Rafiki presents Simba, the prince heir of Pride Rock, to the Pride Landers when he is an infant. Later, Scar assumes the throne due to Mufasa's and Simba's deaths, to Rafiki's dismay. Years into Scar's reign, Rafiki picks up Simba's scent on the breeze and, realizing he is alive, leaves to retrieve him. He convinces Simba to return and reclaim his birthright as king. After Scar's death and Simba's ascension, Rafiki presents Simba's newborn cub to the Pride Landers.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 The Lion King
- 1.2 The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
- 1.3 The Lion King 1½
- 1.4 The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar
- 1.5 Other roles
- 1.5.1 The stage musical
- 1.5.2 Literature
- 1.5.3 Video games
- 1.5.4 TV series
- 220.127.116.11 The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
- 18.104.22.168.1 "Good Mousekeeping"
- 22.214.171.124.2 "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
- 126.96.36.199.3 "Beauty and the Wildebeest"
- 188.8.131.52.4 "Rafiki's Apprentice"
- 184.108.40.206.5 "The Sky is Calling"
- 220.127.116.11.6 "Mozam-Beaked"
- 18.104.22.168.7 "Rumble in the Jungle"
- 22.214.171.124.8 "Zazu's Off-by-One Day"
- 126.96.36.199.9 "The Man From J.U.N.G.L.E."
- 188.8.131.52.10 "Once Upon a Timon"
- 184.108.40.206.11 "Beethoven's Whiff"
- 220.127.116.11.12 "Truth Be Told"
- 18.104.22.168.13 "My Meteor, My Friend"
- 22.214.171.124.14 "Special Defects"
- 126.96.36.199.15 "Timoncchio"
- 188.8.131.52.16 "Kahuna Potato"
- 184.108.40.206.17 Around the World with Timon & Pumbaa
- 220.127.116.11 The Lion Guard
- 18.104.22.168.1 "Bunga the Wise"
- 22.214.171.124.2 "Eye of the Beholder"
- 126.96.36.199.3 "The Kupatana Celebration"
- 188.8.131.52.4 "Fuli's New Family"
- 184.108.40.206.5 "Paintings and Predictions"
- 220.127.116.11.6 "The Mbali Fields Migration"
- 18.104.22.168.7 "Beware the Zimwi"
- 22.214.171.124.8 "Lions of the Outlands"
- 126.96.36.199.9 "The Trail to Udugu"
- 188.8.131.52.10 "The Savannah Summit"
- 184.108.40.206.11 "The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar"
- 220.127.116.11.12 "Rafiki's New Neighbors"
- 18.104.22.168.13 "The Ukumbusho Tradition"
- 22.214.171.124.14 "The Bite of Kenge"
- 126.96.36.199.15 "Timon and Pumbaa's Christmas"
- 188.8.131.52.16 "The Golden Zebra"
- 184.108.40.206.17 "Divide and Conquer"
- 220.127.116.11.18 "The Scorpion's Sting"
- 18.104.22.168.19 "The Wisdom of Kongwe"
- 22.214.171.124.20 "Cave of Secrets"
- 126.96.36.199.21 "The Hyena Resistance"
- 188.8.131.52.22 "The Fall of Mizimu Grove"
- 184.108.40.206.23 "Battle for the Pride Lands"
- 220.127.116.11.24 "The Harmattan"
- 18.104.22.168.25 "Journey of Memories"
- 22.214.171.124.26 "The Race to Tuliza"
- 126.96.36.199.27 "Friends to the End"
- 188.8.131.52.28 "The Tree of Life"
- 184.108.40.206.29 "The River of Patience"
- 220.127.116.11.30 "Journey to the Pride Lands"
- 18.104.22.168.31 "Return to the Pride Lands"
- 22.214.171.124 House of Mouse
- 126.96.36.199 Wild About Safety
- 188.8.131.52 The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
- 1.5.5 Bloopers & outtakes
- 1.5.6 Disney parks
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Voice actors
- 4 Trivia
- 5 References
|“||Creepy little monkey.
Rafiki first appears at the presentation of Simba. All the gathered animals make way for him, and some even bow with respect, while he returns the salute with a smile. Greeting one another on top of Pride Rock, Mufasa and Rafiki embrace as close friends. They then come to Sarabi, who shows her newborn child, Simba, to Rafiki. Rafiki smiles at him and starts to perform a ceremony over the future king. First, he lifts his stick above Simba's head, and Simba tries to catch it with his little paws. Then Rafiki breaks a piece of fruit in two parts and smears its juice on Simba's forehead. He then sprinkle a small amount of dust on his head and takes the little prince in his arms, carrying him to the edge of Pride Rock, where he raises him so all the animals can see him.
When the ceremony ends, Rafiki returns home to his tree. There, as it rains, Rafiki drafts a stylized picture of Simba on his tree, chuckling to himself and murmuring the cub's name, "Simba."
A few months later, Scar brings news that Mufasa and Simba were killed in a stampede of wildebeests. Rafiki also hears the news and comes close enough to Pride Rock to see Scar take the throne and let the hyenas, mortal enemies of the lions, come to Pride Rock. Rafiki sighs sadly, mourning Mufasa, Simba, and the old kingdom. He soon returns to his tree and runs his hand over his drawing of Simba, blotting him out of the Circle of Life.
Years into Scar's reign, Rafiki sits on the crown of his tree and grabs a pile of leaves, dirt, grass, and flower petals that's floating on the breeze. He takes the mixture into an empty turtle shell and investigates it until he realizes that it contains traces of Simba, who is supposed to have been dead for several years. At first, Rafiki is confused by this new knowledge, but he soon runs to his smeared drawing and, realizing that Simba is now a young adult lion, draws him with a thick red mane. Getting ready to help Simba to take his place in the Circle of Life, Rafiki exclaims, "It is time!"
After a few days of travel, Rafiki finds a young adult Simba in the jungle. Simba does not remember Rafiki, as he had been too young when he last saw the baboon. That evening, Simba, in a bad mood, makes a face at Rafiki as the baboon tries to attract his attention by singing a song.
Simba moves away from him, but Rafiki constantly monitors him, and Simba asks him if he can cut out his song. Rafiki replies, "Can't cut it out. It'll grow right back!" An offended Simba again moves away from Rafiki, calling him a "creepy little monkey," but Rafiki again follows him.
