The Lion King


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

Hatchling - Adult

Betrothed Intended

Red-billed Hornbill
The Lion King
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
The Lion King 1½
The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
Close Relations
Zuzu (mother)
Simba: "Look, Banana Beak is scared."
Zazu: "It's Mr. Banana Beak to you, fuzzy."
—Zazu chides Simba

Zazu is a hornbill who is the majordomo of Mufasa in The Lion King and Simba in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.


Zazu Bows

A full-body view of Zazu

Small and almost delicate-looking, Zazu boasts a tiny but colorful body. His chest is small and oval-shaped, while his neck is long and thin and his tail is tall and pluming. His beak proves to be his most prominent feature, colored a bright red with a patch of yellow near his nostrils, with his feathers being light blue, tipped with lines of white and navy at the wingtips and the tailtip. His chest is pale blue, almost white, while his eye shades are a clear shade of sky blue. A dark blue feather protrudes off the back of his head, and thick bushy eyebrows grow above his small dark eyes. Despite his age, Zazu is a handsome bird, in good shape and still radiant in color.

Zazu bears many resemblances to his mother, echoing her slim body type and coloration schemes. Like Zuzu, he is small and slight with a bright red beak, though his feathers are royal blue as opposed to her more violet shades.


"Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play with your food?"
—Zazu mocks Scar

As the majordomo to Mufasa, his proper, dignified, nervous, and easily-rattled personality is the polar opposite in temperament of Simba and Nala. He tends to panic during emergencies, such as during the wildebeest stampede. As a youngster, Zazu was an incompetent, talkative nuisance but soon learned to distinguish between what was real news and what was not, though he is still not above some juicy gossip. Despite his size, he's rather snobby and looks down on lowlifes, not afraid to use his dry, biting wit. He is a very loyal friend and servant to the royal family. However, Zazu is not a complete stick in the mud; he does have a sense of humor, as seen when he makes a joke about turning Scar into a throw rug.



"Thank you for saving my life, Mufasa. I hope that one day I may be of service to the future Lion King."
—Zazu to Mufasa

Mufasa and Zazu meet in their youth

Two versions of Zazu's backstory exist, one told in A Tale of Two Brothers with another relayed in Friends in Need.

According to A Tale of Two Brothers, Zazu's mother Zuzu was asked by Ahadi to be the king's majordomo. Zuzu is honored and immediately accepts his offer, making her family serve as stewards to the Lion Kings of the Pride Lands. Finally, when Zazu is young, Zuzu trains him to take her place when Mufasa's rule begins.

However, this is openly contradicted by the book Friends in Need, in which a young Mufasa saves a young Zazu who is about to be cooked and eaten by Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed. Zazu is thankful and hopes that he can be of service to the Lion King someday, to which Mufasa is doubtful. However, one day, Zazu notices some vultures hovering and sees that Sarabi has fallen into a pit and can't get out. Zazu flies back to tell Mufasa, who leaps up and runs to the gorge. Mufasa can't find a way to rescue Sarabi, so Zazu finds a tree trunk that Mufasa drags over to the pit, allowing Sarabi to climb out. Mufasa sees that the little hornbill is useful after all and appoints him to be his royal advisor.

The Lion King

"Step lively. The sooner we get to the water hole, the sooner we can leave."
—Zazu to Simba and Nala
Muffy and Zazu

Zazu and Mufasa after their argument with Scar

Zazu is first seen flying over the animals heading towards Pride Rock to see the newborn Simba, and bows before Mufasa when he lands on Pride Rock.

He is next seen telling Scar about playing with his "food" he has caught. He also warns Scar that he better have a good excuse for not attending the presentation of Simba for the king. Then, Scar jumps him and temporarily eats Zazu. Just in time, Mufasa shows up to chastise his brother, who reluctantly spits Zazu onto the ground. Now with Mufasa to protect him, Zazu continues berating Scar, reminding him that as the king's brother, he should have been first in line at Simba's ceremony. Soon, Scar is rude to Mufasa who asks him if it's really a challenge, and Scar says he would never have fought with Mufasa. Zazu says it is a pity that Scar will not be beaten, and asks why Scar did not want to face his brother, and he replies that his strongest weapon of the brain, and then leaves. Zazu tells Mufasa that every family has one unruly member (and adds that his family has even two),
Monkeys Zazu

Monkeys hold Zazu

and that such always spoil special events with their views. Mufasa thoughtfully wondering what to do with Scar and Zazu jokes saying that Scar would be a good rug, and that Mufasa should throw him out and beat up whenever it becomes dirty. The two friends then leave, chuckling.

