|Meaning||Ten Thousand Years (Japanese)|
|Appearances||The Lion King,|
The Lion King 1½,
The Lion King Stage Musical,
The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa,
The Lion King: Six New Adventures,
Friends in Need
|Close Relations||Deceased Father, Friend of Ed and Shenzi|
Banzai is a smoky-gray hyena with a pale underbelly and yellow eyes. His ears, eyebrows, and paws are black and his back is spotted with dark gray spots.
- Banzai: "*Stomach Growls*"
Shenzi: "Shut up."
Banzai: "I can't help it. I'm so hungry...I gotta have a wildebeest!"
Shenzi: "Stay put."
Banzai: "Well...can't I just pick off one of the little sick ones?"
- —Banzai and Shenzi
Like most hyenas in The Lion King, Banzai has somewhat of a crazy and hot-headed personality. Realistic to his species, he laughs and jokes around a lot, making it hard for him to focus and/or be serious. He gets hungry very easily, an example being when he wants to hunt wildebeest rather than carry out Scar's plan to kill Mufasa. He is also the most unfortunate of the hyenas, as he is the most prone to getting hurt. His role in the trio seems to be that of the group's "muscle," partly due to his physical durability concerning the aforementioned injuries. He tends to get along well with Shenzi. He often acts and speaks without thinking, losing his temper with Ed twice, and he even quietly remarks to his friends that Mufasa was a better king than Scar, which almost got him in trouble with his boss.
- Banzai: "Hey, did we order this dinner to-go?"
Shenzi: "No. Why?"
Banzai: "Cause there it goes!"
- —Banzai and Shenzi about Nala and Simba
Banzai is a hyena who eventually becomes a primary henchmen of Scar's. He belongs to a trio made up of himself, Ed, and Shenzi.
- Banzai: "I thought things were bad under Mufasa."
Scar: "What did you say?!"
Banzai: "I said Muf-"
Shenzi: "*Nudges Banzai*"
Banzai: "I said, uh, qué pasa?"
- —Banzai, Scar, and Shenzi
Banzai is first seen in The Lion King when Simba and Nala are exploring the Elephant Graveyard. Simba walks up to an elephant skull and laughs dramatically in front of it. Banzai, who's hiding inside the skull with Ed and Shenzi, echoes his laughter and climbs out of the skull with his fellow hyenas. The trio accuses Nala, Simba, and Zazu of trespassing onto their territory amidst Zazu's assurances that they had just wandered in by accident. But Shenzi soon figures out that Zazu is Mufasa's majordomo and Banzai finds out from Simba that he's the future king. Fixed on eating them, the hyenas begin to make jokes about food.
But as they're distracted, the cubs and Zazu have time to run away. Too late, Ed warns Banzai and Shenzi that the cubs have gotten away and the hyenas give chase. They manage to catch Zazu and stick him into the birdie boiler. Meanwhile, Nala and Simba come back to rescue him, but end up being chased themselves. The cubs are soon cornered and the hyenas slowly close in on them. Simba bravely tries to protect Nala by standing in front of her and roaring, but his efforts are futile, as the hyenas are more amused than scared. But at that moment, there's a magnificent roar and Mufasa leaps down the rocks at the hyenas. After a brief struggle, he pins them to the ground and warns them to never come near his son again. After another deafening roar, he sends the hyenas scurrying away.
Later, Banzai and his friends appear back at the graveyard. Banzai is seen grumpily complaining about a series of claw scratches on his butt, which were inflicted by Mufasa. Ed continuously laughs at this and the two soon get into a brawl. Shenzi is disgusted and the fight breaks up. Banzai instead begins to slam lions. He and Shenzi call them rude names, such as "pushy," "hairy," "stinky," and "ugly." But as they finish talking and start laughing, Scar speaks from a nearby ledge, contradicting their insulting description of lions. Upon recognizing their old friend, Banzai expresses his relief that Scar hadn't been someone important, like Mufasa. The hyenas then start to talk about how powerful Mufasa is, and Scar is disgusted. Banzai tries to lighten the mood by telling Scar that he was part of their group, but Scar isn't impressed. Banzai then asks him if he brought anything for them to eat and Scar tells them that they should've eaten Simba and Nala when they had the chance, but he still throws them a zebra haunch, which the hyenas eagerly begin to eat. Banzai tells Scar that they couldn't have killed the cubs anyway because they would've had to kill Mufasa. Scar smiles sinisterly at this and launches into "Be Prepared."
The next day, Banzai and his friends help Scar in his plan to assassinate Mufasa. Banzai is tempted to eat a wildebeest while waiting for Scar's signal, but Shenzi doesn't allow it. After Scar gives the signal, the three hyenas chase the herd of wildebeest down into the gorge where Simba is waiting, then wait at the top of the rise for Scar.