Simba asks Rafiki to stop following him and then demands to know who he is. Rafiki asks Simba who he is, and Simba admits that he himself is no longer so sure. Rafiki says that he knows who Simba is but that it's a secret. When Simba comes near him, Rafiki chants his song in the young lion's ear. Simba snarls and asks him what it even means. Rafiki explains that the song is about Simba being a baboon while Rafiki is not. Simba says that Rafiki is a little confused, but Rafiki again appears before him and tells Simba that he is more confused, as he does not even know who he is. Simba counters sarcastically, "Oh, and I suppose you know," and Rafiki says, "Sure do. You're Mufasa's boy."
Simba is surprised by this revelation, but Rafiki calmly says, "Bye," and leaves. He climbs on a rock and meditates on it. Shortly after this, Simba comes and asks Rafiki if he once knew his father. Rafiki corrects him, saying that he still knows Mufasa. Thinking that Rafiki doesn't know about Mufasa's death, Simba tells him that the king is dead. Rafiki tells Simba that he is wrong again and says that Mufasa is still alive. He shows Simba the entrance to a patch of jungle and tells him that he will show Mufasa to him. Simba follows Rafiki through the dense vegetation until Rafiki stops him.
The old baboon makes a passage in the grass for Simba and tells him to look down the slope. Simba does so and sees a small lake. Simba looks at the lake, expecting to see his father, as Rafiki had said, but is disappointed when he sees that there is only his reflection.
Simba says, "That's not my father. It's just my reflection," but Rafiki tells him that he needs to look harder. Simba looks at his reflection a little deeper, and it turns into an image of Mufasa. Simba is shocked, but Rafiki explains that this has happened because Mufasa actually "lives in Simba." Mufasa's ghost presently appears in the sky, and Rafiki steps aside to let his old friend talk to his son and convince him to return to Pride Rock and take his place as king.
After the ghost leaves Simba, Rafiki comes to him and makes a comment about the strange weather, to which Simba replies, "Yeah. Looks like the winds are changing." Rafiki says that the change is good, but Simba expresses worry over facing his past. Rafiki suddenly hits the lion on the head with his stick. Simba asks what that was for, and Rafiki says that it doesn't matter, for it is in the past now. When Simba says that the hit still hurts, Rafiki says that the past often can hurt, but one can either run from it or learn from it.
He tries to hit Simba one more time, but Simba now knows what he should do and steps away at the right time. Rafiki is satisfied that Simba has learned a lesson and asks him what he will do next. Simba says, "First, I'm gonna take your stick," and takes Rafiki's stick with his teeth, throwing it into the grass. Rafiki comes to take the stick back, but when again he turns to Simba, he sees that the young lion has started running off. Rafiki asks him where he is going, and Simba says that he is going back home. Rafiki is happy to be able to see Simba take the right step and cheerfully shouts, "Good! Go on! Get out of here!" He then laughs again and cheers as Simba disappears into the savanna grass.
Rafiki appears in the tree above them and says that they won't find Simba in the jungle, explaining that "the king has returned." Nala is the only one of the three to understand this comment, and Timon tries to ask Rafiki what he means, but the old baboon is gone and on his way back to Pride Rock.
When Rafiki arrives at Pride Rock, he sees that the Pride Landers and Simba are fighting with Scar and his subjects, the hyenas. When one hyena bites Simba on his neck, Rafiki hits it unconscious with his stick. Simba runs to find Scar, and Rafiki takes over the hyena-fighting. They try to attack him, but he shows surprising skills and overpowers them.
After Simba defeats Scar, he comes to the entrance of Pride Rock, where Rafiki shows him that now he needs to climb up to the edge of the rock and roar, formalizing his royal title. Simba comes to him and embraces his new friend. Rafiki pats Simba's back and reminds him, "It is time." He then watches as Simba climbs the rock and becomes king.
Rafiki is last time seen during the presentation of Simba and Nala's newborn cub. He brings the young lion to the edge of Pride Rock and raises the cub so that all the animals can see their future monarch.
In the sequel, Rafiki makes his first appearance during the song "He Lives In You." While the other animals come around Pride Rock to see the presentation of Simba and Nala's cub, Kiara, Rafiki is at the edge of the rock, summoning the animals to the ceremony. When all the animals gather under the rock, Rafiki waits until Simba and Nala appear with an infant Kiara. He then raises the princess so that all the animals can see her. Mufasa's spirit comes to see his granddaughter, and Rafiki welcomes the spirit's wind onto his face.
After the presentation, Rafiki smears juice onto Kiara's forehead. He then overhears Timon and Pumbaa calling Kiara a boy, so he snickers and corrects them, making Timon and Pumbaa faint.
Once Kiara enters cubhood, Rafiki draws her picture next to that of Kovu's, Scar's heir, who was banished to the Outlands with Scar's other subjects. The baboon then talks with Mufasa's ghost and shows his concern about the comparative maturity of these two lions. Mufasa's spirit implies that he has a plan and makes wind bring down a piece of fruit, breaking it.
Rafiki raises the halves in front of the pictures of Kovu and Kiara, and, re-assembling them, realizes that Mufasa plans to make Kovu and Kiara fall in love. Rafiki does not agree with the plan and considers it impracticable, but Mufasa is persistent and recreates the wind. Rafiki decides to believe in the old king and resolves to help him execute the plan. As the spirit ascends back into the sky, Rafiki yells, "I just hope you know what you are doing!"
During Kiara's first hunt, Kovu follows his mother's orders and saves Kiara from the fire in order to infiltrate the Pride Lands. Simba roars at him and tries to scare him away, not knowing what Kovu has done for Kiara. Rafiki soon appears and comically yells to Kovu, "How dare you save the king's daughter?" Hearing Rafiki's words, Simba realizes that he is now indebted to Kovu and begrudgingly receives the young lion into his pride.
The following day, Kovu and Kiara spend the day together and start to fall in love. In the evening, while the two young lions are together on the savanna, Rafiki finds them and hides in the grass, stopping Kovu from leaving Kiara by pointing his finger at the lion's nose from the grass. He asks Kovu where he is going, to which Kovu says, "Nowhere." Rafiki then jumps from the grass and taunts him, saying, "That's what you think."
Kovu asks Kiara who Rafiki is, and she describes him as a friend of their family. Kovu looks back and finds Rafiki lying on his back. Rafiki slips off and darts away, tugging Kovu's tail and laughing. He then climbs onto a rock and again tells the two to follow him.
