10 Surprising Facts About The Lion King


1. The Lion King movie title wasn’t always The Lion King

Before The Lion King was called The Lion King, the movie had different titles which included The King of Kalahari and The King of the Jungle. 

2. The Lion King was the first Disney movie to feature an original storyline

The Lion King has been billed for long as the first animated Disney film to have an original storyline (a story lime that wasn’t an adaptation of the story that has existed in the past). Some individuals however disputed the claim saying The Lion King got its inspiration from Hamlet and Kimba and the White Lion.

3. The animals and how they related to one another were different from the previous versions of the scripts

The original script featured Scar who was in charge of a pack of cruel and violent baboons and not related to Simba Simba. However, this version wrote Rafiki as a cheetah and Pumbaa and Timon were both friends with Simba from the onset.

4. The original director of The Lion King wanted the movie to be like a National Geographic documentary.

George Scribner, the director of The Lion King wanted the Lion king to be something similar to an animated National Geographic documentary before the film was turned into a musical.

5. This animated Disney movie holds the record of the highest-grossing hand-drawn animated feature of all time

With a total box office of over $986 million, Lion King is the highest-grossing hand-drawn animated feature of all time, 8th highest-grossing animated feature, a best-selling videotape of all time and the 42nd highest-grossing film of all time.

6. A lullaby called “The Lion in the Moon” was deleted from the Lion King

A lullaby called “The Lion in the Moon” which was about a protective lion spirit sung by Sarabi was removed from the film. The lullaby was supposed to be featured after Simba’s first encounter with the hyenas.

7. Disney was sued by a Hyena researcher

Disney was sued by a Hyena researcher for defamation of character because of Disney’s portrayal of animals in the film.

8. The animators took more than two years to create the stampede scene

The 2.5-minute wildebeest stampede took Disney CGI animators more than 2 years (source: the film’s press notes). Additionally, they had to write a new computer program to govern the movement of the herd.

9. The original script doesn’t have anything like “Hakuna Matata”

Instead of Hakuna Matata that was used, the original script has a song that was about eating bugs called “He’s got it all worked out”. But the research team returned from their trip to Africa with Hakuna Matata and the song was born in their meeting.

10. Animals were brought to the studio by a wildlife expert to help the animators study their movement

Real African animals like lions and hornbills were brought by wildlife expert Jim fowler at different stages of the production to the Disney studio to serve as models to the team. The wildlife expert-taught them how the lions greet each other, how they show affection and how they protect themselves.

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