This page is dedicated to the many story ideas, character designs, and changes of events that came about before The Lion King and its sequels became the films that they are today. See below to view how the script has changed over time.
Early Story Ideas
King of the Kalahari
According to the "Pride of The Lion King" documentary seen on the recent Blu-ray edition of the film, before The Lion King was even King of the Jungle, it was about a war between lions and baboons. Scar was the leader of the baboons, and Rafiki was a cheetah instead of a baboon. Simba had never left the kingdom but became lazy and was later overthrown. When Allers and Minkoff became the directors, however, it was drastically changed and toned down in attitude. For more information, see here.
"King of the Jungle" (1990)
King of the Jungle (or King of the Beasts) was an early title for The Lion King. In 2012, two screenplays were released, one written in January 1990 by J.T. Allen and another written in May 1990 by Allen and Ron Bass. Both early screenplays are extremely different from what the final version is today, being violent, suggestive, incestuous, and essentially not child-friendly. In the end, they were scrapped, and very few traces of story material remain in the final film. For more information, see here.
"King of the Jungle" September (1992)
The following script was written in September 11, 1992. However, the storyboards and voice acting was finished on January 26, 1993. In this version, the film became a musical.
"Circle of Life"
Originally, the "Circle of Life" sequence was going to have dialogue. The first, abandoned version was a prayer in Swahili that was sung by animals who were coming to Pride Rock. Scar was supposed to be shown atop a rock, watching the royal family in hatred until he realizes that they've noticed him. Sarabi and Zazu were to be shocked and scared when Rafiki appears, until Mufasa calms them down. During the anointment of Simba, Rafiki was supposed to chant his famous "asante sana, squash banana" chant. During the making of the storyboard of the song, the filmmakers decided to replace the prayer with the music for "Busa." This was also abandoned.
There was originally a scene in which Zazu and Mufasa tell a different joke about Scar than is told in the final film. According to Roger Allers, the joke fell flat and was thus deleted.
"To Be King"
Mufasa was originally scripted to sing a song titled "To Be King" during the lesson with Simba, but it didn't suit James Earl Jones's singing voice, so it was scrapped.
In the middle of the song, Mufasa calls the alarm, a mighty roar that warns his subjects that a giant flood is coming. The animals go to higher ground for safety. When the water calms, the chorus of subjects sings their praises to the king. Simba is shocked to find out that being king doesn't just mean having fun. He wants to spend more time with his father and Zazu, but they have their royal duties, and Simba goes back home.
The Elephant Graveyard
The deleted scene in which Scar tricks Simba to go to the Elephant Graveyard is nearly identical to the final version. The "bath scene" is a lot different, as Simba and Nala's dialogue is longer and Sarafina has more lines. At this time, "I Just Can't Wait to be King" did not exist. During the scene in which Zazu takes the cubs to the Water Hole, he lowers his head to drink, and the cubs push him in and continue their adventure. Their meeting with the hyenas and the scene in which Mufasa saves them is mostly incorrect.
"The Lion in the Moon"
While coming back home, Zazu reminds Mufasa that the king himself made mistakes as a cub. Mufasa sends Zazu to deliver Nala home and starts a father-son lesson with Simba. They talk about responsibility and how Simba has much time to learn before becoming king. Mufasa and Simba return home, where Sarabi prepares Simba for bed while Mufasa tells Sarabi that he will talk with her later about their adventure that day.
Simba, ready for sleep, has hyenas on his mind, and Sarabi urges him to quiet down. But in the distance, a hyena yips, and Simba jumps up, on guard. Sarabi reassures Simba that he has nothing to fear. Sarabi was then supposed to sing a song titled "The Lion in the Moon" In the song, she sings of a spirit that watches over the Pride Lands and protects its inhabitants. This scene was later replaced by Mufasa telling his son about the Great Kings of the Past.
The stampede scene was mostly similar, unless that, at the start, Scar pretends to be waiting for Mufasa together with Simba (pretending not to know why did Mufasa said that they have to wait him there), and then goes to see why Mufasa isn't coming yet." Also, Scar's original last words to Mufasa were "Good night, sweet prince" quoting Hamlet. It was changed because Scar would seem to much eloquent for a lion.
After the stampede, Scar was supposed not to show sympathy to Simba at all, but chase him out of the Pride Lands himself.
Scar was supposed to bring an unconscious Zazu to the pride, and Sarabi was supposed to sob after hearing the horrible news. The hyenas shouldn't appear at all.
Timon and Pumbaa save Simba
|“||Timon: Are you okay, kid?|
Simba: I... I guess so.
Timon: Are you hungry?
Timon: What I tell you, Pumbaa?! Come on, let's go!
There is a slight difference between the final scene in the film and Timon and Pumbaa's original first appearance. At first, Simba was supposed to have a little conversation with vultures, who were taunting him. After that, the duo has found him and Pumbaa has taken him to the shade, while Timon was resisting. When Simba opened his eyes, Timon asked him if he is hungry, and when Simba said that he is, Timon escaped behind one three. Eventually, he and Pumbaa accepted Simba because they felt sorry for his terrible past that he told them.
