|Appearances||The Art of The Lion King|
Mouse Under Glass
|Close Relations||Sarafina (mother)|
- "...and the ones [Simba] leaves behind, love interest Nala, her mischievous kid brother Mheetu, and her wisecracking companion Bhati, a bat-eared fox"
- —Mouse Under Glass
Mheetu is Nala's deleted younger brother.
According to his colored concepts, Mheetu has pale reddish-orange fur, as well as a black nose. As for his uncolored concept art, he is shown to have an Outlander nose like Scar and a small hair tuft. In his newer concept art, Mheetu has dark golden fur and what appears to be green eyes, as well as a black nose.
From his concepts and previous places in the story, Mheetu is shown to be gullible and innocent as well as playful. The Laserdisc says Mheetu is constantly getting into trouble.
- "Initially, Nala had a little brother that I included so she could protect him from Scar. There was a lot in the Pride Lands while Simba is away with Timon and Pumbaa, but it was too depressing. How do you animate a concentration camp?"
- —Linda Woolverton on Mheetu
Mheetu was present in an earlier draft of The Lion King when the film was called King of the Jungle, and still in its very early stages. He was created by Linda Woolverton specifically so Nala, his older sister, could protect him from the deadly clutches of Scar or his hyenas.
This idea was dropped because Woolverton felt that, after Mufasa's death, the film had gotten too dark. Also, she didn't know how to go about animating a concentration camp, thus this idea was dropped and they decided to focus of Simba and his new friends instead of Nala and her brother.
- "At one time, Simba had a whole menagerie of friends, including another lion cub (Mee-Too) and a bat-eared fox"
- —The Art of The Lion King
- "His best friend Nala (or Nadra) and her companions: her little brother Mheetu and a bat-eared fox"
- —The Lion King Laserdisc
Before Scar murders Mufasa and takes over, Mheetu was apart of Nala's (then named Nadra) gang alongside a bat-eared fox named Bhati, while Simba's gang consisted of Timon and Pumbaa (then named Harold). All of these characters were originally scripted to grow up around the prince as childhood friends. Why this idea was scrapped is unclear, however it's likely some characters, like Timon and Pumbaa, were needed and better fit to be introduce later, while other characters, like Mheetu, really had no purpose thus were removed entirely. Also, with so many characters around, it would be difficult to focus on the main character, Simba.
They played Kopje, "King of the Hill" in English, according to the Laserdisc.
Mufasa and Simba save Mheetu
- "Mheetu was Nala's "Tag-along" little brother, who was always getting into trouble"
- —The Laserdisc on Mheetu
While he was still a cub, Scar, a rogue lion at this time, managed to lure Mheetu into the gorge, and into a wildebeest stampede. His real intentions were not to have Mheetu killed however, but Simba killed, who was an adolescent at the time. Simba risks himself to save Nala's brother, but it's Mufasa who ultimately rescues the two from their doom.
- Mheetu is listed as Nala's little brother in one book, (Mouse Under Glass) and as Simba's in another (A Great Leap). In the film, Simba clearly remarks he's Scar's only nephew and there are more sources outnumbering the book that point to Nala, not to mention the creator of Mheetu, Linda Woolverton, who says the cub was Nala's brother. This is a mistake, as even Bhati is spelled as "Bahti."
- The Art of The Lion King contradicts the Laserdisc release of The Lion King, saying Mheetu was a part of Simba's gang, not Nala's.
- Thom Enriquez, Mheetu's designer, has confirmed cub concepts to be Mheetu, adding that he did a few cub Simba images that the public has never seen.