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Headscratchers / The Lion King (1994)

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Why is it perfectly acceptable to fart, discuss farting, singing a lyric that rhymes with "farted" implying that you're about to call it by name, all "in front of the kids", but heaven forbid you should actually call farting by its name in presence of the same?
So in "Hakuna Matata", there's this whole verse about Pumbaa's gaseous reputation. It is, in fact, Timon who actually brings up the subject. He sings "he found his aroma lacked a certain appeal, he could clear the Savannah after every meal". We see animals fleeing from the scent. We hear about how this caused Pumbaa to suffer socially. We hear "and I got downhearted", and, since the song has a tendency to rhyme, you know that the word that's coming is going to rhyme, and you know what that rhyming word is that describes the smelly, socially off-putting emissions being discussed. All this is totally okay. But once Pumbaa gets to the point of calling the aforementioned off-putting smelly emissions by their name, suddenly it is not okay. HUH?
  • I would assume it's to avoid a PG rating for toilet humor. Doesn't make logical sense to me for the Rating Board to overlook blatant fart jokes just because the word fart is not used and farting is not shown, but they can and did for The Lion King and other movies, so this tactic works. That's what Getting Crap Past the Radar is all about; implying things not too overtly so the Rating Board will overlook or ignore it.
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  • Also, the scene is simply funnier with Timon stopping Pumbaa saying the word than it was if Pumbaa simply said the word.
  • It follows the same nonsensical reasoning that people use when writing profanities and changing some letters with random symbols (IE: F**K) to pretend they haven't actually used the bad word.
  • It's not really necessary, but it's humorous because it's self-censorship in a place where it wasn't expected. It's good shock-humor. The fact that it's related around toilet-humor also expresses a self-deprecating element that even they know Pumbaa scaring everyone away with his farting is dumb and they're owning it.
  • Six years later, there was controversy about whether Robin Williams would use the word "fart" singing "Blame Canada" at the Oscars. And people like to say the '90s was an enlightened period.

Who's idea was it?
Nala claims it was her idea after she and Simba created the animal pyramid to escape. However, before that, she was clearly asking Simba how they were going to ditch Zazu and Simba starting to say: "Oh, I know how we can..." And Simba is seen doing most of the legwork, whispering to the animals and getting them to move in formation. So how was this Nala's idea?
  • Maybe because she was the one who pointed out that they would need to ditch Zazu in the first place.

Why do the Hyenas have a grudge at the end?
At the end, I think the Hyenas are wrong to turn on Scar. Okay, he told their common worst enemy that the Hyenas planned the whole thing. But so what ? It's not like the Hyenas are going to be in trouble because of that, since 1° Simba didn't believe Scar anyway and 2° assuming he did, it would be a single lion against a friggin' hundred of hyenas. The Hyenas know Scar is constantly lying to everyone. Especially Simba. He to dump them, he was lying to Simba. What-do-the-hyenas-CARE if Simba believes they did it? He was their enemy anyway! Scar's blaming it on them isn't going to change anything. What the heck were they thinking ? Especially considering that Scar living would be their best interest, since it would mean them still feeding on the Pride Lands' resources, while they perfectly know that Simba in charge means back to licking old bones in the Elephant Graveyard.
  • Scar had lost by that point. He wasn't going to remain in control of the Pride Lands, because Simba came back, had the support of the other lions and thrown Scar off the rock. It doesn't matter who believes Scar or doesn't — what matters is he tried to save his own skin by throwing his only real allies under the bus. That kind of thing is absolutely going to turn those allies against him.
  • You need to remember that Scar's not up against a judge and jury deciding a specific sentance. Scar offered the hyenas a better life in return for their loyaty, and they provided it. They helped make him king then patrolled the Pride Lands. And even when it all went down to the shit-house, they still fought for him in the final battle. Even after he admitted that "I killed Mufasa" and the jig was up, they supported him. Shenzi Banzai and Ed even turned up at the top of Pride Rock to give Scar a hand. And now he's trying to fudge everything off on them. The murder of a king. The coup. Trying to frikkin' murder Simba. Simba didn't believe Scar, but it's obvious that Scar wanted him to. If Simba had believed Scar, the hyenas would be so deeply in the shits that you couldn't dig them out with a snowplough.
  • Some possibilities:
    • Theory 1: Sure, Scar blaming the hyenas had no material, concrete negative consequences for them in this specific context, but him trying to save his own skin by blaming the hyenas shows, well, that he's perfectly willing to blame the hyenas to save his own skin. He's demonstrated they can't trust him, that if it's a choice between saving himself and loyalty to his followers, Scar will choose to save himself and sacrifice his followers. Maybe it wouldn't mean any additional suffering for them this time, but what about next time? Once someone shows they're willing to sacrifice you for his own benefit, even if it won't affect you this time, you can't trust him hereafter. Since, Scar had just proven he was no longer a trustworthy ally to the hyenas, they might as well get the only use out of him they could anymore: the first good meal they've had in years.
    • Theory 2: Even if it wasn't rational, they were angered enough by the betrayal and their leader treating them as nothing more than disposable pawns to want revenge. "Try to use us to weasel your way out a jam, eh, pal? Nobody makes a fool out of the hyenas!"
    • Theory 3: Fantastic Racism has always been an underlying theme of The Lion King franchise. How did the beginning of Scar's blaming speech go? "I am family. It's the hyenas who are the real enemy." Translation: "You can't kill me — you and I are alike. We're supposed to stick together. Go after that inferior species instead! Everybody knows they're evil and you can't trust them! Our kind have always looked down on them — you know they're only ones who should be seen as evil here." Scar gained leadership over the hyenas by promising them the freedom and prosperity Mufasa denied them, seemingly in a species vs. species rivalry for food and territory. By calling them "the real enemy," he's treating them the way they've always been treated by lions — the Other who are nothing but trouble for lions. That's enough to make anyone want revenge.
  • Because the hyenas are simply Eviler Than Thou. Scar had just underestimated what the hyenas are truly capable of.
  • Also, Scar failed to deliver on every promise he had made to the hyenas. They were already bitter about the lack of food and water. Scar's outright betraying them by lying to Simba was the last straw.
How could the lionesses have thought Simba, at the time a little lion cub, could have taken out the biggest full grown lion in the kingdom?
No one thought that Simba was able to attack and kill his father. The only thing that would make sense, assuming they simply weren't confused, was that he did something reckless, similar to the elephant graveyard incident, so he is indirectly responsible by puttting himself in such situations endangering his life as well as his dad's who came twice to save him. Regardless of what they were thinking, the last thing they were expecting to hear from Simba was that he was responsible for his father's death : he admits himself his guilt. That's not something you hear every day.
  • Simba tries yet to argue back it was an accident, still convinced it is his little roar which provoked the stampede, but Scar as the skilled manipulator he is, managed to turn words so the meaning of "murderer" becomes quite large.
    • So the lionesses believed that counted as being a murderer? So because his little roar allegedly accidentally started the stampede that killed his father, were the lionesses (except Nala)- even his own mother -willing to let Simba DIE because of something that had to have been an accident? If not, then why didn't they help him until Scar confessed?
      • If you look in detail at the dialogue, after Simba's admission, it reads:
    Scar: You see! He admits it! Murderer!
    Simba: No. It was an accident.
    Scar: If it weren't for you, Mufasa would still be alive. It's your fault he's dead; do you deny it?
    Simba: No.
    Scar: Then... you're... guilty.
    • It’s a remarkable example of logical fallacy. Scar bounds the definition of “murderer” to the lone fact Simba played a role in his death. This is technically true, since it is for saving the life of his son that Mufasa jumped in the middle of a raging stampede, but he abusively concludes to the fault, and thus, guilt of Simba, like if the stampede had been entirely Simba’s plot to bring forward the succession. Of course, Simba rightly denies to be a murderer, but without disconcerting the bias of Scar’s argumentation. Then, we cut short to the next scene, so there is barely fifteen seconds before Scar’s own admission, prompting finally the lionesses to react. Thanks to this short time span, the argument of “lionesses too shocked to think” may hold ground, especially if you add the fact they just learned a minute ago (except Nala) that the prince thought to be long dead is alive. That makes a lot to process. So, meanwhile, they prefer not to intervene in the two males “duel”, as it is tradition. But it's right you can seriously wonder what Sarabi is imagining when she exclaims “It's not true! Tell me it's not true!" Personally, I would need a long explanation to understand how a little cub may have caused the death of a big-built lion like Mufasa.
    • Let me explain in what I think would be a paraphrased version of what Sarabi (and probably the rest of the lionesses besides Nala) are thinking at the time: "Your mate and son died years ago. In that time your brother-in-law has let hyenas into your territory and has let your home become a horrific, desolate land, and is being a terrible dick of a ruler by willing to let everyone starve just because he has too big of an ego. Then he slaps you and-what's that ? HOLY CRAP ITS YOUR HUSBAND BACK FROM THE DEAD!!! But WAIT! No it's not, sadly. But it IS YOUR SON WHO YOU THOUGHT WAS DEAD!!! HE'S ALL GROWN UP NOW!!! AND HE'S COME TO SAVE EVERYONE FROM STARVATION AND SLOW DEATH AND END YOUR TYRANTS RULE!!! But what's THIS?!?! GASP: YOUR SON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR HUSBANDS DEATH!!! NO! THAT CAN'T BE TRUE!!! BUT HANG ON SOME MORE!!! YOUR TYRANT/BROTHER-IN-LAW IS THE REAL ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR HUSBANDS DEATH!!! YOUR SON IS BEING MAULED BY SOME HYENAS NOW!!! TIME TO SPRING INTO ACTION!!!" So as you can see, Sarabi and the lionesses were probably shocked by all the bombs that they had sprung in them in what literally was six minutes. It's a bit excuseable to think that MAYBE they were so shocked they couldn't do much until they snapped out of it when Simba started fighting the hyenas.
    • There's also the fact that as Scar backs Simba toward the cliff, the hyenas close in behind him, separating the two males from the lionesses. I doubt any of the lionesses were willing to let Simba die – Scar and the hyenas just take advantage of their shock to maneuver Simba into a position where they can't help him, until Simba gains the upper hand and the hyenas break formation to attack him.
  • It's unlikely that Sarabi believed Simba was the killer of Mufasa. Simba admits to a measure of responsibility, and Sarabi is just stunned. Then Scar swoops in with his accusations, flanked by hyenas. After all, Sarabi says "It's not true. Tell me it's not true." She DOESN'T believe it. And it's NOT true. But Simba tells her it's true; he's responsible for Mufasa's death. And THEN Scar pops out the word 'Murderer', which is a LOT different, as Simba tries to explain.

