The Lion King
|Name:||The Lion King|
|Date(s):||June 15, 1994 (first film), 1995-1999 (cartoon), October 27, 1998 (sequel), 2004 (1½), 2015 (cartoon sequel to first film/prequel to the sequel)|
|Country of Origin:||United States|
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The Lion King is a 1994 American animated epic musical film produced by The Walt Disney Company. The film has led to many derived works, such as a Broadway adaptation, two direct-to-video follow-ups—the sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998) and the prequel/parallel The Lion King 1½ (2004)—and two television series, Timon and Pumbaa (1995 - 1999) and The Lion Guard (November 22, 2015 - July 2019).
- The Lion King tells the story of Simba, a young lion who is to succeed his father, Mufasa, as king; however, after Simba's uncle Scar murders Mufasa, Simba is manipulated into thinking he was responsible and flees into exile in shame and despair. Upon maturation living with two wastrels, Simba is given some valuable perspective from his childhood friend, Nala, and his shaman, Rafiki, before returning to challenge Scar to end his tyranny.
- The Lion King (1994) / The Lion King (2019) / Broadway Musical
- The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata
- Timon and Pumbaa
- The Lion Guard
- The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride
- The Lion King: Six New Adventures
- Several Comics
- Several Books
Canon vs. Semi-Canon
Some of the source texts, in particular the comics and books, are often seen as semi-canon regarding than strictly canon like the original film. Much of the fandom often divert on which media they class as canon. In particular, some fans don't consider The Lion Guard to be canon, others exclude the comics.
- Simba: the protagonist of the original film (1994), the remake (2019), and the broadway musical. One of Disney's most iconic heroes. He is canonically and fanonically paired with Nala.
- Nala: Simba's betrothed and eventual mate queen. She appears in all the films, the Broadway musical, and The Lion Guard. She is canonically and fanonically paired with Simba. Even in the fics which contain the concept of polyamory amongst lions, she is written as Simba's one true love (who is willing to share).
- Scar (Taka): the antagonist of the original film (1994), the remake (2019), the broadway musical, and season 2 of The Lion Guard. He also has a cameo in Hercules (1997). One of Disney's most iconic villains. Simba's uncle who tricks Simba into exile. He dies at the end of the first film but is resurrected in The Lion Guard season 2's The Rise of Scar, where he serves as the main antagonist until season 3's two-parter opening Battle for the Pridelands. The origin of his scar changes depending on the work, in the original storyline it is given to him by a buffalo after a failed attempt on Mufasa's life. In The Lion Guard, it is from a cobra. In the 2019 storyline it is given to him by Mufasa.
- Kopa: the protagonist of the book series. Simba's first child. In fanon his absence in Simba's Pride is usually explained away as him being murdered by Zira. This also serves to explain Zira's banishment and Simba's over-protectiveness. He is normally paired with Vitani.
- Kiara: the protagonist of Simba's Pride. Depending on the work, Simba's first or second child. She also often appears in The Lion Guard. She has led a sheltered life due to Simba's overprotectiveness. Longing for adventure she runs into a young Kovu, setting in motion the events of Simba's Pride.
- Kion: The protagonist of The Lion Guard. Depending on the work, Simba's second or third child. He is the Lion Guard's fiercest member and their leader. His storyline is defined by his fear of turning evil like Scar. His absence in Simba's Pride is explained in season 3 of The Lion Guard, which happens parallel to the second movie. He was absent due to journeying to the Tree of Life to heal a mental and physical wound left by Scar.
- Timon & Pumbaa: the two most iconic characters in the entire Lion King franchise. This comedic duo appear in all three movies, the musical, and both TV series. They are the protagonists of The Lion King 3: Hakuna Matata, and the TV series Timon and Pumbaa.
- Zazu: Mufasa and Simba's majordomo. He appears in all three movies, the musical, and the Lion Guard TV series. He is strongly traditionalist.
- Kovu: the deuteragonist of Simba's Pride. He appears in Simba's Pride, and The Lion Guard. He is Scar's hand-picked heir but has no blood-relation to him. He is canonically and fanonically Kiara's prince-consort, her one-true-love, the Romeo to her Juliet. Despite Kovu only being a prince-consort, in fanon he is usually written as the Pride Lands ruler after Simba steps down, even surpassing his wife's power. In canon this would be inaccurate as Kiara has more power than him. His storyline is that of a reforming villain, changed by love.
