The Lion King Wiki
The Lion King Wiki
"Do you see any other big, lovable chunk of warthog here?"
This article is about the character from the 1994 film.
You may be looking for the character from the 2019 film.

Physical information




Hair color

Brown, cream, and tan

Eye color


Biographical information
Also known as

   The queen
   Mom (by Kiara and Kion)
   Queen Nala (by Zuri)
   Your Highness (by Ajabu)
   Your Majesty (by Tiifu and Zuri)




Pride Lands


   Pride Landers
   Pride Lands monarchy
   Simba's pride


Queen of Pride Rock

Relationship information

Unnamed father
Sarafina (mother)
Simba (mate)
Kion (son)
Kiara (daughter)
Mufasa (father-in-law)
Sarabi (mother-in-law)
Bunga (adoptive brother-in-law)
Kovu (son-in-law)
Rani (daughter-in-law)


Anga, Azaad, Beshte, Bunga, Dhahabu, Fuli, Hadithi, Kiara, Kion, Kovu, Ma Tembo, Makini, Mufasa, Ono, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Sarabi, Sarafina, Simba, Tiifu, Timon, Vitani, Zazu, Zuri


Banzai, Ed, Scar, Shenzi, Zira, Cheezi (formerly), Chungu (formerly), Janja (formerly), Makuu (formerly), Nne (formerly), Tano (formerly), Vitani (formerly)

I left to find help! And I found you. Don't you understand? You're our only hope.
―Nala begs Simba to come home[src]

Nala is a female lion. She currently serves as the queen consort of Pride Rock through her marriage to Simba. She is the daughter of Sarafina, and the mate of Simba, with whom she has a son, Kion, and a daughter, Kiara.

As a cub, Nala was betrothed to Simba, the prince heir of Pride Rock. The two were best friends throughout their childhood. However, when Scar lied to the pride that Simba was dead, they were separated for many years. Under Scar's reign, the Pride Lands fell into disarray, and Nala sought help outside the kingdom. During the course of her search, she met a full-grown Simba, with whom she had a delighted reunion. She urged him to reclaim his birthright, and though he resisted at first, he eventually returned to the Pride Lands and challenged Scar's right to rule. Along with the rest of her pride, Nala fought against Scar and his hyena allies. Upon the pride's victory, she welcomed Simba as her new king and became his mate and queen.


Early life

Nala was born to an unnamed male lion and Sarafina. As per the law of the Pride Lands monarchy, she was betrothed to Simba, the prince heir of Pride Rock. The two were best friends throughout their childhood.[1]


Visit to the Elephant Graveyard

Pinned ya!
―Nala teases Simba[src]

Simba invites Nala to play with him.

One morning, when Simba rushed into the den of Pride Rock to awaken Mufasa, he raced past Nala, who was asleep in Sarafina's paws.

Later that day, Sarafina bathed Nala. Simba greeted her, then whispered to her that he had just heard about a great place that they could explore. Nala pointed out through clenched teeth that she was in the middle of a bath, and Sarabi took advantage of Nala's words to grab Simba and give him a bath of his own.

While her mother washed her lower back, Nala remarked that the place they were going to had better not be "dumb." Simba reassured her that it was a "really cool" place, but Sarabi got suspicious. Simba told his mother that the place was around the water hole, which made Nala express disapproval. Simba whispered to her that he would show her when they got there, and Nala asked her mother for permission to play with Simba. The cubs then asked Sarabi to let them go. The lioness relented but ordered them to bring along Zazu as a babysitter. This made them react with dismay.

Simba and Nala brag about the former's status as the future king of Pride Rock.

As the cubs and Zazu headed toward the water hole, Nala asked Simba what their true destination was, and Simba told her that they were going to an Elephant Graveyard. Nala responded with excitement, but Simba shushed her and reminded her that Zazu was flying just above them. Nala asked how they could get rid of him, and the two cubs began to whisper a plan to each other, something Zazu mistook as romantic.

The cubs were confused when Zazu mentioned that they were "betrothed," "affianced," and "intended." Nala asked for clarification, and Zazu informed them that they would marry each other someday. Both cubs recoiled in disgust. Nala commented that them being married would be "weird," and Simba vowed to change the law when he became king. Zazu protested, but Nala pointed out that since Simba was the future king, Zazu must do what he said. Zazu pointed out that Simba was not the king yet and added that the cub was shaping up to be a "pretty pathetic" king.

Simba and Nala marvel at the Elephant Graveyard.

In order to distract Zazu, the cubs trapped him beneath the underside of a rhinoceros and bounded away. Nala happily remarked on how they had lost Zazu, but Simba tried to take the credit. Irritated, she pointed out that the plan had been her idea. However, he continued to take the credit, so she pinned him and teased him for his loss. He pushed her off, only to tackle her again. The cubs rolled down a steep embankment, and Nala pinned Simba again.

A geyser interrupted the two, and the cubs realized that they had arrived at the Elephant Graveyard. The cubs walked deeper into the Elephant Graveyard and marveled at the landscape. Nala wondered if a nearby dead elephant's brain was still inside its skull. Simba began to investigate, but Zazu arrived and demanded that the cubs return to the Pride Lands, for they were in danger. Before Simba and Nala could heed Zazu's advice, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed exited the nearby skull and accused the trio of trespassing.

Simba attempts to defend Nala from a trio of hungry hyenas.

Zazu tried to herd Simba and Nala out of the Elephant Graveyard, but the hyenas cornered them and made it apparent that they wanted to eat the cubs. While the hyenas were distracted, Simba, Nala, and Zazu fled. Zazu was snatched from the air, and the cubs went back to find him. However, when they challenged the hyenas, they ended up running for their lives again.

