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"Lasers, superpowers, alcohol, mouth kisses, dinosaurs, flamethrowers, the Great Deku Tree, orgy dance parties, pedophilia, death by electrocution, drug hallucinations, and torture. Oh! Uh... but they also have soccer! You know? For the kids!"
Saberspark describing most of the insanity in the show

Simba: è nato un re a.k.a. Simba the King Lion is an Italian animated series from 1995, created by Mondo TV, the same company who made one of the infamous Titanic rip-offs. It can be summed up as The Lion King meets The Jungle Book meets Bambi with some additional fantasy elements. It's... interesting to say the least.

The plot: After the lion king is shot by hunters, the other animals of the jungle decide to work together to raise his orphaned lion cubs, including his favorite son, Simba. Simba and his siblings end up being raised by a wolf along with a deer named Buckshot (changed from Bimbo to avoid being a walking copyright infringement), who had also previously lost his parents to hunters. It turns out Shere Khan the tiger was the one who arranged the death of Simba's father (somehow) so he could be the king of the jungle, and he wishes to capture Simba with the help of his minions.

As he grows up and vows to destroy Shere Khan, Simba runs into such characters as Baloo, Kaa, Bagheera, two mice who are also sailors (no relation), a canary who won't stop singing, a puppy-dog with a toy ball, a bespectacled owl, a talking tree human, a crow in a top hat, magical fireflies, a warthog with an eye-patch, a dinosaur (!), and a somewhat flat love interest whom he spends much of his time staring at.

Has two sequels, Simba Jr. Goes to N.Y. and the World Cup and Winner and the Golden Child.