Zira's pride
I think if Scar truly had a pride they would have played a bigger role in the film's climax (IE some lionesses who helped the hyenas fight Mufasa's lionesses). Though he was a big wimp, we surely would have heard about Scar's elder son. I think the fact that he was ALWAYS around and controlling the hyenas meant he was compensating for the lack of lions around.
  • To be fair, I don't think they were planning a sequel. You'll have probably noticed movies that announce they'll get sequels right after they've been released, tend to have ambiguous endings, or lay things down for the next movie. This one doesn't. Apart from the fact that Simba and Nala have a cub (which seems to be more of a reminder about that whole "Circle of Life" thing) all loose ties have been dealt with
    • With The Lion Guard shaking things up even more, it's become pretty obvious that Disney just tacks things on to this franchise as they see fit, without much thought as to how the new elements will mesh with the old ones - in particular, there's a lot of Remember the New Guy? going on: Kiara apparently had a little brother the whole time, the Lion Guard was even a thing and Scar was part of it, etc. Zira's pride is just an earlier example of that.

How did no one notice Scar singing "Be Prepared"?
Since the elephant graveyard is established as within visual range of Pride Rock, plus all the noise and lights, shouldn't someone have noticed?
  • They probably just thought it was a party that was going on.
  • Musical numbers aren't really happening.
    • Um, yeah they are. Remember, Simba attacked Zazu in the middle of his.
      • Actually, when a character bursts into song during a musical, it isn't because they're showing off their vocal prowess. Musical numbers are the character's deepest feelings coming out, things that would feel very awkward and unnatural if it was just said. In fact, a good test for a musical is asking what would happen if the musical numbers were replaced with dialogue or even removed all together. It also is supposed to feel natural, as if it's a part of the story. If the entire audience is going "Another song?!" then it falls flat.
    • Which, I'm sure, really involved that fifty-foot swaying pyramid of random animals as well.
    • Are you talking about "The Morning Report" or "I just can't wait to be king"?
    • That was a wonderful moment because it was so intentionally surreal — once the musical number "disappears", Zazu is still somehow trapped under a rhino, with no explanation of how the rhino "really" got there, and the story just moves on.
    • I wonder how the rhino "really" got there...
      • Towards the end of Just Can't Wait To Be King, Simba whispers to some animals who then talk to other animals. It's not unreasonable to assume that Simba asked the animals to help them ditch Zazu, and the animals obeyed because he's their prince and potential predator.
      • Which is completely unfair to poor Zazu, who was just doing his duty!
  • Any songs are actually happening unless the movie says otherwise. Or are you telling me that Simba just magically ditched Zazu in some scene we never see? And that the hyenas just read Scar's mind to mind out about his plan to kill Mufasa? And that Scar's hyena army just appeared out of nowhere
  • Actually, they could really be happening in this case. If the future king wants to have a musical number, you can either show up and do your part in the dance or you can put your species on fast track to extinction. Your choice.
  • Most of the songs likely switch from being diegetic to non-diegetic at some point; meaning only certain parts of songs actually occur in the canon, others being more for a movie thing. Be Prepared is most likely heavily non-diegetic, though (i.e.: the song isn't happening in the canon, instead being there for audience enjoyment), and I Just Can't Wait To Be King switches from diegetic to non-diegetic as soon as the song actually kicks off (when the lyrics start). The art change indicates that for the latter, and the visuals indicate it for the former.
  • Perhaps they saw it but did not care. After all, it is a forbidden land.
  • I doubt anyone from that distance would be able to clearly hear Scar's voice or even make out what words are being made, so it just comes back as noise. Then you could just write off the red lights as weird activity in the rocks out there.
  • I'm just gonna give some more obvious answers.
A : The elephant graveyard is only confirmed to be visible from the TOP of Pride Rock. I highly doubt anyone would be up there regularly. You might not be able to see the Elephant Graveyard from lower areas.B : Given that that the Be Prepared scene takes place at night, it might be difficult make out what was going on out there without broad daylight.C : Since I brought up the subject of it being nighttime, let's just say everyone was asleep.

After killing Mufasa, why did Scar not just kill Simba himself right then?
It would have been as easy, as sending the hyenas after him, and more successful, since they had already messed up the job once? And when they failed to kill Simba, why didn't they tell him?
  • Still, they could have at least mentioned that they had driven him into a desert and not seen the body. And that still doesn't answer the question of why Scar didn't just kill Simba himself when they were alone together right after the stampede.
  • The physical evidence there'd be pretty incriminating, no?
  • Have the hyenas eat the corpse. Tell lionesses Simba died in the stampede. Problem solved.
    • Scar is a carnivore. If he'd had blood on him when he reported their deaths, he could've just claimed he'd been eating when he overheard Simba crying for Mufasa's help down in the canyon.
    • Zazu saw him when he reported the stampede. He would know Scar was lying.
    • Also, predators generally have a very keen discernment as to what kind of prey is around, including what kind of animal might be bleeding (hence, easier to bring down) nearby. The lionesses could almost certainly tell lion blood from, say, zebra blood. And Sarabi would definitely have recognized her own son's fear-scent on Scar's claws.
  • So, um, why order the hyenas to kill him immediately after passing up a chance to do it himself?
  • As demonstrated later in the movie, he doesn't care about their happiness. He refuses to deal with it when they are hungry. And despite that maltreatment, they don't rebel until he blames them for his crimes. They even fought against the lionesses at significant risk to their lives and if he hadn't blamed them for what he'd done, the hyenas would have gone on working for Scar, since he, unlike Mufasa, at least let them into the Pridelands.
  • I don't think he did that much planning for his speech, since he just reused the tune from the song he sung to convert the hyenas.
  • Perhaps, and this will probably be a less-than-popular idea, he honestly couldn't actually bring himself to kill his young nephew. Even Evil Has Standards, after all.
  • I always thought he didn't want to do it himself because he was like 'big stampede = big chance some one saw that'... Don't you think any lionesses seeing/hearing such a stampede would investigate WHY there is such a stampede? It would have looked very wrong had they seen him slay Simba. Some hyena's however...
    • I suppose outweighing a cub by a factor of ten and simply smothering him never occurred to him then?
      • Lions kill their prey by bringing them down and suffocating them with a long throat hold.
  • It was made clear that, being so weak, Scar relied on clever manipulation rather than actual fight if he can help it. Yes, fighting against a cub should not be difficult at all, but he may not feel confident. What if he attacked Simba and failed, and Simba revealed what had just happened? Everyone would immediately put two and two together. So why risk it everything, when the crown is so close at hand, and he can order his underlings to kill Simba in a way that would not incriminate him if Simba somehow escaped the hyenas and returned?
  • If he had killed Simba himself, the smell of Simba's own blood and fur would be all over Scar's jaws and claws. The smell would probably be on him even if he smothered Simba. If he'd gone back to the lionesses smelling of Simba, they would quickly figure out exactly what happened and kill Scar themselves.
    • Note that he had already the smell of Simba when he cuddles up with his front paw. He also already had the blood of Mufasa when he grabbed his paws to throw him off, and probably pretended it happened while trying to catch him on the cliff. Ironically, the moment Simba cuddles while Scar "comfort" him is probably the best missed opportunity since he would just have had to snap the cub's neck under his paw to give him an instant painless and bloodless death, and arrange his corpse next to his late father. And again, the hyenas may eat every evidences if necessary.
    • He had the smell of anxious and shocked Simba on him. The smell of dying Simba is bound to seem very different to experienced huntresses like the lionesses - they tongue-wash the scent of death-in-progress off their own paws after every kill - and especially to Sarabi.
  • Having the Hyenas kill him would both be a good way to get rid of him while having no chance of being caught (someone could overhear or even see him in the act, plus Simba could've escaped once he made the attempt) and an immediate reward for the Hyenas for their loyalty. Scar also seams like the kind of character that enjoys manipulating the emotions of people, and tricking Simba into thinking the death of his father was entirely his fault might've been more satisfying to him than using 'brute strength', as he disparagingly refers to Mufasa exceeding with earlier. He probably thought the Hyenas only failed the first time because Mufasa himself stepped in, which he obviously couldn't do here. As for the Hyenas failing to tell Scar that Simba escaped, they aren't exactly the most professional or thorough henchmen, neither do they have any care for Scar and his ambitions other than whatever food they could get out of being his muscle. They probably (and reasonably) thought that telling him they didn't make sure Simba was dead would only invite bad favor with him, and would rather reassure him the deed was done and reap the rewards. In any case, they had no idea how someone, especially a tiny and inexperienced carnivore like Simba, could possibly survive out in the desert anyway, "He's as good as dead out there."
  • Scar regards Mufasa as a Worthy Opponent, so he kills Mufasa himself. But Simba is small and weak, and Scar thinks it's beneath his dignity to kill such a minor foe personally. Thus, he gets the hyenas to do it. (When Simba grows up, he reaches Worthy Opponent status with Scar.)
  • Scar just doesn't like getting his paws dirty. Note how Scar never feels guilty about Simba, even in the Musical; he feels anything at all only for his direct actions against Mufasa. Like many manipulative jerks he has told himself that if he doesn't actually do it himself, it's not his fault. Simba's death isn't his fault because the hyenas finished the job out of sight. The fallacies in this are blatantly obvious to anybody who isn't a raging psychopath.

What did Scar do that made the Pride Lands so desolate?
He seemed to be rather intelligent, and just how can a lion make the grass dry up along with all the lakes and rivers?
  • Don't underestimate the potential for rank incompetence from leaders taking the power just for the heck of it. Just watch Venezuela, one of the nations with huge amounts of oil to use and sell, and a money income that many other countries would want... and yet, somehow, Chavez and Maduro managed to create one of the worst economic crisis that may be conceived, with people rioting in the streets because they can't get food to eat. In comparison with that, how difficult can it be to turn a savannah into a desert?
    • That's a pretty absurd comparison. A country needs a good government to run efficiently. Trees and grass don't need lions to grow.
      • Actually, they do. Predators help keep prey populations from growing too big. Overpopulations of prey would eventually decimate the plant populations. Circle of Life again.
  • Now that the hyenas are living on the pride lands, there is a good chance that they over hunted the local prey. It also could be that, in the past, the pride left Pride Rock when things turned bad like this and Scar refused to let them.
  • It's a Fisher King scenario. The whole region runs on some sort of Circle of Life magic, and so the ecosystem just naturally falls apart whenever an evil king is in charge. (That, and Scar is just implementing bad policies.)
  • I'm writing a fanfic that actually explains this. Lions and Hyenas really, really hate each other in the wild, as much as a wild animal can actually 'hate'. In the prequels it's mentioned that the Pride Lands have survived droughts before. Ahadi ruled at this time and made no bones about how difficult it was to keep things running. Scar brings in the hyenas and of course they need to eat, but that's just where the problems start. With more food and less enemies, more hyena pups survive, and the lionesses aren't allowed to kill hyenas. Hyena clans kick adolescent males out to keep the Clan in a functioning, manageable size to provide for, but at the end Scar is adamant that "We're not going anywhere". I don't believe Scar was allowing ANYBODY to leave - not even desperate hyenas. With the population boom you'd naturally see from the hyenas just a few months after coming to the Pride Lands, you wouldn't actually need a drought to devastate the ecosystem - but it happened anyway.
    • Keep in mind with the drought that this is the Horn of Africa. It is depressingly susceptible to random droughts. Sure, that part wasn't Scar's fault but nobody actually blamed him for that. It's like an Oklahoma Senator being taken off-guard by a tornado. It was Scar's responsibility to find a solution, and as we saw he was clearly in denial - the longer it went on, the worse it got. He didn't even try.
  • Even if Scar's actions had nothing whatsoever to do with the drought, his stubborn determination to stay on the territory he'd murdered his own brother to claim was definitely a factor in the Pride not simply abandoning their homeland to seek out a still-habitable region. That, and Scar knew he wasn't fit to evict the male of whatever rival Pride might already live in such a region, for the same reason he didn't simply challenge Mufasa to a fair fight: he's a puny coward by lion standards.
  • Greed, selfishness, power hunger etc. mean the usual types of leader incomnpetence (killing too much prey, shirking usual good management for his own stuff, picking bad advisor/governor/etc. equivalents, absing the ones he has an preventing them from doing jobs well, etc.) throw things out of balance, the pridelands sink further than the individual actions would on their own.

