own murder of Mufasa until he stuns Simba with burning embers to attack him. And then, after being cornered by the hyenas, he begs them not to eat him and that he didn't mean what he said... to no avail.
  • Visionary Villain: A subversion. He claims in "Be Prepared" that he has a "clear" and "wide-ranging" vision for the Pride Lands which benefits the hyenas and he actually gives them the royal treatment... until he blames them for Mufasa's death to save his life from Simba. Scar rules for himself above everyone else.
  • Wicked Cultured: His voice, vocabulary and speech patterns are noticeably more refined than most of the other characters.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Not directly in Nala's case, but he would have her killed by the hyenas along with Simba. And then directly in the case of Sarabi, who he outright attacks in a rage when she says he is nothing compared to Mufasa.
  • Would Hurt a Child: His first plan in the story would have Simba and Nala killed by the hyenas when they were both still cubs. And later he tries to have Simba killed again.

Non-lion "Royal Family" Members

"It is time."
Voiced by: John Kani

A respected old mandrill and friend of Mufasa who officiates important ceremonial events for the lions.

  • Accent Adaptation: Being voiced by John Kani, this version of Rafiki will have a proper Xhosa accent as opposed to the original iteration, whose voice actor Robert Guillaume stated speaks with an improvised "really poor attempt at a Jamaican accent".
  • Adaptation Personality Change: John Kani has been adamant in interviews to point out his recontextualization of Rafiki's idiosyncrasies such that they don't come across as mere comedic eccentricities of a crazy old mystic, but rather as a more integral and almost reverent part of his character and how he's perceived by the other animals.
  • Adapted Out: The bakora staff the original version carries seems to be absent here. That is, until the final act. Interestingly, the novelization maintains the staff in all of Rafiki's scenes, thereby reincoroporating his "the past can hurt" lesson into the narrative.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Rafiki frequently speaks in Xhosa.
  • Demoted to Extra: Though he doesn’t lose any of his scenes from the original, Rafiki overall has less presence and screen time than he did in the original film. Notably, him teaching Simba to learn from the past instead of running from it is cut from this version.
  • The Hyena: Obviously not a literal one. While not as eccentric as his animated counterpart Rafiki does tend to laugh or chuckle at various points in the film.
  • Retired Badass: Implied. He refers to his staff as "Old friend" implying he was a warrior in his youth.

Voiced by: John Oliver

A Tockus hornbill who serves as the majordomo to King Mufasa.

  • Adaptational Badass: In the original, he was just an abusable comic relief whose only role was to be smacked around. Here, Zazu is way more proactive, with feats like physically attacking Shenzi in the elephant graveyard to allow Simba and Nala to run away, distracting Scar and the hyenas (even teasing Scar) so Nala can escape from the Pride Lands undetected. Heck, the hornbill even helps the lions in the final battle swooping at the hyenas. Downplayed in the fact that he ends up caught (and almost eaten) by them and has to be saved by Rafiki, but bonus points for trying.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Much more of Zazu’s compassionate side is seen in this film than the original. It’s made clear from the start that he’s completely loyal to Mufasa and his family not just out of service to his boss, but out of genuine love and care as well, and even briefly dotes on Simba and admits he finds him adorable. Zazu pleads for Mufasa to go easy on Simba despite all the trouble he personally gave him. He’s also shown to have no respect for Scar as king and reports to Sarabi instead, and throws himself into the final battle to help out. He also finds Simba alive much earlier when he returns to Pride Rock, warmly welcoming him home and bowing to him.
  • Adult Fear: He's tasked by Sarabi to keep an eye on Simba and Nala on their way to the watering hole, only for Simba to start up "I Just Can't Wait to be King" as a distraction. The coreography in this version is less "borderline Disney Acid Sequence" and more "every species around the watering hole (most of which are much larger than a lion cub) starts charging"; Zazu's lines are delivered with much less composure than the original as he tries to find them again. When he catches up to the cubs, they're almost about to be eaten by Shenzi and her pack. Then the stampede at the canyon happens...
  • Butt-Monkey: Downplayed, Zazu is still pounded by Simba and almost eaten by Scar. However, he is not "birdy-boiled" by the hyenas in the elephant graveyard and, in the wildebeest stampede, Scar just sends him away, instead of throwing him against a wall like in the original.
  • British Stuffiness: As is to be expected from a character portrayed by John Oliver.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Zazu does have his moments of sarcasm.
  • The Exile: Unlike the original one, where he serves as a prisoner/jester for Scar after he takes over, he's kicked out of the Pride Lands after Scar's takeover (and is threatened by hyenas when he comes back). This also means that he finds out Simba's alive much earlier as well, joining him, Timon, Pumbaa and Nala as they return.
  • Oh, Crap!: During "I Just Can't Wait to be King", Zazu very quickly begins to panic as he loses track of Simba and Nala.
  • Number Two: He's Mufasa's top advisor.
  • Spanner in the Works: It’s not touched on, but this is implied to be the reason he is exiled from the Pride Lands; Scar’s story is that he didn’t reach the gorge in time to save Mufasa and Simba from death, but Zazu was actually present at the gorge with him, and would destroy his cover story.
  • Undying Loyalty: He continues to take his duty to keep Nala (and later Simba) safe seriously even long after Mufasa's death and the cubs have grown to adulthood, despite having been exiled by Scar.