  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Bagheera is a spotted leopard rather than a black one.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • The Bambi character is called either Bimbo or Buckshot depending on the dub.
    • Shere Khan's hyena minion is renamed from Tabaqui to Kurdy.
  • Africa Is a Country: Mount Kilimanjaro is revealed as Simba's birthplace and the location of his kingdom. That places both locations in Tanzania. However, Tanzania (or any other African country for that matter) is never mentioned by name in the series.
    • This is even more jarring during the world cup of the second series. Other teams are correctly represented by individual countries, but there are two teams (including the main heroes' team) that represent the WHOLE CONTINENT of Africa.
  • A Dog Named "Cat": There is a character named Fox, who is a stray dog.
  • Alternate Animal Affection: An assorted mix of head rubbing, implausibly human-like hugs, and the Type 1 variety. Which occasionally strays into euuuugghh territory.
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: At one point during the journey towards the savannah, Thin and XL end up receiving a magic amulet from one of their ancestors. Thin's amulet lets him see dangers that are far away, while XL's can be used to conjure up things, mostly used for conjuring up food for the animals travelling with them. Both amulets also have a teleportation power, which is accidentally activated a few times throughout the final few episodes, before they finally figure out how that particular power works in the last episode.
  • Animation Bump: The animation in this show is usually limited and frequently recycled from previous episodes, but the final showdown between Simba and Shere Khan has notably more fluid and dynamic animation.
  • Animesque: The first series has plenty of noticeable anime influence. Fitting, since most of Mondo TV's earlier work were animes that were co-produced between Italy and Japan. Though this series isn't one of them, it does share a similar style.
    • This influence is still present in the second series, Simba Jr Goes to N.Y. and the World Cup if somewhat lessened.
    • In the third series, Winner and the Golden Child, this influence is greatly downplayed, opting for a more visually Disney-esque style.
  • Arranged Marriage: An iffy example. By all indications, Buckshot is free to marry whomever he likes. Contrast with his eventual wife, Bambina, who is raised in isolation, mentally groomed to marry the king of the Emerald Forest, and forbidden from talking to males she doesn't know.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Where to begin... there are birds larger than lion cubs, the butterflies look like human ballerinas with wings, the notion that turtles and crocodiles are amphibians, and of course, there's the fact that the animals breathe fire and shoot lasers.
  • Artistic License – Music: The sheet music in episode 9 has no time signature. Additionally, Toy is said to have perfect pitch despite doing nothing but singing along to music.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: The dinosaurs identified as Triceratops have only one horn on their face, have their eyes where their nostrils should be, and are pack-hunting carnivores who kill a sauropod.
  • Backup Twin: After Shere Khan’s death, his cousin Berdan, who looks identical to the former except for having Big Ol' Eyebrows, shows up out of nowhere and takes over what remains of Shere Khan’s army. He returns in Simba Jr. Goes to N.Y., but is now referred to as Shere Khan (in the Italian dub anyway, the English dub just calls him “the tiger”), and Winner and the Golden Child keeps the Retcon of Shere Khan having survived.
  • Badass Adorable: Both Simba and Buckshot when they are kids. Toy and the canary might also count (see Berserk Button below for Toy).
  • Bait the Dog: Shere Khan is not completely incapable of having a softer moment with Kurdy, and on one occasion, even share a laugh with him. However, this moments are immediately followed by him abusing the hyena even further, and mean nothing in the end.
  • Berserk Button: Toy gets rather angry if you happen to lose his/her ball.
  • Big Bad: Shere Khan, who destroyed Simba's family and spends much of the series attempting to kill him.
  • Captain Ersatz: Given that this show takes some “inspiration” from a few Disney movies, quite a few characters are this.
  • The Chew Toy: Most of Kurdy’s screentime consists of him getting beaten up by Shere Khan, sometimes for no apparent reason. In one instance, the two share a laugh over a joke Shere Khan made, only for the tiger to then randomly smack Kurdy over the head.
  • Clean Dub Name: In the first two series anyway. In the English dub, Bimbo was renamed Buckshot in the first series and Bimbi in the second one. In the original Italian, "Bimbo" actually another way to say to say "child" and it sounds quite cute to an Italian ear. But in English, "Bimbo" is the word one uses for an attractive yet ditzy woman. This could be the reason why they opted to change his name in English for the first two series.
    • However, strangely, he's referred to by his original Italian name in Winner and the Golden Child.
  • Compilation Movie: Licensed by Mondo TV alongside the show itself.
  • Dirty Coward: Shere Khan in spades. Outside of killing Simba's mother and Buckshot`s father, he'll flee like a pussy cat whenever faced with an opponent who can fight back.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Simba spends most of episode 25 thinking about his past and future. One of the visions he has is meeting a lioness, who he meets for real later on. He also has a brief vision of himself wearing a red cape, which turns out to be the magic mantle he obtains three episodes later.
  • Dub Name Change: As mentioned in Meaningful Rename, Toy changed his name to "Winner" in the English dub in Episode 42. However, this is only true in the English dub. In the original Italian, Toy's name was Winner from the beginning.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Ironically, what's weird about the early episodes is the lack of weirdness. The first 24 episodes of this show, though full of odd moments, mostly stick to a cute Slice of Life formula where cub Simba and his friends have little animal adventures and learn about life and the natural world. After episode 25, it's dinosaurs, time travel, and magic powers all the way down.
  • Fantastic Drug: Honey for Baloo. He is shown to have such a craving for it, that he is willing to do reckless and potentially life-endangering things in order to get some. Case in point, while the heroes travel through the giant dinosaur-infested Lost World, he actually breaks off from the group to search for honey.
  • Fat and Skinny: The two mice who are unimaginatively named Thin and XL.
  • Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Thin and XL wear sailor outfits complete with boots. Notably, they are the only ones.
  • General Failure: Once he acquires his own army to combat Simba’s during the latter half of the series, Shere Khan proves to be a pretty incompetent leader and strategist, with most of his battle plans amounting to just having his army charge and attack Simba’s, and they promptly got curb-stomped every time. His one moment of legit competence was when he tried to trap the enemy army in a canyon and have his monkeys stone them to death, but inevitably, Simba found a way for them to escape unharmed. Even some of Shere Khan’s soldiers can be seen loudly complaining about how they are sick and tired of constantly getting humiliated in battle.
  • Good Animals, Evil Animals: Shere Khan’s army includes hyenas, vultures, buffalo, jackals, rhinos, and boars (though the last two end up joining Simba’s side), while Simba’s army includes elephants, bears, eagles, zebras, and antelopes, and he’s also friends with two mice and a poodle. Cobras are also portrayed as Always Chaotic Evil. Though there are few exceptions, the most obvious one being Kaa the python, and crocodiles are usually portrayed as allies to Simba. And oddest of all, one faction of Shere Khan’s army consists of ostriches.
  • Hong Kong Dub: No matter what version you're watching, characters will talk regardless of whether their mouths are moving or not. This is most egregious in episode 41, where the characters have a musical number that they didn't even bother to dub, resulting in the characters' mouths moving without them saying anything and two minutes of complete awkward silence. The sole improvement the English dub makes is downplaying the intrusive and unnecessary narrator.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: Winner/Toy was actually a domestic dog, but he sought at life in the jungle because he desires freedom.
  • Incorrect Animal Noise: The big cat characters properly roar and the elephants trumpet, but every other animal, be it wild dogs or buffalo or dinosaurs, all make mountain lion screams. It’s a borderline Running Gag.
  • Interspecies Romance: Luce/Light is revealed to have feelings for a dog named Fox. Her mother is upset at this, not because Fox is an adult and Light is a child, but because Fox isn't a lion.
  • Jerkass Ball: Several of the characters are likely to act meaner if the plot demands it, even if they're normally good-natured.
  • Living Dinosaurs: Simba is friends with a dinosaur. In the last series, Winner and The Golden Child, the gang ends up finding a Lost World full of dinosaurs and other strange creatures.
  • Marked Change: Both Simba and Buckshot get this after receiving their star gifts, with Simba gaining stars on his chest in the shape of the Big Dipper, and Buckshot receives a similar gift but with leaves instead of stars.
  • Mean Boss: Shere Khan. He abuses Kurdy a lot, rarely appreciates anything he does, and it's pretty clear he views him more as a personal punching bag rather than a living being.
  • Meaningful Rename:
    • Episode 42 has Toy decide to change his name to "Winner".
    • Luce's name is Italian for "light".
  • Mood Whiplash: This show can go from cutesy and child-friendly to scary and graphic on the flip of a dime. An early example would be episode 16 (“The Cobra”), which goes back and forth between young Simba and Buckshot just frolicking around and playing with their friends, to the villainous fire-breathing cobra setting animals on fire or burning them to a crisp.
  • Mushroom Samba: The second episode has Simba and Buckshot eating some plants that cause them to hallucinate, making them see each other as adults and attacking random plants, apparently thinking they are fighting Shere Khan and the hunters.
  • Narrating the Obvious: A major issue in the original Italian dub, where the narrator constantly cuts in to describe what is clearly happening on-screen. Tellingly, the English dub downplays her prominence significantly, usually only having her bookend an episode, and even then, she rarely says anything relevant and/or that isn’t blatantly obvious.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Shere Khan, who spends most of the show lazing around, plotting or barking orders at his minions. You could count the number of times he gets physically involved in combat on your hand.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Kurdy’s voice in the English dub is an obvious Peter Lorre impression, befitting a sniveling lackey who often calls his boss "master".
  • No Name Given: A pretty common occurrence in the show, Simba's parents and Mother Wolf being the most obvious examples, likewise many minor or one-shot characters are often simply referred to by their species name or some title, like the Eagle King.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Kurdy has a minor moment in episode 7, when it’s revealed that he was the one who killed Buckshot’s mother. However, she was recovering from a leg injury at the moment and still managed to fight off the hyena, only to die from the injuries he inflicted later. Outside of that flashback though, Kurdy is little more than the show’s number one Butt-Monkey.
  • The Owl-Knowing One: Augustine the owl.
  • Prehistoric Monster: The "Triceratops" from the Lost Valley episode, which barely even resemble the real animal, and are pack-hunting predators that hunt sauropods.
  • Psychotic Man Child: Shere Khan can be rather petulant and childish, especially when he loses his temper. This is most evident in a flashback in episode 25, where, after setting up Simba’s father to get shot by hunters, he prances around happily and sings, “All this will be mine. All this will be mine. Mine, mine, mine!” like an excited child.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: Implied that this is the case with the Lion King, Simba's father. Shere Khan was fully willing to fight Simba's mother by himself and risk facing her Mama Bear mode, yet he didn't want to face the king, and had to lure him into getting shot by poachers. Maybe the King gets to that position by being very tough. Supported by the fact that Simba grows into quite a powerful lion who doesn't have a lot of problems in his final battle with Shere Khan.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • For almost half of the series, Shere Khan’s only minions are Kurdy and a group of monkeys, but then, in Episode 25, he’s suddenly in charge of an army consisting of rhinos, vultures, and ostriches, and more soldiers (boars, buffalo, jackals) are added in subsequent episodes, none of which get a proper introduction.
