|“||Simba and Nala: Whoa!|
Nala: It's really creepy.
Simba: Yeah... Isn't it great?
Nala: We could get in big trouble.
Simba: I know.
The Elephant Graveyard is located beyond a rise that marks the northern border of the Pride Lands. It is a dry, barren, rocky wasteland, perpetually covered in fog that casts a shadow over the area even in the daytime. Bones of dead elephants litter the landscape. The area is geothermally active, containing many natural steam vents.
The graveyard is named after the various elephant skeletons that litter the area. It is also known for the numerous geysers that were located there. The graveyard is visible from Pride Rock as a shadowy area. It has been speculated that part of the reason the elephant graveyard is such a terrible place is because the hyenas live there, especially considering what they did to the Pride Lands during their residence there.
The graveyard has two "districts": the graveyard district where most of the bones of dead elephants lie with only a few boilers, which is where Simba and Nala visit; and the geyser district, which has geysers, boilers, and suffers from earth tremors and explosions of lava. This is where the song "Be Prepared" is performed.
|“||Zazu: The only checking out you'll be doing is the checking out of here! We're way beyond the boundary of the Pride Lands.|
Simba: Huh, look. Banana Beak is scared.
Zazu: That's Mr. Banana Beak to you, fuzzy. And right now we are all in very real danger.
Simba: Danger? Hah! I walk on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger. Ha, ha, ha, ha!
The Elephant Graveyard is first seen in The Lion King. One morning, Mufasa takes Simba to the top of Pride Rock and, in the expanding light of the sun, shows the young cub the vast expanse of the Pride Lands. However, when Simba asks about a "shadowy place" he sees in the distance, Mufasa gravely responds that it is beyond their borders and that he is never to go there.
Simba's uncle Scar, however, is actively planning the cub's death. After having arranged with a trio of hyenas, who inhabit the graveyard, to kill Simba once he induces him to go there, he plays upon Simba's curiosity about the "shadowy place" and desire to prove his bravery by "accidentally" revealing that it is an Elephant Graveyard. Impressed, Simba is determined to go there, despite his father's instruction. He invites his friend, a female cub named Nala, along. The two cubs trick their mothers into letting them leave Pride Rock, ostensibly to go and see something interesting by the watering hole. Simba's mother, Queen Sarabi, insists that Zazu chaperone them. The cubs, however, manage to lose the hornbill. In their glee, they playfully tackle each other. However they do not notice how close they have come to the graveyard and, while playing, both of them fall down a slope, into the area.
Looking around amidst the elephant bones, they approach an elephant skull. Nala comments to Simba about the trouble they could get into by coming to the graveyard, but Simba is unconcerned. They move to investigate the skull. A very nervous Zazu catches up to them and urgently tells them they all have to leave immediately, as they are in very serious danger. Simba airily brushes him off, responding that he laughs at danger. Then, however, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, the three hyenas Scar commissioned to kill Simba once he entered the graveyard, appear, slinking towards the two cubs and the hornbill, making no secret about their intention to devour them.
The cubs try to escape and the hyenas chase them through the graveyard, managing to catch up to Zazu. They take him to one of the geysers (which they call the "Birdie Boiler") and explode him out of the graveyard. After catching back up with the cubs, the hyenas resume the chase. Simba and Nala are seen riding down an elephant spine and climbing up a massive hill of bones. They are later cornered against a giant rock wall. But just as the hyenas are about to swoop in for the kill, Mufasa rescues them. After the hyenas run away in fear, Mufasa orders Zazu to take Nala home. Mufasa angrily scolds his son for deliberately disobeying him, and expresses disappointment in Simba for getting himself nearly killed and putting Nala in great danger. As Simba tells his father that he was attempting to show bravery, Mufasa reminds him that being brave does not mean that one should go looking for trouble. He then admits about being scared himself because he almost lost his son, and he and Simba eventually reconcile.
Later, the hyenas are seen in a different part of the graveyard. This part of the graveyard has a greenish tint to it and is littered with geysers. Scar performs "Be Prepared" while in the graveyard, in his aid to convince the hyenas in his plot to murder Mufasa and Simba and take over the Pride Lands, and numerous hyenas join in. This is the last time the graveyard is seen in the movie.
After Mufasa's death, and Simba's exile, the hyenas leave the dark days of the graveyard behind as they invade the Pride Lands. However, after Scar's defeat at the claws of a young adult Simba, the hyenas are exiled, and abandon the Elephant Graveyard.
When Zira is planning to overtake the Pride Lands, she sends Nuka and Vitani to fetch fire from the Elephant Graveyard. The two go to the graveyard, and Nuka comments that it was even creepier since the hyenas ran off. Vitani rolls her eyes and Nuka insists that he wasn't scared. But when he hears one of the geysers hiss, he lets out a yelp and leaps off a rock ledge. The two then light their sticks on fire and leave the cave, Nuka laughing evilly and excitedly as he goes.
When Timon and Pumbaa are looking for a new home, Timon decides to settle in the Elephant Graveyard, after Pumbaa asks where they should go. Timon tries to convince himself as well as Pumbaa that the graveyard would make a good home, but falls into an elephant skull in the process. He claims that the place needed a bit of cleaning up, but that it would eventually be home sweet home, since it has "good bones." Shortly afterward, Timon and Pumbaa see Mufasa rush by to rescue Simba and Nala from the hyenas, and they barely get out of the way in time. Shaken up, they then go to a different part of the graveyard, on which Timon comments that the steam is good since it's water, and that water is mandatory. Timon seems happy in the place, but Pumbaa isn't as optimistic, especially when they are confronted by Scar's army of hyenas singing. Timon and Pumbaa quickly leave, goose-stepping as the hyenas are doing so as to blend in and not be seen.
- There is more than one Elephant Graveyard as revealed in The Elephant's Graveyard. This new graveyard resides near the oasis.
- The skeleton that Simba and Nala see first (the same one from where the hyenas exit) bears tusks more akin to the ones of a mammoth instead of an African elephant; however, mammoths never lived in Africa.