|Cub - Adult|
The Lion King 1½
The Lion King: Six New Adventures
- "You have forgotten who you are and so forgotten me."
- —Mufasa to Simba
Mufasa is the secondary tritagonist of The Lion King. He is the father of Simba, the mate of Sarabi, the older brother of Scar, the son of Ahadi and Uru, and the first named canon king of the Pride Lands.
Mufasa is a large, powerful male lion with distinctive yellow fur inherited from his father, Ahadi, which he passes on to his son Simba. He is given broad shoulders and a pronounced jaw to make him seem king-like and the most powerful lion, according to his animators.
He is extremely muscular, with a large, powerful body and strong legs. He has a thick red mane, and reddish-brown eyes. His stomach, muzzle, and paws are a lighter cream color. He also has a brown nose, tan whiskers, and a yellow tail. As the alpha lion, he is very powerful physically and skilled in fighting, being able to effortlessly defeat Shenzi, Banzai and Ed even when they attack him at the same time. Scar, though he is also a formidable fighter, confesses that Mufasa got the "brute strength" and claims he wouldn't dream of challenging him to a fight.
- "I'm only brave when I have to be. Simba, being brave doesn't mean you go looking for trouble."
- —Mufasa to Simba about bravery
Mufasa and Sarabi are Simba's parents. As ready to play as he is to instruct, Mufasa guides young Simba with a voice as golden as his magnificent mane. Strong, brave and wise, Mufasa was a true leader whose courage comes from a great, calm certainty about who he was and how he fitted into the great Circle of Life. 
Mufasa had a temper, but was rarely angered enough to show it. Mufasa also is shown to have a great sense of humor, as seen when he chuckles when Zazu makes a comment on turning Scar into a throw rug. This is also seen when Simba pounced on Zazu, he is seen laughing very hard.
Mufasa appears in the stories A Tale of Two Brothers and Friends in Need as a young adult and both are depicted very differently.
In A Tale of Two Brothers, Mufasa is a responsible and understanding individual who is ready to take on the duties of his father or mother as the ruler of Pride Rock. Ahadi breaks his promise to take the two hunting when chaos emerges at the waterhole. Mufasa is understanding but Taka is not, and plots to get back at them both.
He suggests they go hunting together while Ahadi takes care of the waterhole problem. Mufasa agrees, unknowingly walking into a trap set up by Taka himself. A younger Rafiki spends the night at Pride Rock and Mufasa tells him Taka doesn't like them much, Ahadi or Mufasa.
Later, Mufasa walks into Taka's trap, running for his life away from a water-hogging buffalo named Boma. Mufasa gets away with help from Rafiki, but Taka gets scarred, which ultimately leads to him changing his name to Scar.
Mufasa is constantly annoyed by Zazu throughout the majority of the book, but when the hornbill saves his life twice, one from fire ants and again from a water snake (as well as Sarabi), he comes to like his majordomo a lot more.
- "A king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day, Simba, the sun will set on my time here and will rise with you as the new king."
- —Mufasa teaching Simba
In The Lion King, Mufasa is first seen during the opening Circle of Life sequence, where all the animals come to the presentation of his newborn son Simba. He stands regally atop Pride Rock as its king and regards Zazu's respect with a warm smile. Soon, Rafiki appears and the two embrace before going to check with Sarabi. He nuzzles her as they watch the mandrill anoint their baby Simba and trust Rafiki with their newborn cub. The two smile at each other as Simba is presented.
Later, Mufasa catches his younger brother Scar, who has caught Zazu in his mouth and demands him to release the hornbill. He then confronts Scar about being absent for the presentation of Simba. The lion is disrespectful to Mufasa, something the King responds in hostility to. After dominating Scar, Mufasa ponders what to do with his brother, at which Zazu suggest turning him into a throw rug. The King and majordomo laugh and they take their leave back home.