During production, another song titled "Warthog Rhapsody" was considered for the scene but was tossed out in favor of "Hakuna Matata" so that the filmmakers could focus not only on Timon and Pumbaa's carefree lifestyle, but also on Simba's neglect for responsibility.
|“||Timon: Pumbaa!You ate the ball! You aren't supposed to eat the ball!|
Pumbaa: Oh. Sorry.
Timon: You are banished.
This scene was supposed to show how did look the life that Simba lived in the jungle: happy and without problems. Timon takes a bug, Simba's lunch, and starts to play rugby. Simba accepts the game and joins Timon. Timon accidentally shoots the bug into Pumbaa's mouth, and Pumbaa eats the bug.
Scar Lusts Over Nala
|“||Scar: A king alone is a sad situation indeed, but a king without heirs? Now that's a tragedy...|
Nala: You can't be serious.
Scar: I've never been more serious.
Scar asks Zazu why he isn't loved like Mufasa. Zazu says it is because the Pride Lands have been destroyed by the hyenas, but Scar does not want to accept it. Zazu lists Mufasa's noble qualities. Scar fixates on one. Mufasa had a queen, and he needs a queen, too. Meanwhile, Sarabi and Nala have problems with the hyenas. Zazu comes to tell Nala that Scar wants to see her.
Nala comes to Scar who tries to flirt with her, but she flatly refuses him. Lionesses come to help her, but Scar, in anger, introduces the hyenas as his new executive staff, singing the reprise of Be Prepared. Nala is banished from the Pride Lands and runs away from her homeland.
Nala and Simba Reunite
|“||Simba: Timon, this is Nala. Nala this is... this is so great!|
Timon: Who's Nala?
Simba: She's my best friend!
Timon: Friend?! Friend?! Some kind of a friend! She tried to eat Pumbaa!
There is a slight difference between the final scene in the film and Simba and Nala's original reunion. In this version, Nala tells Simba that Scar has banished her and then goes on to say that she wants Simba to come back to the Pride Lands. In answer, he postpones the discussion for later.
Fight with Nala
The first version of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight“ was supposed to be played during Simba and Nala's romantic walk, but the tone of the song. Lyricist Tim Rice conceived at least fifteen drafts for the film's love songs. One demo was recorded by Joseph Williams and Sally Dworsky as Simba and Nala respectively, though when the plot was revised so that Simba went into self-exile after his father's death, the lyrics were revised to reflect their reunion while discovering love. After each character sang a verse to one another, the song was later accompanied with a heavenly choir.
Once the song is over, Simba's guilt turns into a shame and he tells her that Mufasa's death was his fault. Nala says it was an accident and he shouldn't blame himself. She advises Simba to return home, but he doesn't want to confront his fears and calls Nala to stay with him. She doesn't know what to think, and they both o to sleep. However, Simba cannot sleep well once he is said how is he needed home. He goes to a walk and meets Rafiki. Their dialogue is similar to its final version. Rafiki leads Simba to a pool where Simba sees a dream-like vision of his father on the sky. Mufasa's ghost says Simba what he have to do, and Simba decides to return. His last dialogue with Rafiki isn't shown.
Simba Decides to Return
|“||Nala: You going back, aren't you?|
Timon: 'Going back? What did you mean going back?
Nala: Simba, I don't understand. I thought you wanted to stay.
After Simba's meeting with Mufasa's spirit, the young lion comes to Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa (all sleeping) to see them before departure. Timon wakes up, and his noise wakes Nala. She wants to go with Simba, but he does not allow it, saying that he would return for her. Pumbaa wakes up, and Timon tells Nala that Simba's going is her fault, but Simba is gone. Nala still leaves, and Pumbaa does as well, so Timon has no choice and follows them.
The Battle of Pride Rock
|“||Scar: Help me, Simba! Please, help me!|
Simba: Why should I?
Scar: Are you no better than I? You're no murderer Simba. Please! I beg your forgiveness! You won, you're king!
Led by Sarabi, the lionesses and the hyenas are in stand-off with Scar over the lack of food in the kingdom. Roaring, Simba appears atop the Pride Rock and Scar gets terrified thinking that Mufasa's ghost comes to punish him. When Simba tells who he really is, the hyenas attack him. Sarabi gets knocked out, Timon and Pumbaa runs to help their friend, but the hyenas attack them. Nala rallies the lionesses and they save the duo. Meanwhile, the lightening strikes the rock and cause the fire.
Scar badly wounds Simba and, thinking that this is Simba's end, reveals that he was the one who killed Mufasa. In anger, Simba flips Scar, and Scar grabs the rock and thus saves himself from falling to his death. He asks for help and says that if Simba helps him, he'll prove that he is better then Scar. Simba helps him climb to safety. But double-dealing Scar grabs his nephew by the mane and throws him off Pride Rock. The dark lion is then engulfed in flame, and his tyrannical rule comes to an end. Simba survived the fall.
When Sarabi wakes up, she and Simba embrace, after which Simba roars atop the Pride Rock and becomes the king. Many years later, we see the Pride Lands restored and the presentation of Simba and Nala's cub.