With the hyenas in hot pursuit, Simba and Nala scaled a pile of bones, but Nala slid down the pile toward Shenzi. Before the hyena could do her any harm, Simba slashed Shenzi across the face, which allowed Nala to get away. The two cubs attempted to climb an elephant skeleton, but their jumping weakened the slim strip of flesh they were standing on, and they fell through the dead animal's ribcage.

Simba and Nala return home from the Elephant Graveyard.

As the hyenas advanced on the cubs, Nala hid behind Simba, who tried to scare the hyenas off with his kittenish roar. Mufasa suddenly came to the rescue, drowning out Simba's roar with a more powerful one of his own. He then beat, pinned, and scared off the hyenas. Once the hyenas were gone, he turned his fury on Simba for having disobeyed him. As the group departed, Nala quietly told Simba that she thought he had been very brave. The cubs left the Elephant Graveyard and walked through the Pride Lands in silence. Eventually, Mufasa paused and commanded Zazu to take Nala home. With a final pitying glance at Simba, Nala left with Zazu.[1]

Scar's coronation

One night, when Scar broke the news to the pride about Mufasa and Simba's deaths in the gorge, Nala mourned. She nuzzled against her mother's leg and shed a single tear. She then looked on in shock and fear as the hyenas closed in on Pride Rock.[1]

Young adulthood

Reunion with Simba

It's like you're back from the dead. You don't know how much this will mean to everyone. What it means to me.
―Nala to Simba, after they reunite as adults[src]

Simba recognizes Nala after she pins him.

Many seasons later, a full-grown Nala journeyed to the jungle for help, as Scar and his hyena minions had turned the Pride Lands into a wasteland. She relentlessly chased Pumbaa when he strayed too far from his friend, Timon. She expertly kept up with the warthog as he tried to throw her off by turning and twisting. Just as she was about to kill both him and Timon, Simba charged toward and attacked her. The two fought until Simba tackled her, and she used her signature move against him, pinning him to the ground. This made Simba recognize her. He spoke her name, and she let him up, staring at him in confusion. She inquired after his identity, and he told her that he was Simba.

Once Nala recognized her old friend, the two greeted each other excitedly and asked one another what they were doing in the jungle. Eventually, a confused Timon broke up the conversation and demanded to know what was going on. Simba introduced Nala to his two friends, and Nala was pleased to meet them.

Simba and Nala begin to develop romantic feelings for each other.

After the introductions, Nala mused about what would happen when everyone found out that Simba had been in the jungle all this time. She unknowingly recited Scar's words exactly when she asked Simba what Sarabi would think of him. When Simba told her that no one had to know, she told him that everyone thought he was dead, as Scar had told the pride about the stampede. Simba asked her for more information, but she insisted that it did not matter since he was alive and the rightful king of the Pride Lands.

Timon scoffed at Nala's words and told her that she had her "lions crossed." Pumbaa began worshiping Simba, but the young lion told him to stop. Timon corrected Pumbaa's word choice and laughingly said that Simba was not the king. He then curiously asked Simba if he was. Simba abruptly replied that he was not, and Nala objected. However, he reiterated his argument. When Timon continued to press Simba, Nala politely asked him and Pumbaa to excuse them for a few moments.

Nala urges Simba to reclaim his birthright.

Once they were gone, Nala sadly told Simba how much his return would mean to everyone, especially her. Simba reassured her that it was okay, and Nala nuzzled him, telling him that she had really missed him. The two continued to nuzzle each other, to Timon and Pumbaa's chagrin. That evening, they spent time together and fell in love.

Simba gave Nala a tour of the jungle and asked her if she thought it was a great place. Nala commented that it was beautiful, then asked why he had not returned home if he had been alive this whole time. He claimed that he wanted to "get out on his own" and "live his own life," but she informed him that the pride needed him at home. When he denied this, Nala again iterated that he was the king. Simba denied her assertions and claimed that Scar was the true king. Nala then informed Simba of the chaos that had been brewing in the Pride Lands under Scar's reign and told him that if he did not return, everyone would starve.

Nala explains to Timon and Pumbaa that Simba has returned to his homeland.

Once more, Simba refused to return to the Pride Lands. He then pointed out that Nala had left as well, but she countered that she had only left to find help and that Simba was their only hope. When again Simba denied her and sarcastically apologized to her, Nala told him that he was not the Simba she remembered and that she was disappointed in him. Simba commented that she sounded like his father, and Nala quipped that at least one of them sounded like Mufasa. This response infuriated Simba, who accused Nala of trying to uproot his life. Nala tried again to get Simba to tell her what he had been through, but he refused.

After Simba decided to return to the Pride Lands, Nala searched for him. She sought out Timon and Pumbaa in the hopes that they knew where Simba had gone. Rafiki told the three from atop a tree that "the king has returned." Upon hearing this, Nala was awed and delighted that Simba had gone back. After explaining the situation to Timon and Pumbaa, she ran off to assist Simba.[1]

Battle of Pride Rock

Scar: You see them? They think I'm king.
Nala: Well, we don't. Simba's the rightful king.
—Nala and Scar, after Simba asserts his birthright[src]

Nala rallies the pride against Scar and his hyenas.

After Simba crossed the desert and surveyed his destroyed homeland, Nala approached and asked him why he had come back. Simba replied that he had finally got "some sense knocked into" him. Nala then vowed to help him fight for the Pride Lands. Timon and Pumbaa soon arrived, and the four headed toward Pride Rock. They snuck past the hyenas, using Timon and Pumbaa to lure some away. After the escape, Simba told Nala to find Sarabi and rally the lionesses while he looked for Scar.

