|Spirit • Living|
Black, gold, red, and tan
|Also known as|
After the birth of his son, Simba, Mufasa trained him in the ways of an upright monarch, schooling him in such matters as the Circle of Life. During this time, Mufasa's younger brother, Scar, plotted against him and used a stampede to endanger Simba. In his attempt to save Simba from the stampede, Mufasa was thrown from the side of a high cliff by Scar and died from the fall. Simba found his father's body after the stampede, and Scar convinced him that he was to blame for Mufasa's death, which prompted Simba to flee the Pride Lands.
For years, Simba grew up in self-exile until an encounter with Mufasa's spirit prompted him to return to the Pride Lands and reestablish his birthright as king. During his confrontation with Scar, Simba learned that Scar was to blame for Mufasa's death, and he exiled Scar from the Pride Lands. After Scar's defeat and death, Simba ascended Pride Rock, with Mufasa's spirit watching him from the stars. In the years afterward, Mufasa's spirit continued to stay present in the Pride Lands, as he was present at the presentation ceremony of Kiara, Simba's daughter, and frequently offered advice to Kion, Simba's son.
Mufasa is first seen during the opening sequence when the Pride Landers come to the presentation of his newborn son, Simba. Prior to the presentation, Mufasa stands regally atop Pride Rock as its king and regards Zazu's respect with a warm smile. Rafiki soon appears, and the two embrace before going to check on Sarabi. Mufasa nuzzles her as they watch the baboon anoint their cub. The two smile at each other as Simba is presented.
Mufasa later chastises his younger brother Scar, who has caught Zazu in his mouth. He then confronts Scar about being absent at the presentation of Simba. The younger lion is snide to Mufasa, something which causes the king to respond with hostility.
After dominating Scar, Mufasa ponders what to do with his brother, to which Zazu suggest they turn him into a throw rug. The king and his majordomo laugh as they take their leave.
Once Simba grows into a rambunctious cub, he arouses his father, and Mufasa takes his son to Pride Rock's summit to show him the kingdom. He informs Simba that the land will one day be passed on to Simba when he becomes king. Simba asks about the "shadowy place," and Mufasa warns him never to go there, since it is beyond their borders.
Simba replies that he had thought that a king can do whatever he wants, and Mufasa explains there's more to being king than having his way all the time.
As the father and son go for a walk around the Pride Lands, Mufasa lectures his son about the circle of life, explaining that every living creature exists in a delicate balance. Mufasa further explains that the antelope may be food for the lion, but when a lion dies, his body becomes the grass and essentially food for the antelope.
In the midst of the lesson, Zazu appears and gives Mufasa the morning report. Mufasa notices Simba's attempts at pouncing and uses the majordomo as target practice for his son.
He laughs when Simba succeeds, but reports from the underground via a mole that hyenas have trespassed into the Pride Lands turn his carefree demeanor into seriousness. He leaps over Simba to fix the problem and orders Zazu to take Simba home, forbidding Simba to come with him.
When Simba and his friend Nala venture into the Elephant Graveyard, Mufasa appears in the nick of time to save the cubs from the hyenas. After the hyenas run away in fear, Mufasa briefly scolds his son for deliberately disobeying him before he demands they go home.
After ordering Zazu to take Nala home, Mufasa expresses disappointment in Simba for getting himself and Nala nearly killed.
As Simba tells his father that he was attempting to show bravery, Mufasa reminds him that being brave doesn't mean that one should go looking for trouble, but that one should be in times of need. He then admits that he was scared because he almost lost Simba. When Simba asks his father if they'll always be together, Mufasa tells Simba to let him tell him something his father told him which is about the great kings of the past, who look down on them from the stars. Mufasa also tells Simba that the Great Kings and himself will always be there to guide him whenever he feels alone.
