The Lion King


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"If you tell me, I'll still act surprised!"
Watch out! This article may contain spoilers.

Cub - Adult

Bluray Sarabi

Queen of Pride Rock
The Lion King
The Lion King 1½
The Lion King: Six New Adventures
Close Relations
Unnamed (sister)
Mufasa (mate)
Simba (son)
"If you were half the king Mufasa was..."
—Sarabi condemns Scar

Sarabi is the queen of the Pride Lands in The Lion King. She is the mate of Mufasa and the mother of Simba.


One of the largest queens to rule Pride Rock, Sarabi is tall and heavily built, able to stand nose height to Scar and noticeably larger than her fellow Pridelanders. She sports strong shoulders and a rectangular body, built for the hunt, and manages to put up a good fight against the hyenas even after being struck to the ground by Scar. Her face is long and round but generally broader than those of the other lionesses, though her other facial features are delicate and soft.

Side-profile Sarabi

A side-profile view of Sarabi

In addition to being unusually grand in size, Sarabi sports a distinctive darker pelt, broken only by patches of lighter fur on her muzzle, paws, and underbelly. Her nose is also darker, and her ears are rimmed with brown. Like Mufasa, she sports large, orange eyes.

Sarabi passed many traits down to her son, including her colored paws, ear rims, and orange eyes. During early production of the first film, Simba was drawn in many concept sketches with darker fur, making him look more like his mother. However, this was later changed so that Simba more closely resembled Mufasa.


"So where is this really cool place?"
—Sarabi teases her son

Sarabi is shown to be friendly, cool, calm, and collected in most situations. She is also shown as a proud and loving mother. Her personality is firm, and she refuses to bend to anyone, not even Scar. When Scar roars at her to meet him on Pride Rock, Sarabi walks through a sea of hyenas with her head held high, not even flinching when they try to intimidate her by snarling and snapping their jaws. She is also shown to be outspoken when she tells Scar that he isn't half the king Mufasa was and understandably vengeful, as she is the second lioness behind Nala to lunge forward upon hearing that Mufasa was killed by Scar.



Sarabi was born sometime before the events of the first film and had at least one sister and three nephews, one of whom was named Mtoto.

Sarabi was betrothed to Mufasa at a young age, and as adolescents, the two would often stroll the Pride Lands together. To Mufasa's annoyance, Zazu often hovered nearby, chattering nonstop, as he hoped to assist the king in his daily ventures. One day, Sarabi got trapped in the gorge, and Zazu rushed to fetch Mufasa, who lowered a log down to Sarabi to help her out. Once to safety, Sarabi thanked Mufasa and Zazu for saving her life.

The Lion King

Sarabi: "Your son's awake."
Mufasa: "Before sunrise, he's your son."
—Mufasa and Sarabi

Sarabi, Mufasa, and infant Simba

Sarabi is first seen outside the den of Pride Rock with baby Simba, where she holds him in her forepaws. Mufasa affectionately nuzzles her and she licks the cub's head, revealing the prince to Rafiki. He anoints the cub, carrying him off as the King and Queen look lovingly at each other, watching their son be presented to the land. She is later seen sleeping beside Mufasa as Simba tries to wake his father, telling him their son is awake. Mufasa tries to stay asleep as long as possible, but eventually they both relent. Sarabi walks by Mufasa, nudging Simba ahead towards his father when the cub stops to nuzzle his mother as the both ascend to the summit.

Sarabi and Simba

After Simba is told about the Elephant Graveyard from Scar and comes to greet Nala who is being cleaned by her mother Sarafina, Sarabi, previously snoozing on a small rock, snatches him up and gives him a bath, amused at his attempts to get away. She inquires her son about the "cool place" he's so eager to show Nala, and consents to the two cubs going to "the waterhole". Knowing her son's mischievous nature however, she is sure to send Zazu along with them.

After the stampede, Sarabi is devastated after Mufasa's death, and is seen being comforted by Zazu when the news is broken.

Sarabi stands face to face with Scar

Years later, she is summoned by King Scar. The former queen strides fearlessly past the hyenas who growl and nip at her heels. Scar angrily questions her about why the hunting party refuses to do their job, and she replies that there's no prey left due to the hyenas, but Scar passes their failure off as not looking hard enough.

Sarabi also adds that there's nothing left, and that they have to leave Pride Rock in order to survive, in which Scar replies, "We're not going anywhere." Sarabi points out he is sentencing them to death and Scar replies, "Then so be it," saying that he is the king and can do whatever he wants.

Sarabi watches Simba ascend

Sarabi angrily replies, "If you were half the king Mufasa was you would--" but she is cut short by Scar when he strikes her with his paw, causing the lioness to fall onto her side. Seeing this, Simba (who was watching closely from a high rock) jumps down to defend his mother. She mistakes him for Mufasa at first, but soon realizes it's her long-lost son, though she asks how it is possible. Simba replies to his mother that it doesn't matter because he has returned home.

