Tanglemane once reigned over a pride, but two rogue males fought him for supremacy of the pride. When he'd been young, Tanglemane had been able to fight off all challengers, but because of old age and a recent shortage of food, he lost to the two healthy young lions. Driven out of his former home, Tanglemane wandered the savanna until he found a cave above a lake, where he settled in to stay.
Simba and his friends, Timon and Pumbaa, are enjoying a lazy day by a small lake when a pelican tells them that unless rain comes soon, the lake will dry up. Simba offers to help the animals find water, but none of the animals can think of a water source that isn't already dried up. The pelican suggests that they ask a foul-tempered lion named Tanglemane, who lives near the lake.
Reluctantly, Simba and his friends seek out the old lion, who lives in a cave in the hillside. The lion roars to frighten them off, but when his plan fails, he swipes at Simba. He misses twice and slips, smacking his jaw into the rocks and knocking out a tooth.
Suddenly, the old lion begins laughing and explains that his tooth had been bothering him for a long time and that now that it is gone, so is the aching pain that had made him so foul-tempered. Seeing his chance, Simba asks Tanglemane for help, and the old lion gladly leads the friends to an underground river beneath his lair. Using ingenuity and help from the animals who live around the lake, Simba builds a pipeline to carry the water to the lake.
The animals are grateful to Simba and Tanglemane, but Simba finds that he wants to help the old lion further. He asks the pelicans to carry water in their bills up to a rock with a bowl-like depression at its center, located right outside Tanglemane's cave. Tanglemane is grateful that he now has fresh water, and Simba leaves feeling satisfied with his work.
|“||Pelican: As in big, old, ugly, and very bad-tempered!|
Pumbaa: Just how big?
Despite being decrepit and old, Tanglemane is a massive and powerfully built lion, with a sturdy middle, strong shoulders, and thick legs. Four scars run across his foreleg, and he is missing a tooth from his fight with Simba. Though he is a shell of his former being – aged and no longer nimble – he is still a force to contend with and has gained a notorious reputation from those who've encountered him.
Tanglemane's pelt is a dull yellow, and he has a scruffy reddish-brown mane and tail tip. While his upper muzzle and the tips of his paws are peachy in color, his lower muzzle is white, and his eye shades are chestnut. His fur is quite scruffy, and he bears bushy eyebrows, long and crooked whiskers, and freckles on his muzzle. According to the text, his eyes are amber. However, he is pictured with black eyes.
Personality and traits
At first, Tanglemane is gruff and territorial, with an inclination to attack strangers. However, once Simba befriends him, Tanglemane reveals himself to be laidback and kind, having only been surly due to a toothache. Tanglemane reminds Simba of his father, Mufasa.