Stuff it, fur-brains!
Janja is a spotted hyena who serves as the main antagonist of The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar and the main antagonist in its follow-up series The Lion Guard. He is the leader of a clan of hyenas that resides in the Outlands.
Janja is an ashen-gray hyena with a lighter underbelly and darker spots along his back. His mane is spiked back, and there is a notch in his left ear. Unlike his clan, whose tails are all black, the underside of Janja's tail is gray. Janja and the rest of his clan don't appear to be fully grown, as they are only slightly bigger than a lion cub.
Like his hyena ancestors before him, Janja is a greedy and selfish leader with no regard for the Circle of Life. His unabated hunger drives him to extreme measures, as he is willing to stand against Simba and the Lion Guard, and his ruthless nature shines through in even everyday interactions.
Janja is unforgiving to his minions and mercilessly mocks them in front of the clan, refusing to believe their excuses and stories. This is likely because his minions are not his friends; they are simply a means to an end, for Janja is crafty and uses his clan mates to do his dirty work for him.
Janja's intelligence is undeniable. Surrounded on all sides by witless hyenas, he stands out as the one clever member of the clan, utilizing his allies to take down the Circle of Life. Under Janja's guidance, the hyenas prove a great threat, especially since they are often swayed to his side through his natural charisma and cunning. Janja will ensure that the clan's goals always align with his own.
Despite his ruthless ambition and sharp intellect, Janja is a coward when the odds are no longer in his favor, and he is known to promptly turn tail and run when faced with a fair fight.
The Pride Lands will never know what bit 'em.
Not long after this, Mzingo hears that Kion has been appointed the leader of the new Lion Guard, and he reports back to Janja about the newly formed team. When Janja hears the news, he announces to his clan that they will strike that very night.
After Kion assembles his team, Bunga calls to him, shouting that the hyenas are attacking a herd of gazelles. With no time to lose, Kion assembles the Lion Guard. Together, the five friends attack the hyenas, driving them back into the Outlands. Kion finishes the fight with the powerful Roar of the Elders, and even Janja flees in terror. Before leaving, he warns Kion that their conflict is far from over.
C'mon, boys. Let's remind Jasiri what happens to someone who wanders into our part of the Outlands!
Janja, Cheezi, and Chungu are seen attacking a herd of oryx just before the Lion Guard arrives. Kion orders the rest of the Lion Guard to calm the herd while he goes after the hyenas. However, during the pursuit, Kion falls into a river, which sweeps him into the Outlands.
Janja and his clan later appear when they confront a female hyena named Jasiri, who had helped Kion get to Flat Ridge Rock. Jasiri is able to easily fend off Cheezi and Chungu, but is pinned down by Janja. Luckily, Kion returns and saves Jasiri by using the Roar of the Elders to scare Janja and his clan away.
Be a shame if their family squabbles led to chaos in the Pride Lands.
After spying on Kiara and Kion and learning that Simba and Nala are away, Mzingo reports back to Janja, explaining that the royal cubs are fighting in the wake of Simba's departure. Janja decides to take advantage of the family struggles and instructs Mzingo to take a special message to Kiara.
Under Janja's instructions, Mzingo lands on the peak of Pride Rock and offers a peace proposal to Kiara. Though suspicious, the cub listens as Mzingo tells her that Janja wishes to meet her at Broken Rock, which serves as neutral ground between the Pride Lands and the Outlands. Kiara promises to think the offer over, and Mzingo flies away.
When Kion hears about the proposal, he desperately tries to talk his sister out of it, but Kiara points out that Janja probably came to her because Kion is constantly running him off. Furious, Kion points out that she's not really the queen, but Kiara resolves to do things her own way. A frustrated Kion refuses to take part in her plan and runs off into the savanna.
Eventually, Kiara reaches Broken Rock, where Janja surrounds her with his cronies, but just in time, Kion arrives with the Lion Guard, and Janja flees. As the hyenas scurry away, Kiara admits that Kion had been right about not being able to trust Janja.
Janja can be seen in the midst of a wildebeest stampede with his minions, Cheezi and Chungu. The hyenas attempt to use the rising dust from the stampede to mask their movements, but Ono spots them from the air and warns the Lion Guard of their location. The hyenas are driven off, though they later overhear the vultures talking and realize that Ono has lost his sight.
Under Janja's instruction, Cheezi and Chungu help trap the Lion Guard in a ravine. With the team trapped, they attempt to pick off a herd of zebras, but Ono once again comes to the rescue, and Kion busts his team free using the Roar of the Elders. Once more at a loss, the hyenas flee into the Outlands.