Why, oh why, did Scar stop to tell Simba that he killed Mufasa rather than just tossing him off that cliff?
  • So that Simba can die thinking that he ran away for nothing, since the reason he ran away in the first place was because he thought that Mufasa's death was his fault.
  • Scar got overconfident and decided to gloat before the end. This actually worked well with Mufasa ("Long live the king!") and he wasn't expecting that Simba would pull a reversal like that.
    • Given how exhausted Mufasa had been from his attempt to rescue Simba (the only real advantage Scar had over Mufasa at that moment), and how not exhausted Simba was when Scar tried to pull the same trick on him, it's clear that Scar hadn't thought things through.

In the stampede scene, why do the wildebeests run off a friggin cliff to get away from three hyenas, but charge head-on at a full grown lion?
  • "...suggests that the animals accept that they have instinctual urges which they can't fully override or be blamed for." Unless, of course, you have the misfortune of being born a hyena, apparently.
    • Except that a Hyena DID almost fall for it's instinctual urges, barely being able to resist eating one of the "lil' sick ones" when the Hyena Trio was awaiting Scar's signal.
  • Perhaps they understood that the three hyenas were only the scouts of a larger hyena pack, and escaped. That started the stampede. Once the stampede is already running, that's another business: each wildebeest will try to keep running in it, and the original cause of the stampede is a bit forgotten (surely most of the herd had not actually seen the hyenas, but just joined the stampede because it's what the herd was doing). They charged heads-on at a full-grown lion, as they would have even against the three original hyenas, if we could pluck them from their location and place them in front of the stampede.
  • IIRC, Mufasa fell into the middle of the stampede from above. The wildebeests didn't have much time to react; if they had stopped, it would have caused a massive body pileup. And besides, if things randomly start falling from the sky, the instinct would probably be to keep running instead of sticking around to see what happened.

Does anybody else find it slightly odd that Scar is named Scar?
  • At least it's not as bad as "Simba" which literally translates to "lion."
    • Hey, there are some common real-life names (i.e. Adam, Karl, Carl, Charles, Carlo, Carlos, Charline, Charlotte) which translate to just "man".
  • According to Six New Adventures, Scar's birth name was "Taka", which can translate to "they want"/"do not want" ("wanataka" and "wana taka", respectively), "trash" ("takataka") or "want" ("taka").
    • Maybe he renamed himself "Scar" because he wanted to sound more distinctive. He always felt like his brother got all the attention.

I know it's a sequel, and I shouldn't be thinking about it too hard, but... Where all those evil lions that appear on Lion King 2 were during the events of Lion King?
Things only get even more awkward when you consider that, apparently, Scar did have children...
  • They were hiding. Behind Pride Rock. In other words: 1. The sequel wasn't originally planned and only came into existence when The Lion King became so popular.

Exactly what is going on with the Arranged Marriage between Simba and Nala?
As hinted at on the main page for the Lion King, it is never specified exactly how closely or distantly related they are, and Mufasa and Scar are the only male Lions shown in the film (sequels don't count as canon; look at 1 1/2).
  • For that matter, Mufasa and Scar could've had a third brother or cousin who'd helped them seize control of Pride Rock, then gotten killed in a subsequent battle to retain their territory. Simba presumably wouldn't have been Mufasa's heir if there'd been litters born before him, so Mufasa's family probably hadn't occupied that stretch of land for very long. So, the missing member of their coalition fathered Nala before he died, and she was betrothed to Simba to honor her late sire's legacy.
  • How does that play when the sequel contradicts the original (the presentation scene is different between the two movies)?
  • I'm pretty sure Walt Disney has nothing to do with the canonicity of anything after his death in 1966...
  • Replace "Walt Disney" with "the Disney Company" and the point about 1 1/2 still being canon until they say otherwise still stands. Although the two movies do have some major issues in fitting together cohesively.
  • If Nala is a daughter of a member of the Lion Guard, perhaps it was some kind of tradition there.

How exactly did Simba get a strong and have a full grown mane by eating bugs?
Sure they're high in protein, but honestly... shouldn't he have been a little more scraggly?
  • The same reason Scar is scrawny and is disliked by females, yet has a black mane (something that's the lion equivalent of strength and good genes); people like heroes to look strong and powerful, and villains tend to have black on them to mark them as villains. It's a cultural thing; if we went by real-world logic, Simba would have died anyways unless he ate proper food once he began getting too old for grubs to sustain him, and Mufasa would have been the neglected of the two siblings.
  • Film Theory tackled this. The TL;DR version is that there are some bug species plentiful enough to give him a decent meal (especially considering he won't expend as much energy hunting as a normal lion, so his necessary caloric intake would have been lower). The real issue is that such a diet would ruin the strength of his teeth and jaws since he won't be chewing on tough meat and bones.

Why do people keep saying that Scar and Mufasa are the only male lions in the first film so this means they are the only male lions in the pride?
Just because it's not onscreen doesn't mean it doesn't exist! They could have just decided not to show them as they had nothing to do in the film. I've only ever seen one Chinese man, but that doesn't mean I assume all the women in China mate with him.
  • the movie didn't show us or tell us that there were other male lions so they don't exist
  • Having even two full-grown male lions in a single pride is seriously unrealistic. Also, Scar wasn't very strong or athletic lion. He only took the title of the king by the virtue of being the only male around. He wouldn't have survived many challengers.
    • Exactly. If there were any other male lions around, they would either have to have Scar plotting to get rid of them, or we probably would have seen them trying to challenge Scar later. Given how crappy of a ruler Scar became, if there were any other male lions, even if they weren't Mufasa's cubs, then the lionesses would probably prefer even them over Scar.
  • You can have multiple male lions in a pride; rogue males form groups fairly often. Mufasa likely could tolerate Scar's presence because
A) They were brothers, and members of the same rogue pride.B) Both realized that Scar was in no shape to challenge for the throne the normal way, thus rendering the idea of fighting moot.
  • It is uncommon, but far from unheard for two or even three male lion siblings to rule a single, unusually large pride together. When this happens, they all mate with the lionesses and treat all the cubs as their own.

The scene where the hyenas capture Zazu and use the birdie-boiler on him could come right out of Looney Tunes: if it was meant to be realistic, there would at least be serious burns (and why wouldn't they have held him down until he died?).
Does anyone else see that as odd, in a cartoon that's generally meant to be realistic? We might as well have had Scar hit Mufasa with a giant mallet. (Granted, given that Timon breaks the fourth wall in Hakuna Matata, I guess we shouldn't take it too seriously, but...)
  • The line "not in front of the kids"... bugs me, because it could've just as easily been "Not in front of the kid" and made perfect sense.
  • At what point were the sentient animals speaking English meant to be realistic?
  • Oh, right, and the whole IJCWTBK and Be Prepared scenes are realistic? If you want to complain about unrealism creeping in try the whole head-in-the-clouds scene.
  • That we have a trope for Acceptable Breaks from Reality implies that perhaps some breaks aren't so acceptable. One place to draw the line is wherever the break interferes with the internal consistency of that which the audience is supposed to care about. In the case of the hyenas "boiling" Zazu, the question is, was his life "really" at risk or not? The problem is that the writers could have worked it out such that the hyenas "get" Zazu without subjecting him to the device that's (presumably) meant to actually kill him (such as by holding him threateningly close to it). It's almost as though they beheaded him, then his head "cartoonily" reattached itself. Well, maybe not that bad — but if all breaks from reality are okay, why not that one? Too violent? So is boiling someone alive.
  • Zazu's a Butt-Monkey. Just as a badass warps to follow the Rule of Cool, a Butt-Monkey warps reality toward Slapstick Comedy. Therefore, anything that would lethal and dramatic to anyone else instead affects him in the most ludicrous way possible.
  • My take on it was that they didn't intend to kill him; it was just for laughs. You kill the bird, you run out of fun things to do with his corpse, you eat him, and that's it, but making him fly away and yell comically in pain is fun you can have again and again...
  • If the birdie-boiler bothered you, then Timon's hula dance must have sent you over the edge. Though honestly, that's one of my favorite scenes - even to this day I crack up at it.
  • Scar did the exact same thing to the hyenas in Be Prepared, and they weren't injured either. The geysers are mostly harmless, and since they live in the elephant graveyard the hyenas should know this (if nothing else, Ed has almost certainly attempted to drink from one at some point in the past). If they were trying to kill Zazu, they could have just bitten his head off. However, it's possible that they either intentionally let him go because he wasn't their target (if, as in the play, Nala's mother killed Banzai's father they would have a motive for killing her), or they used him as bait, luring the cubs into a position where they could be driven deeper into the elephant graveyard, keeping them on the hyenas' home turf.
  • Simply, I have always considered a film like this to be a mixture of both realism and cartoon logic. Indeed films like these do occasionally used quite a few moments of occurrences that come off as unrealistic, albeit to a minimum compared to what you see in your daily "Loony Tunes" shorts.
  • Consider this.... Mufasa dies after getting trampled by wildebeest. But, Zazu lives through getting sat on by a rhino, at the end of "I Just Can't Wait To Be King".
    • Well, Mufasa also fell off a cliff. The fall alone doubtlessly would’ve killed him, even without the stampede.

When Simba comes back with Timon and Pumbaa, why didn't any of the lionesses seize and eat them?
Everyone was starving at that point. They didn't know that they were Simba's friends, at first at least.
  • A) They were all too busy fighting the hyenas to notice or care; B) they saw Simba didn't attack them either; C) they saw Pumbaa save Timon and Zazu.
  • Because Simba tells them after the battle not to (presumably), and he's the king.
/** Zazu hasn't been killed by anyone either, so this is probably a standard thing.
  • Immediately after they arrive in the Pridelands, they do the luau dance to distract the hyenas. Their next appearance is them charging into the lionesses vs hyenas battle and fighting off several hyenas, which would have convinced the lionesses that they were on their side.
    • It's likely that Nala just told everyone else who Timon and Pumbaa were. Simba tells her to rally the lionesses while he finds Scar. "Hey, everyone, Simba's been living with a meerkat and warthog all these years and now they've come back to help us dethrone Scar."