    Timon and Pumbaa
Pumbaa: We're here!
Timon: Oh, everyone, calm down! We're here!
Pumbaa: The backup has arrived!
Timon voiced by: Billy Eichner
Pumbaa voiced by: Seth Rogen

A meerkat and warthog (respectively) duo who adopt and raise Simba after the latter's self-exile.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Pumbaa's skin is now a more natural gray color, as opposed to his animated counterpart's red and brown skin (though warthogs can be red from rolling in the dirt, which is what inspired Pumbaa's animated design). Timon also loses the little tuft of red hair he had in the animated film.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Timon is somewhat more caustic towards Pumbaa and Simba than in the original and he and Pumbaa's philosophy of Hakuna Matata is more nihilistic. Pumbaa on the other hand joins Timon in laughing at Simba's belief that the old kings of the Pride Lands are in the stars, constrasting how in the animated version in which Pumbaa looks confused when he thinks he said an inappropriate comment.
  • Adaptational Wimp: A minor example, Timon doesn't care about attacking the vultures and is only there because Pumbaa wants to attack them.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Timon is a lot more camp here and his relationship with Pumbaa is even more like that of a bickering married couple.
  • Berserk Button: Pumbaa is shown to have a prominent dislike for bullies. It's implied to be part of the reason he charges at the vultures that are surrounding Simba, and when the hyenas call him chubby, he goes full Mr. Pig to fight them off.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Pumbaa's fur is dark as the Hyenas and darker than Scar, but is the only heroic individual to have such fur.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Timon, as in the original.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: During the final battle, Pumbaa charges through the battlefield twice to send hyenas flying in his wake.
  • Full-Boar Action: Like in the original, Pumbaa doesn't hesitate to kick some hyena butt in the final battle after they press his Berserk Button, charging at them and sending them flying like ragdolls.
  • Good Counterpart: To Azizi and Kamari. Each duo are Ambiguously Gay Those Two Guys to their respected groups, but unlike Azizi and Kamri, Timon and Pumbaa are less savage, more friendly, and they don't kill others for food and/or their amusement.
  • Hakuna Matata: Their Signature Song, but in a more nihilistic way in this version.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The latter is played up much more this time around as they literally act like partners that have been together for years with some of their back and forth repartee at times.
  • Innocently Insensitive: They laugh when Simba remarks how the stars represent the great kings of the past, as in the animated version. This time, however, they also make comments that really bother their friend.
    Timon: Hopefully they don't fall out of the sky! Hang on, Your Majesty!
    Pumbaa: Yeah, don't let go now!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Timon. Nihilistic, caustic and obnoxious as he can be, he clearly deeply loves Pumbaa and Simba and is willing to risk life and limb for them, albeit reluctantly.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Timon almost anytime he's suddenly startled.
  • Straw Nihilist: Hakuna Matata is interpreted this way in the movie. There is no "circle of life" or anything beyond the here and now. Nothing really matters beyond living comfortably. They abandon this when they follow Simba.
  • Those Two Guys: Like in the 1994 movie, they're always seen together.


Other Non-lion Characters

    Shenzi, Kamari, and Azizi
From top to bottom: Kamari, Shenzi, and Azizi
Shenzi voiced by: Florence Kasumba
Kamari voiced by: Keegan-Michael Key
Azizi voiced by: Eric André

The main trio of spotted hyenas who ally with Scar.

  • Adaptational Badass: Unlike in the animated movie, Shenzi is much braver and is capable of putting up a fight against the adult Nala. She also carries her weight around a lot more in terms of leadership and commands a wider group of hyenas. What is more, Mufasa acknowledges her as the leader of the hyenas and talks directly to her, while in the original he probably did not even know her name.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: All the hyenas now have pale fur and brownish manes, as opposed to the animated film's gray fur and black manes.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Azizi is fully capable of speech and isn't nearly as brainless or simple-minded as his counterpart Ed. Kamari sees him as more of an annoyance than a total moron.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Kamari and Azizi, who were originally named Banzai and Ed, respectively. The name change is most likely due to the latter pair not being recognizably African names, Banzai being Japanese and Ed by itself being commonly considered an English name.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: This version of Shenzi removes all her animated counterpart's comedic aspect and is a no-nonsense leader with powerful authority over the entire clan and is much more cunning and ruthless. She also doesn't seem to trust Scar straight away, which contrasts the hyenas already being on good enough terms with him, and she was right to feel that way. Meanwhile, Azizi is a much saner version of Ed and Kamari loses his Sarcastic Devotee characterization and is instead fully loyal to Shenzi with no backtalk.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Azizi seems like this with Kamari, which frequently makes Kamari uncomfortable.
  • Ax-Crazy: They are just as or even more savage than Scar is.
  • Bald of Evil: Kamari has a bald patch on his head to distinguish him from the other two.
  • Cloudcuckoo Lander: Azizi, though it comes off as him being more unstable than just merely a goofball.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Every time Kamari uses puns, Azizi literally falls for them. For example, when Kamari says that they want the cubs to stay for dinner Azizi actually thinks the cubs are invited to dinner rather than knowing the cubs are their dinner.
  • Contralto of Danger: Ruthless pack leader Shenzi is depicted with a low, raspy voice.
  • Dark Action Girl: Shenzi, being the leader of the clan and the one that handles all the decision making in regards to how they'll survive.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Shenzi battles Nala in the climax of the film, putting quite a fight taking into account that she fights an adult lioness alone.
  • The Dragon: Shenzi is the leader of the Hyena clan and thus Scar's Number Two, much like her animated counterpart.
  • Ear Notch: Azizi is missing a sizeable portion of his left ear.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: They're disgusted by Scar's attempt to throw them under the bus to save his own skin.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Whilst it's most prominent with Shenzi, all three have their moments.
  • Hungry Menace: The hyenas are constantly hungry, with Scar even Lampshading it several times during "Be Prepared."
    Scar: When I am king, the mighty will be free to take whatever they want. Because a hyena's belly is never full.
  • Literal-Minded: Azizi takes Kamari's puns literally, taking his "staying for dinner" line as "inviting the cubs to have dinner with them".
  • Meaningful Name: "Azizi" is Swahili for "doesn't know", which indicates his lack of intelligence.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Azizi gets a bit too close to Kamari a few times, prompting the latter to put some distance between them.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Even though Azizi is not the smartest of the pack, he sure was the first hyena to attack Scar before the other hyenas attack. Not to mention, he was smart enough to reveal to Scar that he overheard his plan to kill the hyenas, while stalking menacingly towards him.
    Kamari: Friends, huh? I thought you said we were "revolting scavengers".
    Azizi: Yeah, and that you wanted to kill us!
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Towards the end of the film, Shenzi says "A hyena's belly is never full." just before the hyenas eat Scar alive.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Azizi has actual speaking lines, whereas his animated counterpart Ed only ever communicated in varying tones of laughter.
  • Those Two Guys: In a stark departure from the animated film, the Terrible Trio dynamic of the hyenas is mitigated due to Shenzi's role as the pack leader. As such, Kamari and Azizi are portrayed as this, while Shenzi acts solely as their boss.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Kamari and Azizi are always seen together, though it's clear the former barely tolerates the latter.

    Timon and Pumbaa's jungle friends 
Voiced by: Amy Sedaris (guinea fowl), Chance Bennett (Bush baby), Josh McCrary (elephant shrew), Phil La Marr (antelope)

A gaggle of animals who are Timon and Pumbaa's neighbors in the oasis.

  • Back for the Finale: They disappear for most of the final act of the film, but reappear at the film’s conclusion, attending the presentation of Simba's newborn cub.
  • Canon Foreigner: They are original characters unique to this film only, whereas in the original Timon and Pumbaa were the only known residents of the oasis.
  • Mythology Gag: The aardvark and bat-eared fox are a nod to Daabi and Bhati respectively, two friends of Simba and Nala from when the original Lion King film was called King of the Jungle.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Elephant shrews, bat-eared foxes, aardvarks, bushbabies and guinefowl aren't exactly well-represented in cinema.

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