Swinging from tree to tree and laughing eerily, Rafiki leads them to a place where he sings the song "Upendi" about an imaginative romantic location. In Rafiki's fantasy, he leads Kovu and Kiara through the river, where they see many pairs of mates. In this way, Rafiki plays the role of matchmaker between the two young lions and successfully brings them to fall in love with each other, even though they do not admit their feelings to each other at first.
The next morning, Kovu and Simba accidentally fall into an ambush, but they manage to escape. However, Simba thinks that Kovu organized the assassination and expels him from the Pride Lands. Rafiki is seen at the end of the exile, watching sadly as Kovu runs away. He sighs sadly, feeling that Mufasa's plan has failed.
After the final battle, Simba and Kovu reconcile. Rafiki marries Kovu and Kiara, and Simba and his family roar at the top of Pride Rock, prompting Mufasa's ghost to appear in the sky. Rafiki nods to him, acknowledging the king's wisdom.
In this film, Rafiki first appears after Timon decides to leave his colony and find "a new dream home." That night, Timon starts to cry because he himself has no idea where he should go. As he does so, Rafiki appears, looking down from his tree. From an upside-down position, he informs Timon that which way he goes should depend upon what he is looking for. Spooked, Timon falls to the ground. He then asks Rafiki where he'd come from, to which Rafiki replies, "Oh, the better question is: where are you going?" Timon explains to him that he wants to live outside the colony in a wonderful place without worries.
He asks Rafiki if he'd heard his song, "That's All I Need," which expresses his need for that place, but Rafiki hadn't heard it. Rafiki then jumps from the tree and says that Timon is actually looking for "Hakuna Matata." Timon mistakes the phrase for "harpoon of tomato," but Rafiki explains that it means "no worries." Timon asks Rafiki to draw a map to Hakuna Matata, but Rafiki smacks him over the head with the stick. He goes into his mystic-monkey pose and vaguely says that Timon must "look behind what he sees" to find a life without worries. Timon doesn't understand again, but Rafiki just repeats his advice. Timon wrongly understands it to mean "go to the farthest thing you see" and decides to go to Pride Rock. He wants to ask Rafiki if he is right, but the old baboon is gone.
When he disappears, Rafiki most likely goes to Pride Rock for the presentation of Simba. When Timon meets Pumbaa and they come to Pride Rock looking for a new home, they see Rafiki at the edge of the rock, holding up an infant Simba, but the baboon does not see them.
After Mufasa dies, Rafiki decides to see Timon's colony and tell his mother that he'd helped her son find what he's looking for. However, when Ma hears what Rafiki had told her son, she hits him in the head with his own stick, catches him by the goatee, and yells, "You used a metaphor on Timon? He takes things literally!" She then decides to go and find her son, who is probably in trouble. Rafiki reminds her, "Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step," and she replies with, "Thanks. Here's my first step," jumping painfully onto his foot.
Much later, after Nala and Pumbaa decide to leave the jungle in order to help Simba, Timon stays behind. Come nightfall, Rafiki appears in front of him, but Timon says, "You. No, no, no. Don't say a word. I know what you're gonna say." He then acts like he is Rafiki and asks, "Did you find Hakuna Matata?" Then he is himself again and, with forced happiness and a gracious air, says, "Well, yes, I did! Thank you very much! And I am happy...happy, happy, deliriously happy." He imitates Rafiki again and says,
"Ho, ho, haaah! I see. Happy, is it? So, if you're so happy, why do you look so miserable?" Timon switches back to himself. Rafiki stares sardonically at the camera, listening to Timon's messing around. Timon continues as himself, "Miserable, you say? Why should I be miserable? Oh, I don't know. Maybe my two best pals in the world deserted me. Heh. They've...they've headed off on some heroic mission. My friends..." Timon then realizes that he cannot have Hakuna Matata without friends. Rafiki nods slowly, smiling. Timon indicates with his head, saying, "Would you mind?" Rafiki then smacks him with his stick. Leaving the jungle to find his friends, Timon says, "Thanks! I'm glad we had this talk." Ascribing the credit for Timon's correct decision to himself, Rafiki says, "My work here is done."
After the final battle, Rafiki guides Simba to Pride Rock.
When the movie ends, a silhouette of Rafiki appears in the theater while Timon's mother rewinds the movie. Rafiki laughs and says, "Any story worth telling is worth telling twice."
When Kion uses the Roar of the Elders for the first time, Rafiki and Simba overhear from Pride Rock, and the two come to realize that it is time for the cub to lead the Lion Guard. When Kion and his best friend Bunga return to Pride Rock, Rafiki leads them to the Lair of the Lion Guard, where he explains that Scar used to lead the Lion Guard until he lost his powers. Simba then tasks Kion with gathering a new Lion Guard to protect the Pride Lands.
When Janja and his minions attack the Pride Lands, Rafiki witnesses Kion and the Lion Guard defending the Pride Lands.
In the musical, the character of Rafiki goes through a major change. Because director Julie Taymor felt that the story lacked the presence of a strong female, Rafiki was changed into a female mandrill. The role was originated on Broadway by Tsidii Le Loka, who was nominated for a Tony Award in 1998 for her performance.
Rafiki's role is expanded in the musical. She sings the song "Circle of Life", and her painting scene is extended. She also sings a song called "Rafiki Mourns" in which she mourns Mufasa's death in the Zulu language. She also has a brief role in Nala's song "Shadowland," blessing Nala on her journey to find help. Instead of finding Simba's scent on dust, Rafiki hears Simba's song "Endless Night" through the wind. Rafiki meets Simba and shows him that his father lives on inside him through the song "He Lives In You." Along with that, Rafiki's "Asante Sana" chant is completely changed. She is present during the battle, fighting a hyena using hand-to-hand combat. She then appears adorning Simba with the king's mantle, and presents Simba's newborn cub at the end of the musical.
When Simba breaks a promise to his son Kopa, Rafiki tells a story from when Mufasa and Scar were cubs. Before becoming chief adviser of the Pride Lands, Rafiki was a wanderer.
After he is saved from hyenas by Ahadi, the king of the Pride Lands, he is taken to Pride Rock for safety. There, he gets to know Mufasa and his younger brother, Taka, who is resentful of his older brother for getting the title of future king. After overhearing Taka's plan to get Mufasa in trouble with his father, Rafiki rushes to set things straight.
