15 Incredible Things You Never Knew About The Original Lion King Film

The live action version of the Lion King will be released on 17th July 2019, which makes now a good time to reveal a few things that you might have missed from the original animation.

The Lion King has become one of the most popular films from the Disney universe. The animation that came out in 1994, tells the story of a lion cub named Simba that has to deal with the death of his father Mufasa and his hungry for power uncle Scar.

The continuous remakes from Disney

For a few years now, Disney remakes have been following each other one after the other. First there was Cinderella, then Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo and even Aladdin. And now it’s the Lion King’s turn to be honoured. With lots of people anxiously awaiting its release, this film promises to be spectacular with an incredible cast lined up which includes huge names such as Beyoncé and Donald Glover in the English version as well as big names such as Rayane Bensetti and Jamel Debbouze in dubbed versions.

To get into the swing of things without further delay before the film comes out, we should look back on some of the animation’s secrets. You can watch the video above for some of the things you may have missed but for the rest, check out our article below!

The film wasn’t supposed to be called The Lion King

The Lion King came very close to having a different title. In fact, production wanted to call it The King of the Jungle before they realised that lions don’t actually live in the jungle but in the Savannah…

Some songs weren’t supposed to be in the film

Disney songs are so catchy and get stuck in your head very easily and those from the Lion King are no exception, rather the opposite in fact. However, some of them weren’t originally going to be used in the film, such as Hakuna Matata which didn’t appear in the first versions of the script. Initially, the song was going to be called He’s Got It All Worked Out and essentially was going to talk about eating insects. The director of the film Rob Minkoff recalls that it was because of the film crew in Africa at the time that Hakuna Matata became the popular phrase from the animation that we know today.

But this song wasn’t the only one that was going to be different! Can You Feel The Love Tonight was supposed to be a parody song, sung by Timon and Pumba. I Just Can’t Wait To Be King was supposed to be sung by Mufasa and would have been called To Be King instead. But the voice of James Earl Jones, the actor who voiced the character, apparently wasn’t a good enough fit for this song, so it was rewritten for Simba.

Scar And Mufasa aren’t actually brothers

Without a doubt, this is THE revelation that some fans might not like. In fact, Scar and Mufasa don’t actually belong to the same family. During an interview with the site Hello Giggles, Don Hanh, the producer of the film, confirmed that Scar and Mufasa aren’t actually brothers.

‘While making the movie, we talked about the fact that it was very likely Scar and Mufasa would not have both the same parents. The way lions operate in the wild… when the male lion gets old, another rogue lion comes and kills the head of the pride. Occasionally there are prides that do have two male lions, in an interesting dynamic because they’re not equals. One lion will always kind of be off in the shadows. We were trying to use those animal truths to underpin the story so we figured Scar and Mufasa couldn’t really be from the same gene pool.’

Shakespeare inspired Simba’s story

The story in the Lion King was directly inspired by Hamlet, the play written by William Shakespeare. The two stories have a villain that kills their brother in order to take power. Therefore, Scar appears to be a shadow of Claudius’ character from Shakespeare’s play. In the film, just like in the piece of theatre, the fallen father comes back to haunt his son, which pushes him to seek revenge. During his exile, Hamlet and Simba both question their existence and their identity, to be king or not to be?

Even more things you didn’t know

There are several other things you might have missed from the film, for example the names Simba, Sarabi, Rafiki and Pumba, which are all words in Swahili that respectively mean ‘Lion’, ‘Mirage’, ‘Friend’ and ‘Slow-witted’.

The first versions of the script were also quite different from the version we know today. Rafiki was meant to be a cheetah, Timon and Pumba were meant to be friends with Simba from the very start of the film and Mufasa wasn’t supposed to reappear after he dies.

For 25 years now, The Lion King has been considered one of the biggest Disney animation films. The remake promises to give us a new way of appreciating the animation that will bring back great memories for the young as well as the old.

Check out the video above to learn five more fascinating facts you never knew about the original Lion King!

15 facts you never knew about these famous Disney films 15 facts you never knew about these famous Disney films