Elephants (Loxodonta africana) are animals that live in the Pride Lands. They serve a minor role in the films.
In the Real World
Elephants are large land mammals in two genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta. Three species of elephant are living today: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant and the Asian elephant.
The African Elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal, normally reaching 6 to 7.3 metres (19.7 to 24.0 ft) in length and 3.5 to 4 metres (11.5 to 13.1 ft) in height at the head, and weighing between 6,000 to 9,000 kg (13,000 to 20,000 lb)..
African Elephants are mostly herbivorous. Their diet varies according to their habitat; elephants living in forests, partial deserts, and grasslands all eat different proportions of herbs and tree or shrubbery leaves. These animals typically ingest an average of 225 kg of vegetable matter daily, which is defecated without being fully digested. Elephants are capable of ripping apart all kind of plants, and knock down trees with the tusks if they are not able to reach the tree leaves. Elephants also drink great quantities of water, over 190 liters per day.
The animal is characterized by its large head; two large ears that cover its shoulders and radiate excess heat; a large and muscular trunk; two prominent tusks, which are well-developed in both sexes, although more commonly in males; a short neck; a large, barrel-like body; four long and heavy legs; and a relatively short tail.
The animal is protected by a heavy but flexible layer of gray-brown skin, dotted with mostly undeveloped patches of hair and long, black hair at the tip of its tail. Its back feet have three toes that form a hoof, while the number of toes on the front feet have varied between four and five. The forehead is smoother and less convex than that of the Asian Elephant.
The trunk is the most characteristic feature of the African Elephant. It is formed by the fusion and elongation of the nose and upper lip, forming a flexible and strong organ made purely of muscle.
- "I told the elephants to forget it, but they can't."
- —Zazu mentions elephants during his morning report
Elephants first appear during the "Circle of Life" heading towards Simba's presentation, and are seen rejoicing when Rafiki lifts Simba on the summit of Pride Rock. In both the original and Platinum Edition versions of the "The Morning Report" sequence, Zazu mentions elephants. Red colored elephants appear in the song, "I Just Can't Wait to be King," when Zazu uses its ear to clean him off after falling into a pool of mud. A herd of elephants are also seen in the number when Simba and Nala are underneath the herd dancing as Zazu looks for them. There is also an Elephant Graveyard, which has the bones and decayed skin of the large mammals. In the "Hakuna Matata" scene during Pumbaa's flashback, an elephant is seen running from Pumbaa's flatulence. At the end of the film, a group of elephants are trumpeting in celebration for Simba and Nala's newborn cub.
In The Lion King II, some elephants are seen traveling to Kiara's presentation, and are exuberant when Kiara is held before the Pride Lands. During the song of "We are One," a herd of elephants are seen as Simba and Kiara look over the Pride Lands from a dead tree branch. Later on, some are seen around Pride Rock in the scene, "Not One of Us," as Kovu looks back to the Pride Lands after he is sentenced to exile.
Elephants, like in the first two films, play a minor role in The Lion King 1½. When Pumbaa releases his flatulence, an elephant is seen flailing his trunk. During Timon and Pumbaa's peaceful morning, Timon hears the animals singing "I Just Can't Wait to be King" near their initial dream home. Disturbed by their singing, Timon uses his stick to hit an elephant's leg, which ends collapsing the animal tower. No more elephants are seen in the movie with the expectation of Dumbo, who is seen arriving to the second viewing of the movie.
Elephants can be seen complaining to Ahadi about the drought. They later come to the rescue of Taka after he is injured by buffalo. While one elephant helps to carry Taka, another helps Boma out of a gully that he's trapped in, with the other elephants journeying back to Pride Rock with the king and his sons.
Elephants are mentioned in a saying by Timon: The elephant is big, and the meerkat is small. But neither ever forgets a friend - or an enemy.
- Tombo is a young elephants who lives with his mother, and becomes a hero in Simba and the Sad Elephant.
- Cheka is a young elephant who makes his first and only appearance in How True, Zazu?.
- Ned the Elephant is a popular elephant in The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa.
- Jumbo Jumbo is another elephant character in The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa.
- An male elephant named Jumbo Jumbo, appeared in a Timon & Pumbaa episode called Zazu's Off Day Off.