After joining up with Scar again, the hyenas are sent after Simba, who has run away from the gorge after encountering his father's dead body. The three chase him until he catapults himself into a dense thorn thicket. Banzai tries to stop himself from being hurled in too, but gets pushed in by Ed and Shenzi, who run into him after sliding down the side of a steep slope. Banzai climbs back out of the thicket, covered in thorns, and tries to get Ed and Shenzi to keep chasing after Simba. But Shenzi refuses and tells him that she didn't want to come out looking like him. Banzai gingerly removes some of the thorns from his pelt and pointedly spits some at Ed, who yelps and covers his face. The hyenas then decide to leave Simba for dead and tell Scar that they had finished the job.
Years later, after Scar has taken over the Pride Lands and let the hyenas join the pride, Banzai comes before Scar to complain about the lack of food. All the hyenas are starving and the trio tells Scar that the lionesses weren't hunting for them. Scar tells Banzai to eat Zazu, who is trapped in a bone cage, but Banzai angrily mutters to Ed and Shenzi that he had thought things were bad under Mufasa. Scar angrily asks Banzai what he said and before Banzai could tell him he said, "Mufasa," a nervous Shenzi hits him with her elbow, prompting Banzai to quickly correct himself by claiming to have said, "Qué pasa?". Still touchy about Banzai's comment, Scar grouchily tells the hyenas to leave. The three start to depart, but Banzai pauses and he tells Scar they're still hungry. Scar then yells at them to get out and the hyenas race away, startled.
Not long after this, Simba returns to the Pride Lands, now fully grown. Scar, who's surprised to see Simba, plainly makes his point that the hyenas hadn't done their job, by saying, "I'm a little surprised to see you! ...Alive." He then angrily glares up at the hyenas (angry for them not being able to kill Simba), who gulp and back away into the shadows. Later, during the battle between the hyenas and the lionesses, the hyenas chase Timon into Scar's cave and trap him in the bone cage with Zazu. But Timon and Zazu are soon freed by Pumbaa, who rushes into the cave and chases the hyenas away.
Later, Simba corners Scar at the top of Pride Rock. Scar, who's desperate to stay alive, blames the hyenas for everything that had gone wrong since Mufasa's death. Unbeknown to him, all three hyenas are listening in the shadows. After hearing what Scar has said, the three back away, growling. Scar and Simba get into an epic battle and Simba throws Scar off the side of the ledge. At the same moment, the hyenas appear before Scar, including Banzai, Ed, and Shenzi. At first, Scar is relieved to see his friends, but the hyenas laugh at him and remind him that he had said they were the enemy. As Scar realizes what's happening, he begs for his life, but the hyenas, ignoring his pleas and giving in to their hunger, jump on Scar and eat him alive.
- "Yeesh, this place is even creepier since the hyenas ran off."
- —Nuka about the Elephant Graveyard
- Shenzi: "Ooh, encore, encore!"
Banzai: "No, no, no. You mean, 'entree, entree.'"
- —Banzai and Shenzi after watching Timon and Pumbaa break dance
Banzai has a much less prominent role in the third film, as does Ed and Shenzi.
Towards the beginning of the film, Timon is on sentry duty for his colony. But whilst singing "That's All I Need," he fails to notice Banzai and his companions sneaking up on him. The hyenas surround him, then clap and cheer sarcastically after he finishes singing. As Timon realizes what's happening, the hyenas push him aside and start to infiltrate his meerkat colony. Though they fail to devour any meerkats, Banzai nearly catches Uncle Max, who barely escapes in time. After the meerkats are safely in their holes, the hyenas walk away, guffawing.
Banzai is later seen during the battle at Pride Rock. After Timon and Pumbaa successfully distract the hyenas with a Hawaiian war chant, they are chased into Scar's inner cave. But Pumbaa chases them back out with his flatulence. Later, the hyenas are preparing to attack Simba, but are again distracted by Timon and Pumbaa, who insult Banzai and his companions with a joke aimed at hyenas. Ed stupidly laughs at it and Banzai slaps him. He and the rest of his companions go after Timon and Pumbaa and manage to corner them at the edge of Pride Rock. Timon and Pumbaa try several tactics to stall them while Uncle Max and Ma dig a tunnel underneath them to make them fall off of Pride Rock. But when the trap tunnel initially fails, Banzai and the other hyenas move in to kill Ma, Pumbaa, and Uncle Max. Unwilling to give up, Timon jumps down between Shenzi's legs and bravely completes the tunnel. The hyenas then fall through the ground and plummet to the bottom of Pride Rock, where they meet Scar after he is thrown off a cliff by Simba.
- "If Mufasa looks like a loser, you'll look good."
- —Banzai to Taka
Upon entering the Pride Lands, Rafiki is attacked by the hyena trio at Five Stones. But before the hyenas can hurt him, a mighty roar stops them in their tracks and they look up to see Ahadi arriving with his two sons, Mufasa and Taka. He chides the hyenas on their constant hunting and reminds them that it was against the regulations of the Pride Lands to hunt for sport. Though they try to protest, the hyenas are silenced and ordered away. They are later mentioned during an exchange between Ahadi and his subjects, who are worried that the hyenas are causing too much trouble among the other Pridelanders. Ahadi agrees to take care of them, but breaks his promise to Taka in doing so.