- Zira: the antagonist of Simba's Pride, and the Lion Guard episode Lion's of the Outlands. Canonically Scar's enforcer and fanonically his lover and apprentice. Fanonically she is written as a character who is twisted or seduced by Scar's evil ways, and who is utterly loyal to him, to the point she would sacrifice herself for him. CAnonically she is a devious character in her own right who, while being infatuated with Scar's ideals, pushes for her son Kovu to fullfill his duty as Scar's heir so that he can be a puppet leader controlled by her.
- Mheetu: a character scrapped from the final Lion King script. He is a white lion who is Nala's little brother and part of her gang of friends. He was created so Nala would have someone to defend from Scar after his takeover. But was scrapped due to this being to depressing and too much like a concentration camp. Mheetu is a popular character in fanfiction.
- Bhati: a character scrapped from the final Lion King script. A young bat-earred fox who is a childhood friend of Simba and Nala's who is a part of Nala's group of friends. She is described as wise-cracking. She appears often in fandom.
- Iggy: a character scrapped from the final Lion King script. A lizard who is a childhood friend of Simba and Nala. He was cut so early that a gender and personality were never assigned. Appears in fandom often as a male.
- Tesma: a character scrapped from the final Lion King script. A female meerkat who is a childhood friend of Simba and Nala. She was destined to become Timon's mate. She appears in fandom.
- Naanda, Diku, and Dwala: characters scrapped from the final Lion King script. Sarabi's sisters.
- Dotty - Named after a series of dots under her eye. She is sometimes paired up with Nuka.
- Spotty - Also named after a series of dots under her eye, though the Blu-ray release of 'Simba's Pride' shows that the 'dots' are actually connected as a wavy line intead.
- Digger - Named as such due to seeing her dig in her only appearance.
- Lazy-Eye - Named after her lazy eye
- Chippy - Named after what appears to be her chipped tooth.
- Scruffy - Named after a clump of fur on the back of her neck
- Beauty-Spot - Named after what appears to be a small spot on her chin
- Afua - A cub referenced in Six New Adventures. Friend of Kopa.
- Ahadi - Appears in SNA. Mufasa and Taka's father.
- Uru - Referenced in SNA. Mufasa and Taka's Mother.
- Chumvi - Appears in SNA. Friend of Nala. Often portrayed as either Kula's brother or lover.
- Kula - Appears in SNA. Friend of Nala. Often portrayed as either Chumvi's sister or lover.
- Malka - Appears in the German comic Simba's New Brother. Will often be paired up with several of the other semi-canonical characters such as Kula or Tama.
- Mtoto - Referenced in a 'TLK' Puzzle Game. Friend and cousin of Simba. Less known than other semi-canonical friends of Simba and Nala, likely due to the obscurity of the source material and the lack of material to work with.
- Mohatu - Appears in the book The Brightest Star. Simba's grandfather, and either Ahadi or Uru's father. The fandom differs on which one of the two is his offspring.
- Selfish Lion - Appears in the book The Brightest Star. Named by fans after his behaviour in said book. Due to his resemblance to Scar, he'll often be portrayed as either a relative of Mohatu or as the father of either Ahadi or Uru, whichever one isn't headcanoned as being the offspring of Mohatu.
- Tama - Appears in the German comic Trouble in Paradise. Friend of Nala. Often paired with other semi-canonical friends of Simba and Nala, such as Tojo, Malka or Chumvi.
- Tojo - Appears in the comic The Orphaned Birds. Friend of Simba. Often paired with other semi-canonical friends of Simba and Nala, such as Tama or Kula. Sometimes depicted with a flock of blue birds in fanworks, due to the source material.
The fandom comes alive in spurts. But saw a jump in activity when Disney Junior released a second Lion King TV series titled The Lion Guard. Fan-fiction is now split into two archives. One for The Lion King and one for The Lion Guard. But both contain the same universe and the same characters with no definitive differences, if any. Fanfiction usually centers around one of Simba's three children (although they do not all exist at the same time in the same universe for canon/fanon reasons), Kopa, Kiara, and Kion, or their successors. Most side characters are OC. With the only canon/semi-canon expansion of cast members coming from The Lion King: Six New Adventures book series, or The Lion Guard TV series.