Mufasa is last seen alive during the stampede, intentionally caused by the hyenas, under Scar's orders. Zazu reports to Mufasa about the herd being on the move, prompting the king's suspicions. Just then, Scar reports that Simba is trapped in a stampede in the gorge. Frightened, Mufasa rushes to the gorge. After locating Simba, who is clinging to a weak branch, Mufasa jumps into the mess of hooves without hesitation. He gets knocked down by one of the wildebeests, but then another rams into the branch, sending Simba flying into the air. Mufasa leaps and catches Simba in midair, but he bumps into another wildebeest, dropping Simba on impact.
Mufasa quickly grabs his son and takes him to safety before a wildebeest drags him back into the chaos, but with a powerful leap, Mufasa clings to and scales the slope of the gorge, only to meet Scar at its top.
He begs Scar to help him, but after drinking in the helpless form of the powerful lion, Scar pierces Mufasa's paws and taunts him with the words "long live the king." Scar lets go of his brother's paws, and Mufasa falls to his death.
Mufasa's broken body is soon found by Simba, who is convinced by his father's killer that he is responsible for Mufasa's death and so must run away. Leaving Mufasa's corpse behind, Simba proceeds to turn his back on his past, shunning the memory of his father's teachings.
When Simba is a young adult, Rafiki tells him that Mufasa is still alive. Eager to see his father again, Simba follows the baboon and is disappointed to see only his reflection.
However, when instructed to look harder, he stares into the very eyes of his father. Mufasa's voice then hovers above him, and he curiously looks up to meet his father's ghost.
The ghost accuses Simba of forgetting him, something which Simba vehemently denies, but the ghost counters that Simba has forgotten who he is and has thus forgotten his father. He demands Simba return to the Pride Lands, to which his son protests that he isn't who he used to be. The ghost then reminds Simba that he is his son and the one true king. He then disappears into the clouds, repeating the word "remember" as Simba gives chase, begging his father to stay.
After Simba takes his father's advice to return, he is tricked by Scar into revealing that he is the cause of Mufasa's death. However, Scar soon whispers into Simba's ear that he is the one who killed Mufasa. Simba experiences a brief flashback and sees Mufasa fall to his death. Enraged, Simba forces Scar to admit his play in the murder. He then proceeds to take back the throne from his evil uncle. Following Scar's death, Simba ascends Pride Rock to take his rightful place as king. As he reaches the promontory of Pride Rock, he hears Mufasa's voice telling him to "remember." Mufasa's words give Simba courage, and he roars over his new kingdom.
Mufasa makes his first appearance in spirit, watching over his granddaughter's presentation. He later tells his old friend Rafiki through the wind about his plan to make Kiara and Kovu fall in love with each other. Mufasa makes another appearance in Simba's nightmare. Mufasa is seen crying out for his son's help so that he won't fall into the wildebeest stampede below. However as Simba reaches out, he is stopped by Scar, who pierces his left paw with his claws. Unable to hang on any longer, Mufasa falls.
The king is later mentioned during the exile of Kovu, when Kiara yells that Simba will never be Mufasa. Simba is taken aback and hurt by the statement, suggesting he had been trying to live up to the greatness which Mufasa had achieved in his time as the ruler of the Pride Lands. At the end of the film, Mufasa's spirit says to Simba, "Well done, my son. We are one."
In the prequel, Mufasa makes a few non-speaking appearances for which he is present in the original film. First, he is seen during Simba's presentation, grinning when Zazu tells him that the animals are kneeling before his newborn son. His roar later frightens Timon and Pumbaa as he races with Zazu to save Simba and Nala from the hyenas. Finally, he forms as a ghost in the clouds, telling Simba to return to the Pride Lands. Timon mistakes his ghost for bad weather.
When Simba refuses to accept Kion's choice for the Lion Guard, Kion isolates himself from his friends and encounters the ghost of Mufasa. The wise king tells Kion that he is going to embark on a great journey as leader of the Lion Guard. Kion replies that he doesn't think that Simba will let him be leader, but Mufasa gently reminds Kion that Simba is worried because he loves Kion.
