Saving Simba
Publication Information

Hakuna Matata


1995 – 1997



For coloring and informational errors, see here.

Saving Simba is a magazine story inspired by The Lion King. It was published in three issues of The Lion King: A Nature Fun and Learn Series as part of the Hakuna Matata magazine series.


After Simba and his friends, Timon and Pumbaa, help save the life of a young giraffe, the herd repays the debt by saving Simba from a gruesome injury.


Part 1

Saving Simba begins by introducing Simba, the self-exiled prince of the Pride Lands, and his two friends, Timon and Pumbaa. At the start of the story, the three friends are relaxing in the jungle. Despite trying to enjoy themselves, Simba and Timon are continuously disturbed by Pumbaa's stinky, mud-covered coat. Though they point out the problem to their friend, Pumbaa only wriggles around in his hammock, spraying mud all over Timon, until the friends decide to move on.

After leaving their relaxation behind, the three stumble across a young giraffe stuck in a mud hole. Thinking quickly, the friends attempt to pull the giraffe in with a vine rope, but the plan fails, forcing the three to think up a different plan. Suddenly, Timon gets an idea, and he instructs his friends to make a bridge across the mud out of debris.

Part 2

As the friends attempt to save the calf, the leader of the giraffes thanks the three for their bravery, expressing surprise at a lion's involvement. Simba points out that it is Timon who is risking his life, and Timon bravely begins to inch himself across the bridge toward the calf. Overhead, vultures begin to circle, but Timon pushes on, wrapping the vine rope around the little giraffe and letting the lead giraffe pull the calf to safety.

Once on solid ground, the young giraffe struggles to his feet, panting. With the calf safe, Simba scares off the remaining vultures amid cheers from his friends, but as he lands, he severely injures his paw. Timon and Pumbaa watch their friend worriedly and realize that his injury may be more severe than they'd thought. Grimly, the lead giraffe informs Timon and Pumbaa that he knows a cure for Simba's ailment but that it will mean a dangerous journey for them.

Part 3

As Timon and the lead giraffe, Longlegs, sprint toward a cure for Simba, the young lion is helped by the giraffe herd into a patch of grass, where his injured state will not be so easily noticed by other animals.

Meanwhile, Longlegs and Timon encounter a wild lion, who attacks Timon until he is beaten back by Longlegs. With the diversion out of the way, the two continue on their journey, and Longlegs instructs Timon to gather a handful of healing leaves for Simba. Timon does as he's told, and the two sprint back to the side of their injured companion.

Under Longlegs's instruction, Timon wraps the leaves around Simba's injuries, and the friends spend the night guarding Simba from predators. Come morning, the young lion has healed completely, and he thanks Longlegs for his help. The giraffe graciously reminds Simba that he is simply returning a favor, for friends should stick together.