Okay, Kion, you want the jackal? He's all yours.
When Bunga discovers that he's immune to snake bites, he attempts to climb to the top of the volcano. Janja is alerted to Bunga's presence by Cheezi, and the hyenas attempt to eat the honey badger until the rest of the Lion Guard shows up to drive them off.
Along with Cheezi and Chungu, Janja sneaks into the Pride Lands, where he encounters a group of young animals playing "Lion Guard." The hyenas immediately begin to follow them, and when they catch up to Mtoto and his friends, the young animals flee in panic. After a brief skirmish, the hyenas target Mtoto as the slowest. Meanwhile, the young animals rush up to Beshte and beg him to save Mtoto.
Just in time, Beshte shows up to save Mtoto from the hyenas, and the two escape into the water. Together, Beshte and Mtoto manage to avoid the hyenas, who skulk on the edges of the river, trying to catch a bite of them as they pass. Eventually, the rest of the Lion Guard appears and dispatches of the hyenas, who are knocked into the pool, where they're chased in circles by a crocodile float.
Say goodbye, 'cuz if I'm not eatin' impala today, I'm eatin' drongo.
Eventually, they follow Janja's voice to where Tamaa sits perched in a bush, and he admits to mimicking predators in order to scare off small animals. Several times, he accidentally uses Janja's voice, and he mimics him most prominently in the song "Bird of a Thousand Voices".
Not long after this, the real Janja shows up, flanked by Cheezi and Chungu. Together, the three hyenas attempt to take down a herd of impalas, but the Lion Guard chases them away from the herd. After leaving the impalas behind, Janja happens to overhear Tamaa and corners him in a bush. Tamaa begs the hyenas not to eat him, and Janja assures him that he has other plans for the drongo. Sure enough, Janja forces Tamaa to imitate Kion's voice and send a herd of impalas into the Outlands. The plan works, and the hyenas hold Tamaa captive as they follow the herd into the Outlands.
Back in the Pride Lands, the Lion Guard happens across a zebra who is fervently trying to escape danger. Upon being questioned, the zebra reveals that he and the impalas had heard Kion instructing them to go to the Outlands for safety. Suspicious, Kion surmises that Janja is forcing Tamaa to herd impalas into the Outlands for his own satisfaction, and the Lion Guard rushes to put a stop to the danger.
Meanwhile, Tamaa is forced to watch as Janja creeps up on the herd of impalas, who have been successfully herded into the Outlands. With Janja distracted, Tamaa manages to imitate his voice and trick Cheezi into letting him go. Once free, Tamaa imitates the other Lion Guard members and scares Janja and his cronies into a huddle.
However, Janja realizes that Cheezi had let the drongo go, and he corners Tamaa in the ravine. Just in time, the real Lion Guard arrives and chases the hyenas away from Tamaa and the herd of impalas.
Once Ono leaves, we can spook 'em. And then those stripey treats will be ours for the takin'.
As Ono escorts a zebra herd home, they are watched from a nearby ridge by Janja and his cronies, Cheezi and Chungu. The three hyenas sing "Panic and Run", in which they resolve to eat the zebra herd. Once the herd is back in their grazing grounds, the hyenas attack, and Ono rushes off to fetch the rest of his team.
Once there, Kion instructs his friends to take on Cheezi and Chungu, while he handles Janja. As Janja chases a zebra around a large rock, Kion decides to climb an overhanging tree branch in order to ambush him, but Bunga races after him, tackling him to the ground. Together, the two fall on top of Janja, who races off to the Outlands.
What's the matter, zebras? Not gonna run? Don't we scare you?
When Kion leads a herd of gazelles and zebras through the Outlands, one of the zebras gives birth to a foal, whose loud bray attracts Janja's attention. Together with Cheezi and Chungu, he attempts to scatter the herd, but they stand together, protecting Muhimu and her foal. Unwilling to give up, Janja breaks through the line of zebras until he is kicked in the face by Muhimu's foal, after which he backs off, racing away with Cheezi and Chungu. As he flees, Janja declares that he's never liked zebra anyway, with Cheezi and Chungu agreeing, saying that zebras are too "chewy" and "stripey."
There ain't no new plan! You're not in the crew anymore! Get out of the Outlands!
Once back home in the Outlands, Janja blames all his failed plans on Cheezi and Chungu. In a fury, he fires them and hires Nne and Tano in their place. He then orders his new recruits to drive Cheezi and Chungu out of the Outlands, which they proceed to do without delay.