When the lionesses begin rising up against Scar and the hyenas, two lionesses are shown helping Sarabi up. When Scar pressures Simba into admitting it is his fault his father is dead, Sarabi says in a quiet voice "It's not true, tell me it's not true." Soon after that, Scar admits that he killed Mufasa, and she and Nala are the first lionesses to lunge forward.

Finally, after Scar and the hyenas are defeated, she nuzzles her victorious son, and proudly watches him take the Pride Lands back, accepting him as their new king.

Sarabi alongside Mufasa

The Lion King 1½

Sarabi is briefly shown in her original place at Simba's presentation alongside Mufasa in The Lion King 1½. She is not animated here and has no speaking lines, and she does not appear anywhere else in the film.

Other Roles

The Lion King (musical)

In the Broadway musical based on the original film,
TLK musical Sarabi

Gina Breedlove as Sarabi

Sarabi is portrayed by a human actress in an African-style garment with a lion-face headpiece mask wore on the actress's head. Sarabi was originally portrayed in the Broadway production by Gina Breedlove, and by Dawn Michael in the original London West Coast cast.

Sarabi's role is considerably the same, though she takes part in the musical number, "The Lioness Hunt". She is also seen mourning Mufasa (and Simba) when Scar reports their deaths to the pride. Lastly, she is called by her brother-in-law to question why the hunting party has stopped hunting. Sarabi tells him that there is no food or water, the herds has move on, and that they need to leave Pride Rock to survive. Scar refuses and when Sarabi snaps at him about not being half the king Mufasa was, Scar strikes his sister-in-law saying that he was ten times the king Mufasa. Simba, hearing this, comes from hiding, and comforts his mother.

"How True, Zazu?"


Sarabi in "How True, Zazu?"

Sarabi appears in The Lion King: Six New Adventures. She and Mufasa are spending quality time together in the waterhole, without the bothersome company of Zazu, Mufasa having something important to say to his queen.

When the hornbill leaves, a water cobra slides in and creeps up on them. Zazu returns just in time to alert them. While Mufasa was annoyed, Sarabi thanks Zazu.

Friends in Need

A young adult Sarabi is trapped in a large hole (that seems to be part of the gorge) and found by Zazu. She is later rescued by Mufasa after Zazu reports her condition, and leads the prince to his future Queen.

Simba and Sarabi in T&P Go Green (Wild about Safety)

Sarabi's cameo

Sarabi gives Zazu a thanking nuzzle on his bill for saving her life. She and Mufasa walk side by side, while Zazu flies overhead.

Timon and Pumbaa's Wild About Safety

In Safety Smart: Goes Green, Sarabi and young Simba make a cameo, in which Timon misunderstands a CFL light bulb as a "cute fluffy lion." Then, an angry Sarabi comes to get back her son. [2]

Concept Art

Sarabi originally had a yellow-orange fur, as her deleted sister (Naanda, Diku and Dwala). Fur on her tummy was lighter than the rest of the fur. Her red eyes and ear rims remained unchanged through development.

In later concepts, Sarabi has gray fur and a pink nose and ears. Her neck was a bit longer than in the final version. Her chin and her tummy were white.



  • Daughter-in-law: Nala
  • Grandson-in-law: Kovu
  • Brother-in-law: Scar




  • A Disney website states that Sarabi was banished alongside the Outsiders,[3] though this is unlikely, as she is Simba's mother.

Naanda, Sarabi's sister

  • Sarabi has an unnamed sister and nephew.[4]
  • Sarabi appears oddly colored on the tenth cover of one of the The Lion King: A Nature Fun and Learn magazine series.[5]
  • In The Lion King: Bloopers and Outtakes, Sarabi is missing her ear rims.
  • The character of Sarabi was inspired by Queen Gertrude of William Shakespeare's "Hamlet."

In Development


"The Lion in the Moon"

  • During early production, Sarabi and the other lionesses had single stripes on their foreheads, similar to that of Zira's. In one storybook, Sarabi is even pictured with one.[6]
  • After Simba's encounter with the hyenas, Sarabi was to sing a song called "The Lion in the Moon" to calm her upset son.


Scar: "Well, Simba, now's your chance to tell them! Tell them who is responsible for Mufasa's death!"
Simba: "I am."
Sarabi: "It's not true. Tell me it's not true."
Simba: "It's true"
—Sarabi confronts her son over Mufasa's death


Voice Actors


The Lion King - Scar Hits Sarabi00:56

The Lion King - Scar Hits Sarabi

Sarabi and Scar


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  4. Mtotolion
  5. [3]
  6. SarabiZira'sLine

The Queen of the Pride Lands
For more information about the Lion King monarchy, click here.

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