|Meaning||Stink, Smell, Stench|
|Appearances||The Lion King II: Simba's Pride|
|Voice Actors||Andy Dick (speaking and singing)|
|Close Relations||Zira (mother)|
- "I'm the oldest, I'm the strongest, I'm the smartest[....]"
- —Nuka describes himself
Nuka has grayish dark chestnut fur with noticeable tinges of reddish-brown, a dusty black mane, blood red eyes (that appear orange in one scene), and dark eye shades. Nuka has Zira's ear stripes, and freckles that disappear occasionally. Unlike most adult and young adult males, Nuka's mane is much thinner and scruffier compared to the manes of Simba and even his younger brother, Kovu. This is likely due to poor hygiene and care of himself. He is lanky and thin, which is again most likely because of a lack of bathing, malnutrition, and poor care, as he was known to be plagued by termites.
- "Wha-wha-HE LET HER GO! If that were me..."
- —Nuka thinking on how he'd hurt Kiara
Ironically, Nuka was more like Scar than Kovu (besides the fact that they look alike): For both Scar and Nuka envied their brother, who was chosen to be king over them. He seemed to be somewhat of a pyromaniac, screaming avid, "FIRE!" when setting the Pride Lands alight. Finally, he was violent, arrogant, and impulsive as shown by the quote above and like Scar, tried to prove he was better than Kovu, but died in the process, making him a selfish, vain lion.
- "I don't know why we even have to be here... if Kovu is so SPECIAL, why does he need us? I never even had a chance!"
- —Nuka still lamenting on not being the Chosen One
As suggested by the film, Nuka was born during Scar's reign, and didn't seem to have a good relationship with the King, evident by his distaste shown in the second film. According to him, neither Scar nor Zira gave Nuka a chance at being the heir to the throne.
- "Kovu, Kovu, Kovu. Scar wasn't even his father. He just took 'em in....Oh hey, Vitani, where's little termite, Kovu? The "Chosen One"!"
- —Nuka complaining to himself then tormenting Vitani
Nuka makes his first appearance as a teenager, complaining and muttering angrily to himself about how Kovu wasn't even Scar's son and that he simply took him in, but still ups him in importance and rank. He asks his sister Vitani, mockingly so, on where his younger brother is and interrupts her battle with a dry root. Vitani asks Nuka his own question, to which Nuka replies that it's every lion for himself in the Outlands and Kovu needs to learn to be on his own. Vitani threatens to tell their mother that she won't be pleased with Nuka abandoning Kovu, and letting him wander, but Nuka replies he doesn't care and that he should be the Chosen One as he is the oldest, strongest, and (as far as he's concerned) the smartest. He goes on to say he could be a leader if Zira gave him a chance and Vitani doubts him. She then informs Nuka of Zira's arrival when she teasingly tells him, "Here's your chance." Suddenly, Nuka becomes nervous, telling his mother that he caught her some field mice for her dinner and deflates when he is ignored by her. However, he follows her anyway, only to be yelled at by her when she tells Nuka he was supposed to be watching over Kovu, making him feel bad.
Kovu takes the blame and Zira's rage, accidentally giving his mother a plan to get revenge on Simba. When Zira compliments Kovu for thinking alike to Scar, Nuka reacts with disgust. Angry, Zira quickly whips around and snarls at him for this and the teenage lion gets scared and laughs nervously, allowing Zira's glare to linger a bit longer before gathering up Kovu and carrying him into the Termite-mount, where once more Nuka complains about not being the Chosen One to himself as Zira walks away from earshot.
Later, Nuka participates in the song "My Lullaby," enthusiastic when singing about bringing harm to Simba, Nala, and Kiara and getting revenge. But when Zira goes on to praise Kovu, Nuka becomes lethargic and jealous again. At one point, he is forced to sing his brother a lullaby, but instead, does a reluctant, sarcastic one after ordering him to sleep and calling him a little termite. Vitani is angered by this and kicks Nuka away from Kovu, protecting him. Later on, when Nuka and Vitani sing, "Kovu, what a guy," Nuka is seen holding a homemade flag, reluctantly waving it in honor of Kovu. This is the last time Nuka is seen as a teenager.
- "Eugh... this place is even creepier since the hyenas ran off..."
- —Nuka about the Elephant Graveyard
Kiara has started her first hunt, and while she struggles to catch prey, Nuka and Vitani pay a visit to the Elephant Graveyard. He reacts in disgust about being there, but Vitani dismisses his behavior as fear (something Nuka denies). Nuka laments so more about not having a chance, wonder why if Kovu is so "special" why he needs them to succeed. A geyser erupts, scaring him and he runs over by Vitani, who rolls her eyes at him and how immature he is.
Years later, Nuka has become a full adult and his siblings have become young adults.
The two sticks they bring are ignited by the geysers, and turned into torches. Vitani picks hers up, and Nuka does the same action and getting his face singed by the geyser along with the stick. He and his sister intrude into the Pride Lands, spot Kiara, and proceed to set the plains alight. After the plan is a success with Simba accepting Kovu into the Pride Lands, Nuka and Zira observe Kovu's process from a distance on a tree. Nuka is displeased at Kovu not attacking Kiara and complains about this to Zira. However, she quickly shushes him and assures him that everything is going according to plan.
