Simba (stepbrother; briefly)
- "Everyone thinks I'm clever and brave, but I always get lost."
- —Malka to Simba
Malka has pale orange fur, red eyes, and brown ear rims. His most distinguishing feature is the unique black ear tufts that sprout from his ears, as well as the brown tuft of his tail in contrast to the black tuft on his head.
- "I have lost my pride so many times and every time I get scared. Then, I thought I'd lost you as well!"
- —Malka to Simba
Malka is a fun-loving and curious cub. Though he pretends to be brave, he often gets scared and lost. He is outgoing in terms of making friends, as he openly expresses his opinion and doesn't hesitate to ask strange cubs to play with him. He is a bit of a show-off in the respect that he will fake bravery in order to receive praise. This often leads to him being boastful and proud of his accomplishments. This changes, however, when he reveals his true feelings to Simba; after the truth is out, Malka is relieved. By the end of the story, he is less prideful and more confident in his own skin, even with his faults.
- Mufasa: "That little cub is very brave, whoever he is!"
Simba: "Pah, he only saved a couple of half-eaten bones!"
- —Mufasa and Simba about Malka
- Mufasa: "In the meantime, he is welcome to stay with our pride. Will you keep an eye on him, Simba?"
Simba: "B-b-but what if we never find his pride?"
Mufasa: "Well, then he'll stay with us forever."
Sarabi: "And you will have a new brother!"
- —Mufasa, Sarabi, and Simba about Malka
Simba and Nala are play-fighting near Pride Rock when Malka approaches them. A lioness sitting nearby asks her companion if she's ever seen Malka before, but the other lioness denies this, assuming that the cub has lost his pride. As Malka draws nearer, he is impressed by Nala's skills and the fact that "a girl lion" can knock Simba over. He tells Simba that he didn't even stand a chance against her. Simba stiffly replies that he had only been playing-fighting with Nala, and Malka compliments Nala on her "beautiful name." He then introduces himself and asks if he can play with her. Simba is disgusted and calls Malka a "slimeball" behind his back.
As they are about to play, Malka spots two hyenas stealing food from the lionesses. He rushes at them, growling, and alerts the two lionesses sitting nearby. The lionesses praise him for his bravery and chase away the hyenas. Mufasa is impressed with Malka's behavior, but Simba protests that he'd just saved a couple of half-eaten bones. Sarabi comes up to Mufasa and tells him the cub's name. She then reports that Malka had told her how he had lost his pride and that he had been searching for them for days. Mufasa tells Zazu to keep a look out for the cub's pride. He then announces that, in the meantime, Malka was welcome to stay with their pride. He asks Simba to keep an eye on him and Simba asks what would happen if they never found his pride. Mufasa replies that Malka would stay forever, and Sarabi adds that Simba would have a new brother.
Simba is disgusted and inwardly resents Malka for sharing his position as prince. As he has these thoughts, Malka approaches him and tells him that Nala had left with Sarafina. He then asks Simba if he wanted to play with him. Simba, wanting to get rid of Malka, decides to take him to his favorite hiding place. As they run off, Malka tells Simba that Mufasa wouldn't regret taking him in, and that the king now had two brave lion sons. Simba thinks to himself that it hopefully wouldn't last for long.
As they venture deeper into the gorge where Simba is taking them, Malka asks Simba how they would find their way back. Simba tells him that it wasn't a problem, and thinks to himself, "At least not for me!" He then tells Malka that they were going to play hide-and-seek. He tells Malka to count while he goes to hide. Malka hesitantly agrees to this. As Simba runs away, he laughs at Malka, convinced that he would never find his pride now. But then Malka cries out after Simba, begging him to come back. At last, Simba complies, afraid that Malka could really be in trouble. But when he reaches Malka, the cub is in no danger. Simba asks why he's crying, and Malka admits that he's scared. Simba asks him what he's scared of, and Malka admits that everyone thought he was brave and clever, but he was really always getting lost. He tells Simba that he'd lost his pride so many times and was always frightened of being alone. He was afraid that he had lost Simba, too.
Simba tells Malka that he would never leave him; he had promised to look after him. Malka is moved by how nice Simba has been, but admits that he misses his mother. Simba understands, and decides to lead Malka back to Pride Rock to see if Mufasa had news about Malka's pride. The two cubs start walking back to Pride Rock. On the way, Malka expresses his relief that Simba now knows the truth. Simba is kind about it and tells Malka that he had been brave to scare off those hyenas. Just as the words are out of his mouth, Simba spots the hyenas approaching them from behind. The hyenas give chase, eager now that the cubs are no longer defended by Mufasa and his pride. But Malka formulates a plan and leads Simba under a tree root. The hyenas can't fit through the small opening and the cubs get away.
Upon reaching Pride Rock, Simba sees that Zazu has brought a visitor. Malka immediately recognizes the strange lioness as his mother. The two unite, and his mother asks him how many times she'd told him not to run off on his own. Meanwhile, Zazu explains to Mufasa that Malka's pride lives on the other side of the mountains, not far from Pride Rock. Nala, who has joined the group, tells Malka that it was nice meeting him. Simba then invites him to come back and visit again. Malka accepts their offer, but suggests that Zazu come pick him up next time, so he wouldn't get lost. This is the last time Malka is either seen or mentioned.
- Malka is male, yet his name is feminine and means "queen."
- "I don't want him to be my brother. He's a right little show-off! Anyway, one prince is enough for this pride!"
- —Simba about Malka
- Nala: "It was nice to have you here, Malka."
Simba: "Yes, come and visit us again soon."
Malka: "Yes, I will. But maybe it would be best if Zazu came and picked me up. I don't want to get lost again. Ha! Ha!"
- —Malka, Nala, and Simba as Malka leaves