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.
- Adaptational Jerkass: Common Jerkass Balls aside, Simba was more willing to kill Shere Khan than his Disney counterpart.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Authority Equals 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 though. 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.
- Big Bad: Shere Khan, who destroyed Simba's family and spends much of the series attempting to kill him.
- Badass Adorable: Both Simba and Buckshot when they are kids. Toy and the canary might also count (see Berserk Button below for Toy).
- Berserk Button: Toy gets rather angry if you happen to lose his/her ball.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jerkass Ball: This applies to anybody if the plot demands it.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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, Shere Khan's hyena minion, is generally thought of by the other jungle animals to be stupid and less dangerous than Shere Khan. Even the tiger himself regards him as dumb and useless. Yet, on one of Buckshot's flashbacks, he was revealed to have been the one who killed his mother. Granted, she defeated him before he could finish her, but he still caused her death by wounding her badly enough to cause her death moments later. It shows that Kurdy may be a lot more dangerous than what he lets on. The threats he once made to Simba and his sisters also proves this.
- The Owl-Knowing One: Augustine the owl.
- Pet 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.
- Reused Character Design: Amongst its list of plagiarism, this show reuses several designs from Jungle Book Shōnen Mowgli, most notably Shere Khan and Kaa, as well as Tabaqui and Luri (here called Kurdy and Mother Wolf). The various unnamed panthers also look exactly like the anime`s Bagheera.
- Satellite Love Interest: Buckshot's wife, Bambina, was raised in an isolated valley with the express purpose of marrying him someday. She has next to no personality.
- Series Continuity Error:
- In Episode 2, when Simba and Buckshot have a Mushroom Samba, their adult forms look more like their parents than themselves.
- In Episode 14, when the Eagle King tells him about his 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 gets to see his mother die horribly.
- 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.
- 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.
- Villain Decay: Shere Khan suffers this pretty badly as the show goes on. He starts out pretty dangerous and effective, having murdered both Simba's mother and Buckshot`s father, and successfully orchestrating the King`s death in the pilot. However, soon after that he becomes little more than a lazy and foolish coward who spends most of his time ordering his incompetent henchmen around and having his army rather easily defeated by the heroes.
- 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.
- Widget Series: From the unapologetic copyright infringement to the star magic to the presence of dinosaurs, nothing in this series makes anything approaching sense. To some, this is part of its charm.