The fact that Simba doesn't, you know, see Scar throw Mufasa off the cliff, from the ledge he's perched on, is fridge logic in itself — what else would he have been looking at, at that moment?!
Even if we assume that he couldn't see them from where he was(and if he hadn't known Scar was there, he probably would have gone all the way to the top of the ledge), he would have seen Mufasa being thrown up into the air, rather than merely falling. But even worse, in Simba's Pride, Simba dreams that that scene is being recreated with him and Kovu, implying he had seen, or at least known, what had happened all along. What?
  • This can partially be answered by Simba figuring it all out when Scar says, "This is the way your father looked before he died..." Although that still doesn't explain why he was never able to put the pieces together before.
  • Watching the scene again could clarify this, adding what the above comment says: Mufasa rushes in and saves Simba, and puts him on a ledge. He then falls back in, Simba tries to spot him in the stampede. He sees Mufasa jump out onto the cliff, where he starts climbing. Simba then climbs up by a small, different route that's nearby, presumably to meet his father at the top. While he's climbing, Scar makes Mufasa fall, but all that Simba sees is his father screaming down to his death. Watch here starting at 2:35. He's very young at that point, but he could figure it out when he got older.
  • Since the response above me, I think, explains fairly well how young Simba could have failed to see what happened and thus not known Scar killed his father, I'll only answer the second point — first in meta fashion, then in-universe. On a pure storymaking level, it makes sense for the creators of Simba's Pride to depict the exact positions of Simba and Kovu to mirror Mufasa and Scar: it's both a Continuity Nod to the first movie and it makes the scene more dramatic and freaky. Within the movie world, there's the fact it's a nightmare where things don't have to make sense... and the fact that, once Simba figured out from Scar's confession what had really happened, his imagination filled in what he didn't get to see. The fact this happened to be so close to reality is just "coincidence". Though note that, either due to the lower budget for TV animation or perhaps the animators not having full access to the original sequence, it actually isn't identical to Mufasa's last moments. This could, again, be chalked up to creative license or to Simba imagining what had happened without actually seeing it himself.
  • And another thing: Mufasa wasn't thrown off the cliff. He fell, caught himself, and then Scar dislodged his grip while he was hanging onto the ledge.
  • The timing of the shots imply that, as said above, Simba actually only saw his father falling from the ledge, not much else. Once Scar told him what happened (i.e.: he killed Mufasa), Simba would have been able to piece together that Scar must have dislodged Mufasa from the cliff.
  • Even without that, if you're enough far away for not hearing what is said and not seeing precisely the character's expressions, any witness would have believed that Scar didn't manage to take Mufasa up the cliff because he was not strong enough, and that he lost his grip instead of willingly letting Mufasa fall as we know he did.
  • Well, sometimes, I wonder if the flashback of Simba after Scar secret confession isn't a way to show how he personally witnessed his father assassination, but didn't realize it at the time, and because of the Hakuna Matata philosophy, he never rethought of this until then.

What was Scar hoping to gain by attacking Simba after being given a chance to run away and never return?
His kingship couldn't have been too pleasant at that point. Aside from the fact that the lionesses had pretty much withdrawn consent for his rule before Simba even got there and the hyenas were getting pretty hungry and angry as well, he had just revealed to all the lionesses that he had killed Mufasa, betrayed the hyenas to Simba, and the kingdom was literally burning down around him. Not to mention how old and weak he should have been at that point, compared to Simba. Even if he had killed Simba, he would have been devoured immediately afterward.
  • He had nowhere to go and nothing left to do, and that wretched youngster had just come and bereft him of everything he had and, worst of all, he reminded him of Mufasa!!! Also, perhaps, if he killed Simba, he could have claimed the throne again, this time by the club law.
  • It was Simba telling Scar to run, run away and never return that caused Scar to attack. These are the exact words Scar uttered to Simba after Mufasa’s death, Scar followed up this line by ordering the hyenas to kill Simba. In Scar’s mind, Simba is going to allow Scar to start running and is then going to sic the lionesses on him. You can see this idea form in Scar’s mind when Simba utters the line to him, his entire demeanor changes and he gets a look of desperation on his face, in Scar’s twisted little head, attacking Simba is his last chance to get out of his mess alive.
    • I've supported this theory for years.
    • Also: being reminded of the same words he'd said to Simba before would be making Scar feel he was being treated just as dismissively, being forced to cringe and cower, considered as inferior as a cub. All of that would enrage him to the point he'd have to lash out. Above all else Scar always cared about getting the respect he believed he deserved. What we see as delicious ironic justice, he would see as the ultimate in injustice—how dare he be treated the same as he had treated Simba?
    • And judging by his shocked expression when the hyenas turned against him, he wasn´t aware of the fact that the hyenas heard him saying that they "were the enemy". He probably thought that after he killed Simba, he could have rose to power again by using his hyena army. He didn´t know that his Mooks were now against him as well.
    • I don't think that Scar may had thought that Simba would betray him the same way he had done. So far, he has consistently been an expert in the Batman Gambit, and proved time and again that he does understands the motivations and ways of reaction of those others who are not him. The problem is more simple: run away and never return means to accept defeat, and live the rest of his life knowing that he had been defeated, by this lion that he met as a cub and who resembles his despised brother so much. Better to be Defiant to the End, and either kill Simba and keep being the king (but surely without thinking very much if that was actually possible, because he was in the middle of a fight), or die trying to keep the crown.
  • Same reason Scar doesn't kill Simba himself when he was a cub, or why he stops to tell Simba that he killed Mufasa: Villain Ball. Can't put it down.

Aside from sentience and the ability to talk with other species, most of the animals are not very anthropomorphized - except Rafiki.
He paints, carries a complex (by animal standards) tool, and has religious beliefs. They could probably have made Rafiki an actual human shaman, and it wouldn't have changed much.
  • Yes, it would. It would have spawned more questions. Such as: where are all the other humans? Where did he come from? How come he can talk with other animals(okay, shaman, I got it...)? And so forth... Also, putting a human in a furry movie would instinctively call forth the matter of Humans Are Bastards.
  • It's a movie about animals. While humans are technically animals, most people don't think of them that way. Also, Simba and Mufasa both have religious beliefs; they think the kings of their past live on and watch them and guide them from the stars (and if Mufasa's cloud appearance is anything to go by, those beliefs are correct).
  • My theory on this is that the animals in Lion King have a specific boost of what they are compared to real life. If that was hard to understand, picture this: animal' intelligence is a number. let's have Monkeys be a 6, lions a 5, and antelope a 2. In Lion King, We'll add 3 to the intelligence. Monkeys, like Rafiki, become 9, which would be religious belief and whatnot. Lions would then be 8, which is talking, drama, an so on. Antelope become only 5, which is simple.
  • In short, Rafiki is smarter because Baboons are smarter than lions and hyenas and so on.
    • Also, y'know, he's got hands. If lions had them, they might've been using tools too.
  • Rafiki is a monkey, a close relative of humans. Who else would be better to athropomorphize?

Just a bit of Fridge Logic regarding the wildebeest stampede.
The large number indicates that the area was experiencing the annual migrations, which, in real life, is pretty much party time for African predators. Why, then, did the hyenas listen to Scar's food promises when they could easily sneak off enough prey to keep them going for months?
  • Hyenas are stupid (in this film anyway) and probably didn't think about the plan longer than five seconds. They just heard "You'll never go hungry again" and were like "Awesome!!" Besides, weren't the hyenas being oppressed by the lions other than Scar?
    • Or that the hyenas were just lazy. After all we did see them receiving meat from Scar (which begs the question of where he got it from—is he a better hunter than we think, or did he make use of the male/ruler prerogative to take his dinner before the lionesses and cubs?). Maybe they became so dependent on Scar that they wouldn't hunt any more. Also, by the time they may have realized they should have snuck food from the migrating herds, those herds were already gone. Scar's promises would have made them wait if they believed the herds would come back—it's not like they had any more indication a drought was coming than anybody else. As for the other lions...I'm not so sure 'keeping hyenas out of their territory' and 'keeping them from taking their food' counts as oppression. There were surely other places the hyenas could go for food...and while it may be true the lions had taken the choicest lands and herds, if the hyenas fixated on that to the exclusion of all else simply because they couldn't have it, well...
  • The Pridelands, which are controlled by the lions, are the only fertile grasslands seen in the area. You have the elephant graveyard, which is devoid of any vegetation and a desert bordering the Pridelands, neither of which any herds would want to go to. Thus, the herds are only going to stay in the Pridelands. The hyenas are forbidden from the Pridelands and the mere sighting of one of them is enough to send Mufasa charging off, so hunting there was out of the question unless they wanted to get mauled by a lion out of sheer principle.
    • Why do people keep assuming that there is no territory outside of the pridelands? You can only see so far from Pride Rock and Mufasa can only defend so much territory. Simplest solution: hyenas find area outside of Mufasa's control or seize control of part of it with brute force. Mufasa can't control more territory than he can patrol in a day, so this should not be too hard for an army of hyenas to accomplish. I'm starting to think the hyenas had an overpopulation problem, along with not having enough leaders with common sense. Also hyenas and lions don't like each other in real life, so why should they play nice with each other?

What kind of freaky canyon is Be Prepared taking place in?
First it's glowing green like Half Life radiation or something, and then it turns red. The rocks rising and the fissures and such can be said for dramatic effect, and I guess the red light could be classified as that too. But what was the green stuff? That around a while before the song started. Are there places in Africa with geysers that shoot out streams of glowing, green water?
  • Well, think about it. Has any Disney Villain Song included special effects that are completely realistic? Besides, without all that, Scar's song wouldn't be as catchy and/or creepy.
  • Don't forget, it turns yellow in between being green and red. Though that looks like it could just have been fire...
    • C'mon guys! Scar was calling in a favor Dr. Facilier owed him!
  • The movie could be taking place along the African Rift Valley, which is seismically and volcanically active as a result of the African plate and the one beside it slowly moving apart. As for the green water, ya got me.
    • The green stuff evidently wasn't water, though - it evidently could catch things on fire and was very hot, going by scenes in the first and second movie. It was probably volcanic in nature, possibly loaded with copper or some other chemical/metal that created that coloration. Or, y'know, Rule of Drama
  • Word of God suggests that it takes place in either Kenya or Tanzania, from what I remember. So the Pridelands could be somewhere near the Gregory Rift. The opening to the first film implies that the Pridelands are somewhere near Mt. Kilimanjaro, so it's entirely likely that the Pridelands are near the Gregory Rift.