"The Lion King" 1993
This version of the script has an unknown date of writing (however, we can assume that it was made between the end of January and the last days of August, given the dates of the first appearances of the previous script and the one that would follow), while it is obvious that it was mostly similar to the previous script, "King of the Jungle." Also, some of the storyboards are shown to the public.
Circle of Life
In this version of the script, the circle of life has became the powerful song we all know from the final film. The dialogue is cut from the production when the filmmakers heard how strong and powerful the music is.
"Life's not fair"
While the dialogue in the scene isn't completely similar to the final film, it is mostly the same. Originally, Scar and Mufasa were supposed to be shown roaring at each other after Scar's "challenge," but Scar would give up the fight.
The Morning Lesson
The final scenes and the concepts of the scenes don't have much of the differences.
I Just Can't Wait to be King
The song about Simba wanting to be king was added to the film in this script. It was mostly unchanged, except for the scene in which Simba whispers animals to get rid of Zazu (there was no that scene). Also, after the song, Simba and Nala's argument about whose plan it was wasn't shown, but Nala pins Simba without any certain reason.
There is a little differences between this concept and the final scene of the clash at the Elephant Graveyard.
The Great Kings of the Past
Most of the scene remains unchanged. At first, Zazu tries to to apologize to Mufasa, but he points up that it wasn't Zazu's fault. The dialogue between the father and the son was a little shorter then the final version, so the filmmakers decided to make it longer, so that Mufasa's forgiveness would be more gradually.
As the most of this version of the film, the song is mostly similar to the final version.
Like in the previous concept, Scar's last words to Mufasa were "Good night, sweet prince," reference to "Hamlet." However, this is first time in film's production to Scar show "sympathy" to Simba and give him "advice" to run away and never return, after which he sends the hyenas to kill him off, but they fail.
Scar was supposed to be shown "mourning" Mufasa and Simba before the pride, and telling them that they must never forget the brave king and his beloved son. However, his sad look on the face soon gets replaced by the sinister smile and he tells that from now on, he is the king and he will bring hyenas and lions together in a "great and glorious future." After this, he climbs to the top of the rock and sings the reprise of "Be Prepared" while the hyenas join him. This was deleted because it would ruin the atmosphere of Mufasa's death.
Scar Lusts Over Nala
Just like "To be King," it is known that in this version there was scene in which Scar wants Nala as his queen, but its storyboard isn't published yet.
Can You Feel the Love Tonight
Before the song, Simba was supposed to ask Nala if she wants to stay in the jungle with him, and she asks him to come back to the Pride Rock. However, they don't make any of two decisions. The love song, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," was supposed to have a little dialogue (Simba: "Come in, it's great!" Nala: "Hah! No way!"). Also it was the combination of the song from the previous script and comical version of the song, sung by Timon and Pumbaa, at the end.
Simba and Nala were supposed to be shown sleeping together, but Simba goes to the walk where he meets Rafiki. The old mandrill at first annoys him, but he soon finds out that Rafiki knew his father. Rafiki leads Simba to a lake, where Simba's reflection turns into Mufasa and he sees his ghost at the sky. The lost dialogue between Rafiki and Simba, in which Rafiki hits Simba with a stick, isn't shown.
The Battle of Pride Rock
The scene begins with Simba asking about why he had to come back to the Pride Rock and doubting himself, but recovering and saying what his father, Mufasa, told him, "Remember".
As Simba stands atop the rock, waiting to see Scar, his uncle is resting in his royal cave. His three lackeys come to him, moaning about the lack of food and reminding him of his promise of no hunger. Scar gets mad.
The king calls Sarabi to come to the Pride Rock to tell him why she and her lionesses don't hunt. She tells him that all the animals are gone because of the hyenas' terrorism and that they have to find another place to live now, but Scar refuses to listen. She tells him that Mufasa would never let something like that happen, but he hits her and sends her on the ground, unconscious. He burst out evil laugh, but in that moment a lightening flashes and Simba's figure appears atop the Pride Rock, shocking Scar and the hyenas around him. While Simba is coming to stand against his uncle, Scar mistakes him for Mufasa's ghost and gets a panic attack, pleasing him for forgiveness and mercy. Shocked by seeing Scar hitting his mother, and now begging him for life, Simba asks what happened to his uncle, and Scar finally realizes who he really is, sending a dangerous look at Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, for their failure to kill Simba before many years. While the trio argue about whose fault is that Simba is still alive, Simba asks Scar why are they here at all, and Scar says that "things have changed." He asks Simba how could he come back, when he "kept his guilty secret all this time." Simba says that this is because he is the rightful king, and Scar and the hyenas burst out laugh, again. Angry, Simba says that Scar destroyed everything his father stood for, but Scar starts to insult Mufasa, calling him "nothing" and "pompous, arrogant and overrated fool," just to finally tell Simba that he is really responsible for Mufasa's death. Simba tries to attack him, but the hyenas stop him, and Scar orders them to finish him once and for all, repeating what he said to Mufasa: "Good night, sweet prince!"