Sarabi was with Scar, so Nala herself led the lionesses to Pride Rock just as Simba confronted Scar. Scar brought up Mufasa's death, and Nala confusedly asked what Scar was talking about. Upon Simba confessing that he was to blame for Mufasa's death, the lionesses were shocked. Scar proceeded to shame Simba and back him toward the promontory of Pride Rock, to the point that the younger lion fell off and barely caught on to the edge. Nala shouted his name worriedly. After Simba regained his footing and forced Scar to confess that he had murdered Mufasa, Nala lunged forward to attack the hyenas.[1]

Simba's coronation

Simba and Nala with their newborn cub.

Eventually, Simba emerged victorious from his fight with Scar and embraced both Sarabi and Nala. He then took his rightful place as king. The lionesses watched with relief and joy as he ascended Pride Rock and roared over his reclaimed kingdom. After his roar, the lionesses roared in reply.

Seasons later, after the Pride Lands was restored to its former glory, Nala had a cub with Simba. Simba and Nala, along with Timon and Pumbaa, stood on the promontory of Pride Rock as they proudly watched the assembly of animals below. Rafiki arrived, cradling the newborn cub in his arms, and Simba and Nala watched happily as he presented the cub to the animals of the Pride Lands.[1]


Kiara's presentation

Simba and Nala reared two cubs: a son, Kion, and a daughter, Kiara.[2] One morning, Rafiki called the Pride Landers to Pride Rock. Once they had assembled, Nala walked onto the promontory alongside Simba, and Rafiki presented Kiara to the gathered Pride Landers. After the ceremony, Rafiki anointed Kiara, and Simba and Nala nuzzled her affectionately.[3]

Conflict with Zira

She's just like you were when you were young.
―Nala to Simba on Kiara[src]

Nala reminds Simba that he was just like Kiara as a cub.

One day, when Kiara tried to leave Pride Rock to explore the kingdom, Simba stopped her and reminded her to be careful. Nala approached and gently told Kiara to mind her father. After Kiara ran off, Nala commented on how similar Kiara was to Simba when he had been a cub. This concerned Simba, who reminded Nala of the danger they had gotten themselves into, to which she playfully pinned him and reminded him that he had been the one who had put them in danger. The two nuzzled, and Nala reassured Simba that Kiara would be fine. However, as Nala strode back toward the den, Simba sent Timon and Pumbaa after Kiara.

Later, when Kiara met an Outsider cub named Kovu, Simba, Nala, Timon, Pumbaa, and several lionesses arrived to protect her from Kovu's mother, Zira. After a brief confrontation with Simba, Zira left, and the Pride Landers returned to Pride Rock. Nala noticed that Simba wanted to stay behind to discipline Kiara, so she left the two alone and returned with the others to Pride Rock.[3]

Dawn of the Lion Guard

I think you've just run out of time, Simba. You need to tell him.
―Nala on Kion, after he uses the Roar of the Elders for the first time[src]

Nala encourages Simba to tell Kion about his destiny as the leader of the Lion Guard.

At Pride Rock, Simba, Nala, and Rafiki overheard Kion's Roar of the Elders, which he had used to save his friend Bunga from two hyenas. Upon hearing the Roar, Rafiki declared that it was time for Kion to become the leader of the Lion Guard. Simba was reluctant, as he believed that Kion was not ready for such a responsibility, but Nala agreed with Rafiki and encouraged Simba to listen to him.

Later, Simba, Nala, and Tiifu watched in horror as Kiara got caught in a gazelle stampede caused by Janja and his clan. Just in time, Kion and his Lion Guard were able to get the herd away from Kiara and deliver her to safety. A relieved Simba and Nala reunited with their daughter and expressed pride in Kion for having saved her life.[2]

Makuu's leadership

Don't forget, Kion. Your father had to fight Scar to regain leadership of the Pride Lands.

Nala reminds Kion of Simba's victory over Scar.

When Kion returned to Pride Rock and admitted his misgivings about the mashindano between Makuu and Pua, Nala reminded him that Simba had used a physical fight to beat Scar. Simba then explained that, although he was king, many animal species had traditions that he must recognize and respect. Later, Nala watched the mashindano between Makuu and Pua. When Kion expressed shock at Makuu's win, Nala grimly assured him that Pua had been defeated.

Afterward, Nala left Pride Rock to go hunting with Simba.[4]

Aminifu's funeral

Simba, you may not be an elephant, but you are king. And as king, this is expected of you.
―Nala on Simba's tribute[src]

Nala and Zazu encourage Simba.

While Kiara stayed behind to watch over the Pride Lands, Nala met with Simba and Zazu to begin their journey to Kilio Valley for Aminifu's funeral. Along the way, Simba began to worry, and Nala reminded him about having to give a tribute in the elephant language. When Zazu bragged about the languages he knew, Nala gently reminded him that they already knew. Unbeknownst to the trio, they had been spied on by Mzingo, who resolved to keep an eye on the doings of the Pride Landers.

As Zazu taught Simba elephantese, the king lost his patience and roared at the hornbill, blowing him into a patch of grass. Nala dashed to her mate's side and reminded him that though he may not be an elephant, he was a king and that it was his duty to carry out this tribute to an old friend.

Nala mourns Aminifu alongside his herd.

Eventually, Simba and Nala arrived at Kilio Valley, where they witnessed the elephant herd placing flowers on the dead Aminifu's body. After meeting with the herd, Simba gave his tribute to the elephants. However, instead of saying, "He had good on him," he said, "He had poop on him." Simba, Nala, and Zazu were horrified at this turn of events, but the elephants began to laugh. Aminifu's daughter, Ma Tembo, explained that her father had always had poop on him and that it had often been the cause of laughter.