I just realized something that's less an IJBM and more a I want to make sure I'm not crazy thing.
It appears that Scar doesn't live in/on Pride Rock in the first movie, even if he is in the Pridelands. Now, the only reason I can think of for this is that it helps keep any males besides the king away from any in-heat females. So, does it make sense to anyone else that, aside from the king and cubs, any male lions have to live away from Pride Rock itself to keep the lionesses from having anyone else's cubs? It would also explain why we never see any other male lions, too, somewhat. Also, just to clarify some points I just thought of. The king, as a ruler, has more control over his instincts than other males, which could explain his being allowed to share a cave with the lionesses. This could also help prevent anyone taking advantage if there's a queen but no king yet, as would've been Kiara's case if not for Kovu. I still think that the lions in The Lion King are monogamous, just that males outside the leadership have some control problems. This also possibly brings up Unfortunate Implications about Scar's actions during his time as king, when you consider some lines from the second movie, so try not to think about it too hard.
  • a very interesting theory! And entirely possible. Although for the record, in a Fan Fic I originally intended to write but abandoned telling Scar and Mufasa's cubhood, I was going to say Mufasa banished Scar to the kopje where he lived after some nefarious doings. (One reason I nixed it was because I realized it didn't make sense—even if Scar had never done anything to make Mufasa think he'd actually resort to murder to get what he wanted, whatever nefarious things he did would make Mufasa not trust Scar—certainly not enough to let Simba visit him). A more plausible alternative is Scar chose to live on that kopje so as to not have his muzzle rubbed in Mufasa's kingship all the time. Out of sight, out of mind...
  • Scar was a loner, he 'wanted' to be alone. Also, I fail to see how much good Scar would be against a rogue lion, he's not exactly heavily built.

Why was the reprise of "Be Prepared" cut?
I thought it was badass... the hyenas sound scarier singing in chorus there than they do at any point during the final cut.
  • Because it'd mean a delay from when Mufasa dies to the lionesses accepting, and then rejecting Scar to the point he has to let the hyenas in. In between, you'd have the questions of why the lionesses let Scar take over without question and what the hyenas thought of Scar seemingly dropping their end of the deal. Badass as the song was, of course.
    • They'd have to accept him because he was the only male around. Hell, this could happen within weeks or months, it doesn't have to be years afterwards.
    • That's not the full deleted scene. Here's the full version, along with an explanation for why it was cut. (anyone who's seen the stage musical should find this scene VERY familiar)
    • The "Be Prepared" reprise features a moment where the hyenas sing "Just like any other, who murdered a brother", which that alone should have raised a bunch of questions.

In the end of the midquel, when Simba hugs Timon and Pumbaa after the fight with Scar, did he somehow have a huge bruise across the top of his nose showing through his fur?
I always thought it was shadow from the rocks above, or didn't notice, but it was really purple (far more than any other shadows there) and moved with him.
  • I do not know. Probably animation errors, since this wasn't in the original movie, so it couldn't have been a bruise from the fight.

Scar lets dozens of hyenas move into the Pride Lands after he takes power, but only three of them actually helped him in any way.
He didn't have a 'debt' to any of the others, and if he hadn't brought them along, most of the problems in his reign would never have happened.
  • I assume Shenzi was their leader, and the other two were her two bodyguards/goons/brothers who "go where she goes" so to speak. Scar gave all his plans to Shenzi, who related them to her pack, but whenever possible she liked to be the one doing the dirty work herself.
  • He needed the hyenas to keep the lionesses from protesting his rule, and to help him keep any roaming pride-less lions from taking his throne.
  • Hyeans are matriarchal, Shenzi is naturally the leader like we see in the film, the other two are probably family members such as cousins.
  • Seeing as Mufasa charged off into battle at the mere mention of "Hyenas have been sighted in the pride lands", it would seem that they had to stay low and out of sight. Having any more than three hyenas would get them noticed.
  • The entire pack helped him fight the lionesses and Simba. They all were willing to help him, but he usually only had work for the three - don't need an entire pack to kill a cub or stampede a herd, obviously.
  • Well, Banzai and Ed might be cool for getting a guy to the throne for a lump of meat, but Shenzi's Matriarch and she's gonna want a bigger piece of the pie. And Scar isn't a physical kind of guy. He used the Hyenas as his enforcers to keep lions who wanted to take over out, and people who wanted to escape in.

Male lions with darker fur and manes are healthier than golden color lions (it takes a lot to grow manes dark), but the dark furred Scar is supposed to be weaker than Mufasa. Huh?
  • Truth in Television. The lions of the Ngorongoro Crater are especially well-fed due to the abundance of water, vegetation and game, and practically all of the male lions have dark manes. In the rest of Africa, light-colored manes are much more common because the lions have to work harder and don't get as much food. Also, lionesses are drawn to lions with dark manes because they show that the male is fit and healthy and well-fed.
    • So, according to the above statement, light colored manes means the lion has to work harder, while a black mane basically means they are well fed. Mufasa is hard working, while Scar is lazy and mooches off all his food.
      • Then why is Mufasa huge and strong and Scar scrawny and weak?
      • Just before he sings "Be prepared", Scar gives the Hyenas a Zebra leg, so it is very possible that he hunted that Zebra. Add to that that he may not be the most popular lion in the pride but Mufasa or Simba never say anything about him being lazy. It is quite possible that he doesn't put as much effort into it as Mufasa but he does most likely at least enough to stay accepted in the pride.
  • It doesn't mean anything biologically, they just wanted an easy way to mark the bad guy, and making him darker with a black mane was an easy way to make it obvious that he's a bad guy, just like dressing the villain in all black. Since lions don't wear clothes, they had to make do.
  • Interestingly, while darker coat is more desirable trait for a male lion in Real Life, it also comes with an assortment of health problems if it gets too dark. Most likely Scar is suffering from the worst side-effects of his one positive biological trait, which is why healthier Mufasa gets the higher position.

During the Hakuna Matata sequence, when the trio are diving into the lake, Timon leaves a bigger splash than Pumbaa does.
Pumbaa barely leaves one at all... That just doesn't make any sense. There's no way the large warthog wouldn't even ripple the water while the tiny meerkat does.
  • It's supposed to be absurd, it's a deliberate visual joke from the moviemakers: Pumbaa, despite his vast bulk and non-aerodynamic form, is such a graceful diver that he barely makes a splash at all.
  • I dunno... maybe Timon made too much of a splash, too...
  • Rule of Funny . It's supposed to be the big guy with a tiny splash and the little guy with a big one.

When Simba said "Well when I'm king that'll be the first thing to go" and Zazu replies "Not so long as I'm around" What exactly did Zazu mean?
I mean when Simba is king he can get rid of that rule if he wants, why does Zazu make it sound like he can stop Simba?
  • It doesn't necessary mean Zazu can stop him, just that he will keep trying to stop him "as long as he is around". So the only way to get rid of that rule is to get rid of Zazu as a king's adviser too.
  • He probably meant he'd raise a royal stink about it if Simba tried and generally be insufferable.

The time period of the films.
Obviously they meant it to be ambiguous, as it could be anywhere from the dawn of time to present day, but was it ever revealed if the film was set in a certain time period?
  • Nope. Like you said, it was made so you could pick any period for it to be set.
  • Well, except for the fact that it likely takes place in the Gregory Rift area means that it takes place at least in the last 8 million years, since rifting began at that point. The references to Out of Africa probably pin it to 1937 and beyond, too; but again, outside of those the timeline is indeed ambiguous.
  • In Hercules Phil wipes off his face paint with Scar's hide. If we count this as canon, then The Lion King couldn't have taken place long before the events of Hercules, as the skin would have decayed by then.
    • That's not Scar, it's the Nemean Lion. Nemea is in Southern Greece, while The Lion King is explicitly in Africa. That it looks like Scar is simply Rule of Funny.
  • Additional material suggests that humans are very rarely seen in these wild parts of Africa, to the point of mythical, and the movie presumably took place before the African population started really expanding.

Why didn't Scar just kill Nala before she went off into the jungle?
  • Why would he?
    • He would probably be suspicious of her and not want to take any risks.
    • Why be suspicious of her? There's no reason for Scar to think Simba's alive, or that she's randomly going to run into him while she's, you know, out hunting for food. Did you forget that's why she was out there, to find food since the Pride Lands were all but barren? Killing her would have made absolutely no sense whatsoever.
      • Good point, but Scar wanted nobody to leave the Pride Lands.
      • He probably didn't even realize she'd gone off anywhere. Given the state of the Pride Lands, he may have just assumed that Nala was making an extra effort to find food, however long it took.
    • If you consider the cut sequence of "Be Prepared (reprise)" to be canon, Scar banished Nala from the Pridelands for refusing to be his queen. This did not go over very well with the pride. Killing her would have probably reduced his lifespan to the next thirty seconds. In the musical, something similar happens, but Nala just decides to leave rather than being forced to (by Scar, anyway). Even if you just stick to the film itself, Scar not bothering with Nala is not so surprising. He seems to barely keep track of the situation in the kingdom, as shown by its multiple problems. If the hyenas didn't report her missing it is doubtful Scar would have known Nala ever left. The hyenas themselves would not have been very enthusiastic about hindering Nala's departure, even if there were a standing order to stop any and all attempts to leave the Pridelands. A small pack could probably subdue or even kill Nala, but she would probably take at least one or two of them with her. No one wants to be the one that dies, hence they'd leave just creatively reinterpret their orders, just like Banzai, Shenzi, and Ed did when pursuing Simba.
    • Many interpretations are that Nala escaped. You know, to avoid being raped.

Why do the zebras and other prey animals bow down to and apparently revere the lions when it's made clear that the royal family regularly kills and eats them?
It had to be asked.
  • Lions are probably seen by the other animals as guardians of the Cycle of Life, and therefore they are respected by all other animals. Also, keep in mind that zebras, wildebeest etc are actually quite calm around lions whenever these aren't hunting.
  • The lions are generally the stewards of the animal kingdom in those movies...they keep the balance and fairness, don't over-hunt and keep other predators from doing so, and solve problems between herds and such, and have the strength to keep order if someone tries to start trouble.
  • "He loved the Big Brother."
  • Perhaps they regard the lions as something like assisted-suicide aides: they give the sick and aged a quick death, rather than let them suffer. Hoofed animals aren't exactly equipped to provide medical care to the unwell, so with no access to pain relief and a sure death by starvation awaiting those too frail to migrate, most of the herbivores might regard lions' predation as a Mercy Kill, or at least a way of being Released to Elsewhere.
  • It was explained in the film itself.
    Mufasa: Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.
    Young Simba: But, Dad, don't we eat the antelope?
    Mufasa: Yes, Simba, but let me explain. When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.
  • Depending on your point of view, it's because the Lions are a bunch of hypocrites and other animals are afraid of them.
  • The animals in the movie think like humans in many ways, and one of those is that they adopt a human form of government – a hereditary monarchy. The lion king is revered not for being an apex predator (for all we know, other kingdoms are ruled by different animals), but for being the lawful ruler who brings order and stability to the land, maintains the Circle of Life, aod so on. Humans don’t have to eat other humans, so at that point the human analogy breaks down a bit. However, from the animals’ point of view, the lions are going to eat them anyways whether the king is a lion or not, so putting a lion in charge doesn’t cause any harm, and may arguably be helpful because it gives the lion king a vested interested in making sure his subjects are not overhunted. What is important is that the lion king never abuses his power by eating subjects who are in court on official business. As long as they are only hunted fair and square during normal lion hunting behavior, the animals are philosophical about it. Just like how in a human monarchy, the king can order you executed for treason or order you to march off to fight and die in a foreign war, but the subjects are OK with that as long as it is done according to the rules of what the society considers just. And in the Pridelands, the Circle of Life is considered just.