Before long, however, Taka has convinced a buffalo named Boma to attack Mufasa, who was just trying to help his father. While Boma is busy with Mufasa, the other buffalo in his herd attack Taka and give him a ravaging scar across his left eye. After trapping Boma in a ravine, Mufasa rushes back to help his brother. At the same moment, Ahadi comes with a group of Pride Landers and takes Taka back to Pride Rock. Under Rafiki's care, the young lion heals, though his scar remains. Burdened by what he's done, Taka asks to be called Scar from then on, and his family agrees. Relieved that his sons are safe, Ahadi decides to appoint Rafiki chief adviser of the Pride Lands.
When the story is complete, Simba decides to take Kopa to the top of Pride Rock to fulfill his promise.
After chickening out of a dare, Kopa is warned by Rafiki about being stupidly brave. When Kopa later stands up to the two monkeys who'd dared him, Rafiki can be heard chuckling.
Along with other Pride Landers, Rafiki helps Simba and Nala save their son Kopa from the claws of hungry vultures.
When Rafiki hears news that his homeland is in danger, he and Simba take a journey to Grass Walls, where they find Rafiki's lazy cousin, Jelani, in charge of the baboon troop. In order to bring the baboons to safety, Rafiki kicks Jelani out of power and leads the parched baboons out of their dying homeland.
Along the way, the baboons face many dangers, among them drought and thieving leopards; but with the help of Simba, Rafiki manages to lead his troop to a lush jungle paradise where they may at last find peace. Jelani then regains leadership over the troop, having learned that his selfish ways have only put his family in danger. Simba and Rafiki leave the troop behind, at peace with Jelani's leadership.
Kingdom Hearts II
Rafiki appears as a minor non-playable character in the Pride Lands world of the video game.
When Sora first arrives in the Pride Lands, Nala takes him to see Rafiki, in the hope that Sora can save the Pride Lands and become king. Rafiki, however, sees that it is Simba's destiny, not Sora's, and reluctantly sends him on his way. Later, however, while communing with the spirits, he sees that Simba is still alive and catches up with Sora and Nala to tell them the news. When Simba succeeds in defeating Scar, Rafiki is there to officially induct him as the rightful king.
A while after Simba takes the throne, a multiple number of ghosts of Scar begin to appear around the Pride Lands and haunt the denizens. When Simba and Sora visit Rafiki for advice, he reveals that Scar's ghost is accessed from his evil power and Simba's insecure heart. Though it is hard at first, Simba eventually overcomes his fears and saves the Pride Lands from Scar's ghost. When Simba asks Sora about the end of his quest, Rafiki informs them that the struggle will never end, because that is the Circle of Life, but he also advises them to remember to be strong, noting that it's the key to victory.
Rafiki plays a rather major role in The Lion King 1½, and has an add-on costume in the Disney Universe game.
Nobi tells Rafiki that he's sick of being pushed around due to his small size. When Rafiki tells Nobi about the "Rafiki Wish," the mouse wishes that he could fly like a bird, swim like a fish, and be as tall as a giraffe so that he could gain more respect. Rafiki replies that respect comes from within, but he grants Nobi the wish and turns the mouse into a creature with wings, a long neck, and a tail of a fish.
After Rafiki grants Nobi his wish, the baboon takes him to the edge of Rafiki's tree to try to make Nobi fly, which ends in success. While Nobi is flying, he encounters two vultures who make fun of him and show him their flying skills. Nobi tries to prove to the vultures that he can fly as well as them, but when the buzzards show the mouse one more trick, Nobi tries to do the same thing, but gets hit by an unseen airplane and then falls into a ravine.
While underwater, Nobi scares the sea creatures, believing that he finally earned some respect. The mouse then starts playing baseball with an eel that provoked him, using the eel as the baseball. Rafiki then catches Nobi, reprimands him, and tells him to let the eel go. After talking with Rafiki, Nobi sees the elephants shaking his log, as they believe that he's inside of it. When Nobi goes to the elephants to make them let go of his home, the elephants see that Nobi turned bigger and start to bully the mouse by playing tackle football, which means that even though Nobi is different, he doesn't get more respect.
After Rafiki saves Nobi by scaring the elephants away, the baboon reveals to the mouse that he can take Nobi's wish back. When Nobi wishes to turn back to his normal self, Rafiki reminds him that respect comes from within' and grants the wish.
After Rafiki turns Nobi back into a mouse, the leader of the bullies returns and is about to use Nobi as a basketball. Nobi, now fed up with the elephants picking on him, stands up to the bully and forces him not to pick on him as well as anyone else. The elephant is angered by Nobi's words and runs off, with Nobi thanking Rafiki for making him realize how he can really get respect.
While singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" along with Timon and Pumbaa, Rafiki paints a picture of Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba.
After being criticized for his rather unattractive appearance (except from Lara, who still loves him no matter what), Herman accidentally rams into Rafiki's tree and gets doused by a bowl of food that comes toppling from its branches. Alerted by the accident, Rafiki scrambles down his tree and asks Herman if he's all right. Still saddened by his encounter with Lara, Herman admits his problems to Rafiki and asks the baboon for help in impressing Lara at her birthday party. After examining Herman's condition, Rafiki agrees to do so.
For his first lesson, Rafiki decides to teach Herman about posture. To start the lesson, he instructs Herman to walk across a line of crocodiles and then return to him without falling. Despite successfully crossing the crocodiles, Herman stumbles back to the bank by plowing into Rafiki and knocking them both into a tree.
On his second attempt to tame Herman, Rafiki offers the wildebeest a special drink that will make his voice sound less grotesque. Though initially hesitant to try the drink, Herman takes a sip and finds that the potion works but makes his voice change every few seconds. A simple hit on the head with Rafiki's stick makes the sounds stop changing, and Herman is left with a stunning new voice.
For his third trick, Rafiki works his magic on Herman by fixing his teeth and horns, bathing him, and giving him a makeover. At last, Rafiki deems the wildebeest handsome and tilts a mirror to show Herman his stunning new look.
Meanwhile, the savanna celebrates Lara's birthday with a giant cake. As the festivities commence, a muscular gazelle named Mel pops out of the cake and attempts to serenade Lara with song, but she is disgusted and rejects his kiss. Just as Mel moves in for another attempt, Lara turns to find that Herman is at her party and handsomer than ever. Outraged at being outdone by a wildebeest, Mel challenges Herman to a fight in which they will run at each other full force and collide horns. Determined to win Lara's heart, Herman agrees.
As the two charge at each other, Herman suddenly realizes that he must be true to himself and dunks his head underwater, changing back into an ugly beast. Mel stops short at Herman's transformation and runs away, screeching. Despite his victory, Herman is sad that he is ugly again and begins to troop away with Rafiki until he is stopped by Lara, who admires him for his bravery. She then dunks her head underwater, revealing herself to be ugly as well, and the two share a romantic kiss.