Popular Fanon Pairings:
- Scar/Nala (one-sided canon in the broadway musical)
- Scar/Sarabi (one-sided canon as of the 2019 film)
Crossover pairings are common, given that The Lion King plays such a large role in the animash fandom. Species does not matter. Kiara has been paired with Spirit (horse), Balto (wolfdog) and many others.
- Polyamory: In the wild lions are usually polyamorous, with one male and several females. Several fics make use of this idea. In the movies the lions of Pride Rock usually don't have more than two full grown males around at a time (Mufasa/Scar, Simba/Kovu). This is canonically explained in the Lion Guard; Scar used the Roar of the Elders to kill four males (among them Nala's father) when they refused to help him overthrow Mufasa.
- Unrelated AU is common in Animash pairings like Nala x Kiara or Simba x Kiara. On the other hand, sometimes canonically unrelated characters are made to be related. Scar being Nala's father is a common fan-theory.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Hyenas. They are consistently written as villains up until Jasiri's appearance in The Lion Guard. Her song Sisi ni Sawa (translation: We Are the Same) is an excellent anti-racism song which excels at subverting this trope's application to hyenas.
- Abusive Parents: Generally appears in fics where Nuka, Vitani, or Kovu is the main character. The abusive parent being Zira, possibly an OC, and sometimes Scar (although Scar is generally only abusive towards Nuka).
- Anti-Villain: prevalent in fics where Kovu or Vitani are the main character.
- Childhood Friend Romance: an extremely common trope in both canon and fandom. Simba grows up with Nala, who he later marries. Kiara and Kovu share a short childhood friendship and later fall in love. Kopa and Vitani are childhood friends who later fall in love.
- The Exile: Canonically applies to Simba, Nala, and Kovu. Fanonically applied to several male OCs.
- Mark Of Shame: in most fics featuring scarred characters as a protagonist or deuteragonist a scar over the eye is used as a designation of evil or shame. In some fics it is implied that scars are given to identify criminals, with the number of scars indicating the severity of the crime. One scar equalling betrayal, which ties in with Scar and Kovu's storylines. Three scars indicate murder.
- Meaningful Name: Most names in canon and fanon have a meaning in Swahili.
- Simba translates to Lion
- Nala translates to Gift
- Kovu translates to Heart
- Mufasa translates to King (although this isn't Swahili, and no known language is given but the writers swear its from an African dialect)
- Taka (Scar's original name) translates to Waste or That Which Is Unwanted (although it is implied that his parents meant for his name to mean Wish or Want)
- Zira translates to Hate
- Kovu translates to Scar
- Vitani translates to Demon of War
- Nuka translates to Stink
- Pumbaa translates to Simpleton, Stupid, or Carefree
- Timon translates to Respect (in Greek)
- Rafiki translates to Friend
- Zazu translates to Movement
- Shenzi translates to Savage
- Banzai means Lurk or Skulk
- Kion translates to Leader
- Bunga translates to Foolish Person
The Legend Continues series by Asante
- The Lion King III: The Lost Prince
- The Lion King IV: The Rogue Pride
- The Lion King V: Man Comes to the Pride Lands
- The Lion King VI: Fall of Man
- Scar's Return by snheetah
- The Heirs of Hope by Night-Wisdow
- The Madness of King Scar by Eduardo Quintana
Archives & Fannish Links
- Lion King & crossover works at FFN
- The Lion King works at AO3
- Lion King Fanfic at AnimationSource.org
- The Lion King WWW Archive
- Lion King Source at AnimationSource.org
- Fanfic Recs at TV Tropes.org
- The Lion King Fanfic, deviantart group
- My Lion King Forum
- The Lion King
- Circle of Life
- The Pridelands
- The Lion King Stillness Icon Contest
- Lion King Icontest
- Lion King Awards, another icontest
- The Lion King Fanfiction Archive
- The Lion King wallpapers
- The Lion King Fanfiction Review
- The Lion King Collectors
- The Lion King Stamping Community
- The Lion King: The Musical!