Once Simba grows into a young, rambunctious cub, he rouses his father, and Mufasa takes his son to Pride Rock's summit to show him the kingdom, which is everything the light touches, and all of it will be passed onto Simba when he becomes king. Simba asks about the Shadowy Place and Mufasa warns him not to go there, since it is beyond their borders. Simba replies he though a king could do whatever he wants and Mufasa explains there's more to being king than having his way all the time. As the father and son go for a walk on the Pride Lands, Mufasa lectures to his son about the Great Circle of Life, in which every living creature exists together in a delicate balance that the king needs to understand by respecting all the creatures from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope. Mufasa further explains that the antelope may be food for lions, but when lions die, their bodies become the grass and essentially food for the antelope.
Zazu appears and gives Mufasa the Morning Report. Mufasa notices Simba's attempts at pouncing and uses the majordomo as target practice for his son. He laughs when Simba succeeds, but reports from the underground, via a mole, that hyenas have trespassed in the Pride Lands turns his carefree demeanor serious and he leaps over Simba to fix the problem. He orders Zazu to take Simba home and forbids Simba to go with him.
When Simba and his friend Nala venture into the Elephant Graveyard and encounter three hyenas, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, Mufasa appears in the nick of time to save the cubs by wrestling the hyenas until they are cringing under his paw. After the hyenas run away in fear, Mufasa briefly scolds his son for deliberately disobeying him before demanding that they go home. After ordering Zazu to take Nala home, Mufasa expresses disappointment in Simba for getting himself nearly killed by deliberately disobeying him and putting Nala in danger. As Simba tells his father that he was attempting to show bravery, Mufasa lectures him that being brave doesn't mean looking for trouble, and that he got scared because he almost lost Simba. When Simba asks his father if they'll always be together, Mufasa tells him about The Great Kings of the Past who look down on them from the stars in the sky to give guidance, something he once learned from his father.Mufasa is last seen alive during the stampede, intentionally caused by the hyenas who are working for Scar. Zazu reports to Mufasa about the herd being on the move, making the king think something is strange, but then, Scar reports that Simba is trapped in a stampede in the gorge. Frightened for his son's safety, Mufasa, along with Scar and Zazu, rushes to the gorge. After locating Simba—who is clinging to a weak branch—with help from Zazu, Mufasa jumps into the mess of hooves without hesitation. He gets knocked down by one of the wildebeest, but then another rams into the branch, sending Simba flying into the air. Mufasa leaps and catches Simba in mid air, but he bumps into another wildebeest, dropping Simba on impact. Mufasa quickly grabs his son and takes him to safety before a wildebeest drags him back into the chaos, but with a powerful leap Mufasa clings to and scales the slope of the gorge only to meet Scar at its top. He begs Scar to help him, but after drinking into the helpless form of the powerful lion, Scar kills Mufasa by piercing Mufasa's paws hard with his claws causing the powerful alpha male to roar due to the pain and then letting go after taunting him with the words "long live the king".
Mufasa's broken body is found by Simba who is convinced by his father's killer that he is responsible for Mufasa's death and so must run away.
When Simba is an adult, Rafiki tells him Mufasa is still alive. Eager to see his father again, Simba follows the mandrill and is disappointed to see only his reflection, but when instructed to look harder, he stares into the very eyes of his father. Mufasa's voice hovers above him, and he curiously looks up to meet his father's ghost. The ghost accuses Simba of forgetting him, something Simba vehemently denies, but the ghost counters that Simba has forgotten who he is and in turn has forgotten his father. He demands Simba go back, to which his son asks him how he can go back since he isn't who he used to be. The ghost reminds Simba to remember that he is his son and the one true king before disappearing into the clouds, repeating, "Remember." as Simba gives chase, begging his father not to leave him.
After Simba defeats Scar, he ascends up Pride Rock to take his rightful place as king, and as he reaches the promontory of Pride Rock, he hears Mufasa's voice telling him to "Remember," giving Simba courage, confidence and strength to assume his position as king.