When the hyenas jump on Simba to eat him alive, Timon and Pumbaa appear and the hyenas attack them, too. They try to separate them from Simba, but they don't manage, and are nearly killed. However, Nala and all the lionesses come and fight all the hyenas off. After that, the lightening the savanna and causes the fire that starts swallowing the Pride Rock. Simba and Scar fight on the pick of the rock, and Scar badly wounds Simba and downs him. While his uncle is getting ready for the final attack, Simba says "You think, because you killed my father that you are better then him! Pathetic! Weak! Realize, Scar: you are nothing but a coward!" Scar loses his patience and jumps on Simba, who flips him and sends him off a rock. Scar manages to grab the rock with his claws and begs Simba for help, saying that Simba is not a murderer and admits that he is defeated. Simba believes him and gives him a paw, but Scar grabs his neck and throws him off the rock. Simba falls on a burning tree and survives the fall, but Scar loses his mind due the loss of everything (the hyenas, obedience, kingdom...) and bursts out laugh for the last time, while the fire consumes and finishes him.
Rain begins and the fire is gone. Simba looks up at the top of the Pride Rock and sighs sadly, mourning his uncle. Then Nala appears from the smoke, and they two find Sarabi, untouched by fire, but still unconscious. She wakes up, and embraces with Simba upon seeing him. Soon, all the lionesses, Timon and Pumbaa and others are below the Pride Rock, while Simba is climbing on it and eventually roars, becoming the king formally. A few years later, we see the presentation of Simba's new cub. There are some slightly differences between that version and the final film.
"The Lion King" August 1993
The following script was written in August 20, 1992.. It consists of a scenes much more similar to the final version than the previous forms, with the same fates of the main characters, full song lyrics and pretty much identical dialogue.
- Nala's original name was Nadra.
- Pumbaa's original name was Harold.
It was mentioned by Roger Allers, the co-director of The Lion King, in one of the documentation videos that Scar originally had no relation to the royal family but still desired the throne. After Jeremy Irons' features were worked into Scar, he was changed to be Mufasa's brother because the thought of an "inside threat" was a lot more interesting than a random rogue. This is why Scar and Mufasa differ so much in appearance, despite being full brothers.
Ironically, when they weren't related, Scar had a lot more in common with the Pridelanders and Mufasa, as he had a thick, heavy frame, colorless paws at one point, light eyeshades, a brown Pridelander nose, and even blue-gray eyes like Nala.
According to The Lion King co-director Roger Allers, Rafiki was to be depicted as a "crazy hermit monkey." When the story team decided that Rafiki should be far more wacky than wise, actor Robert Guillaume spent an entire day trying to figure out the character's voice and laugh.
Timon and Pumbaa
At one point during production, when The Lion King was King of the Jungle, Timon and Pumbaa (named Harold at the time) were meant to be childhood friends of Simba.
In an early version of the film, Mufasa was to have two cubs instead of just one. Presumably, one was Simba, but the image never clarifies much about either cub.
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?
In an early draft of the film, Simba found himself growing up with a multitude of friends, one of these being a young cub named Mheetu. Mheetu was Nala's younger brother and part of her gang.
In an early draft of The Lion King, cape dogs appeared alongside Scar as his helpers and minions. Their role was almost identical to that of the hyenas, who replaced them in the final film. In an early version of the script, they aided Scar in his scheme to kill Mheetu and Simba in a wildebeest stampede. They were eventually replaced by Banzai, Ed, and Shenzi.
Bhati, Iggy, and Tesma
Bhati, Iggy, and Tesma were originally written to be childhood friends of Simba and Nala's. While Bhati and Iggy were always only friends of the cubs, in King of the Jungle, Tesma is the mate of Timon.
Early in the film, Sarabi had a sister named Naanda. According to the caption, the two were very experienced hunting partners. In the released script of King of the Jungle, Naanda was written to be Nala's mother, and Mufasa is implied to be her mate. Diku and Dwala were also present in the script and written to be additional sisters of Sarabi.
Kobi and Prita
Kobi and Prita were vultures set to appear in The Lion King. According to their concepts, Prita was the son of Kobi. Their intended roles in the film are unknown.
Baasho and Banagi
Baasho is a hyena who serves as Banagi's ally. In both early screenplays, after Mufasa dies, he chases after Simba and fails to kill him. At the end of the January 1990 script, he is banished alongside Banagi to the desert after Simba becomes king. In the May 1990 version, Baasho surrenders to Simba after he defeats Scar and Banagi.
Banagi is another hyena, who, in both early screenplays, is the leader of the hyenas, despite being male. In both screenplays, he is the real mastermind behind Mufasa's death and easily manipulates the rogue, Scar, into becoming his puppet king. In the January 1990 screenplay, he is banished by Simba after he becomes king to the desert along with Baasho. In the May 1990 screenplay, he is defeated by Simba after Simba kills Scar in a duel.
Desma, Mandila, Jamila, Ozina, Mandisa, and Nute are all female meerkat mothers deleted from the final film. They were present in the screenplay of King of the Jungle, written by J.T. Allen and Ron Bass. Their children are not named, and it is likely Desma is a misspelling of Tesma. The meerkats are all allies of Simba and Mufasa.