When Simba and Nala returned home, Kiara asked how the tribute had gone, and Nala answered that everything had turned out fine. She then asked how ruling the Pride Lands had gone. Though Kiara began to stumble over her words, Kion jumped in, proclaiming that Kiara was going to make a great queen someday.[5]


At the Kupatana celebration, Nala stood beside Simba, Kiara, and Kion as Simba gave his speech to the gathered animals. Shortly into the ceremony, Reirei's family attacked, but they were promptly defeated by the Lion Guard. Once the danger had passed, the Kupatana celebration continued.[6]

Tracking gazelles

Excellent tracking skills, Kiara. Really fantastic.

Nala taught Kiara and her friends, Tiifu and Zuri, how to track gazelles. Fuli, who had joined the group, was surprised to find that they were not actually hunting the gazelles.[7]

Elephant concert

Simba! Kion's got a plan to get you out. Just...hang in there.
―Nala, after Simba falls in a sinkhole[src]

While en route to an elephant concert, the royal family was intercepted by Ono, who informed Kion that a group of antelope were stuck in mud. Nala encouraged Kion to help the antelope, and he reluctantly left with Ono. Soon afterward, the royal family found themselves on unstable ground. Though Nala and Kiara managed to reach safety, Simba fell into a sinkhole due to his attempts to save Kiara.

Nala looks down on Simba worriedly.

The Lion Guard soon arrived, and Bunga heroically jumped into the sinkhole after Simba. Beshte nearly fell into the sinkhole, so Nala called for everyone to back away from the ledge. Kiara almost fell in herself but was saved by Fuli, which relieved Nala. After the scare, Simba insisted that Nala should go on ahead with Kiara, for it was tradition that the royal family attend the elephant concert. Reluctantly, Nala agreed to his plan.

After the concert, Nala and Kiara praised the elephants for their performance and apologized on Simba's behalf. Just then, Simba arrived with the Lion Guard, Timon, and Pumbaa. When Bunga referred to himself as Kiara's uncle, Nala asked Simba about his adventures. Together, all the animals performed "Hakuna Matata".[8]

Meeting Ajabu

We're happy to have you here, Ajabu.

Kion brought Beshte's new friend, Ajabu the okapi, to Pride Rock to meet with Simba and Nala. He then asked his parents if Ajabu could become a Pride Lander, and the two agreed to let him stay in the kingdom as long as he liked.[9]

Attacked by Makuu

Kion, the Roar is part of who you are. You can't just stop using it.

When Janja and his clan snuck into the Pride Lands, they ran into Nala, who ordered them to return to their territory. Instead of heeding Nala's warning, Janja surrounded her with his cronies and ordered an attack. Just then, Kion arrived and, seeing his mother in danger, used the Roar of the Elders in a rage. The blast was so powerful that it not only knocked the hyenas back into the Outlands, but rebounded off a cliff and fractured the earth beneath Nala. As Nala struggled to keep from falling into the divide, Kion reached down the cliff and pulled her to safety.

Kion finds Nala surrounded by Janja and his clan.

Once on solid ground, Nala thanked Kion for having saved her life, but he lamented how he had nearly lost her. The rest of the Lion Guard approached and confirmed that they were all right. Kion surveyed the damage done by his Roar and expressed shock that his rage had brought on such destruction.

Following the incident, Kion refrained from using his powers to help the team. Bunga asked Kion why he was so reluctant to use the Roar of the Elders. Kion admitted that he had nearly hurt his mother with the Roar, and Bunga pointed out that Kion had not done so on purpose. Despite this, Kion worried that he could not control the Roar and should therefore never use it again. After reacting in horror to Kion's decision, Bunga reminded Kion that he was the leader of the Lion Guard and the Fiercest in the Pride Lands. Kion begrudgingly agreed to take his friend's advice.

Nala nearly falls into a rift in the earth.

Later, Kion sought advice from the spirit of his grandfather, Mufasa. He explained what had happened when he had used the Roar in anger and confessed his fear that he would turn out like Scar. In answer to this, Mufasa pointed out that Scar had only ever cared for himself. He then asked Kion why he had used the Roar, and Kion explained that his mother had been in danger. Mufasa reminded Kion that Scar had never cared for anyone the way Kion cared for Nala, then encouraged Kion to speak to her about the incident.

Kion heeded Mufasa's advice and met with Nala. He explained to her what had happened with his Roar and begged for her forgiveness. Nala insisted that there was nothing to forgive and reminded Kion that he had saved her life, both from the hyenas and from the earthquake. Despite her reassurances, Kion confessed that he might never use the Roar again, but Nala reminded him that the Roar was a part of him and that she trusted him to use it responsibly.

Nala encourages Kion to trust himself.

As the two shared an embrace, Ono arrived with news that Makuu had taken over the Flood Plains. Together, Kion, Nala, and Ono hastened to the scene of the crime, where Kion and Nala commanded Makuu to share the Flood Plains with the other Pride Landers. In answer, two of Makuu's cronies knocked Nala into the water and carried her into the midst of the float. This prompted Kion to nearly use the Roar in his fury. Before he could wreak havoc on the Flood Plains, he stopped himself from roaring, and Nala called to him to trust himself.

Heeding his mother's advice, Kion used the Roar to specifically target Makuu's float and keep Nala from being harmed. With the crocodiles defeated, the team praised Kion for his efforts, and Fuli commented that she had not known that he could use the Roar in such a way. Kion stated that he had just needed to have faith in himself, to which Nala asserted that she had always had faith in him.[10]


You see, kids, Udugu isn't a place. "Udugu" is another word for kinship. It's the special bond between siblings. You found Udugu when you decided to work together to look for me.
―Nala to Kiara and Kion[src]

Nala leads her cubs, Kiara and Kion, on the Trail to Udugu.