Why Simba didn't accuse Scar to Mufasa?
This thing has always bugged me since I was a kid, but why Simba didn't tell his Mufasa that Scar was the one who gave him the idea of going into the Elephant Graveyard in the first place when he scolded him for endangering his own life and Nala's? If he had told him, Mufasa would have dealt with Scar (possibly banishing him from the Pride Lands), he would not have died and Simba could have become king without any problem as he grew up. Why Simba didn't think on telling his father WHO inspired him into going to the graveyard?
  • Because if Simba told his father who put on his mind the idea of exploring the Elephant Graveyard to show his bravery, half a plot would have been saved and the movie would have ended really quickly...
  • Well, today I was talking about it with my mom and now that I think, perhaps Simba didn't accuse his uncle from inciting him into going to the Elephant Graveyard not only because he loved him but because Scar didn't explicitly told him to go to the graveyard. He just commented about it on a way he piqued his young nephew's curiosity, yet essentially, he indirectly triggered Simba's interest into discover what was on the Elephant Graveyard. Most likely, Simba thought something like "my uncle just spoke about it to me but it was my own decision to go there with Nala. I deserve to be scolded by my father and I will apologize to him".
    • Exactly. Scar not only told him not to go but made him promise not to. Yes he was manipulating him full well into going there but you can't prove that and Simba would just say he heard about from Scar. If pressed Scar could just say "Yeah sorry Mufasa I let it slip, but I told him not to go and he even promised me to. I thought the kid would behave." Which isn't even technically a lie as that's exactly what he told him and Simba would even say so. Mufasa would be pissed but have no proof of deliberate wrong doing. So it would be just yet another case of him being mad at Scar for his attitude which was implied to happen all the time. Like with Zazu who lost track of them Mufasa would at worse be angry about their carelessness almost leading to an accident, but certainly nothing worth banishing for.

Hyenas are an aberration from the Circle of Life?
I just rewatched this movie today, and find it kind of odd that Mufasa has achieved a perfect order of harmony in the universe by simply kicking out all hyenas. Is there simply nothing that eats them, or nothing to provide to nature in the generational cycle? Obviously, Scar brought too many in and set no limits to hunting, but the effect of changing a habitat that dramatically isn't exclusive to hyenas, either.
  • I think there may be a simple explanation; the seemingly endless and magnificent Pridelands may actually be a limited fertile territory in the middle of a nasty desert; kind of like an oasis in the middle of a wasteland. That could explain why Mufasa and the lions are so determined to keep the hyenas away and why the delicate balance of this limited land is disrupted when the hyenas (who are much more numerous than the lions) are allowed into it. We tend to think of the Pridelands as an infinite place but, what if it's in the middle of the Kalahari or something like that?
  • The hyenas may have killed too many animals and had to be banished for fear of them destroying the ecosystem like they did when Scar was in control. That, or lions are bigoted, since in reality hyenas are the ones who get THEIR kills stolen by thieving lions, and chased around and generally the lions are complete jerks to everyone, but the hyenas get the shaft because lions look cooler.
  • Heck, for all we know, there are Clanlands on the other side of the desert, where a proud Hyena Queen's treacherous sister is plotting to seize control of Clan Rock with the aid of those wretched scum, the lions. Both Clanlands and Pridelands only have the carrying capacity to support one apex predator species, so the other top carnivore gets kicked out by the type that's in control; the movie just happened to choose the more photogenic species's territorial squabbles to focus on.
  • I find that things are always easier to explain when you accept that Mufasa is clearly a hypocrite. In the wild, hyenas and lions are directly at odds and pretty much hate each other because they are in direct competition for food, which is actually fair enough. But if Disney had explained that in a movie where the animals are supposed to be empathised with as humans, Mufasa would have looked like a speciesist asshole for forcing hyenas into poverty and starvation.

Why does Scar have a British accent?
  • I know it's a tradition for Disney villains to be British, but when the rest of his family is American? Also, I don't see much of a family resemblance.
    • You know the story takes place in Africa, right? They are African, not American nor British. Presumably they all speak Swahili, while using English here is a Translation Convention.
      • Fine, then, why does Scar speak in a southern Swahili accent when everyone else has a northern one?
      • He studied abroad.
    • Maybe he picked up his father's accent while Mufasa picked up his mother's accent. Lions from different prides coupling to produce cubs and whatnot. Failing that, Scar's a bit prissy. You give the prissy ones the more stuffy-sounding accents.
    • Why do Simba's parents sound black but Simba sounds white?
    • Maybe Scar picked it up from Zazu.
    • It's not logical, but it's just another way to make the characterization more obvious for young audiences.
    • You said it yourself. All the best villains are British.

Why it was so necessary for Scar to get Simba killed?
Now that I think it, it was really necessary for Scar to get Simba killed so he could become king after killing Mufasa? Even if Simba opted to return to the pride and told his mother what had happened, Scar would have been anyway appointed as Mufasa's temporary successor due being his closest male relative within the royal family and rule as king until Simba came of age. He could have still implanted his own rules during his government even if Simba was still around, or not?
  • The most logic explanation is because Scar is a complete asshole. He didn't want to share nor pass his rule to Simba. In addition, Simba would likely reverse his rules once he became king, considering how a jerk Scar proved to be for king.
  • It might be that, in Lion succession system, Simba becomes king once he gets old enough even if Scar is alive. Kill Simba, and Scar gets more time on the throne.

When Scar was hurled off the cliff and the hyenas started to circle him, why didn't he attempt to run away?
  • He probably could if he tried, so why not?
    • Because he was likely too injured to make it very far. The cliff he fell from wasn't exactly small so it wouldn't be completely unreasonable that he had some kind of injury by the time he hit the bottom. A little earlier, when he was fleeing from Simba, he looked down and saw the drop. That cliff looked to be about 20ft or maybe slightly less. Plus, when he fell, he was clearly shown bouncing off the rocks as he went which definitely helped him survive a fall from that kind of height but it would have left more than a bruise. Scar would have probably fractured something, if not outright broke a bone, but he was probably able to still get up because of the adrenaline that was no doubt coursing through his body.
    • Plus, he was completely surrounded. He was backed against a rock wall with a whole hyena pack around him, he had nowhere to run.
    • Remember that he still expected to be in control of the hyenas until his lieutenants revealed that they heard him. Now he's terrified and panicking, attempting to talk his way out of it. He'a also surrounded on all sides by the hyenas and a bare rock wall. He has nowhere to go.

In the unused concept for the first movie, how was Mufasa supposed to die? In a flood or stampede?
  • I've read how Mufasa was supposed to save Mheetu and Simba from a wildebeest stampede but I've also read that Mufasa was supposed to save Simba from a flood.
    • I'd assume the stampede.
    • Possibly they initially considered both options, then tested whether their animation was up to the challenge of showing a massive wildebeest stampede without blowing the budget and/or production schedule.

Also about Mheetu but how could Nala's mother have two cubs so close in age?
  • Why does it matter if he was cut from the movie?
  • Twins. Simple as that.
  • Mheetu is noticeably younger than Nala though. Not "newborn" young but still smaller; if Nala was a nine year old human than Mheetu seems more like four or six.
  • Lionesses normally have more than one cub at a time. Whether more than one survives to adulthood, however, is another story.
    • But Mheetu is obviously her far younger brother.
  • Maybe it was cut for that reason, but then again, lionesses have more than one cub at a time. Where are Simba and Kiara's fraternal twins then? The Lion King biology doesn't always make sense.
    • I think you mean "lionesses (normally) have more than one cub". As already said above, especially in Kiara's case with her being visibly older than her father was at his presentation, cubs other than the ones we see may have died offscreen. Life is not exactly the safest out on the savannah.
      • Mheetu could have been the same age, but a runt. There's almost always a runt of the litter, and that's usually the one that dies.

When do the stories take place?
  • I've seen a lot of people say it takes place early in human history but I always thought it was set in modern times.
    • Is there any indication one way or another?
    • It's left up to the individuals to decide when it was set. If you want it to be set either thousands of years ago, or just a month ago, that's up to you.

Just how freaking big is that herd??!
  • If you look carefully, the stampede lasts for about 4 minutes. These wildebeest look like they're doing 20, maybe 30 miles per hour.that would imply the herd is anywhere from 5 miles to 10 miles long!
    • Maybe they're "really" going at a different speed, or... the herd is just that big. Given how it took Mufasa and Scar at least several minutes to get there, after the stampede had already been going on for a few minutes, and we still see plenty of wildebeest, I'm inclined to say, yes, the herd really is that big.
    • The stampede only lasts for 3 minutes. I did some inspection, and there seems to be about 25 wildebeest per row, and 4 rows pass the screen every second. So 100 wildebeest per second, and the whole scene is 180 seconds, so... 18,000 wildebeest. According to here, an nomadic wildebeest herd can reach up to a thousand. Maybe they were Occupying that day.

Never found the body??
According to Scar, both Mufasa and Simba died in the stampede. Ok, Mufasa is there, but where is Simba's body? Why is none of the lionesses, including his mother questioning that?
  • Perhaps, unlike Mufasa, they believed that Simba's small size meant he was completely trampled and torn apart?
    • Scavengers. They probably couldn't have dragged off Mufasa's body, at least not in it's entirety (removing limbs to drag off wouldn't be unheard of, or just eating him there and leaving skin, bone and gristle behind) but a small cub would be easy for a vulture or some other animal to pick up and carry off whole to eat, which often happens with baby animals.
  • If they have no reason to suspect anything shady, they have no reason to distrust Scar's story, and looking for oddities like a missing body doesn't even come up.

Zazu didn't tell anyone about what Scar did to him
Didn't Zazu think it'd be a good idea to tell all the lionesses that Scar had knocked him unconscious during the whole thing, specifically when he said he was going to go and get help?
  • You're assuming he knows Scar was the one to do it. In the scene in question he is turned away, panicking and prepared to fly off, when Scar's paw comes from behind him to strike him. He probably had no way of knowing what hit him, he may have thought it was a rock thrown up by the stampede, or that he ran into a branch or something.
    • Remember also that head trauma causes lost memory of recent events. I forgot an entire day after I was hit by a car.

How come only Simba and Nala aged?
Simba and Nala grew into full adults rather quickly, but no one else even gets as much as a gray hair.
  • I don't know about you, but I thought Sarabi looked older the last time we saw her.
    • I assume it's only been a few years and they're around the human equivalent of nineteen or twenty year olds. Adults age slower than kids so if Sarabi was in her mud twenties when Simba was a cub she could easily still look young when he returns. I'm more concerned why Timon, a meerkat, doesn't age when wild meerkats rarely live past 7.
      • Actually, The Other Wiki says meerkats reach 12-14 on average. For those wondering, that's the same lifespan as lions. Also, aging is not very noticeable after a lion reaches three or four years old, and gray hairs aren't really noticeable/prominent in them as they age, so it makes sense that Simba and Nala are the only ones who look like they've aged.
    • Lions grow quickly and reach maturity at around three years old. Simba was likely only a few months old when he ran away and three or four when he returned. Once a lion reaches maturity, the aging process is hardly noticeable until old age.

