|“|| The Mole: Zazu!|
The Mole: Sir! News from the underground.
In the movie, the mole has brown fur, creamy brown chest fur, buck teeth, and a brownish nose. In the television series, his design has been changed so that his eyes are wide, his nose is black, his teeth are short, and his outer fur is noticeably darker.
In the 2003 Special Edition version of the film, when Zazu begins to sing "The Morning Report," the mole pops up from a pile of dirt and is spotted by Simba, who tries to pounce on him, but the mole pops back into the dirt. The mole reappears, trying to get Mufasa's attention, but Simba notices him again, and the mole hides back in the dirt. For the third time, the mole reappears near a small rock, and Simba once more tries to pounce on him, but the mole disappears, causing Simba to hit his head on a rock. Mufasa notices Simba's activity and tries to get him to pounce on Zazu. Simba quietly pounces on Zazu, and the mole reappears, telling Zazu that the hyenas are in the Pride Lands.
The mole appears in a few Zazu-centered episodes in the television series, though his design in the series is noticeably different from his first appearance.
In "Zazu's Off Day Off," he brings news to Zazu that an elephant has blocked the river. In "Zazu's Off-by-One Day," the mole is temporarily given Zazu's job after Zazu makes an error while counting the animal population.
- According to the August 1993 script, written by the film's screenwriters, the character is properly identified as a mole. However, according to David Cleary's article on Thumper.net, moles only live in North America, Europe, and Asia. Cleary theorized that the character's species is either a mole rat (family Bathyergidae, 9 species in 5 genera) or a root rat (subfamily Rhizomyinae, genus Tachyoryctes, 2 species); these types of animals are native to sub-Saharan Africa, are about the size and shape of gophers, have very prominent gnawing incisors, dig extensive underground tunnels, and have visible (though very small) eyes.
- Cleary also theorized that the animators may have taken extensive liberty with the animal coloring of the gopher in the movie. This is indeed true as according to Internet Movie Database's trivia page for The Lion King, the character was originally going to be a naked mole rat, but the animators couldn't get the character to look right. One of the directors said, "We would've lost our G rating!"
- In Timon & Pumbaa, the mole is referred to as "Gopher."
- The mole was originally supposed to be a naked mole-rat, but the animators couldn't get him to look right. One of the directors has said: "We would've lost our G rating."
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