Years later, he is telling Mufasa the morning report, and is pounced on by Simba who was being coached by Mufasa on a pouncing lesson. Then The Mole appears and informs Zazu that the hyenas illegally entered the The Pridelands. Zazu then informs Mufasa about it. Mufasa leaves to intervene in this regard and says Zazu to take Simba home. Simba is disappointed that he can't attend the action, and Zazu tries to raise his morale, saying that Simba will one day be king and will be able to chase the hyenas from morning to evening.


Zazu whacked by Scar

When Simba and Nala agree to go the water hole, Sarabi instructs Zazu to accompany them to the "water hole" where they lose him during the song, "I Just Can't Wait to be King", but he finds them again at the Elephant Graveyard. During the encounter with the hyenas, he is captured by the hyenas to be exploded out of the geyser. He reappears as Mufasa fights off the hyenas, implying that he must have warned the lion king about the cubs in danger, and is frowned down by Mufasa for not protecting the cubs.

At the evening, Zazu, Nala, Simba and Mufasa returning home through the savanna. At one point Mufasa stops and angrily calls Zazu to himself. Zazu fearfully asks him what he wants and Mufasa tells him that he needs to continue on the path to the home with Nala when Simba will stay here with him. Zazu comes to cubs and says Nala they should go. He then turns to Simba and puts the wings on his shoulders, as if to say "goodbye forever" to him, but then he realizes that it will

Zazu in bonecage during Scar's rule

maybe scare the young prince and only wishes him good luck quiet. He and Nala then go home.

Later, Zazu is with Mufasa near the gorge and are alerted by Scar that a wildebeest stampede is occurring with Simba in danger. Zazu flies down to the gorge, and finds Simba hanging from the edge of a dead tree to which he tells Mufasa of. As he watches the stampede, he reacts in panic, and goes to look for help, but is struck by Scar into a wall and rendered unconscious.

When Scar gives his eulogy to Mufasa and Simba, Zazu is shown comforting Sarabi. He also briefly appears in a scene after Scar has assumed the kingship of the Pride Lands. In this scene, Zazu is imprisoned and is being forced to entertain Scar by singing songs. First, he tries "It's a Small World," only for Scar to interrupt by saying "anything but that," to which Zazu sings "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts."
End Movie Zazu

Zazu watches Simba's Coronation

As Scar enjoys singing the latter, Zazu laments not having to do this for Mufasa, and Scar quickly interrogates him and warns him never to mention that name in his presence. When the hyenas come in to complain about the lack of food and water, Scar casually tells them to eat Zazu, and he frantically insists that he'd be "so tough and gamey and eyugh!"

Later on, Simba returns to reclaim his throne. Simba, the lionesses, Timon, Pumbaa, and Rafiki battle the hyenas. Zazu pleads Timon to let him out of the ribcage he is imprisoned in, but Timon goes inside the ribcage instead as he is pursued by the hyenas. Pumbaa comes to the rescue and chases away the hyenas after Banzai accidentally insults him. Zazu is freed along with Timon. Finally, Zazu witnesses Simba's ascension to the throne and flies with white birds during the presentation of Simba and Nala's newborn cub.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

"Mmm, yes, sire. Clearly we are in his debt, and royal protocol demands that all debts be paid. Though in this case you might want to make an exception."
—Zazu to Simba upon seeing Kovu

Zazu warns Kiara about the Outsiders

Zazu does not have a large role as he does in The Lion King, but is still seen throughout the movie giving news to Simba, mainly about where Kiara is. He is also the one who spots the Outsiders in the Pride Lands first and warns Simba.

After witnessing Kiara's presentation, Zazu is next seen when Simba is lecturing Kiara that Zira and the Outsiders are "backstabbing". Years later when Kiara is a young lioness, Zazu assures Simba that she will be fine until Simba notices a wildfire has started.

Zazu is sent ahead by Simba to find Kiara, who had been out on her first solo hunt. When Zazu finds that Kiara is being rescued by Kovu, he reports the information back to Simba. After Kovu asks to join the pride, Zazu notes that royal law demands that debts (such as the one Simba owes Kovu for rescuing Kiara) must be repaid, though he is quite happy to make an exception.

Later, after Simba is injured in an ambush by Zira and the Outsiders

"It's WAAAR!"

, he is sent by Kiara to find help. Finally, near the end of the film, he reacts in panic when reporting that the Outsiders are preparing to attack. While at the same time, Simba learns that Kiara has fled the Pride Lands to which Simba again sends him to find her. In the end, Zazu looks alongside Timon and Pumbaa during Kiara and Kovu's wedding to which Timon and Pumbaa start crying with happiness and Zazu covers himself from the wetness of their tears.

The Lion King 1½

Zazu's appearances are extremely brief in The Lion King 1½. He is first seen at the presentation of Simba, talking to Mufasa about how the animals are kneeling before Simba. He is then seen with Mufasa alerting him that the hyenas are after Simba and Nala.

