Brown, cream, and gold
Under the reign of Simba, the Pride Lands return to their former glory, expelling the terrible imprint of Scar's poor rule. With Simba and Nala watching proudly alongside their friends Timon and Pumbaa, Fluffy is carried to the peak of Pride Rock by Rafiki, who, after exchanging looks with the cub's parents, lifts the new heir high above the gathered animals, welcoming another cub to the great circle of life.
An audio commentary track for the Laserdisc release of the film was recorded by the film's creators, who merely identified the cub as "Fluffy". No gender was identified.
The different identities of Fluffy
Because the gender of the cub is unmentioned by its creators, the question often arises whether the filmmakers intended Fluffy to be a boy or a girl. Chances are they did not think its gender was important enough to determine, because they didn't announce any such decision on the commentary track and gave it a unisex nickname. This chance is supported by how they reveal in the making-of documentaries that they initially didn't believe in the film's success (calling it a "B-movie" during production), which supports the chance that no sequel was intended, and thus the filmmakers may not have bothered deciding on the cub's gender in the end.
The most commonly accepted identity of Fluffy is Kiara, the daughter of Simba and Nala who makes her debut in the 1998 sequel, which was made and animated by a completely different crew than the first film. Despite the cub being used in the official film trailer, the ceremony in the first film is significantly different from the ceremony in the sequel. One major difference is the way the cub is carried to the peak of Pride Rock, for in the first film, Fluffy is carried to the promontory by Rafiki, while in the sequel, Kiara is carried by her mother instead. Kiara also looks slightly different from Fluffy; Kiara's fur is less vivid, and she lacks Fluffy's dark ear rims.
During production, Simba had two cubs rather than one, a daughter named Shani (who later became Kiara) and a son named Chaka, who was meant to be the cub at the end of the original film. However, due to Chaka complicating the story, he was cut from the script, and only Kiara made the final cut. Though one magazine article states that Chaka was one of Kiara's working names, Tad Stones, who wrote, created, and directed numerous Disney Afternoon shows and was a writer for Simba's Pride in its early stages, says that Chaka and Shani were going to be two separate characters.
In a 1994 series of books inspired by the film, Fluffy is identified as a male cub named Kopa. Though his presentation is not shown, Kopa is the only cub of Simba and Nala in this book series, and no mention of Kiara is made. This is most likely because the sequel film came out four years after The Lion King: Six New Adventures, and Phil Weinstein, a storyboard worker for Simba's Pride, stated that they had had no knowledge of Kopa during production.
According to author Alex Simmons, the book series came out before the completion of the first film's production, and he had had no knowledge of whether or not Simba and Nala would be given a cub or if they would be given one at all.
Various storybooks that were inspired by The Lion King give their own gender to the cub. While some books follow the sequel, identifying Fluffy as "daughter" or "princess," other books call the cub a "son" or "prince."
The official novelization of the 2019 version of The Lion King confirms Simba and Nala's newborn cub to be a male, similarly to the original books inspired by the film identifying Fluffy as a "son" or "prince." No name is given to Simba's son in the novelization.
Almost identical to their father when he was an infant, Fluffy is slight and soft-featured with chubby paws and a small patch of messy fur on their head. The cub's fur is colored a rich gold like their father's, and their ears are rimmed with brown, also like their father's when he was a cub. Their muzzle, paws, and underbelly are a pale tan as opposed to gold, and their tail is tipped with brownish fur.
- The cub from the end of the first film is in the sequel's official trailer.
- Fluffy was specifically mentioned as male in the first draft of the film.
- In the end credits of Kingdom Hearts II, Fluffy can be seen being presented to the animals of the Pride Lands.