When Rafiki is about to take a nap, he runs into his nephew, Nefu. Nefu tells his uncle that his parents are at the fine country for a getaway weekend and that he wanted to stay with him instead of going with his parents. He tells his uncle that he wants to be a shaman just like him, with the older baboon teaching him how he draws on his tree and how he makes magic.
Rafiki takes Nefu to his storage room, telling him that he has to stack the shelves with his golden gourds, which are the key to his magical connection. He then takes his nephew to the gourd trees and makes him go back and fourth to pick up the gourds and place them in the shelves in the room without any help.
When Nefu goes in the room with few of the gourds, the gourds magically place themselves in the shelves. The young baboon believes that Rafiki tricked him into doing his chores and he decides to use Rafiki's stick to make the gourd trees come to life and place the gourds in the room for him. Later when the room is completely filled with gourds, one of the trees continues throwing more in the room, with Nefu trying to get it to stop.
When the tree refuses to stop throwing the gourds in the room, Nefu uses the stick to make lightning strike the tree. But then it gets very stormy and the wind breaks Rafiki's stick in half. Nefu then runs into his uncle and the two baboons go back in the room. Rafiki sees that the room is now filled with gourds, but he becomes suspicious as he believes that Nefu had help, which the young baboon denies. The tree comes back to life and throws more gourds in the room. After Rafiki sees the tree, he wonders what happened to stick, showing Nefu how it was given to him. Nefu then explains what happened and says that he'll never mess with magic again.
After Rafiki forgives Nefu, he shows his nephew that he has more sticks in his closet. He then goes outside and uses his magic to turn things back to normal. He then forces Nefu to return the extra gourds back to the trees, offering him part of his old magic stick for him to use for help. Nefu, however, decides to do the chore on his own instead, which Rafiki replies that it is very wise of him. When the two baboons go back in the storage room, Nefu accidentally turns the tree into another color, showing that he still has a long way to go to reach his uncle's magic skills.
Rafiki paints a picture of Timon and Pumbaa on his tree, but when he puts a yellow line above them, some the paint goes down between them, which makes Rafiki become suspicious.
When morning arises, Rafiki comes and sees Timon and Pumbaa with their backs turned at each other and the meteorite between them, much to the baboon's interest. Rafiki then hits Timon and Pumbaa on the head with his stick to "knock some sense into them." He then explains to the two what exactly happened the previous night.
Rafiki tells Timon and Pumbaa that the meteorite landing between the two means that they are no longer Bestest Best Friends and that they should no longer use the word "we" as it refers to the duo together. He then suggests that Pumbaa should put the meteorite back up where it belongs while Timon has nothing to do with it. After Rafiki walks off, Pumbaa tries to throw the meteorite back up where it belongs while Timon is sitting on a sun bench reading a magazine.
After Pumbaa fails to throw the meteorite back up in the sky, Timon is about to tell his friend how can achieve doing so until he is interrupted by Rafiki, who is making sure that the meerkat's not helping Pumbaa as he believes they are no longer friends. When the baboon leaves, Timon comes up with a plan on how he could make Pumbaa put the meteorite back up where it belongs while he has nothing to do with it. He suggest that they should climb a really high mountain.
While walking on the mountain, Pumbaa becomes tired of carrying the meteorite, leading to Timon carrying it (considering it to be an exercise rather than a help) until he becomes just as tired. Therefore, Pumbaa suggests that he should carry it without any help from his friend. When Timon and Pumbaa get to the top, Pumbaa is about to try to throw the meteorite back up once again, but then he is stopped by Timon, who tells him that if he does so, the meteorite will fall all the way down and they will have to climb up the mountain again. The meerkat then tells his friend to relax while he builds something, which is a net tied between two trees. Pumbaa comments that the net looks like it would be perfect to use to get the meteorite back up in the sky and suggests that he should build one as well, but Timon suggests that he can "purchase" the one he built.
Pumbaa uses the net to send the meteorite back up where it belongs and this time, he succeeds. Timon, Pumbaa, and Rafiki are elated, and then after hearing Timon and Pumbaa using the word "we," Rafiki goes to the duo. Timon and Pumbaa explain to the baboon that Pumbaa putting the meteorite back where it belongs while he has nothing to do with it does not necessarily mean they are no longer friends. Rafiki is delighted by the two friends proving him wrong and states that they were not helping each other after all.
When Rafiki walks off, Timon and Pumbaa state that they have really been helping each other all along and suggest that they should not let Rafiki know. The two then go back to their stargazing, happy that nothing will ever come between their friendship. Meanwhile, Rafiki fixes the part of the yellow paint that went down between Timon and Pumbaa and puts the other half of it above the two, as it implies that they will always be Bestest Best Friends.
Rafiki is seen meditating while Timon and Pumbaa are on a taxi, as they take the woodpecker to Bora Bora to throw him into the volcano.
Timon and Pumbaa are having a bitter argument. When the two get ready to fight, Rafiki quickly steps in and tries to stop them. Timon believes that Rafiki is going to use magic to resolve their differences, but the baboon tells him that a fight can only be stopped by the participants themselves and then declares that he is going to show them how to do so.
Rafiki, Timon, and Pumbaa are at Rafiki's tree. Rafiki makes the two draw pictures of each other. When they're done, Rafiki looks at Pumbaa's drawing of Timon, which is really good. However, when Rafiki looks at Timon's drawing of Pumbaa, the drawing is crudely drawn and has insults of the warthog. Pumbaa gets angry about that and ruins his nice drawing by scribbling on Timon's face and writing "Kick Me" around it. Timon and Pumbaa then fight and Rafiki stops them by hitting them on the head with his stick.
For the second attempt on how to make Timon and Pumbaa resolve their differences, Rafiki makes the duo act like each other. When Timon has his turn on imitating Pumbaa, a crocodile appears and attacks the meerkat, while Pumbaa imitates Timon.
Timon, Pumbaa, and Rafiki are in Rafiki's storage room, which has voodoo dolls on the shelves. He makes the two take a stuffed animal that they view each other as. When Timon takes a voodoo doll donkey and Pumbaa takes a voodoo doll snake, Rafiki tells the two to do what they would like to do to each other. Timon and Pumbaa then attack the voodoo dolls, which affect a live donkey and a live snake.
