King of the Kalahari is an early version of The Lion King. It was written in 1988 by Tom Disch. The script was written on nine pages, but only the first was scanned. In the Diamond Edition of The Lion King, it is revealed that the story followed a war between a pride of lions and a troop of baboons, whose leader was a baboon named Scar. Rafiki was a cheetah, and Simba was a lazy and negative character who was overthrown.
After the pre-credit sequence (crossing the Sahara and the Congo jungle), we hear the deep, creepy voice of the vulture Skobi. He says that the Dark Continent is composed of many small kingdoms and that the broad veldts is ruled by a "king of beasts," or a lion. He is the creator of three laws that apply to all the beasts: be alert, be fast, and be patient. While he talks, a herd of wildebeests eats grass while a pride of lions monitors them. One wildebeest sniffs the air and alerts the others to run. One wildebeest falls behind the herd, and the lions hunt him down. Their king, Brond, stands above them.
With their prey caught, the lions gather to feast, though Brond is allowed the first bite, much to the annoyance of a young male, Mruki. Lisaba scolds him for this, reminding him that Brond and his mate Sheena are the first to eat from the carcass, but Mruki ignores her, advancing on the fallen prey. This earns him a swipe from Weena, Sheena's younger sister, and mocking from Weena's daughter. Mruki's annoyance is only fueled by reprimands by Skobi.
After the prey is devoured, the pride returns to their home, where Sheena greets her son Rego, the Heir Apparent. Despite his regal title, he is lazily playing with a mouse, which earns him a gentle scold from his mother, who orders him to stop playing with his food.
- An edited version of the script's first page yields more of the story.