When Kiara managed to track Kion faster than ever before, Simba commented on the success, and Nala declared that the cubs were ready for a special day. Together, the parents descended Pride Rock to speak with their cubs, who were still playing and squabbling. Nala told Kiara and Kion that they were ready to accompany her on the Trail to Udugu, which was a special ceremony for royal siblings. Simba assured Kion that in the absence of their leader, the Lion Guard would be led by Simba.

After the talk, Nala led Kiara and Kion along the Trail to Udugu. As they walked, Kion questioned Kiara on what she thought would be waiting for them at the end of the trail, and Kiara answered that it would probably be animals excited to meet their future queen and her little brother. Kion argued that as the leader of the Lion Guard, he would be received with such a reception, to which Kiara quipped that they would have to see. The two cubs then began to playfully race one another.

Nala hides from her cubs in the hopes that they will work together to find Udugu.

Kion asked Nala how much farther they must travel, and she answered that Udugu was not an easy place to find. Kiara boasted that she would find Udugu first, and Kion took chase, unintentionally steering them toward a steep cliff. Nala yelled a warning, but too late, the cubs tumbled over the edge and hung on by their claws. Just in time, Nala pulled them to safety and reminded them that they must find Udugu another way.

After the rescue, Nala led Kiara and Kion to a patch of thorns, which she insisted was part of the Trail to Udugu. The cubs rushed into the thorns, and each tried to take a different path. However, both found themselves in too great of pain to continue. Suddenly, the two realized that Nala was gone and began to cry out for her. Nala, however, watched them from the bushes and commented that they were now truly on the Trail to Udugu.

Nala reveals herself to her cubs after they work together to find her.

Together, Kiara and Kion searched for Nala, who was still missing. When neither cub turned up any leads as to where she was, Kion lamented how they did not know where Udugu was and thus could not possibly know where to find Nala. This gave Kiara an idea, and she began sniffing for Nala's scent in the underbrush. She picked up her mother's trail on a path through the trees, and she and Kion began to follow it through the woods.

Once on the trail, Kion spotted Nala's pawprints, and the cubs tracked them to the bottom of a steep cliff. Confused, the cubs wondered where Nala could have possibly gone. Kiara and Kion mused over where Nala could be, and Kion pointed out that Nala could have climbed up on a nearby ledge and followed a trail along the cliff. The cubs attempted to leap onto the ledge themselves but were unable to get a firm grasp on the edge of the cliff. Realizing that they could not reach the ledge on their own, Kion suggested that he give Kiara a boost so that she could continue tracking Nala. Kiara asked Kion how he would reach the ledge, and he admitted that she was the better tracker and should therefore be the one to continue searching for their mother.

Nala stresses the importance of Udugu to her cubs.

Kiara clambered onto Kion's shoulders and strained to reach the edge of the cliff. Eventually, she got a firm hold on the ledge and pulled herself to the top of the cliff. There, she saw Nala, who greeted her cubs warmly and bounded down from the ledge. A confused Kion questioned why Nala had left them and not helped them find Udugu, and Nala explained that the cubs had found Udugu on their own. When the cubs reacted with puzzlement, Nala explained that "Udugu" was another word for "kinship" and that the two had found Udugu while working together to find her.

Once the three returned to Pride Rock, Simba reunited with them. He asked whether they had found Udugu, and the cubs explained that they had learned to work together as brother and sister. Kion then questioned how Simba had fared with the Guard, and Simba admitted that working with Kion's team had helped him find Udugu as well. He stressed the importance of Udugu and reminded the cubs that they would one day be responsible for the kingdom of the Pride Lands.[11]

Royal Mud Print Ceremony

We're glad your travels have brought you back to the Pride Lands, Hadithi.

Simba and Nala invite Hadithi to a Royal Mud Print Ceremony.

Nala arrived with her mate, Simba, to praise the legendary eagle Hadithi, who was visiting the Pride Lands. She explained to Kion that Hadithi was a hero to animals all over the kingdom. She and Simba then invited Hadithi to a Royal Mud Print Ceremony, during which he would preserve his talon marks in mud forever alongside those of other heroes. However, during the ceremony, Hadithi admitted that he had abandoned Ono to danger, and the Lion Guard raced off to rescue their friend. After Ono was saved, he was honored with the ceremony instead.[12]

New water source

It's a pleasure to meet you, Makini.

Nala and her family meet Makini.

The royal family gathered at Pride Rock to meet Makini, the new Royal Mjuzi of the Pride Lands. Kiara asked about the progress of Ma Tembo's water search, and Kion replied that she had not had any luck so far. Kiara insisted on helping Ma Tembo, and Simba and Nala agreed that it would be a good experience for her. Just then, Makini appeared, introduced herself, and requested to join Kiara on her mission. An exasperated Rafiki followed Makini out onto the promontory and formally introduced her as his apprentice. Simba and Nala both greeted her warmly.

After the introductions, Kiara asked her parents if Makini could accompany her on her mission to help Ma Tembo, and Nala encouraged Simba to grant the request. Tiifu and Zuri tried to follow Kiara and Makini away from Pride Rock, but Nala halted them and offered to spend the day with them instead, which delighted them. Later, Nala joined the crowd of animals who were following Ma Tembo as she searched for water.[13]


Nala watched the mashindano between Kiburi and Makuu.[14]

Makini's portrait

Nala watched as Makini painted a portrait of the royal family at Pride Rock.[15]


Nala attended the Ukumbusho Tradition with her pride.[16]


Just think of all they've done for you over the years, Simba. And besides, you might enjoy yourself.
―Nala on Timon and Pumbaa[src]

Nala convinces Simba to partake in Bunga's Christmas celebration.