At one point, Scar was to have a pet python who would act as a sidekick.
"Circle of Life"
Originally, the "Circle of Life" sequence was going to have dialogue, but after the filmmakers heard how powerful the music was, the dialogue was thrown out. The music for this scene was originally supposed to sound like an African prayer, and later is changed by "Busa" score.
During production, another song titled "Warthog Rhapsody" was considered for the scene but was tossed out in favor of "Hakuna Matata" so that the filmmakers could focus not only on Timon and Pumbaa's carefree lifestyle, but also on Simba's neglect for responsibility. Later, an earlier concept of "Hakuna Matata" began with Timon singing, "When I was a young meerkat..." But the filmmakers decided that the song would work better if it was shorter and got to the point right away, so they cut Timon's verse.
"Can you Feel the Love Tonight"
Lyrist Tim Rice conceived at least fifteen drafts for the film's love songs. One demo was recorded by Joseph Williams and Sally Dworsky as Simba and Nala respectively, though when the plot was revised so that Simba went into self-exile after his father's death, the lyrics were revised to reflect their reunion while discovering love. After each character sang a verse to one another, the song was later accompanied with a heavenly choir. The song was moved into various places of the movie before being dropped altogether.
Another demo was sung by Timon and Pumbaa, but Elton John disliked the comical nature of the concept, although the ending verse was used for the final film. John later petitioned to studio chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg to remove the song all together. Because the writers hadn't fleshed out Simba and Nala's relationship as cubs, they wrote in the wrestling scenes, the bath, and the waterhole sequences in an attempt to make their reunion more believable. On his fifteenth draft, Rice opened and closed the song with Timon and Pumbaa, but with Simba, Nala, and the choir singing the midsection.
"To Be King"
"The Lion in the Moon"
In an earlier version of the film, Sarabi was supposed to sing a song titled, "The Lion in the Moon" after Simba and Nala's encounter with the hyenas. In the song, she sings of a spirit that watches over the Pride Lands and protects its inhabitants. This scene was later replaced by Mufasa telling his son about the Great Kings of the Past.
"Thanks to Me"
In their attempt for a villain song, a song titled "Thanks to Me" was composed for Scar in which he gloated to the hyenas about murdering Mufasa and chasing off Simba. Instead, the filmmakers decided that a better approach to the song would be for Scar to plot his murderous deed. The song was later re-titled "Be Prepared."
In the original script, written in 11 September 1992, Scar was supposed to trie to flirt with Nala without the song. Later, in the next version of the script, he has sung a short song "The Madness of King Scar."
Reprise of "Be Prepared"
In the original script, Scar sang a soliloquy before "Be Prepared" in which he considers recruiting the hyenas as his allies. This was removed in the final version so that the hyenas' previous attack on Simba and Nala could be credited to Scar.
Later on, the song was given a reprise that was cut from the film since a lively musical number after Mufasa's death would seem overkill. Much like the original version, it was sung by Scar and numerous hyenas. In this version, it was sung towards the lionesses who questioned Scar after his failed attempt to seduce Nala.. When that scene was cut, the reprise was then moved to immediately after Scar's announcement of his taking the throne. Despite being cut from the film, the song is used as a reprise in this manner in the stage musical.
Matthew Broderick was cast as adult Simba early during production, and he recorded his dialogue separately with another actress who was playing Nala only to discover that Moira Kelly voiced Nala at the premiere. Kelly herself acknowledged she was not the first choice to voice Nala.
Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella were originally going to play the roles of the hyenas. Upon meeting each other at the recording studio, the directors laughed at their performance and decided to cast them as Timon and Pumbaa. For the hyenas, the original intention was to reunite Cheech & Chong, but while Cheech Marin accepted to play Banzai, Tommy Chong was unavailable. Thus, his role was changed into a female hyena, Shenzi, who was voiced by Whoopi Goldberg.
During production of The Lion King, Patrick Stewart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Terry Gilliam were all considered to voice Zazu before animators caught some episodes of Mr. Bean and decided that Rowan Atkinson would be the perfect voice performer. According to Don Hahn's memoirs, Nathan Lane auditioned for the role of Zazu as well.
As recorded in Brian Tiemann's version of the script, Shenzi was written to say "Look boys! A king fit for a meal!" before Banzai says, "Kitty-kitty-kitty." For reasons unknown, this line was deleted.
As Simba descends from Pride Rock after Scar's death, Zazu was originally to have said, "Your majesty!" Because the filmmakers felt it distracted from the solemn music, the line was cut, thus Zazu is seen mouthing the words.
I never thought hyenas essential. They're crude and unspeakably plain. But maybe they've a glimmer of potential, if allied to my vision and brain.
Due to plot adjustment, the intro lines to the music track "Be Prepared" were cut. They were originally a monologue for Scar as he tried to decide whether he should use the hyenas or not. These were cut presumably to allow for the earlier entrapment of the cubs being credited to Scar. The monologue does, however, appear on the soundtrack.