Other Roles

The Stage Musical

TLK musical Zazu

Geoff Hoyle as Zazu

In the stage productions of The Lion King, Zazu's role is slightly expanded. Zazu, like in the Platinum Edition version of the film, sings the song, "The Morning Report", before being pounced on by Simba. The musical version of the song is longer than its film counterpart. There is also a scene in which Zazu reminds Mufasa that he was just like Simba when he was a cub.

In the musical, Zazu is a puppet controlled by an actor dressed in blue striped clothes and a bowler hat much like a stereotypical butler. Zazu's blue feathers have been replaced with white and the puppet is partially constructed from parachute silk with a slinky contained in the neck for ease in movement.

Also, in certain English productions of the show, Zazu breaks the fourth wall. In the original Broadway production when, being blocked by curtains at the beginning of the "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" number, shouts out "This didn't happen in the movie!" or "These look like shower curtains from Target!"

Video Games

Simba's Mighty Adventures

Zazu appears in every level notifying the player on their goals and marking the checkpoints after a certain amount of time.

Kingdom Hearts II
Zazu - Disney Universe

Zazu as he appears as a Costume Character in Disney Universe.

Curiously, while Zazu plays a supporting role in the films, he doesn't appear in the video game Kingdom Hearts II with the other Lion King characters. Though in Donald's Bird form, Donald bears a vague resemblance to Zazu.

Zazu does, however, appear in the Kingdom Hearts II manga.

Disney Universe

Zazu appears as a bonus unlockable costume character which can be unlocked in one of the Alice in Wonderland levels. But he is only available in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game as a DLC. You have to buy the game from Kmart, it comes with a code for Zazu.

Strangely; although he is only available as a store exclusive DLC, he appears in the intro of the game alongside Simba in the Monsters Inc world opening a door for another guest, and then later seen running away when HEX takes over the Disney Universe.

TV Series

Timon & Pumbaa
Zazu TP Episode

Zazu as he appears in The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa

Zazu appears as a main character in the series starring Timon and Pumbaa.

Zazu appears in the episode "Once Upon a Timon" where he is researching the reasons that Timon became an outcast. He eventually learns the reasons from Rakifi, and the story becomes so engrossing, that Zazu forgets about a meeting with Simba."Zazu's Off Day Off" has Zazu being forced to work on his day off when an elephant is blocking flow of the river.

"Zazu's Off-by-One Day" shows that Zazu is responsible for taking a census of the animals. However, he is fired by the jungle inspector when it's discovered that he missed one animal. As a result, his job is given to his gopher assistant. In an attempt to regain his job, Zazu searches for the animal he missed, only to discover that it was himself.

Zazu's Off-By-One Day SCAR CAMEO

Zazu and Scar

He also makes two Cameos in the show as well his first cameo is in The Rafiki Fables episode The Sky is Calling after Pumbaa gets a big tall lump sticking out from accidentally banging his head several birds that look like Zazu can be seen flying round the lump

Zazu's second cameo is in the episode Rumble in the Jungle where he makes several cameos as the Wrestling Judge during Timon and Pumbaa's wrestling matches against each other Zazu's job is to whack the bell with a hammer at the start of each and every match

Runaway Brain

Zazu makes two cameos during the short.

House of Mouse

In the episode "Donald's Pumbaa Prank," Zazu is kidnapped by Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed and nearly eaten. He also makes a few cameos in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, seen alongside Rafiki and others from the film.

It's a Small World

Zazu makes a brief, non-speaking cameo in the animated mini-series episode One Golden Sun.






  • Zazu's name is misspelled during the end credits of The Lion King 1½ as "Zasu."[2]
  • Zazu's line of "There's one in every family sire...two in mine actually" could be a nod to Babazu and Nazu, two deleted hornbills who were possibly related to him.[3]
  • Zazu once didn't say a word for nearly three days.[4]

In Development



  • When Simba descends after defeating Scar, Zazu is seen moving his lips, but the audio is never heard. He was supposed to say, "Your Majesty". This mistake was intentional according to Mouse Under Glass, as the filmmakers wanted the scene to be a quiet moment.
  • Zazu was to have a mate named Binti in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, but her character was deleted.
  • In the final movie, the cubs fled from Zazu when a rhino sat on him. In earlier concepts, they ditched Zazu in the watherhole.[5]
  • When Zazu accidentally says Mufasa's name in Scar's presence, he was originally supposed to stroke his ruler's ego.[6]



All Voice Actors


The Lion King - Zazu Sings To Scar (720p) (HD) Bonus Movie Clip English01:01

The Lion King - Zazu Sings To Scar (720p) (HD) Bonus Movie Clip English

Zazu and Scar


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. Baasho
  4. Friends9
  5. Ountlie3z8
  6. [3]

Preceded by:
Majordomo of the Pride Lands
Succession Right:
Son of Zuzu
Succeeded by:

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