Mufasa only makes two visual appearances in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. First, his spirit is seen watching over his granddaughter Kiara's presentation with the song, "He Lives in You," attributing to him. Second, Mufasa is seen in Simba's nightmare which is a re-imagining of his own death scene. Mufasa is crying for his son's help so he won't fall into the wildebeest stampede below. However, Simba is stopped by Scar who pierces his paw with his claws while his other paw is unable to reach his father's paw. Unable to hang on any later, Mufasa falls. In the film, he tells his old friend Rafiki through the wind about his plan to make Kiara and Kovu fall in love with each other. He is also mentioned during the exile of Kovu, where Kiara yells at Simba "You will never be Mufasa!," possibly referring to the fact, in Kiara's eyes, Mufasa may have forgiven Kovu and seen the ambush was not his fault. Simba is taken aback and, most likely, hurt by the statement for a moment, suggesting he had been trying to live up to the "greatness" Mufasa had achieved in his time as ruler of the Pride Lands. At the end of Simba's Pride, he says to Simba, "Well done, my son. We are one."Zazu tells him how the animals are kneeling before his newborn son. Second, his roar frightens Timon and Pumbaa while he is racing with Zazu to save Simba and Nala from the hyenas. Finally, he forms as a ghost from clouds to which Timon mistakens as bad weather.
In the musical productions, Mufasa's role is much larger in the musical than in the first film. Mufasa is given new songs to sing, such as "The Morning Report" and "They Live in You," to which he tells young Simba about the Great Kings of the Past who are watching over them from the stars. There is also an scene in which Mufasa tells Zazu about Simba's daring behavior. Zazu then reminds him on his early years as a young cub. In "Mufasa's Death," he lied down onstage and Simba cried for help. In the song "He Lives in You," Mufasa appeared as a ghost and tells Simba to go back to the Pride Lands and claim his rightful throne. Finally, Mufasa says, "REMEMBER!" before Simba roars as the new king of his kingdom.
Mufasa can be seen in the Pride Lands world in the Kingdom Hearts game. By the time Sora, Donald, and Goofy get there, Mufasa has long been dead as Simba is already an adult. Much like in the original film and in the musical, Mufasa tells Simba to return to the Pride Lands and become the rightful king.
Much like his brother Scar's concept, Mufasa was supposed to have a bi-colored mane. His design didn't change so drastically, However, in many of the pictures, his red mane also features some white or cream, but most of his conceptual art retains his reddish mane and gold fur as well as his thick mane and frame.
- Mufasa could have been the father of two, as Mel Shaw's concept pictures show him with two cubs fiddling with his tail. Mufasa is referred to as "Papa lion."
- Mufasa was scripted to sing a song titled "To Be King" during the film's early production, but it didn't suit James Earl Jones's singing voice.
- His mane is described as golden, even though it's obviously not. Likely, they were comparing Mufasa's "Magnificent Voice" with his "Magnificent Mane," by using the word "golden" in a non-literal sense.
- When at a Lion King Tenth Anniversary Reunion discussion panel, The Lion King directors Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers were asked about who Nala's father is. Minkoff joked that Roger was the father, but the two directors stated Mufasa or Scar could be Nala's father. Despite this "canon" claim, Nala and Simba would be related and neither Scar nor Mufasa acknowledge Nala as their daughter in the film.
- Mufasa's name originates from the name of the last king of the Bagada people, and means "King" in the Manazoto language.
- Interestingly, in the Proud of Simba's Pride documentary, James Earl Jones is seen recording a line, "You have let your family break apart, and in doing so, you have broken the Circle of Life" for Mufasa. According to the Simba's Pride page found on lionking.org, it is assumed this line was to be used for when "Kiara is visited by the spirit of Mufasa, who reminds Kiara of her obligation to her pride and her role in the circle of life."
- In Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, Mufasa was spoofed as a character named Moshu-Fasa. In the film, he calls the Chosen One "Simba," to which the Chosen One replies, "I am not Simba." He looks very similar to Mufasa. There is also an Easter egg at the end poking fun at James Earl Jones himself, the voice actor of Mufasa, with the last words of Moshu-Fasa being "This is CNN." Doing a voice-over for a CNN promo was one of James Earl Jones' previous jobs.
- The way Scar kills Mufasa is reminiscent of the way Mowgli kills Shere Khan in the novel Jungle Book.
- ↑ http://disney.go.com/lionking/characters/
- ↑ Tiemann, Brian. The Lion King Tenth Anniversary Reunion Panel.
- ↑ The Lion King WWW Archive: Simba's Pride.
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOJsre5Dvk4
|Preceded By:||Succession Right:||Succeeded By:|
|Ahadi||Son of Ahadi and Uru||Scar|