How would Simba having two cubs work out?
According to sources Simba was to have two cubs in the sequel but one, the male, was scrapped. Lions typically have multiple cubs, yes, but we only see one cub at the end of the movie and Nala didn't seem to be in labor. I'm not an expert on how lions reproduce but I don't think they could have two young cubs. Was Chaka a "teenager"?
  • You'd be thinking wrong, then. Lions usually have more than one cub in a litter,from two to four cubs (assuming I remember the range correctly).
  • The OP's point wasn't whether lions were able to have more than one cub at a time, but that if there were more than one cub in the litter, we should have seen more than the single cub presented at the end of the movie, and one born later would not have been the same age. But there's a simple answer: the male cub was the only one presented because males usually inherit the throne. It was only when he died/got killed that Kiara was made the heir and presented at the start of the second movie; before that she was off to the side in the den.
    • Well, the cub we see at the end of the first film is not the same as the cub we see at the beginning of the second. The first is generally assumed to be Kopa, Nala and Simba's son, who was supposed to be killed by Zira. The death of her first cub would presumably have brought Nala into season again, resulting in Kiara.
    • From the concept art I've seen Naka and Kiara were the same age. I'm guessing they'd do a retcon where Nala has two cubs or make Nala still in labor. I'm guessing instead of the "It's a girl" joke they'd pull a "There were two cubs" joke.

How long was it between the Be Prepared scene and the stampede?
  • I mean, planning something as large as that stampede would have taken a very long time. The herd had to be in the right place at the right time and Scar also had to be able to lure Simba away from Priderock without arousing the suspicion of either Mufasa or the rest of pride. On top of that, he had to make sure that no one followed him and Simba down to the grove so there could be the possibility that they either took an alternate route than the one he and Mufasa later took to rescue Simba or he had to carefully watch Mufasa's patrols of the kingdom to make sure that there was no chance that he may run into Mufasa on the way to the gorge, he could have gotten the hyenas to do it but it still would have taken time. However, the movie implies that the stampede happened the very next day which wouldn't make sense because of all the aforementioned planning. Or am I reading far too much into this?
    • The stampede does not require that much planning, really. All he has to do is get the hyenas to make the herd go where he wants it to go. Since he apparently knew that the wildebeest herd was close enough to be funneled into the gorge, the only planning required was getting the hyenas and Simba where they were needed for the plan to work. The part with the hyenas is easy. All they have to do is avoid Mufasa. Simba is a bit harder since Scar has to have a reason to give Simba to go to the gorge. However, none of the lionesses were suspicious of him, even after the stampede. Even Mufasa trusted him. Simba probably never mentioned Scar's involvement, though from Simba's point of view it was minimal. The cub's description of his and Scar's 'little secret' would have sounded like Scar simply slipped up and gave Simba the wrong idea. We, the audience, are the only ones that see Scar as he really is at that point. Saying Scar is plotting regicide and fratricide would not be comprehendible to the pride. When the lionesses do find out, they are shocked and incredibly angry, suggesting that such a crime was unthinkable to them until they were faced with it. In short, you're overthinking it. If it helps, just imagine that there is a one to two day gap between the elephant graveyard incident and the stampede. That gives plenty of time for a short grounding for Simba and for things to cool down.

A translation for the Swahili singing?
Just wondering if there's a site or anything anywhere that says what the Swahili choir is singing in certain scenes. I know it says what the chant at the very beginning means at the main site here, but what about when Simba finds his dead father? When listening to that score, I swear I hear the choir singing "...Mufasa..." in the middle of it. Or the famous scene when Simba is running through the desert back to the Pride Lands, you obviously hear words being sung, including "Simba" which (probably common knowledge here) is Swahili for "lion." Any such site or article with the translation exists?
  • There are at least partial translations to be found at the Lion King Archive. There's a link on the fanfic recommendations page for it. I think most of the non-English lyrics are in Zulu rather than Swahili, though.

Why didn't Mufasa's spirit tell Simba that Scar was the one responsible for his death?
  • When Mufasa's spirit appears to Simba, he tells him that he must return and take his place in the Circle of Life. But, while he had his son's attention, why didn't he just say, "Oh by the way, Scar killed me, not you"? I'm assuming it was something Simba needed to learn on his own for the sake of Character Development, but still...
    • Probably to keep it ambiguous whether or not Mufasa was actually talking to him (as opposed to just representing Simba's inner monologue).
    • That and Character Development. Simba had to learn how to be an adult on his own, not have Ghost!Mufasa guide him by the paw.
    • Probably because that's actually a hallucination happening in Simba's head.
    • I think the fact of whether the ghost of Mufasa is real or just a figment of Simba’s imagination is voluntarily ambiguous in the film, and left to the viewer’s interpretation. However, since he didn’t tell him about his death, one may presume that Mufasa's ghost is probably just a hallucination (fits in the context of Simba’s disarray, to make him take the good decision). However, the problem is the sequels decided he was real: on a more subtle way with Simba’s Pride, and taken Up to Eleven in the new series The Lion Guard, where Kion chats with him from times to times. So, yeah, it is retroactively a big problem for the Lion King, because it raises a few question. Putting aside the fact he is very very late to show himself (see the question below), why doesn't he tell right then to Simba that he has nothing to do with his death, and everything is Scar's fault? Sure he doesn't want to spoon-feed his destiny, but there is a difference between letting children learn on their own, and withholding such crucial informations in a whole affair of State. It would give him immediately the rage to fight, and clear any mark of his false guilt feelings he fought all these years, and which could unsettle him during the confrontation (what eventually happened, as we know).
    • "Hey, son, just thought you might like to know that your uncle Scar murdered me in cold blood. Also, even though you've never killed anything bigger than a cockroach, I'd appreciate it if you'd go rip his throat out for me. Okay with that...?" Yeah, like Simba's going to jump at or appreciate that opportunity.
  • There's an ethical element to the spirituality of it: Mufasa cannot interfere by revealing something to Simba that he doesn't already know. He can only tell Simba what he should do (which Simba already knows anyway) and prompt Simba that that is the right decision. Also, Simba is still on the fence when Mufasa is gone and thus, Simba while slightly influenced, does ultimately make the decision on his own. Find out Scar is the real killer is also something Simba has to learn on his own without interference. There's also the fact that Mufasa being now other worldly and in a higher sense of being knows the direction Simba will ultimately go and his reveal to him won't do too much to bring things in that particular direction.
  • In an emotional sense, or mindset sense, the big problem was the Simba was avoiding his responsibilities, If Mufasa tells Simba that he needs to take his place on the throne, Simba goes back with a sense of purpose and rules well. Spirit Mufasa could tell him later if it comes up, or Simba could learn another way. But even if Simba never learns, he will simply chalk it up to a childhood mistake that went really wrong, and he moves forward. makes peace with himself, or whatever he needs to do and moves on with kingship. Possibly he is even more motivated by a desire to make up for it. Mufasa spirit didn't criticize him in any way, making this easier for simba. If Simba gets told about Scar, than he has someone else to blame for his problems, and is motivated more for revenge rather than being a good king: not as good a mental state to be in when running a kingdom. Telling both is mixed messages, and Spirit Mufasa would want Simba focused on one thing.

Why did it take so long for Mufasa to appear as a ghost?
Under the hypothesis he is a real apparition from the afterlife, why could not he have manifested himself earlier. Ton of herbivores,(the people of the kingdom) have died meanwhile, and probably even some lionesses when you compare the crowded cave of the beginning, and the few ladies still remaining for the final battle. Don't their lives count at his eyes (background characters syndrome).
  • This isn't a problem when you consider that Simba's laidback lifestyle living with Timon and Pumba had lead to him forgetting who he was, and the reason he came to be exiled from the Pridelands. It took Rafiki to open his heart up to his past and allow him to contact Mufasa on the astral plane. Presumably, Mufasa had been trying to reach him many times over the years, but Simba had no reason to hear him until now.
    • Except there were still Rafiki he could have reached, since he is kind of a shaman. And wasn't Sarabi, his beloved wife, a relative close enough for him ? Or maybe Zazu, who was his majordomo ? There is no clue why he suddenly shows himself this one night and only to his son, and not long before to anybody else, like e.g…. when Pridelands were still a bit preserved and the population wasn’t all dead. It is not only Simba’s business, all the country is concerned. If Mufasa is really in the stars, he bears a big part of the guilt by his silence, along with Scar who is directly responsible.
      • You can still try to cobble things together by saying it only worked between fathers and sons (on a patrilineal way). However, there is still the strange case of Rafiki. If you add the fact he seemed to know before everybody else that Scar killed his guard in the series, you can seriously wonder what this guy is scheming.
      • Also, the whole theme of the movie is personal responsibility. Even if Simba's vision of Mufasa wasn't something going on in his head, he had to at least make an attempt to accept his duty before Mufasa would appear here below. It was Simba's job to fix things as the rightful king instead of running away from them, and Mufasa appearing before Pridelanders and telling them how to overthrow Scar and his hyenas would look like he was still ruling from the grave.
      • The purpose of Headscratchers is not really to wonder about the justifications of the events, which only exist to serve the plot as written by the scenarists, but how they fit in the internal logic of the universe they set. And yes, it's plausible that in a world where ghosts are real, they would still interfere with the business of living people, especially if they have been murdered. That's why the scenarists have to keep a firm wall between life and death realms; and loosening it like they did in the sequels brings a lot of plot problems. Compare the case of Penny Halliwell, the dead Grandmother of the Charmed Ones in the "Charmed" series, who began to rove between Earth and Heaven to a ridiculous extent in later episodes.
  • Perhaps the afterlife mirrors real life in that a soul has to learn how to do things over time. Newborn babies must first learn to crawl, then walk. Mufasa probably had to learn how the afterlife worked when he first got there. He likely figured out how to watch the living, then he tried experimenting with simple messages. Finally in the sequel he's got better control as seen when he sends his wind-message to Rafiki.
  • It might be that ancestors/spirits/ whatever you call it only appear when asked, in the right state, and Simba wouldn't have asked or been in such a state before.
  • I don't know if we're supposed to interpret the vision of Mufasa as a ghost, especially since he doesn't tell Simba anything he doesn't already know. It was just Simba reminding himself that the lifestyle he's come to adopt isn't the way his father raised him to live, and that he needs to stop running away from his problems and accept his duty as king.
    • The question above supposes he is real. Also, the canon clearly establishes that Mufasa still exists, and he communicates with other people in the sequels, like Rafiki in Simba's Pride and Kion in the Lion Guard. The hallucination hypothesis only works within the lone first film, and even then, it is debatable considering the coincidences like the wind that brought the Simba-smelling leaves right to Rafiki's tree across the desert, or the fact Nala luckily found the exact Oasis where Simba was living, on miles and miles of sand around.