Kion admits that he is not ready to lead the Lion Guard or use the Roar of the Elders. He says that he doesn't want to end up like Scar, the previous leader of the Lion Guard. Mufasa replies by telling his grandson to trust his instincts and then promises that the Roar will be there for him when he needs it, as will Mufasa.
Other rolesThe Morning Report" and "They Live in You," during which he tells young Simba about the great kings of the past, who are watching over them from the stars. There is also an additional scene in which Mufasa tells Zazu about Simba's daring behavior. Zazu then reminds him about his early years as a young cub. Later, after his tragic death, he lies onstage as the lionesses circle him and mourn his passing. In the song "He Lives In You," Mufasa appears as a ghost and tells Simba to go back to the Pride Lands and claim his rightful throne. Finally, Mufasa says, "Remember," before Simba roars as the new king of his kingdom.
Kopa recounts stories he'd heard about his grandfather, recalling how Zazu and the other Pride Landers had spoken of him with reverence. Rafiki later mentions Mufasa in a story he tells Simba. In this story, an adolescent Mufasa is roaming the Pride Lands with his father, Ahadi, and brother, Taka, and stumbles upon Rafiki, a traveling baboon who is in search of knowledge. While Ahadi and Mufasa are quick to welcome the newcomer, Taka is antagonistic and hostile.
Later that night, while sitting under the stars with Rafiki, Mufasa admits that his father harbors a strained relationship with Taka.
The next morning, Ahadi promises to take his sons hunting, but a crowd of disgruntled Pride Landers stalls him before the three can depart. Throughout the ordeal, Mufasa sits loyally at his father's shoulder, and when Ahadi is forced to cut the hunting trip short, he does not protest. Ahadi is grateful to him for this and praises his son for his good sense of responsibility, a comment which sparks animosity from Taka. Despite this, Ahadi is forced to leave his sons to attend to the more pressing issue of the hyenas.
Not long after this, Taka tricks Mufasa into talking to Boma, a selfish buffalo who is hogging a source of water, in order to help his father. When the plan goes wrong and Taka is hurt, Ahadi and Mufasa rush to help their kin. The two later leave Taka (now known as Scar) to rest, and Mufasa joins his father as he appoints the first adviser and majordomo of the Pride Lands.
Mufasa is mentioned when Kopa recounts that the king's death had prompted Simba to run away from the Pride Lands, even though Scar had been the true murderer.
When Zazu is fed lies by the Pride Landers, Mufasa begins to lose faith in him. The king's trust is restored when Zazu alerts him to an army ant attack, saving countless lives. At the end of the story, Mufasa praises his majordomo for his eyes and ears, letting Zazu keep his position as the king's assistant.
Kingdom Hearts IIBy the time Sora, Donald, and Goofy arrive in the Pride Lands, Mufasa has long been dead, as Simba is already an adult. Much like in the film, Mufasa's ghost tells Simba to return to the Pride Lands and become the rightful king.
Due to his death in the original film, Mufasa does not appear in the television series, although in "Zazu's Off Day Off," a lion that resembles Mufasa comes out of Zazu's clock.
Kion comes to Mufasa for advice regarding Makuu, and Mufasa encourages him to stand his ground, even in the face of a fight.
After the Lion Guard saves a family of baboons from falling over a cliff, Kion seeks counsel with Mufasa. The cub asks if he should use the Roar of the Elders to blow the big storms away, but Mufasa explains that rain is part of the Circle of Life and that the Pride Lands need water to survive. Kion begrudgingly accepts the words of his grandfather.
Mufasa appears to Kion when he is squabbling with Kiara. The old king gently reminds his grandson that Kiara will always need his support, especially when she's wrong, and Kion decides to go back for her.
When Kion finds himself unpopular among the herds he's leading, he seeks counsel from Mufasa, who advises him to have confidence in himself and not rely on the opinions of others.