Next, Rafiki tries hypnosis, which is to have Timon and Pumbaa remember their happiest times together. However, this attempt fails as Timon and Pumbaa state that they hate each other, first in a childish way and then in a Shakespearean style.
Rafiki tries one more attempt to make Timon and Pumbaa friends again, which is to try to make them hug each other. However, Timon and Pumbaa do so by turning into sumo wrestler and squeeze each other tight. Enraged, Rafiki gives up and tells Timon and Pumbaa to fight it out.
Timon and Pumbaa are now fighting at a wrestling match, with Zazu hired as their judge. After all the rounds end in a tie, Timon and Pumbaa realize how hardworking and tiring fighting is. They then put their differences aside and become friends again, with Rafiki watching them in happiness, indicating that his plan on making the duo fight it out worked.
After Zazu falls asleep from trying to find the one animal he forgot to count on his list, he runs into Rafiki. When he asks Rafiki if he knows which animal he forgot to count, the baboon shows him his reflection, making him realize that he forgot to include himself on the list. Zazu therefore flies back to his tree to get his job back.
Rafiki is seen presenting a newborn lion cub to the animals of the Pride Lands, while Chromosome Quint's aircraft is about to fall and destroy Pride Rock.
Zazu informs Rafiki about Simba's royal reputation being at stake, and is a bit concerned about Timon and Pumbaa. While he knows why Pumbaa is an outcast from his sounder (which is due to his gas odor), he is researching the reason Timon is an outcast from his colony.
Zazu attempts to have Rafiki to write a report on Timon's story as he has an important meeting with Simba, but Rafiki decides to tell the story to Zazu instead. After learning how Timon became an outcast from his colony, Zazu becomes interested in knowing what happened to him and the duke's daughter, Tatiana, and how Timon and Pumbaa first met. Therefore, Rafiki continues the story.
When Rafiki gets to the part where Timon has to choose between anything in the world he could ever want or being Pumbaa's friend, he decides to stop, as he realizes that Zazu doesn't have time to listen to the rest of the story due to his important meeting with Simba. Simba then shows up to find Zazu and asks Rafiki to finish the story, which he does.
Rafiki and Simba make Timon and Pumbaa clean up a mess they made of a concert stage.
As the Friendship of the Year Award is around the corner, Rafiki dresses up as he is the host of the event. When Zazu shows up, Rafiki tells the hornbill that he has come up with some jokes for the ceremony. Zazu states that the ceremony is boring as the friends just basically talk about their friendship. Rafiki tries to come up with an idea to make this year's ceremony interesting.
The Friendship of the Year Award begins. After Rafiki makes a few corny jokes, which none of the animals find funny, he tells Timon and Pumbaa to tell the secret of their long and everlasting friendship, which is honesty. When everyone becomes bored of Timon and Pumbaa's speech, Rafiki casts a Truth Spell on the duo to make them say how they really feel about each other. The spell involves a bee stinging Timon and Pumbaa to make them tell the truth, which has Timon criticizing Pumbaa for his appearance and Pumbaa criticizing Timon for being a know-nothing-know-it-all.
Rafiki then suggests that it is now time for the feast. He asks a wildebeest waiter to place plenty of mashed potato bugs and cockroach chili in front of their guests. When everyone is having a feast, Timon and Pumbaa argue over what they said about each other while they were having their speech. When Rafiki places the microphone between them, Timon and Pumbaa accidentally hit the baboon with their food. Believing that they will not earn the Great Gorde of Friendship due to their behavior, Timon and Pumbaa start blame each other and have a food fight.
After the food fight, Timon and Pumbaa start to tell positive truths to each other. Rafiki reveals to everyone that he cast the Truth Spell on Timon and Pumbaa, hoping that he made this year's ceremony interesting. But no one is impressed by Rafiki's action and they throw food at the baboon.
Later, Timon and Pumbaa walk off with the Great Gorde of Friendship. The two friends apologize to each other for what they said earlier due to the Truth Spell Rafiki put on them.
When Pumbaa asks Timon why they are walking to the top of a hill, Timon replies that Rafiki said that there's going to be a meteor shower tonight.
As the sun is setting, Timon scolds Pumbaa for not waking him up at noon, which the warthog replies that he forgot. Timon then confronts his friend about his bad scent, which he denies but soon admits that it does smell. Pumbaa then scolds Timon for being obnoxious, which the meerkat denies.
Timon comes up with a way for himself and Pumbaa to put up with each other, which is to ask Rafiki to cast one of his magic spells to remove their bad habits once and for all. However, Rafiki tells them that casting personality spells is dangerous, but decides to do so as the duo insists he gives it a try.
Rafiki is now about to cast the spell on Timon and Pumbaa and he tells them not to move while he does so. While the baboon casts the spell, a grasshopper lands on Pumbaa’s snout, making Timon and Pumbaa fight over it. This resulted in Timon and Pumbaa having each other’s personalities.
Rafiki tries to cast the spell once again without Timon and Pumbaa moving, but the duo starts fighting, resulting in them having each other’s bodies, much to Rafiki’s annoyance in them disobeying him. The baboon suggests that they need to get closer to the lightning to cast the spell. While they are on their way, Timon and Pumbaa get laughed at by some other animals.
After Timon confronts a giraffe and an ostrich for making fun of them, the meerkat admits that he can be obnoxious. Rafiki then makes Timon realize that he tends to compensate for his size by being mean to Pumbaa and makes Pumbaa realize that he tends to let Timon get away with it. The two friends then feel guilty for their behaviors.
Timon, Pumbaa, and Rafiki are now at the top of a hill, with Rafiki once again trying to cast the spell without Timon and Pumbaa moving. As the spell progresses, Timon promises to Pumbaa that he’ll never be mean to him again, leading to the duo to hug. Their hug makes the spell result in Timon becoming headless while his head is on Pumbaa’s.
After catching Timon’s body, Rafiki reverses the spell, resulting in Timon and Pumbaa turning back to their normal selves. They learn that they should stop trying to change each other, with Rafiki telling them that everyone has flaws and peculiarities, which is what makes them interesting and they should try to be tolerant of everybody. Timon, however, doesn’t believe that he has anything to be put up with, making Pumbaa sarcastically tell his friend that he’s perfect, much to the meerkat’s happiness.
Rafiki finds Timon and Pumbaa arguing over whether or not Pumbaa is jealous of Timon’s success. Timon tells Rafiki that he beat Pumbaa at a bug-catching contest and shows him a trophy. The meerkat then claims that Pumbaa has a problem with him being the winner, which the warthog replies that his real problem is his friend bragging about winning.
