Small but chunky, Esme sports a pale pink coat and dark eyes. Presumably because she is still young, she does not have tusks yet.
Esme is a clear reflection of her age, bright-eyed and innocent. She is quick to help strangers, exposing a naive trust in those around her, though she can be fierce when challenged.
When wandering with her herd, Esme attempts to pick leaves off a tree but proves to be too short. Amused by her efforts, Simba and his friends reveal themselves to her, scaring her at first but eventually winning her trust. Deciding to trust the three, Esme reveals that her herd is going to an elephants' graveyard (mispronounced "heffalumps grainyard"), and, in return, Simba fetches her the leaves she'd been trying to reach.
After Esme returns to her herd, the three friends follow her out of curiosity, only to be spooked by the sight of the elephants' graveyard. While there, Simba is attacked by a porcupine named Spike, and Esme and her mother come to the rescue, bringing Simba to Grandmother Elephant to be healed.