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Nightmare Fuel / The Lion King

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lion_king_disneyscreencapscom_9494.jpg
Yes, my teeth and ambitions are bared!

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  • The build-up to the hyenas is rather effective. The score takes an ominous tone when Simba asks about the "dark, shadowy place" beyond the Pride Lands. Later, Zazu mentioning hyenas in the Pride Lands causes Mufasa to drop everything and stoically order Zazu to take Simba home. It really says something that even though Mufasa is later shown to be able to easily beat the hyena trio, he knows damn well what threats hyenas can be and does not underestimate them.
  • "Ooooh, I quiver with FEAR!". The menacing growl that Scar puts into the word "fear" is very creepy and intimidating. And then he stares intently at Zazu, who does NOT like the look in Scar's eyes, before he suddenly leaps at Zazu and catches him in his mouth, clearly intent on eating him. Even worse, if you look at the action in slow motion, the individual frames show Zazu's terror and make it seem like he's being Swallowed Whole (though fortunately the opposite is true).
  • The arrival to the Elephant Graveyard. We get some absolutely terrifying, piercing strings from the score of this scene as Simba and Nala arrive at the big elephant skull. They then take a look out at the wasteland, and you can hear distant sounds that are likely distant hyena laughs. As quiet and downright ethereal-sounding as this scene is, you'd be forgiven for believing the Elephant Graveyard has a portal to hell stashed away somewhere in its' depths.
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    • Just the very concept of an area littered with elephant skeletons is terrifying, and they are when they're seen yet still not as much as the residents.
  • The hyenas chasing Simba and Nala. When the cubs stop short at an exploding steam vent, the hyenas lunge through the flames and shout "BOO!" Yes, even The Voiceless Ed joins them and he is genuinely threatening as he says it. It doesn't end there, their jaws snap at the camera as well before the cubs take off.
  • Later during the Elephant Graveyard chase, Shenzi comes perilously close to chomping down on Nala, before her cheek is slashed by Simba. It actually draws blood, and Shenzi freezes in pain... before slowly turning to Simba with a completely furious, but subdued growl, Simba having genuinely angered her.
    • In the stage version at the end of "Chow Down", the cubs are trying to climb away from the hyenas up the elephant skeleton piece, but the hyenas succeed in dragging down Nala. They lick their chops and cry out "Yum yum yum!" and what not, and we see all three hyenas lunging to bite into Nala before Simba stops them in their tracks with his pitiful roar.
  • Be Prepared.
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    • Special mention goes to Scar screaming "YOU WON'T GET A SNIFF WITHOUT ME!" at one of the hyenas, who promptly falls into a pit of what we can assume is boiling lava.
      • It's telling that Jeremy Irons did this line so many times he eventually blew out his vocal cords and had to be replaced for the rest of the song by Jim Cummings. They wanted it to be that scary.
    • Just as bad is the hyenas snarling and lunging at the camera through hellish flames on "Yes our teeth and ambitions are BARED!" near the end of the song. Brr.note 
      • And just in case the symbolism wasn't obvious, there's a full thirty seconds set in the infamous "cathedral of light." Complete with a full hyena parade including goosestepping.
    • Really, the entire segment is effectively an animal version of the Nazi propaganda piece Triumph Of the Will. There's really no doubt of who Scar is drawing on.
    • Just before the second verse of the song begins, there's a point in the soundtrack which at first sounds like the strings section—but quickly you realise it's the hyenas laughing: hehehehehehe.
    • The Croatian version makes the ending part even more terrifying (and on top of already terrifying imagery, at that) thanks to how one of the lines was rewritten; "Our teeth and ambitions are bared!" was translated to "Sada šalu je odnio vrag!", which basically translates back to "The mischief has gone to hell" - in other words, Scar and the hyenas are straight up telling you there's no more goofing around, and the events that take part after the song show they're not kidding.
  • Mufasa's death.
    • The Wildebeest stampede. Wildebeest are nearly 300 pounds and can run at 50 miles per hour; the combination of which would already cause significant damage upon contact. Now imagine an entire herd of those bovines running for their lives at the same speed, and you're in the middle of it all. Now you know what Simba was feeling.
    • The film uses a discretion shot for Mufasa's death (the shot darkens as he falls and cuts away just before impact), but the companion book The Art of The Lion King, includes a piece of concept art that actually shows Mufasa being trampled. Every bit as horrific as it sounds.
    • "Long live the king." The way Jeremy Irons delivers that particular line is spine chilling. And let's not count the Slasher Smile Scar gives before tossing Mufasa to his death.
    • Mufasa's expression when this is happening. Seeing someone so strong and powerful looking so terrified and helpless (not to mention shocked at his brother's betrayal, no less) is a whole new level of scary.
      • His helpless scream as he falls to his death... replaced with the scream of Simba as he watches his dad, who he just had a scene showing their closeness, fall to his death...
    • Scar's behavior as well. At first, when Mufasa is calling for help, Scar seems to ponder what to do, as if he's realized that there would be no turning back if he killed his brother... and then not only he does it anyway, but takes some moments to enjoy Mufasa's terror. This isn't useful to his plan but highlights his sadistic nature.
    • When the stampede starts and the thrill chords start, we get a good long look at Simba's utterly terrified face. It provides the page image for the Oh, Crap! subsection for animated films. See for yourself.