Why did the hyenas, a matriarchal species, accept the male Scar as their leader?
In real life, Hyenas are so strict about female dominance that adult male hyenas are even under juvenile females in rank. Why would any female Hyena consider Scar a equal, let alone their leader?
  • Real Life hyenas certainly know that lion males are larger and more dangerous than females, and they respect strength.
  • They didn't exactly accept him as their leader. He doesn't beat his way to the top. They had Shenzi as their leader (or Scar would never have bothered with her). In "Be Prepared", Shenzi is actually the first to agree to Scar's proposals ("Great idea! Who needs a king" and "Yay! All right! Long live the king!"), and then the other hyenas agree. At the end, she leads the other hyenas in killing Scar, with no complaints.
  • Also, I don't think it was about him being a leader. I think that Shenzi allied with Scar- he bought meat for them, she roped the other hyenas into doing his dirty work.

Isn't it the same language?
How could Nala not understand a word when Simba said "Hakuna Matata" to her? Weren't all the characters supposed to know Swahili language when they're from that part of Africa?
  • It's not that she can't understand the words; she's just confused about Simba's response.
    Nala: Simba, Scar is being an evil and incompetent ruler. He's opened our land to our ancient enemies and managed to somehow totally devastate the entire ecosystem. We're being treated like second-class citizens, and everyone's starving. We need your help to overthrow him!
    Simba: Hey, no worries!
    Nala: ...what?
    • Remember that Simba was also confused the first time he heard it from Timon and Pumbaa. It's possibly foreign words to the Pridelands or something the pair picked up in their travels.
  • Who says they're speaking Swahili? They could be speaking Magic Animal Language, for all we know. But anyway, whatever language they're speaking, it's obvious that the words "Hakuna Matata" (along with some of Rafiki's ramblings) are in some other language that they don't usually speak.

What did Mufasa actually do?
Really, what did Mufasa do that actually made him such a revered person, such a divine monarch, that when confronted with the possibility that his son might have accidentally killed him, they would let him be killed by the guy who was willing to let them all starve to death out of selfishness and pettiness, who brought "Savages" into the Kingdom and put them as his second in command, above their own, and (in the play) tried to marry his sister-in-law! What made Mufasa so important to the Pridelands?
  • Mufasa was just seen as a really good king. Why he is considered such is not entirely elaborated on in the film, where his most obvious credentials consist of not being Scar and having an awesome voice actor. I haven't seen the play, but if you're referring to his attempt to make Nala his queen (I've got the songs from the play), I think Nala is his niece, would-be niece-in-law, or his daughter. I personally only subscribe to the second category. Did he try to marry Sarabi in the play (yikes)? Freezing up where Simba was concerned may have had something to do with shock. Simba was the last lion they ever expected to see again, never mind admit to bearing the blame for Mufasa's death. Shock and confusion may have held the lionesses in place until they heard Scar say "I killed Mufasa" and finally had something they understood to act upon (kill the murderer and his lackeys).
  • Admittedly in "The Lion Guard" Zazu sings a song about the many responsibilities of a king, large amounts of which involve keeping relations between everybody amicable.
  • When Scar lazes around in his role, everything goes to hell. Conversely, we can assume keeping everything running as smoothly as it was takes a lot of effort. From how calm and prosperous it seemed for everyone except Scar's Hyena cronies, Mufasa was doing a pretty bang-up job.
  • Probably like any srt of big organization, lots of little things here and there. Resolve disputes, culling or eating less if needed to keep things balanced, helping to organize migrations, that sort of thing.

How does Timon know what the Hula is?
As hilarious as it was, it does make you wonder how he knew about it, considering he's a meerkat living in Africa.
  • Like with a few other jokes in the movie, I'd have to go with Rule of Funny. There's no reason for it. Its just hilarious.
  • He also knows what "dressing in drag" means, in a setting where no animals wear clothes. There's no other explanation than Rule of Funny (I read somewhere that Nathan Lane threw the line in, and the directors found it so funny that they decided to make an animated sequence of it).

How was it Simba's fault?
In what way did anyone involved think that Simba could've caused his father's death? Even if Scar hadn't ordered his hyenas to cause the stampede and hadn't thrown Mufasa off the cliff personally, the only reason Simba was in the gorge that day was because Scar brought him there! Beyond...his mere existence, what does Simba, or even more pertinent, the lionesses, think he did wrong that could've caused his father to die?
  • What makes you think Scar told anyone that he's the one who told Simba to be there? Or any actual, true details at all about what happened that day?
  • Simba could've told them. "Mufasa did die trying to save me because I was in the gorge during a stampede, but it was Scar himself who told me to wait in the gorge in the first place." With the way he confesses to it near the end, it makes you wonder how the lionesses could think he was really responsible or what they think he did wrong.
  • That's assuming Simba has the presence of mind to look back on an incident that he has always blamed himself for in the heat of the moment and realize all the implications of everything that happened that day. Which is not really an assumption we can make about Simba at all.
  • Sure Scar told Simba to be in the gorge, but it was the stampede that killed Mufasa. Before the stampede reaches the gorge, Simba goes off trying to scare a lizard. IIRC, the wildebeests only came into Simba's view after he "roared" loud enough to echo off the gorge walls. Maybe Simba thought that that's what caused the stampede in the first place; in his little-kid mind, he probably thought, "I made a loud, scary noise and then all these startled wildebeests showed up, there must be a connection". If that's the case, then "I caused my father's death," is a reasonable assumption to make.

Vanishing Stampede?
Where exactly do all of the wildebeest go after the stampede? We clearly see Simba reach the end of the gorge, which is a massive vertical slope riddled with boulders. How does a herd of a few hundred wildebeest manage to make it out of there?
  • It probably took time for Simba to make his way down to the bottom of the gorge, and before that, to even consider going down into the gorge, after seeing his father fall into the midst of a stampede and fearing the worst because of it. He also had to find the exact spot where Mufasa had come to rest - both of these factors could've given the wildebeests enough time to find a way out of the gorge.

How come Sarabi is darker than the other lionesses?
  • It's just the way she was designed. I doubt it has any real significance or reason beyond a way to tell her apart from the others.

The Elephant Graveyard
Just a few questions about all those elephant bones. Did the elephants all die in or around the area? Were the bones carried off by hyenas, vultures or other animals to that location?
  • It's a legend, not something unique to the film, and according to the legend elephants go there to die - and by finding an Elephant Graveyard you would find a huge cache of ivory and then be wealthy beyond your wildest dreams. Many of those bones are far too big to be carried there.

Simba fighting
How does Simba know how to fight well enough to hold his own against Nala when they encounter each other as adults? There weren't any animals in the jungle he grew up in he could've hunted to hone his skills - Timon said so - and no lions from whom he could've learned to fight. Did he learn that much in the short time before Mufasa was killed?
  • It was probably just instinct kicking in. He may not have known how to fight particularly well (seeing as he still got beaten), but he knew to just consistently go at it with his claws and outmaneuver Nala whenever he could.
    • Lionesses do most of the hunting and fighting. Nala was a better fighter.
      • Nala probably was a better fighter, but its not entirely true that lionesses do most of the fighting. When a rival male shows up, kicking the rival out is the resident male's job. The females might help, especially if they have cubs, but the male, who may outweigh a female by 30 kilograms to 70 kilograms, is the one that's expected to kick rivals out.
  • Perhaps Simba fought other wild animals that attacked him, Pumbaa, and Timon.
  • When I watched this scene, I interpreted it as intentionally demonstrating exactly what you said, that Simba’s time lazing around in the jungle had left him a poor fighter. He had grown up to be a full size adult male with a huge size advantage over Nala, yet he still could not beat her, showing how little his skills had grown and making it unclear whether he was, in fact, ready to challenge Scar.

Scar's confession
Did anyone else get the feeling that Scar's confession came a little too easily? He had Simba backed up to the edge of a cliff, none of the lionesses seemed willing to vouch for Simba, and he still had the allegiance of the hyenas above all else. Then, once Simba puts a paw to his throat, he acts as though surrender is the only option, when he should know that confessing to the murder would ensure that the other lions would tear him apart. Why not just command the hyenas to get Simba off of him or something?
  • Simba had surprised him by jumping up, and had him pinned. Scar was probably pretty scared at that point.
  • I agree it was not a very smart move from Scar : had he just refuted Simba's accusation, no doubt the lionesses would have left the young "regicide" prince be mauled by the hyenas on Scar's command (as we see how they intervene in a blink of an eye, Scar is never in any real danger to justify that he was forced). Of course, now that Simba finally works his brain to understand everything was Scar's maneuvers, he could explain the whole thing to everybody else; but it would take much longer, breaking the intensity of the action. Even so, it would be his words against Scar's words. So, Scar's admission is something done more for the sake of the plot resolution and drama than anything else. I really like to imagine that the scenarists had created such a great villain that they needed to invoke ghosts of his victim, bad luck and tons of stupid failures to finally put him down.

Why was that elephant skull so disproportionately huge?
Elephants are big, but not so monstrously giant that their skulls could fit three hyenas inside. Here's the one from the movie in comparison to the hyenas, and here's and actual elephant skull in proportion to a human. It could just be exaggerated for dramatic effect, but that's one freakishly huge elephant. Perhaps it was actually a mastodon skull, but not even those are that giant. And it makes no sense that the remains of an animal from the ice age would just be sitting around in the open during the time and place of the movie, where modern day African animals could easily come across it.

How does Timon know what chicken tastes like?
  • It's a cartoon, it doesn't always make sense.
  • Also, the sentence should not be taken literally. "Taste like chicken" is an English expression to downplay the oddness of exotic-looking food. In the Animal Talk they are supposedly using, he may use an equivalent phrase without refering to a real chicken.
  • Timon also says, "Mm... the little cream-filled kind!" even though the bugs he's eating presumably don't contain actual cream.

Are the animals actually speaking English (or any human language at all) in universe or is that just how the story is being translated to us? Like, if one of the human characters showed up, would they hear the animals speaking or would it just be animal noises to them?
  • Until a human actually appears to contradict this, we can probably assume Translation Convention.
  • If I remember correctly, I believe the animals were able to speak to humans in the spin-off series featuring Timon and Pumbaa, but I'm not sure if it's any indication since the series is not entirely considered canon with the film.

How does Zazu last in captivity as long as he does?
  • Is he advising Scar from his cage? Shouldn't he be the first thing that gets eaten as soon as scarcity sets in?
    • Scar probably keeps him around for his own amusement.
    • If you'll recall, Scar offhandedly tells the hyenas to eat Zazu when they come to him with news that there isn't any other food left. It's then that one of them notes how much better things were under Mufasa, hinting that they just aren't interesting in Zazu or wouldn't find him appetizing or filling enough.

Since Mufasa is the king, and the wildebeests his subjects, why can't he just order them to stop stampeding?
  • Because it's not reasonable to expect a single voice to stop several hundred panicking, sprinting creatures in the middle of running for their lives.

How many cubs do Simba and Nala have?
  • It’s been years since I was invested in this franchise, but a tag-along book for the first movie identified the cub at the end of it as being male. In The Lion King II, Kiara seems to be an only child (and the firstborn), so I figured this was a reckon. But then I heard about The Lion Guard, which apparently stars another child of Simba’s and has Kiara appear as well. So if there at least two separate cubs between all three properties, which one is older or younger, and where was this son during the events of the sequel?

How well does it match the trope?

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