After nearly hurting Nala with the Roar of the Elders, Kion seeks advice from Mufasa. He explains what had happened when he had used the Roar in anger and confesses his fear that he will turn out like Scar. In answer to this, Mufasa points out that Scar had only ever cared for himself.
He then asks Kion why he had used the Roar, and Kion explains that his mother had been in danger. Mufasa reminds Kion that Scar had never cared for anyone the way Kion cares for Nala, and he encourages Kion to speak to her about the incident.
After Simba accuses Kion of having ruined the Savannah Summit, Kion seeks advice from Mufasa. Kion admits that Simba is upset with him because of his distrust of Makuu, and Mufasa gently asks him what Makuu has done to deserve Kion's ill feelings. This gives Kion pause, and he admits that it is just a feeling he has. Mufasa then quotes Rafiki, who frequently says, "Leap to conclusions, and you leap to confusions." Kion understands his grandfather's train of thought and resolves to save the Summit without drawing his own conclusions.
Concerned at how quickly the start of the dry season has caused things to get out of hand, Kion goes off to consult with Mufasa. Mufasa tells his grandson that the dry season is difficult because there is less food and water, which causes animals to make poor decisions. He also warns Kion to be careful to not lose control of the Roar of the Elders.
Kion and Simba consult Mufasa's spirit about the troubling return of Scar. Though Mufasa has never experienced the return of an evil spirit, he assures his family that the strength to defeat Scar lies in themselves, as well as in the rest of the Pride Lands.
After Ma Tembo's herd is ousted from Kilio Valley by a fire, Kion seeks advice from the spirit of Mufasa, who encourages him to not doubt himself. Mufasa adds that how one deals with defeat is just as important as how one deals with victory.
Mufasa appears in a painting during the musical sequence, "Wisdom on the Walls".
At the Disney theme parks, Mufasa was also one of the main characters in "The Legend of the Lion King", a former Fantasyland attraction in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, which retold the story of the film using fully-articulated puppets. His face can also be seen in the Hong Kong Disneyland version of It's a Small World. In World of Color at Disney's California Adventure, Mufasa is seen during The Lion King segment. Mufasa's likeness is also featured at Disney's Art of Animation Resort.
Much like his brother Scar, Mufasa was supposed to have a bi-colored mane. His red mane also featured some white or cream colors, but most of his conceptual art retained his reddish mane and golden fur as well as his thick mane and frame.
Personality and traits
As an adult, Mufasa grows in maturity and regality, becoming a symbol of power as king who instills respect in every creature, even his enemies, the hyenas. His physical strength is not his only symbol of power, for his very voice and manner is often enough to draw the attention of his subjects, most often his son and Zazu. In addition to physically playing the role of king, Mufasa has a manner which demands respect. The king does not stand for disrespect, as seen when he challenges his brother for not attending the presentation of Simba.
Despite his strong exterior, Mufasa is kind at heart and playful, showing respect for all the creatures, even those who are perceived as lower than himself. He is not strictly business, often playing games with his majordomo Zazu, and is unafraid of showing affection, as seen when he greets Rafiki with a hug prior to the presentation of Simba. In family life, Mufasa is just as soft-hearted, treating his mate with gentle respect and treating his son fairly, even when the cub deliberately disobeys his parents' instruction.
As a king and a father, Mufasa is instructive and wise, borne down by years of experience and instruction. His rule over the Pride Lands results in a period of prosperity, reflecting his reasonable and responsible approach to kingship. His lessons leave a deep imprint on Simba, who learns from his father that every creature must be respected in order for balance to be maintained. In addition to understanding natural balance, Mufasa understands the workings of a family, keeping his mate and son as well as his pride in steady paws.
Mufasa's wisdom is reinforced by his eternal bravery, seen from his first tussle with the hyenas to his final stand against a stampede of wildebeests. To Simba, he explains that he is only brave when the situation demands it, showing Mufasa to be rational with courage and level-headed enough to know when interference is needed. If his family is endangered, Mufasa exposes his protective side, ready to throw himself into danger in order to keep those he loves safe. Ultimately, he is willing to sacrifice his life for his family, proving his love to be stronger for his family than for himself.