After the meeting comes to an end, Taka joins up with the hyenas to warn them that Ahadi is looking for them. But as he waits for them beneath a tree, they jump out at him, snarling. Taka is unsurprised and responds sarcastically, but the hyenas are pleased and convinced that they'd scared him. Taka orders the hyenas to listen and warns them that Ahadi is out looking for them. Banzai suggests moving to the snowy mountains, but his idea is quickly dismissed. The hyenas then turn the discussion to Ahadi and Mufasa. When Taka tells them that Ahadi has broken his promise to him again, the hyenas suggest he make Mufasa look bad to make Ahadi have more respect for him and maybe even think about making him king instead of Mufasa. Taka tries the idea, but his plot is uncovered by Rafiki, who was watching the secret meeting from a nearby tree.
Nala and Ni are attacked by hyenas in this book, but it is unknown whether Banzai is among them.
First VisitThe hyena trio can be seen at Pride Rock. As they're about to attack Sora, Donald, and Goofy, Scar roars and the hyenas are distracted. When Nala knocks down Scar, she tells Sora, Donald, and Goofy to run. The three heroes run away with Banzai, Ed, Shenzi, and the other hyenas in pursuit. The trio is seen again at Pride Rock, preventing Simba from getting to Scar. Sora tells Simba to go after Scar while his friends handle the hyenas. Timon and Pumbaa knock the hyenas into the air, then run into Pride Rock with the hyenas in pursuit. Sora, Donald, and Goofy battle the hyena trio inside Pride Rock. The hyenas are easily defeated and run away from the Pride Lands.
Later on in the game, the trio of hyenas are fought again for information on the source of Scar's ghost. They know nothing of the ghost and taunt Simba about it. They also seem to have somewhat of a grudge against Sora, Donald, and Goofy, as it was thanks to their part in overthrowing Scar that they were sent back to the Elephant Graveyard to eat scraps.
Relationships with Other Characters
- Ed: Banzai and Ed are never seen without each other. Whether this is because they're siblings or just close friends is unknown. Though they spend lots of time with each other and enjoy joking around together, Banzai and Ed tend to bicker a lot. Whenever Banzai is injured or embarrassed, Ed makes a show of laughing at him. This appears to be constant, as Banzai has little patience for his hysterical friend. Despite this, the two are inseparable partners in crime.
- Scar: Despite Scar's attitude that he is superior to the hyenas, Banzai thinks of Scar as one of the group. Scar seems to have little connection to Banzai and his companions and only hangs around them for moral support. The hyenas, however, enjoy having him around because of the food he brings them. Banzai also seems to enjoy his company, even though the two are polar opposites. Their connection, however, is obliterated in the end after Scar betrays them to Simba. Banzai ultimately makes the decision to favor his own needs over Scar.
- Shenzi: In just the same way as it is with Ed, Banzai and Shenzi are never seen without each other. The two seem to share a brother-sister bond, as they often joke around together despite the occasional disagreements. Shenzi seems to be at a higher rank than Banzai, which is most prominent when Banzai willingly submits to her orders and asks for her approval before going through with something drastic. But social status hardly ever gets in the way of the fun moments the two have to share. Their constant joking around and poking fun at other characters is what sets them apart as two crazy unlikely friends.
- It's implied that Banzai and his companions begged Scar to join their gang, as revealed in A Tale of Two Brothers.
- In "Chow Down," it is revealed by Shenzi that Sarafina ate Banzai's father.
- In The Lion King 1½, Banzai and the other hyenas are distracted by Timon and Pumbaa during the attack on Pride Rock. This seems to be a mistake, as Banzai and his companions would not have been in the right place at the right time to have heard Scar betray them.
- Like Tama, Banzai's name is of Japanese origin.
- In The Lion King storybook CD, the narrator quotes, "It was Banzai, his partner, Shenzi, and the always laughing Ed." This could be hinting that Banzai and Shenzi are mates.
- The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa - (1995-1998) - (TV series) - Rob Paulsen
- The Lion King 1½ - (2004) - (film) - Cheech Marin
- Kingdom Hearts II - (2005) - (video game) - Cheech Marin
- "Chow Down" (musical)
- "The Madness of King Scar" (musical)
- "Man, that lousy Mufasa! I won't be able to sit for a week."
- —Banzai complains about a wound on his rear
- Banzai: "Yeah, be prepared. Yeah-heh, we'll be prepared, heh...for what?"
Scar: "For the death of the king."
Banzai: "Why? Is he sick?"
Scar: "No, fool. We're gonna kill him. And Simba, too."
- —Banzai and Scar in "Be Prepared"
- Shenzi: "Hey, there he goes! There he goes!"
Banzai: "So go get 'im."
Shenzi: "There ain't no way I'm goin' in there. What, you want me to come out looking like you, cactus butt?"
- —Banzai and Shenzi after Banzai falls into a thorn pit whilst chasing Simba
- Shenzi: "Oh, look, it's dinner and a show!"
Banzai: "And I thought beans were the only musical food."
- —Banzai and Shenzi about Timon