Early Story Ideas
In the early stages of Simba's Pride, Zira had a single child, Nunka, who was her son with Scar. He was the one who was supposed to charm Aisha (a working name for Kiara) in order to get to Simba. According to a concept of Nunka, he was almost a complete clone of Scar in appearance; they both had bright green eyes, a black mane, and the same reddish fur (with Nunka's being noticeably duller in coloration). According to Variety, Nunka was going to be voiced by Andy Dick, who ended up voicing Nuka.
However, Nunka was renamed Kovu, and Kovu's relationship with Scar was changed in the middle of production to avoid incest, as he would be Simba's cousin and Kiara's first cousin once removed. Apparently, his physical attributes were also changed as Kovu's mane used to be black like his intended father, his fur was reddish-orange, and his eyes were bright green, but all these were dulled when he was no longer Scar's son.
When Kovu's design was finally finalized and his relation to Scar was completely gone, his mane turned from black to brown, his eyes from bright green to emerald, and fur from bright red to an almost brownish-purple. Traces of it can still be seen in the finished film, such as when Kovu's mane tuft flashes black during his first encounter with Kiara.
Originally, Zira was going to be accompanied by the hyenas, who served as her army. An article from New York Daily News released in 1996 even stated that Cheech Marin just reprised his role as Banzai for the sequel. However, the hyenas were replaced with the pride of lionesses known as the Outsiders.
Mufasa Visits Kiara
In the "Proud of Simba's Pride" documentary, James Earl Jones is seen recording a line for Mufasa, "You have let your family break apart, and in doing so, you have broken the Circle of Life." According to the Simba's Pride page found on lionking.org, the 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." Why this scene and dialogue were cut from the film remains unknown.
In an early script, Simba was going to be killed in an ambush. After trespassing into the Outlands in search of his daughter, Simba is killed by the Outsiders, but the writers decided to change it because they thought it was too gruesome.
- Zira's original name was Bianca.
- Kiara's original names were Shani and Aisha.
- Vitani's original name was Shetani.
It is rumored that Bianca was a working name for Zira. In almost every Simba's Pride novelization, her eyes appear blue. This could indicate that her eyes were to be blue at some point during production. Zira's eyes have also been shown to be a shade of green in what looks like the frame of a concept sketch of Zira holding Kovu that was close to finalization. An interesting note is that all three of her children have one of her eye colors; Kovu's are green, Vitani's are blue, and Nuka's are her finalized red.
In a concept sketch, Shani is depicted as having a scruffy tuft of hair like her father Simba when he was a cub. Because of her name meaning "curiosity" in Swahili, concepts of her labeled Shani are seen with her curiously wandering through the Outsiders' cave. Also, a concept of Simba's daughter is seen with dark brown fur and green eyes.
In a concept sketch of the rhino stampede, Shani/Aisha is seen with bright yellow fur and gray-colored paws. However, the name Aisha was thrown out when Disney realized that this was the name of the Yellow Power Ranger of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Aisha Campbell.
In an original draft of Simba's Pride, Simba and Nala had a daughter, Shani, as well as a son, Chaka. This new character was originally supposed to be the cub held up at the end of the first film. However, some people, Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers among them, thought that this complicated the story; thus, Chaka was scrapped.
Originally, a female hornbill accompanied Zazu. Apparently, Binti didn't get past the character design despite having twenty different designs for her all drawn up, which are not available on the web. Zazu has a very minor role in Simba's Pride himself, which is probably why she was cut.
In an interview with Austin American-Statesman in 1995, actor Thomas Haden Church stated, "The coolest thing that's happened to me recently is I'm doing the sequel to The Lion King," and added, "I'm doing the voice-over for a rhinoceros, and he's a really butch rhinoceros, too."  In an anonymous source, it states that Binti rides a rhino. Whether the two characters have an actual connection remains to be seen.
Alternate or Deleted Scenes
There is trouble in the Pride Lands...there is another cub?
Rafiki paints an emblem of Kiara on the trunk of his tree, happily commenting on the security of the pride's future. Mufasa's spirit ruffles Rafiki's mane, stopping by to visit, and through this, the baboon discovers another cub while in his tree with help from Mufasa's spirit. First, he accuses Mufasa of breaking the circle, and then he sees the new cub as trouble.
|“||Zira: Kovu! Don't let it go! What's the matter with you?|
Kovu: But, Mother! He wasn't hurting anyone!
Zira: There is no room here for weakness, my son. Remember...Scar took you in and accepted you as his own son.
Unlike the movie, which doesn't show Kovu training at all, this scene shows us that he was trained to hunt and kill termites to sharpen his hunting skills. Kovu, however, sees no point in harming the insect, as it did nothing to him, and lets it go, to which Zira sees as weakness. She reaffirms that Scar took Kovu in and chose him as the next king, and then her mood elevates into rage upon realizing that they live in the "dry, pathetic, termite-infested Outlands."
Nuka and Vitani's News
|“||Zira: A girl?! Aha, ha, ha! Scar, my beloved, did you hear that? This couldn't be more perfect!|
Nuka: Who's she talking to?
Vitani: Shhh! Scar!
Nuka: Where? Where?
Vitani: Scar's dead, genius.
Zira: 'Yes! Because of Simba! If not for him, Scar would still be king, and I, Zira, his loving, devoted queen.
This deleted scene comes directly after "Kovu's Bug" with Nuka and Vitani having finished their spying in the Pride Lands. Vitani reports the news of Simba's cub being a girl to Zira. Zira laughs winningly, commenting that the situation "couldn't be more perfect" and begins talking to Scar. When Vitani mentions Scar is dead to Nuka (who asked why Zira started talking to him even though he wasn't around), Zira's anger returns, and she blames Simba for Scar's death, stating that if not for him, she'd still be a queen by Scar's side. Nuka later requests that as the oldest, he should be king, but Zira snaps at him, reminding him that Kovu is the Chosen One, so he will be king, to which Nuka replies that he can work with that.
According to The Lion King II script written by Brian Tiemann, after Nuka complies with his mother's vision, Zira climbs up on a rock point to gaze out over the Pride Lands with her children following her. She says to them, "Look...at the Pride Lands, my pets. So green...so inviting. That is our home...that is where we belong. And soon, my beloved Scar...we shall reclaim your kingdom." Then, it is followed by the final film's second scene with the camera zooming towards Pride Rock with cub Kiara saying, "Wow!" However, known footage of this scene was not included in the deleted scene, and has yet to be released individually.
Well...I finally got your attention, didn't I? Didn't I...
Originally, Nuka's demise was to be longer than what was onscreen. When Nuka tells his mother that he has finally received his long-wanted attention from her, Zira gives a true loving smile to Nuka as she cradles his head before he passes. Even though most of it was deleted, it is still possible to hear Nuka whisper a final "Didn't I?" before he dies. This could easily be mistaken as a generic dying noise. It is speculated that it was deleted because it sent the wrong message of "you must hurt yourself for your parent's attention" to children.
Kovu and Kiara Decide to Return
Race you back.
During this extended alternate version of Zira's demise, Kiara offers Zira some assistance, but Zira swipes her paw away in refusal only to later struggle to keep from falling into the river. Kiara again offers Zira some help, but Zira glances into the river and vocally refuses Kiara's help, letting go of her own accord with a twisted smile upon her face. Even though Zira's suicidal actions were removed, she can still be seen smiling as she falls into the river in the final film. It is said that it was removed because it was too dark for a Disney film.
|“||Pumbaa: Hakuna Matata!|
Timon: Outlands, shmoutlands. This place is better then Disneyland!
After the credits, Timon and Pumbaa were supposed to be displayed in the Outlands. They are seen chowing down on bugs, and one bug flies into the shot and flits from side to side like Tinker Bell in the traditional Disney transition-out sequence.
The following deleted lines originate from Brian Tiemann's screenplay found on lionking.org.
Them...us. Look at them...they are us. What differences do you see? Aren't we all part of the Circle of Life?
Kiara was also supposed to say the last line to her father during the battle with the Outsiders.
Kovu was supposed to say, "You gotta take care of yourself!" during his and Kiara's meeting with the crocodiles. However, this line was replaced with the line, "I'll distract them. Run!"
Kovu was originally going to say, "No one there thinks he's very great...do they?" during the discussion about the Great Kings of the Past. Presumably, as a way of reinforcing the fact that Kovu was not Scar's son, the line was replaced with "He wasn't my father, but he was still a part of me."
Timon was supposed to say "Somebody's gotta tie a boomerang around her neck!" after Kiara runs off after catching Timon and Pumbaa spying on her while she is hunting. In the final film, the line was replaced with "Somebody's gotta get a beeper for this kid!"
Originally, Timon says "Pumbaa, stop living in the past! This is the sequel. We need a new motto!" to Pumbaa during the battle with the Outsiders, but it was cut so the fourth wall wouldn't be broken.
Alternate or Deleted Scenes
Rafiki retells The Lion King
You see, it was the Circle of Life! Oh? What's that you say? Oh! You've heard of this before, yeah? You think you know the story. You don't know the half of it!
Originally, Lion King 1½ began with Rafiki watching over the animals as they approached Pride Rock for Simba's birth. However, Lion King 1½ director Bradley Raymond explained that he felt the scene was too majestic for a comedy-based movie.
Timon and Pumbaa retell The Lion King
|“||Pumbaa: Ooh, Look! Here's the presentation of baby Simba! Oh, wasn't he cute?|
Timon: Yeah. And here he is with his...hey, where's his wacky and irresistible sidekicks?
Timon and Pumbaa: That's us!
Timon: This story revolves around us! As a matter of fact, there wouldn't even be a story if it weren't for us! Let me ask you, who rescued Simba, huh? Who raised him as if he was our very own? And who helped him beat that big jerk Scar?
Originally, the story again started in Rafiki's tree, with various drawings on its surface as Timon and Pumbaa retell the story. The meerkat gloats about how there would be no story without them. Eventually, Rafiki appears, angered that they drew on his tree without his permission, and chases the two off-screen.
In a short deleted scene, Timon joins his father on sentry duty. Timon and his father discuss the way of a meerkat's life and how they constantly dig tunnels. Ma appears and brings food. She tells Timon that whatever he does, he is going to make her proud. As explained by Raymond, the father character was deleted from the movie because the filmmakers felt that there were too many characters in the story, and his lines were instead transferred to Ma and Uncle Max.
The Presentation of Simba
There was scene in which Timon's meerkat colony attended the presentation of Simba but did not dare to get too close. Timon insisted that they break forward, but in front of them sat two angered hippos, and the meerkats were forced to escape underground.
Aleternate "That's All I Need" Intro
There's more to life than panic,
Originally, Timon was to sing the beginning of "That's All I Need" in a different way while he's on Sentry Duty, but according to Bradley Raymond, the scene was deleted because Timon was complaining a lot in the movie, and he's always complaining about the meerkat colony, and the scene was changed into Timon just daydreaming with different lyrics of the beginning of the song.
After the Elephant Graveyard scene, Timon and Pumbaa are passing through the savanna at night. Timon decides to live here, but he sees a large pawprint, and soon after, a lion. The two decide to go. According to Bradley Raymond, the scene was deleted due to time constraints.
The Ballet of Old Fearless Buzz
Sing the Ballet of Fearless Buzz,
Originally, the meerkats were to sing about a meerkat named Buzz to the tune of "Digga Tunnah," but he was cut, as he would have been one more character the audience had to familiarize themselves with.
Timon's father was originally going to be a character who showed great fear for the outside world. The directions ultimately decided that he was unneeded, so his character was cut, and his lines were transferred to Ma and Uncle Max.
- The Lion King - A Screenplay For Feature Animation by J.T. Allen
- King of the Beasts - A Screenplay for Feature Animation by J.T. Allen and Ron Bass
- ↑ The Lion King Diamond Edition (Disc 1), Pride of The Lion King. Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2011.
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjhP40P0Dyc
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Mouse Under Glass, page 229
- ↑ 
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 Mouse Under Glass, page 228
- ↑ http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Lion-King,-The.pdf
- ↑ 18.0 18.1
- ↑ The Lion King: Platinum Edition (Disc 2), Story Origins. Walt Disney Home Entertainment. 2003.
- ↑ Schrager, Noah. 10 things you probably didn't know about 'The Lion King'. The Christian Science Moniter.
- ↑ http://concept.lionking.org/characters/capedogs.shtml
- ↑ 
- ↑ 
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Fallon, Kevin. ‘The Lion King’ Turns 20: Every Crazy, Weird Fact About the Disney Classic. The Daily Beast.
- ↑ Tiemann, Brian. The Lion King Tenth Anniversary Reunion Panel.
- ↑ Tiemann, Brian. TLK Script (HTML 3.0 Version).
- ↑ Madness of King Scar/"Be Prepared" Reprise.
- ↑ Kehr, Dave. The Lion Evolves. The New York Times.
- ↑ Moira Kelly Interview: The Lion Queen - Ultimate Disney Talks With the Voice of Nala. Ultimate Disney.
- ↑ The 3D Release of ‘The Lion King’ Reveals Original Secrets. xFinity. Comcast.
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 Knolle, Sharon. 'The Lion King': 20 Things You Didn't Know About the Disney Classic. Moviefone. AOL.
- ↑ King, Susan. A 'Lion's' tale. The Los Angeles Times.
- ↑ Allers, Roger, Hahn, Don, and Minkoff, Rob (1995). Laserdisc/DVD audio commentary for The Lion King. Walt Disney Home Entertainment.
- ↑ The Lion King: A Memoir - Don Hahn. The Lion King: Diamond Edition. 4 October 2011. Walt Disney Home Entertainment
- ↑ Tiemann, Brian. TLK Script (HTML 3.0 Version).
- ↑ Mouse Under Glass, page 330
- ↑ 
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 Fleming, Mike. Blackout’ awakens at Miramax; Hammer hit. Variety.
- ↑ Early Script of The Lion King II. thumper.net.
- ↑ 41.0 41.1 41.2 Simba's Pride Online - Plot Production.
- ↑ Slewinski, Christy. Cheech Cops Plum Role On 'Nash'. New York Daily News.
- ↑ The Lion King WWW Archive: Simba's Pride.
- ↑ 
- ↑ http://africanlanguages.com/swahili/
- ↑ 
- ↑ 47.0 47.1 The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998) - Trivia. IMDb.com.
- ↑ 
- ↑ Church says `I do' to `Ned and Stacey' 'Wings' actor makes leap of faith to Fox sitcom July 23, 1995. The Austin American-Statesman (Fee required)
- ↑ |"The coolest thing that's happened to me recently is I'm doing the sequel to The Lion King, Church said. "I'm doing the voice-over for a rhinoceros, and he's a really butch rhinoceros, too"
- ↑ 
- ↑ http://www.lionking.org/scripts/SP-Script.html#love
- ↑ 
- ↑ Ratliff, Larry. Jane and the giant bug - Finding right 'Peach' voice was all relative for 'Frasier' co-star. April 12, 1996. "Leeves brings voice to a flirtatious bird named Binti in the upcoming sequel to The Lion King.