- Kingdom Hearts II - (2005) - (video game) - James Earl Jones
- During a Tenth Anniversary Reunion discussion panel, directors Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers were asked about who Nala's father is. Minkoff joked that Roger was the father, but the two directors stated that Mufasa or Scar could be Nala's father. Despite this "canon" claim, Nala and Simba would be related, and neither Scar nor Mufasa acknowledge Nala as their daughter in the film. The Lion Guard episode "Paintings and Predictions" supports this by revealing that Nala's father was a different lion from Mufasa and Scar.
- In Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, Mufasa was spoofed as a character named Moshu-Fasa. In the film, he calls the Chosen One "Simba," to which the Chosen One replies, "I am not Simba." He looks very similar to Mufasa. There is also an Easter egg at the end poking fun at James Earl Jones himself, with the last words of Moshu-Fasa being "This is CNN." Doing a voice-over for a CNN promo was one of James Earl Jones' previous jobs.
- The roar that Mufasa roars offscreen before saving Simba and Nala from the hyenas isn't actually a real lion's roar, but the combination of a grizzly's roar, a tiger's roar and F-16 Flyby Falcon.
- Mufasa served as inspiration for Mayor Leodore Lionheart in the 2016 Disney film, Zootopia.
- Mufasa could have been the father of two, as Mel Shaw's concepts show him with two cubs fiddling with his tail. Mufasa is referred to as "Papa Lion."
- Mufasa was scripted to sing a song titled "To Be King" during the film's early production, but it didn't suit James Earl Jones's singing voice, so it was scrapped.
- In the Proud of Simba's Pride documentary, James Earl Jones is seen recording a line, "You have let your family break apart, and in doing so, you have broken the circle of life," for Mufasa.
- In King of the Kalahari, a character named King Brond appears. He is most likely an early version of Mufasa.
|Season 1 of The Lion Guard|
|"Never Judge a Hyena by its Spots":|
|"The Rise of Makuu":|
|"Bunga the Wise":|
|"Can't Wait to be Queen":|
|"Eye of the Beholder":|
|"The Kupatana Celebration":|
|"Fuli's New Family":|
|"The Search for Utamu":|
|"Follow that Hippo!":|
|"The Call of the Drongo":|
|"Paintings and Predictions":|
|"The Mbali Fields Migration":|
|"Bunga and the King":|
|"The Imaginary Okapi":|
|"Too Many Termites":|
|"The Trouble with Galagos":|
|"Janja's New Crew":|
|"Beware the Zimwi":|
|"Lions of the Outlands":|
|"Never Roar Again":|
|"The Lost Gorillas":|
|"The Trail to Udugu":|
|"Beshte and the Hippo Lanes":|
|"Ono the Tickbird":|
|Season 2 of The Lion Guard|
|"The Savannah Summit":|
|"The Traveling Baboon Show":|
|"Ono and the Egg":|
|"The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar":|
|"Let Sleeping Crocs Lie":|
|"Rafiki's New Neighbors":|
|"Rescue in the Outlands":|
|"The Ukumbusho Tradition":|
|"The Bite of Kenge":|
|"Timon and Pumbaa's Christmas":|
|"The Morning Report":|
|"The Golden Zebra":|
|"The Little Guy":|
|"Divide and Conquer":|
|"The Scorpion's Sting":|
|"The Wisdom of Kongwe":|
|"The Kilio Valley Fire":|
|"Cave of Secrets":|
|"The Zebra Mastermind":|
|"The Hyena Resistance":|
|"The Underground Adventure":|
|"Beshte and the Beast":|
|"Pride Landers Unite!":|
|"The Queen's Visit":|
|"The Fall of Mizimu Grove":|
|"Fire from the Sky":|