With his new seconds-in-command listening, Janja attempts to explain that he makes all the plans for the clan, but Nne and Tano interrupt, declaring that they already have a plan. Janja listens in confusion as the two explain their plot: they will bait the Lion Guard with a herd of stampeding antelope and then switch direction to attack a herd of oryxes. Surprised with the ingeniousness of the plan, Janja agrees.
The plan goes underway, and the Lion Guard takes the bait. Janja nearly gives the clan away until Nne and Tano pull him into hiding. Once the Guard is gone, the hyenas begin to chase a herd of oryxes, but in the midst of the chase, Nne and Tano betray Janja, forcing him off the edge of a cliff. Janja lands safely on a ledge, but he finds himself trapped against the side of the cliff.
As Nne and Tano run off without him, Janja cries out for them, attracting the attention of the Lion Guard and his former minions, Cheezi and Chungu. The Lion Guard questions Janja on Nne and Tano's plan, and Janja explains what they had been intending to do. While the Lion Guard races off in pursuit of Nne and Tano, Cheezi and Chungu leap down the cliff to give Janja company.
Meanwhile, the Lion Guard defeats Nne and Tano, with Kion using the Roar of the Elders to keep them from harming the oryxes. From his place on the cliff, Janja comments that this is the first time he has ever liked hearing the sound of Kion's Roar. No sooner has he spoken when the Roar causes the ledge to break, taking Janja and his minions with it.
The three land safely on the ground, and Janja sets off to the Outlands. Cheezi and Chungu stare after him wistfully until he demands to know if they are coming with him or not. Delighted, the two tear after him, and the three return to the Outlands, once more a united crew.
Relax; she ain't so tough. Out here all alone... outnumbered.
When Janja and his clan invade the Pride Lands, the Lion Guard drives them back into the Outlands. However, once the Lion Guard departs, Janja leads his clan back into the kingdom, and the Lion Guard rushes back to stop them. Before the team can reach the hyenas, the clan runs into Kion's mother, Nala, who orders Janja to return to his territory.
Instead of heeding Nala's warning, Janja surrounds her with his cronies and orders an attack. Just then, Kion arrives and, seeing his mother in danger, uses the Roar of the Elders in a rage. The blast is so powerful that it knocks the hyenas back into the Outlands.
How're you going to stop me, Kion? I'm between you and the klipspringers.
While out flying with his idol Hadithi, Ono spots a group of klipspringers being trapped on the edge of a cliff by Janja and his minions, Cheezi and Chungu. He suggests that they use the Hadithi Spin to thwart the hyenas, but Hadithi argues that Ono is not ready for such a feat. He then takes off for the ceremony, leaving Ono behind to deal with the crisis.
On his own, Ono attempts to stop the hyenas using the Hadithi Spin, but falls and gets his wing trapped beneath a boulder. Cheezi and Chungu hungrily climb up the cliffs to reach him, while Janja rounds up the trapped klipspringers.
However, before the hyenas can hurt Ono, Hadithi returns with the Lion Guard, and Fuli fends off Cheezi and Chungu. Meanwhile, Bunga and Kion confront Janja, while Beshte pushes a boulder down for the klipspringers to use as an escape. As Fuli guides the klipspringers to safety, one slips and falls, prompting Janja and his minions to spring an attack. Just in time, Ono and Hadithi fly past and begin to circle the hyenas, making them dizzy. Eventually, they topple off the cliffs and land in the water below.
- Although Janja is written as the leader of his clan, a hyena clan is realistically led by a female.
- A teaser for The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar confirms that Janja's clan is descended from the hyenas of the original film.
The Lion King Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Janja.
|The Lion Guard|
|"Never Judge a Hyena by its Spots":||"The Rise of Makuu":||"Bunga the Wise":||"Can't Wait to be Queen":||"Eye of the Beholder":||"The Kupatana Celebration":||"Fuli's New Family":|
|"The Search for Utamu":||"Follow that Hippo!":||"The Call of the Drongo":||"Paintings and Predictions":||"The Mbali Fields Migration":||"Bunga and the King":||"The Imaginary Okapi":|
|"Too Many Termites":||"The Trouble with Galagos":||"Janja's New Crew":||"Baboons!":||"Beware the Zimwi":||"Lions of the Outlands":||"Never Roar Again":|
|"The Lost Gorillas":||"The Trail to Udugu":||"Ono's Idol":||"Beshte and the Hippo Lanes":||"Ono the Tickbird":||"TBA":||"TBA":|
|Characters from The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar|