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Franchise / The Lion King

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"We are all connected in the great Circle of Life."

The Lion King is a popular Disney franchise that began in 1994 with the Disney Animated Canon film of the same name. It mainly revolves around a pride of lions who are the royalty overseeing a vast swath of African savannah called the Pride Lands, with the pride's leader seen as king by the other animals. The franchise's first three films famously feature many Shakespearean themes in their plots.

This was Disney's first franchise to have EGOTed, and to this day retaining the record for the shortest timespan to receive all four awards, receiving its grand slam in only four years.


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Comic Books

  • The Lion King: A series of mostly unrelated comics based off of the original film.


  • The Lion King (1994): The highest-grossing traditionally animated film of all time. A young lion cub prince gets tricked by his uncle, the king's brother, into thinking he killed his father. After the cub grows up, he later learns of his uncle's tyranny and goes to face him to reclaim his throne. Part of the Disney Renaissance, it is very inspired by Hamlet.
  • The Lion King II: Simba's Pridenote  (1998): The first Direct to Video sequel. The king's lioness daughter bonds with a lion from a banished pride who still sees the king's uncle as the "rightful" king. Inspired by Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth.
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  • The Lion King 1½note  (2004): The second Direct to Video sequel, although it's more of a prequel/interquel of the first film from the perspective of Those Two Guys. A meerkat wants to get away from his monotonous life digging tunnels and goes out to find a better life, befriending a warthog along the way. Has similarities to the modern Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
  • The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015): The Pilot Movie to the franchise's second TV series (see below).
  • The Lion King (2019): The highest-grossing animated film of all time. A photorealistic reimagining of the first film directed by Jon Favreau, following Disney's trend of live-action remakes of their animated films.
    • Black Is King (2020): A visual album film released on Disney+ and primarily made by Beyoncé (who voiced Nala in the remake) and based on the tie-in album she curated for the remake, The Lion King: The Gift, made up of several segments forming into a narrative that parallels the plot of the original film.
  • An untitled sequel/prequel to the 2019 film, directed by Barry Jenkins.

Television series

  • The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa (1995—1999): The first spinoff, set between the first and second films, focusing on that meerkat and warthog duo mentioned above as they have adventures in the jungle they call home and elsewhere. Very different from the first film.
  • The Lion Guard (2015—2019): Made for young audiences, this series is an interquel set within the timeline of the second film. The king's son leads a diverse group of animals in defending the Pride Lands.



Theme park attractions

  • The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) (1998—2011): Zazu the hornbill made an appearance in this Walt Disney World update to the classic attraction as one of the hosts of the show, alongside Aladdin's Iago.

Video games


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