Nuka is last seen during the ambush as he is the first to leap out and confront Simba, only to get whacked away by him instantly. When the Outlanders swarm, he tackles the bunch off of the side of a cliff and proceeds along with the rest of the pride to pursue the King. Simba tries to escape up an unstable dam, and when Kovu refuses to get Simba, Nuka sees his chance and goes after Simba alone in hopes to please his mother and prove to everyone that he is the lion everyone thought Kovu to be. He succeeds in snagging Simba's foot, but a weak log gives way under his paw, and Nuka slips.
Simba makes it safely onto a nearby cliff at the top of the dam, sending more logs to crush Nuka in the process. Kovu descends, throwing the clutter out of the way in an attempt to save his brother, but he is pushed aside by Zira who digs madly for her son.
She is too late, and after Nuka gains her affection he's always wanted from his mother, he dies in her paw. Brokenhearted by Nuka's death, Zira angrily blames Kovu and slashes Kovu across the face, leaving him with a facial wound identical to Scar's.
Appearance and PersonalityIn the early concepts for Nuka, he shared many similarities to Scar's. He had the same reddish-brown fur, albeit a bit duskier than Scar's, and he even has uncolored paws in some concepts.
Based on his facial expressions, Nuka wasn't originally the comic relief villain he was in the final movie. His expressions in most of the concepts are to be deceptive, sneaky and scheming. His fur, mane and whiskers are smooth and elegant unlike the scruffy, unkempt final version.In another one of his concepts, his groomed look has become more disheveled, but he is still in better shape than the final Nuka. He still retains the devious look, though it seems more dopey than the first. In this picture, his mane doesn't extend down the length of his neck, staying only at his head.
His last two concepts are more reminiscent of the final Nuka. His deviousness has been completely taken away, and replaced by stupidity and jitteriness. However, both concepts have Nuka with uncolored paws.
It is unclear whether the working name Nunka was Nuka's original name since Nunka was supposed to be voiced by Andy Dick, who ended up voicing Nuka, or a working name for Kovu as Nunka was supposed to be Kiara's lover, a role that went to Kovu in the final film.
One possibility is that Nunka split into two characters: Nuka and Kovu.
Nuka's original death scene
The scene where Nuka dies was originally longer and survives as a pencil test.
As Nuka lies crushed underneath the logs, Zira cradles his head gently with a paw. Pleased with her affection towards him, Nuka manages to say, "Well, I finally got your attention, didn't I?", which makes Zira smile at him for once. He croaked another "Didn't I..." before he finally dies.
In the final version, Nuka is crushed by the logs and Kovu rushes to pull the logs off to save his brother, but he is pushed aside by Zira, who, at seeing her son under the logs, quietly mutters, "Nuka..." in a melancholic tone (this is the only time in the film that Zira is shown to be somewhat upset) and all Nuka says is, "I'm sorry, Mother. I tried." Zira then hushes him to sleep, looking shocked and upset by his death at the same time. Vitani stands beside her and mutters, "Nuka...", then turning to the other lions and hanging her head in sadness. Later on, at Nuka's funeral, Zira says, "Scar... watch over my poor Nuka." in deep sadness.
- Nuka is sometimes thought to be the tertiary antagonist of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.
- In some Simba's Pride books, Nuka is referred to as Zira's second-in-command. It is unclear whether this is true or not as the spot seems to belong to Vitani in the film disappear the second half of the film.
- He can still be heard saying, "Didn't I?" during the finalized film, possibly a part from the deleted scene the editors forgot to cut out. It, however, is colored and could be intentional. It is often mistaken for a groan of pain.
- Nuka's mane swaps between black and dark brown frequently throughout the film while his beard and elbow tufts stay black. His mane remains primarily black though.
- Nuka is the only Outsider who wants to kill King Simba for reasons not relating to revenge about Scar's death.
- Since The Lion King II: Simba's Pride is adapted from Romeo & Juliet, Nuka is most likely based on Tybalt in that he is Kovu's rival, the same way Tybalt is Romeo's, and their deaths heightened the tensions in their respective stories.
- "Kovu, Kovu, Kovu. Scar wasn't even his father. They just took 'im in."
- —Nuka muttering angrily to himself
- Nuka: "I could be a leader if she'd just give me a chance!"
Vitani: "Pfft! Yeah, right. Why don't you tell that to her?"
Nuka: "Yeah? Don't think I WON'T!"
Vitani: "Oh, yeah? (Chuckles) Here's your chance."
- —Vitani teasing Nuka
- Nuka: "Did-- did you see that?! He let her go! If that were me--"
Zira: "Hush! The fire rescue worked perfectly and Simba fell for it. Now, the closer Kovu gets to the daughter, the closer he gets to Simba! And once he has Simba alone... (smashes branch with paw as Nuka quickly ducks)"
- —Nuka's reaction when Kovu lets Kiara go
- "Is it hot in here or is that just me?"
- —Nuka after accidentally setting a fire around himself
- "I'll do it... for you, Mother!"
- —Nuka offering to finish Simba off for Zira
- "Mother! Are you watching?"
- —Nuka to Zira
- Zira: "Nuka..."
Nuka: "I'm sorry, Mother. I tried..."
- —Nuka's last breath before he dies in Zira's paw