Kion spoke to his family about partaking in a Christmas celebration for Timon and Pumbaa. Nala and Kiara quickly agreed to the proceedings, but Simba showed little interest in attending. With some persuasion from his mate and daughter, he eventually agreed, as he felt that he owed Timon and Pumbaa for their help over the years.

That night, Nala and her family attended Bunga's celebration rehearsal. Things went well until the next morning, when everyone was leaning toward abandoning the project. Before the animals could depart, Bunga desperately explained how important the performance was to both himself and Timon, which prompted the Pride Landers to change their minds. Later, Nala partook in the "The Twelve Ways of Christmas" performance.[17]


Kion. The scorpion's sting has made your father very ill.
―Nala, after Simba is stung by Sumu[src]

Nala comforts an unconscious Simba.

Nala attended the Kumbuka celebration at Pride Rock. During the festivities, Simba got stung by Sumu the scorpion and subsequently collapsed. When the Lion Guard returned to Pride Rock, Nala informed Kion that Simba was very ill, and the cub resolved to find an antidote for his father. Nala and Kiara stayed by Simba's side until the Lion Guard returned with volcanic ash, which healed him. After the rescue, Nala rejoiced that Simba was safe and assured the Lion Guard that he would recover.[18]

False alarm

Ladies, the Guard is only for real emergencies. Not fur emergencies. Understand?
―Nala to Tiifu and Zuri[src]

When Tiifu and Zuri made a fuss about their messy fur, Nala reminded them to only call for the Lion Guard's help in a real emergency. The two asked Kiara to accompany them to the mud pots, and Nala sent Kion and Bunga to watch over them.[19]

Dhahabu's visit

Nala was present when Dhahabu arrived at Pride Rock to discuss a water treaty with Simba. That night, Nala watched as Dhahabu announced that the treaty would be renewed.[20]

Scar's attack

Nala was present at Pride Rock when the Pride Landers gathered to discuss whether they should leave the Pride Lands for good. At Kion's prompting, the assembled animals journeyed to Mizimu Grove, where they saw that Makini's baobab seed had survived a fire that had been started by Scar and his minions. The seed's survival inspired the Pride Landers to remain in the kingdom and work together to defeat Scar. Makini then planted the seed while the Pride Landers looked on.[21]

Battle for the Pride Lands

Uh, Anga, be careful.
―Nala, as Anga carries the royal family off Pride Rock[src]

Anga helps rescue the royal family from a fire at Pride Rock.

When the members of Scar's army set fire to Pride Rock, Nala got trapped on the promontory with Simba and Kiara. Seeing his family in danger, Kion sent Ono to save them, and the egret hastened to the rescue, with Anga and Hadithi at his side. Upon reaching Pride Rock, Anga picked up Kiara in her talons, and Nala urged her to be careful. Once Kiara had been rescued, Anga and Hadithi carried Simba and Nala to safety as well.

After the rescue, Nala and her family witnessed the emergence of Scar's spirit in the flames. Scar taunted Simba about the demise of the Lion Guard, and Nala expressed horror and shock at the purported death of her son. No sooner had Scar revealed this when Kion appeared before the Pride Landers, unharmed, to Nala's joy. The next morning, Nala watched the sun rise with Simba, Rafiki, and Makini.[22]

Lion Guard's trip to the Tree of Life

Hopefully, you'll be back in time for Kiara's first hunt.
―Nala to Kion, as he departs for the Tree of Life[src]

Simba and Nala bid Kion farewell.

When Kion got bitten and scarred across one eye by Ushari, he went to the Lair of the Lion Guard to be treated by Rafiki. Simba, Nala, and Kiara gathered around him worriedly, and Rafiki informed them that the venom in Kion's scar could corrupt him if left untreated. However, Rafiki assured them that Kion could go to the Tree of Life for healing, and Nala advised her son to bring the Lion Guard with him. Shortly afterward, the royal family saw Kion off, and Nala got an assurance from Ono that the group knew the way to the Tree of Life. She told Kion that he would hopefully be home in time for Kiara's first hunt, then bid him and his friends goodbye.[22]

Reunification of the Outsiders and Pride Landers

Oh, Simba. You want so much to walk the path expected of you. Perhaps Kovu does not.
―Nala encourages Simba to accept Kovu[src]

Before Kiara's first hunt, Nala strode past the assembled lionesses and sat next to Simba. She then nuzzled Kiara and assured her that she would do fine. Despite Simba's doubts about the solo hunt, Nala encouraged him to let Kiara complete the mission on her own. Later, when Kovu rescued Kiara from a fire, Nala had a relieved reunion with her daughter and reminded Simba that they owed Kovu for having saved Kiara's life. Reluctantly, Simba accepted Kovu into the pride, and the group returned to Pride Rock. That night, Nala slept peacefully next to Simba while he had a nightmare about his father's death.

Nala urges Simba to give Kovu a chance.

The next night, Kovu and Kiara stargazed together. Nala found Simba on a hill, watching the couple and desperately trying to seek advice from the Great Kings of the Past. She urged him to see the good in Kovu and to get to know the rogue better before he made too many judgments.

The next day, after Simba got injured in an ambush set up by Zira, Nala cared for him at Pride Rock. She then saw Kovu arrive and watched Kiara go to greet him, only to be stopped by Simba. Nala looked on as Kiara tried and failed to get Simba to listen to Kovu. Simba ultimately banished Kovu from the Pride Lands due to his part in Zira's plot, and Nala expressed shock and horror at the decision.

Nala joins her pride in the battle against the Outsiders.