    • Kingo appears in Episode 41, despite never being brought up before, even though Simba is shown to have known him personally as a cub, and nobody considered contacting Kingo after his nephew and nieces were made orphans. Worse still, the first half of the episode follows the usual routine of Shere Khan trying to screw with Simba and friends (this time by sending a horde of termites to attack them) and once his plan fails, he suddenly brings up Simba having an Evil Uncle and decides to seek out the latter’s help.
  • Reused Character Design: A lot of the character designs are lifted straight from Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli. These include Kaa, Shere Khan, Kurdy (Tabaqui in the original), Shere Khan’s monkey minions, Mother Wolf (Luri in the original), Akela, Akru (Mowgli’s adopted brother, here used for random background wolves), and the panthers in Simba’s army, who are all based on the anime’s Bagheera. Oddly enough though, the actual Bagheera in this show is completely redesigned (made into a regular leopard instead of a melanistic one), as is Baloo.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Buckshot's wife, Bambina, was raised in an isolated valley with the expressed purpose of marrying him someday. She has next to no personality.
    • Though Farna fares only slightly better (as in, she wasn't raised in an isolated valley with the expressed purpose of marrying Simba), nothing much defines her outside of being Simba's mate.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • In the first episode, Baloo makes a brief reference to Mother Wolf having raised Mowgli, as if to imply this show is a sequel to Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli. This doesn’t explain why Shere Khan and Akela are still alive (as they both died towards the end of the anime) or why Baloo and Bagheera look completely different from their anime counterparts.
    • The reference of Mother Wolf having raised Mowgli implied Simba and friends lived in India, but later on, it is stated they live in Africa.
    • Whenever the death of Simba’s father is shown, the circumstances are different. The pilot shows him milling around with his two daughters when he’s shot, while Simba is away catnapping and learns about his father’s death afterward, with Kurdy later claiming that Shere Khan “led” the hunter to the king. Episode 25 instead shows that Kurdy told the king that Shere Khan wanted to talk with him at Council Rock, knowing that hunters were lurking nearby, and Simba eavesdropped on the tiger plotting and tried to warn his father but failed to arrive in time. Episode 41, meanwhile, just shows Simba being with his father and sisters when the king was shot.
    • In Episode 14, when the Eagle King tells Simba that Shere Khan killed the latter's mother, Simba tearfully claims he didn't know that was how she died. However, in Episode 25, he has a flashback of his mother's death, where he directly sees her getting killed.
    • In episode 7, we see that Buckshot’s parents were in the jungle when they died, with his father getting chased and caught by Shere Khan, while his mother was mortally wounded by Kurdy. In episode 46, however, we see that Shere Khan was roaming the northern forest that is Buckshot’s kingdom when he attacked and killed the latter’s father, this time by knocking him off a cliff, while Buckshot’s mother and Kurdy aren’t shown.
    • Episode 23 has Thin and XL claim to be afraid of water after their experience of being washed up in the jungle, yet in an earlier episode, they jumped into the river to get Toy's ball back without any problem.
    • In the first series, Shere Khan gets killed by Simba, after which his cousin Berdan appears and takes over what remains of Shere Khan’s army. In Simba Jr. Goes to N.Y., the tiger is once more referred to as Shere Khan (in the Italian dub anyway, the English dub just calls him “the tiger”), which carries over into Winner and the Golden Child, where he’s still called Shere Khan in the English dub.
  • Simpleton Voice: Baloo in the English dub has a stereotypical low, dopey voice and is prone to doing foolish things when honey’s involved.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Averted with Kaa, mainly since he’s based on his book-accurate counterpart from the Jungle Book anime. Played straight with the main antagonist of episode 16 though, who is a giant, Brooklyn-accented cobra who can sprout a second head and breathe fire. A later episode reveals that his whole family is evil and capable of breathing fire.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In the last few episodes, Simba's son looks exactly like he did when he did as a cub at the beginning of the series, while his daughter resembles one of his sisters. Buckshot's son also looks exactly like he did when he was younger.
  • Trauma Conga Line: At a young age, Simba and Buckshot experience the death of their parents, a stampede of aggressive wild dogs, a forest fire, and a two-headed fire-breathing cobra. All this time, a tiger is actively trying to assassinate them.
  • Villain Decay: Shere Khan is an odd example, as his most effective moments, those being murdering Simba's mother and Buckshot`s father, and orchestrating the King`s death, are all shown in flashbacks, or in the case of the latter, in the first minute of the pilot (and later in more detail in another flashback). After that, however, he becomes little more than a lazy and foolish coward who spends the entire series ordering his incompetent henchmen around and having his army rather easily defeated by the heroes. Maybe he let his initial success get to his head?
  • Villains Want Mercy: Shere Khan asks for Simba´s mercy on their final battle when the later has him around his jaws. Simba is disgusted that he has the nerve of asking for mercy after everything he's done to him, but ultimately tries to let Shere Khan go when he points out that, if he truly wants to be a benevolent king, he can't go around killing other animals. Emphasis on "tries", because after he spares him, Shere Khan attempts to kill him when his back is turned, which results in his own death.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Simba’s rightful kingdom and birthplace is confirmed to be at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, but the location of the jungle where the first half of the show takes place in is anyone’s guess. The large number of characters and designs lifted from The Jungle Book, such as the striped hyenas and langur monkeys, would imply it’s set in India, and for what it’s worth, lions are also found in India, but not giraffes or zebras, or brown bears for that matter (outside of the mountainous fringes of the country).
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Simba’s deer friend is named Bimbo in the original dub (obviously inspired by a certain other deer prince). The English dub renamed him Buckshot, which…isn’t a whole lot better. note 


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Alternative Title(s): Simba The King Lion


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