As Timon continues to brag, Pumbaa challenges Timon to see if he can spend the whole day without bragging and the meerkat says that if he does so, his tail will grow. While the two friends go fetch some bugs, Rafiki puts a spell on Timon’s tail so that it will really grow every time he brags.
Later, Timon starts to brag about himself and as a result, his tail grows longer. When he sees this, Rafiki appears in a form of a cricket. The baboon tells the meerkat that he will lose the challenge if Pumbaa sees his tail being longer than it normally is. Therefore, Timon has to try to hide it.
As Timon and Pumbaa continue their walk, Timon continues to brag, making his grow more and more. When Rafiki reappears, he sees that Timon turned his tail into a giant ball. Timon’s tail starts rolling down, causing the meerkat to run from it and while he does so, he continues to brag, resulting his tail to grow even longer.
After Timon runs into Pumbaa again, his bragging causes his tail to grow again. When Pumbaa leaves, Rafiki decides that Timon is now on his own. Seeing how big his tail got, Timon asks Pumbaa for his help, which the warthog replies by claiming that he has been bragging. He eventually sees that Timon’s tail has grown. Timon’s tail starts to bounce and float into outer space, causing Timon to rise. In order to prevent going to space, the meerkat holds on to Pumbaa’s tusks while Pumbaa hangs on to a tree. Rafiki appears and tells Timon to be honest with himself. When Timon apologizes and confesses, Rafiki turns the meerkat’s tail back to its normal size.
When the conflict is over, Pumbaa realizes that the cricket is after all Rafiki. Meanwhile, Timon learns his lesson and offers his trophy to Pumbaa, telling him that while he’s second place as a bug catcher, he is first place as his friend. When Pumbaa accepts the trophy and is going to catch some bugs with his friend, Rafiki tells Timon that they can put everything that happened that day behind them.
After having their bag of bugs stolen by Pimon and Tumbaa, Timon and Pumbaa ask Rafiki to teach kung-fu. Rafiki says that he will do so after Timon snatches some bugs from his hands, but instead he teaches the two how to fight first. Rafiki cuts Timon and Pumbaa's hair, puts fighting belts on them, and nicknames them "Timon-Yang" and "Pumbaa-Yin." The baboon shows the two how to fight by using bananas, making them squeeze the fruits and stirring them.
After the work, Timon sees the bugs on Rafiki's hands and sneakily tries to get them, but Rafiki catches him and hits him on the head with his stick. The baboon tells Timon that he's not ready and Timon tells him that he hasn't taught him and Pumbaa anything about kung-fu fighting. When Timon and Pumbaa are about to leave, but Rafiki tells them that he has taught them how to fight and shows them the skill they used with the bananas by using their bodies this time. When Timon and Pumbaa succeed, Timon snatches the bugs from Rafiki's hand and he and Pumbaa are ready to fight Pimon and Tumbaa to retrieve their bag of bugs.
While Pimon and Tumbaa are picking on a squirrel, Timon and Pumbaa confront the bullies and prepare to fight them. After Timon and Pumbaa hit Pimon and Tumbaa with a banana, the bullies trick Timon and Pumbaa into thinking that they're seriously hurt and give Timon and Pumbaa another wedgie.
While Pimon and Tumbaa laugh at Timon and Pumbaa, Rafiki appears and tells the two friends to use Hakuna Matata to fight. Listening to Rafiki's advice, Timon and Pumbaa use their own weapons to fight the bullies. After the two friends defeat the bullies, Timon has an idea on what he and Pumbaa can do with them.
As Timon tries to restore Pumbaa's memories after the warthog gets struck by lightning, he brings in Rafiki, along with Simba, Scar, and Piper.
After Bunga comes up with an easy solution to fix a flood, Rafiki approaches and starts to compliment honey badgers on their wisdom, but he is interrupted when he accidentally drops the fruit he's carrying. Bunga doesn't wait for Rafiki to finish and proclaims that he's the smartest animal in the Pride Lands.
After the Pride Lands are saved, the Lion Guard relaxes at a new water hole created by the floodwaters, where Bunga is warned by Rafiki not to bask in a patch of flowers. Scoffing, Bunga reminds Rafiki that he'd called him the wisest animal in the Pride Lands, and Rafiki corrects him, saying that honey badgers are only smart when they think things through. Sure enough, Bunga's basking spot turns into a puddle of mud, and Bunga admits that he can live with not being the smartest.
When Ono is injured on the job, the Lion Guard brings him to Rafiki, who constructs an eye patch for the egret and tells him to stay out of action for three days.
Not long after this, Rafiki can be seen attempting to paint a picture of the Lion Guard, but it keeps turning out wrong. In the midst of the proceedings, Beshte rushes up to his friends with bad news, and the Lion Guard is forced to rush away. Ono, who has been left behind, comforts Rafiki on his painting, reassuring him that his new painting looks just like the others, and Rafiki realizes that Kion's Lion Guard is not like the others, for they are not just teammates; they are friends. He thanks Ono for his help, and Ono realizes that he must help his friends no matter his condition. Giving a hasty goodbye to Rafiki, Ono flies off to rejoin his team.
After the mission, the Lion Guard returns to Rafiki, who has redone the painting so that Kion is among his friends, not just his teammates. Ono compliments the baboon's work, and Rafiki comments that such words mean a lot to him, as they come from the keenest of sight.
At the Kupatana celebration, Rafiki announces the blossoming of the baobab blossoms.
Rafiki can be seen painting in the Lair of the Lion Guard. While he's distracted, Bunga steals his staff and plays around with his paintings. During one such session, Bunga throws the staff on top of Rafiki's paints, spilling them across the cave.
Later, Rafiki explains the story of each painting, including a tale about Nala's father. He then tasks Bunga with cleaning up the spilled paint.
When Muhimu says one of Rafiki's common phrases, "It is time," Bunga retorts, "Don't get all Rafiki on me, Muhimu!"
A group of young animals gathers at Rafiki's tree for a story about the Zimwi, a legendary creature that stalks the Pride Lands during the full moon. To the young ones' horror, Bunga points out that the moon is full that night, and Rafiki warns the group that they may soon hear the Zimwi's call.
Rafiki continues his story by singing "Beware the Zimwi", in which he describes the Zimwi as being an eight-legged creature as tall as two giraffes, with long spikes and large teeth. Though the others young animals are frightened by Rafiki's story, Kion scoffs at the notion of the Zimwi being anything more than a tall tale. Rafiki bids the young ones good night and warns them to not let the Zimwi bite.