Nala was present at the final battle between the Outsiders and the Pride Landers. She confronted Vitani, who mocked her and pounced on her from a high ledge. Eventually, the fight was halted by Kovu and Kiara, who called for peace between the prides. After Kiara prevented Zira from killing Simba, the two fell down into the gorge. Nala warned Simba of the flooding river as he leaped into the gorge to rescue Kiara.

After Simba saved Kiara and helped her back up the ledge, Nala was relieved to see her daughter safe and sound, and the two embraced. Simba reconciled with Kovu and the reformed Outsiders. Afterward, Nala and the others journeyed back to Pride Rock, where she and Simba proudly witnessed Rafiki blessing the union of Kovu and Kiara. Simba and Nala walked to the promontory of Pride Rock, with Kovu and Kiara following them. The four lions roared together as the gathered animals watched and cheered.[3]

Battle of the Lion Guards

Kion: We really did miss a lot.
Nala: You did, and we have missed you. All of you.
—Nala and Kion, after the Lion Guard returns to the Pride Lands[src]

Simba and Nala embrace their son, Kion.

After Kion returned from the Tree of Life, he had a delighted reunion with his parents at Pride Rock. Nala wondered why Kion still had his scar, and Kion explained that though his injury remained, the venom was gone. Fuli then introduced her friend, Azaad, to Simba and Nala. Afterward, the royal family, along with Kovu and Rafiki, explained how the Outsiders had joined the Pride Landers. Nala commented that a lot had happened in their absence and that she had missed them. That night, she and her family witnessed the appearance of Mufasa's spirit in the heavens.

Later, Nala watched the Battle of the Lion Guards, including Beshte's, Fuli's, and Anga's individual challenges. She also watched the final mashindano between Kion and Vitani. She witnessed Askari's appearance in the sky and reacted with awe when Kion lifted Pride Rock with the Roar of the Elders.[23]

Kion's coronation

Nala attended Kion's wedding to Rani at the Tree of Life.[23]

Physical appearance

Despite her smaller size, Nala was able to pin Simba on his back.

As a cub, Nala was moderately sized and slender. She had a cream-colored pelt, with pale eye rims, a pale muzzle, and a pale underbelly. Her inner ears were a slightly darker cream, and she had thin brown eyebrows. Like most Pride Landers, she had a rounded pink nose and colorless paws. Her eyes were teal.

As an adult, Nala became larger, broader about the shoulders, and more muscular. Additionally, her fur color dulled, her eyebrows became thicker, and her nose changed from pink to brown. She proved to be an adept hunter and fighter, as she kept pace with large prey like Pumbaa and managed to pin a full-grown Simba on his back.[1]

Personality and traits

Simba: You know, you're starting to sound like my father.
Nala: Good. At least one of us does.
—Simba and Nala argue[src]

In her cubhood, Nala enjoyed getting into mischief with her best friend, Simba.

As a cub, Nala was adventurous, curious, and fun-loving. She enjoyed spending time with her best friend, Simba, even if it meant disobeying their parents and straying into forbidden territory. Strong-willed and spunky, she had a biting sense of humor and liked to tease both Simba and their frequent babysitter, Zazu. Despite their squabbles, Nala was fiercely loyal to Simba and admired him for his bravery, particularly when he tried to defend her from the hyenas at the Elephant Graveyard.

As an adult, Nala became more mature and responsible. Unlike Simba, who had spent many seasons ignoring his duty to the Pride Lands, she was exhaustive in her search for relief from Scar's reign and passionately appealed to Simba to return home and save their pride. In arguments, she could be forceful and sharp-tongued, such as when she unfavorably compared Simba to his deceased father, Mufasa. Even so, she was grateful to him when he returned to the Pride Lands and was eager to fight at his side in the battle against Scar.[1]

As an adult, Nala held Simba accountable for neglecting his duty to the Pride Lands.

Nala continued to demonstrate maturity and wisdom as she aged. She was one of the few Pride Landers to accept Kovu when he reformed, and she sympathized with Kiara's appeal to reunite the feuding prides. In the face of Simba's doubts about Kovu, Nala encouraged him to give the Outsider a chance and to be grateful to him for having saved Kiara's life. Even when in disagreement with Simba, Nala was always gentle and did not push him too hard, nor did she protest when he made decisions she disapproved of, such as Kovu's exile from the Pride Lands.

Nala's parenting style often contrasted with Simba's. While Simba was overprotective of and strict with Kiara, Nala believed that their daughter should have freedom and trusted her to take care of herself.[3] Similarly, Simba was loath to accept Kion's position as the leader of the Lion Guard, while Nala accepted it immediately and encouraged Simba to give their son a chance.[2] She was loving toward both her cubs and often motivated them to work together.[11]



Television series

Special features

Video games


Short stories


Magazine stories



Heather Headley as adult Nala in the stage musical version of The Lion King.

  • Nala's name means "gift" in Swahili.[35]
  • In The Lion King, Nala's eyes switch between blue and green.[1] However, in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, and The Lion Guard, they are consistently blue.[3][2][4]
  • According to the stage musical producer, Thomas Schumacher, Nala is ten years old when she finds Simba in the jungle.[40]

In development

Nala's King of the Jungle design.