  • Scar manipulating Simba into thinking it's his fault Mufasa died while they're standing near Mufasa's dead body.
    • Scar's order to the hyenas as they emerge from the fog after Simba runs off is chilling in its brutal simplicity. Especially since he doesn't even look in their direction as he gives them the order.
    Scar: Kill him.
  • A deleted scene that is mostly restored in the play as "The Madness of King Scar" is downright disturbing. The play version is simply discomforting. The film version is downright disturbing. Scar starts to show feelings for Nala, wanting to her to be his queen, but she refuses his advances. In front of the entire pride, he banishes her. In and of itself the scene is mildly unsettling. The way Scar says his lines, though, is outright disturbing.
  • The three hyenas are a source comedic relief for the film, but during the climax, they don't appear much, instead focusing on the rest of the clan, who prove they truly can be a force to be reckoned with, as an entire pack of them dogpiles Simba and attacks him rather brutally after he makes Scar reveal the truth, even when the lionesses join the battle, you can see the hyena army fighting back viciously as well. And the whole time, they don't laugh, but utter primal growls, snarls and howls of sheer fury. Thankfully, the combined strength of the lionesses helps drive the unnamed hyenas away... just in time for what they have in store for Scar...
  • The Pridelands under Scar's regime. What was once a lush savannah paradise is transformed into a parched, desolate wasteland. Littered with countless animal skeletons, dead trees, and infested with ravenous hyenas, one has to wonder how anyone managed to survive for so long.
  • The part where Scar hits Simba's mother Sarabi when she mentions Mufasa was particularly unsettling.
    Sarabi: We have no choice, Scar. We must leave Pride Rock.
    Scar: We're not going anywhere!
    Sarabi: Then you have sentenced us to death!
    Scar: Then so be it!
    Sarabi: You can't do that!
    Scar: I'm the king! I can do whatever I want!
    Sarabi: If you were half the king Mufasa was—
    Scar: [Strikes Sarabi with enough force to knock her down] I am TEN TIMES the king Mufasa was!
  • The scene of Scar leaping at Simba (shown above), teeth and ambitions bared and claws out with fire burning behind him. He looks like Satan leaping out of Hell. Try seeing that in 3D.
  • And finally, Scar's death.
    • The leadup to it. After Scar has tried to kill Simba and fallen into a crevasse, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed approach. Scar addresses his friends, to which Shenzi says, "Friends?" I thought he said we were the enemy?" Banzai replies, "Yeah, that's what I heard." Shenzi and Banzai turn to Ed... who breaks into a disturbing giggle like nothing we have heard before... and it's terrifying.
      • It also implies—as confirmed by Jim Cummings about Ed faking his craziness—that Shenzi and Banzai know Ed is dangerous and know that if he decides that Scar is screwed, then Scar is screwed. It could probably be why Scar figuratively shits himself at the laugh.
      • Notice also that Ed is, throughout almost the entire movie, laughing or scared with unfocused eyes. When they first approach Scar at the end, his face is pure rage and he is staring straight at Scar.
      • Following that, we see Scar begging for his life as he is surrounded by a gang of looming Slasher Smiles, followed by a quick Shadow Discretion Shot as they pounce and tear him apart—
        Scar: [Relieved] Ah, my friends.
        Shenzi: "Friends?" I thought he said we were the enemy.
        Banzai: Yeah, that's what I heard.
        Both: Ed?
        Ed: [Begins to giggle maniacally as he and the other hyenas begin to approach Scar]
        Scar: No! L-L-Let me explain! No, you don't understand! No, I didn't mean it! I—No! No! Look, I'm sorry I called you—No! NO! [They all leap at him at once and attack]
    • The hyenas unsettling laughter as they approached would've been the last thing Scar heard aside from his own screams.
    • The nameless hyenas have no pupils or distinguished physical attributes. They're just heartless, bloodthirsty beasts whom Scar could no longer lie to.
    • This was taken from Gaston's original fate from Beauty and the Beast where he survive his fall, only to be devoured by a pack of wolves.
    • Scar getting eaten by hyenas would be like Sesame Street after watching the alternate storyboard ending on Youtube. Scar defeats Simba and Scar gets engulfed in flames resulting in the destruction of Pride Rock. Whoops. If you look closely at the sketches, he seems to be reduced to bone for a short time. To top it all off, there's also the fact that he would've been laughing hysterically the entire time while being burned alive.
    • An early draft of this scene has Scar saying, "My friends," when the pack of hyenas approach instead of Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed approaching first and the trio aren't even present. In fact the script implies that Banzai and Ed die when they are catapulted into a flaming tree; Shenzi is the only one who approaches from behind and hears Scar betraying the hyenas; she disappears after this. The final scene is enacted with no dialogue from the hyenas, they just erupt in a "choir" of eerie laughter as Scar slowly realises he's screwed.
    • The stage version of Scar's death changes it to where Scar is injured by his fall from Pride Rock, and is unable to get up, and asks his "friends" for help. The dialogue occurs, but Ed is perhaps even more terrifying than his animated counterpart, because when asked, he breaks out into extremely deranged, cruel laughter, and then shrieks as he leads his comrades into eating Scar. What's worse is that we barely get a Shadow Discretion Shot; the curtains come down, and we see the silhouettes of the hyenas eating Scar alive while he screams, their heads going up and down as they tear into him. Sweet dreams, kids.

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