  • In the 1992 draft of The Lion King, Scar asked Nala to be his queen, but she refused. Consequently, Scar banished her from the Pride Lands.[46] This scene was eventually added to the stage musical version of The Lion King.[37]
  • In the 1992 draft of The Lion King, Nala briefly decided to remain in the jungle with Simba.[46]
  • During early production of The Lion King, Nala had a younger brother named Mheetu.[47]
  • Matthew Broderick was cast as adult Simba during early production of The Lion King. He recorded his dialogue separately with another actress who was playing Nala, only to discover at the premiere that Moira Kelly had voiced Nala for the final film.[48] Kelly herself acknowledged that she was not Disney's first choice to voice Nala.[49]
  • In an early draft of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Nala had a son named Chaka.[50]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Revealed in Disney's The Lion King (1994). Written by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, and Linda Woolverton, and directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff. Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Revealed in Disney's The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (2015). Written by Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Revealed in Disney's The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998). Written by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus, and directed by Rob LaDuca and Darrell Rooney. Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed in "The Rise of Makuu" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 2, Season 1. Written by Ford Riley and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired January 15, 2016.
  5. Revealed in "Can't Wait to be Queen" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 4, Season 1. Written by John Loy, Jack Monaco, and Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired January 29, 2016.
  6. Revealed in "The Kupatana Celebration" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 6, Season 1. Written by Elise Allen, John Loy, and Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired February 12, 2016.
  7. Revealed in "Fuli's New Family" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 7, Season 1. Written by Elise Allen, John Loy, and Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired February 19, 2016.
  8. Revealed in "Bunga and the King" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 13, Season 1. Written by Jack Monaco and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired April 29, 2016.
  9. Revealed in "The Imaginary Okapi" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 14, Season 1. Written by John Loy and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired July 8, 2016.
  10. Revealed in "Never Roar Again" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 21, Season 1. Written by Jack Monaco and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired November 19, 2016.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Revealed in "The Trail to Udugu" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 23, Season 1. Written by Elise Allen and Kendall Michele Haney, and directed by Tom Derosier and Howy Parkins. Originally aired January 6, 2017.
  12. Revealed in "Ono's Idol" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 24, Season 1. Written by Jack Monaco and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired February 24, 2017.
  13. Revealed in "The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 5, Season 2. Written by Ford Riley. Originally aired July 29, 2017.
  14. Revealed in "Let Sleeping Crocs Lie" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 6, Season 2. Written by Elise Allen and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired August 11, 2017.
  15. Revealed in "Rafiki's New Neighbors" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 8, Season 2. Written by Laura Sreenby and Krista Tucker, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired September 22, 2017.
  16. Revealed in "The Ukumbusho Tradition" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 10, Season 2. Written by Jack Monaco and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired October 27, 2017.
  17. Revealed in "Timon and Pumbaa's Christmas" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 12, Season 2. Written by John Loy and Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired December 8, 2017.
  18. Revealed in "The Scorpion's Sting" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 17, Season 2. Written by Krista Tucker and directed by Tom Derosier. Originally aired April 2, 2018.
  19. Revealed in "The Underground Adventure" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 24, Season 2. Written by Elise Allen and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired September 7, 2018.
  20. Revealed in "The Queen's Visit" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 27, Season 2. Written by Don Gillies and directed by Tom De Rosier. Originally aired February 18, 2019.
  21. Revealed in "The Fall of Mizimu Grove" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 28, Season 2. Written by Kendall Michele Haney and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired March 25, 2019.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Revealed in "Battle for the Pride Lands" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 1, Season 3. Written by Ford Riley and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired August 3, 2019.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Revealed in "Return to the Pride Lands" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 19, Season 3. Written by Kendall Michele Haney and Ford Riley, and directed by Tom De Rosier and Howy Parkins. Originally aired November 3, 2019.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Niketa Calame-Harris. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on July 13, 2021.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 Moira Kelly. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on July 13, 2021.
  26. Laura Williams. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on July 13, 2021.
  27. Sally Dworsky. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on July 13, 2021.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Gabrielle Union. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on July 13, 2021.
  29. Vanessa Marshall. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on July 13, 2021.
  30. Aaron Blaise. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on September 22, 2020.
  31. Anthony de Rosa. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on September 22, 2020.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Ian Harrowell. IMDb., Inc. Retrieved on July 13, 2021.
  33. Kajuana Shuford. Playbill. Retrieved on September 21, 2021.
  34. Heather Headley. Playbill. Retrieved on September 21, 2021.
  35. nala in English. Glosbe. Retrieved on September 22, 2020.
  36. Revealed in The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
  37. 37.0 37.1 Revealed in the stage musical version of The Lion King
  38. Lion King director clears up online rumour about Mufasa and Scar not being brothers. vt. Archived from the original on October 24, 2020. Retrieved on July 15, 2021.
  39. Revealed in "Paintings and Predictions" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 11, Season 1. Written by Elise Allen and Kevin Hopps, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired April 1, 2016.
  40. YouTube favicon.png THE LION KING: Simba and Nala on the Disney On Broadway YouTube channel
  41. Simmons, Alex. A Tale of Two Brothers (1994). ISBN: 0717283488.
  42. David Chandler (September 1, 2018). Creating The Lion King: Story development, authorship and accreditation in the Disney Renaissance. Ingenta Connect. Retrieved on August 15, 2021.
  43. Revealed in the Laserdisc release of The Lion King
  44. Revealed in Disney's The Lion King (1990). Written by J. T. Allen.
  45. Revealed in Disney's King of the Beasts (1990). Written by J.T. Allen and Ronald Bass.
  46. 46.0 46.1 Revealed in Disney's King of the Jungle (1992).
  47. Keoenig, David. Mouse Under Glass (June 2, 1994). ISBN: 0964060515.
  48. Dave Kehr (December 27, 2002). The Lion Evolves. The New York Times. Retrieved on July 13, 2021.
  49. Moira Kelly Interview: The Lion Queen - Ultimate Disney Talks With the Voice of Nala. Ultimate Disney. Retrieved on July 13, 2021.
  50. Revealed in Disney's Simba's Pride (1995). Written by Mark McCorkle and Robert Schooley.