In the Lair of the Lion Guard, Fuli beats Ono in a race, and Ono refuses to race her again. Bunga asks Beshte and Rafiki if they will race Fuli instead, but they both refuse, with Rafiki wondering who would be foolish enough to challenge the fastest in the Pride Lands to a race. Just then, Rafiki notices that Kion is missing, and Bunga explains that Kion has gone into the Outlands with Jasiri to help deal with a pride of lions.
Hearing this, Rafiki reacts in horror and informs the Lion Guard that Kion has encountered the Outsiders. He takes them to a wall of paintings and explains that Simba had banished the Outsiders to the Outlands after they had retained loyalties to Scar, Simba's evil uncle. Zira had insisted that her son, Kovu, be king since he was Scar's chosen heir, but Simba had asserted that Scar was not the true king. The two had engaged in a battle, and Simba had banished Zira and her followers to the Outlands after a crushing defeat. Rafiki warns the Lion Guard that there will be trouble if Zira finds out that Kion is Simba's son, and the team takes off to save their friend.
Rafiki appears briefly during the musical sequence "When You're Running With the King".
While patrolling the Pride Lands in order to insure that no one ruins the Savannah Summit, the Lion Guard hears Zazu squawking for help. They follow the noise to where Rafiki is attempting to paint a portrait of the baboon leader and Mbeya, the leader of the rhinoceroses, who is sitting atop Zazu. As an amused Rafiki looks on, the Lion Guard demands an explanation, and Mbeya furiously explains that Zazu had called him clumsy. The baboon leader clarifies that it had been him who had called Mbeya clumsy and then accuses Mbeya of having bumped into him. After the Lion Guard resolves the argument, Rafiki laughs at the absurdity of the situation.
Rafiki paints in his tree until he hears something in the wind and hurries off.
Later, Makini begins her training with Rafiki as his new apprentice, but her impatience keeps her from making any progress. Seeing this, Rafiki tells her that the hardest part of listening is finding the quiet to hear, and sends her out to find her bakora staff, the staff carried by all Royal Mjuzis.
After Makini finds her staff, she and Rafiki go to the Lair of the Lion Guard. At the Lair, Makini asks Rafiki if there is a way to talk to Scar, and Rafiki explains that it depends on if the Great Lion is good or bad. The Great Lions of the Past are in the sky and their voices are in the wind, and they are the lions that appear when Kion uses the Roar. However, the Evil Lions of the Past like Scar appear in fire if they are unleashed by the Roar and the bakora staff. Rafiki then introduces Makini to the royal family.
Later, Rafiki is present as Ma Tembo searches for water. Makini orders everyone to be quiet so that Ma Tembo can hear, and Ma Tembo subsequently locates a water source. Pleased with Makini's wisdom, Rafiki smiles proudly.
In the Pride Lands, Rafiki teaches his young apprentice, Makini, to draw paintings according to the whispers of the Great Kings of the Past. In the midst of their lesson, the mandrills are interrupted by a trio of young animals: Chama, Furaha, and Mzaha, who declare that they want to live with Rafiki at his tree. Though Rafiki is hesitant to accept them, he eventually gives in to their pleas and allows them to stay.
Presently, however, Rafiki leaves his tree to find peace and quiet, and the Lion Guard sees him meditating in a different tree. They question him as to why he is not training Makini, and he admits that he is trying to escape his noisy new neighbors.
Kion wonders why three young animals would be on their own, and Rafiki suggests that the Lion Guard return them to their own kind.
With Rafiki in the lead, the Lion Guard ventures to Rafiki's tree, where they find Makini having a bug-eating competition with Chama, Furaha, and Mzaha. Kion questions the three young animals as to why they are not with their herds. The three admit that they are outcasts, but Rafiki insists that they must return to their families, for it is part of their duty to the Circle of Life. Seeing the importance of Rafiki's words, the three young animals agree to return to their herds.
Chama, Furaha, and Mzaha are unable to fit in with their herds, however, and they decide to return to Rafiki's tree. There, they disrupt yet another lesson from Rafiki, who orders them to return to their herds and leave Makini to her training. Reluctantly, the three agree and leave the mandrills to their work.
Presently, sparks from a nearby fire begin to drift across the savanna, igniting the grass beneath Rafiki's tree. Makini and Rafiki notice the danger too late and find themselves trapped on a branch high above the fire. Ono happens to notice the danger and warns Kion of the situation. Before the Lion Guard can reach Rafiki's tree, however, Chama, Furaha, and Mzaha arrive and lead the mandrills to safety. They then begin to put out the fire themselves.
the Lion Guard takes off to save Makini and Rafiki, only to find that Chama, Furaha, and Mzaha are battling the fire themselves. The Lion Guard joins in, and together, the two groups put out the fire. Rafiki thanks them profusely for their help and, as a token of thanks, offers Chama, Furaha, and Mzaha a home at his tree. The three are honored by Rafiki's offer, but admit that they have found a new home near Big Springs for their family.
That night, Rafiki looks in on pride as Makini paints for the royal family.
When Kenge bites and paralyzes three members of the Lion Guard, Ono goes to fetch Rafiki to help. When Ono arrives at Rafiki's tree, however, Makini explains that Rafiki is away for the day and volunteers her help instead.
Rafiki teaches his young apprentice, Makini, about the holidays of the Pride Lands. One such holiday intrigues Makini, and Rafiki explains that it is called "Christmas" and that it had been brought to the kingdom by two outsiders, Timon and Pumbaa. He then launches into the tale, explaining that Christmas always begins when a large star shines brightly in the sky, lasting throughout the day and night.
After Rafiki finishes his tale, Makini comments that Christmas is a celebration of the Circle of Life, to which Rafiki agrees. He then taps the Christmas painting, bringing it to life, and the star at the top begins to twinkle.
Due to a severe drought, the Lion Guard is forced to break up a fight between Twiga's herd and Vuruga Vuruga's herd. Kion takes the problem to his father, Simba, who questions Rafiki on how past kings have dealt with a water shortage. Rafiki is doubtful that the paintings of the past will reveal anything to him, though one such painting depicts a king leading the Pride Landers to a mysterious watering hole.
Makini recognizes the watering hole and explains that she has seen it before in a neighboring kingdom, the Back Lands, and that it belongs to a herd of zebras. Simba deduces that the herd must belong to Dhahabu, and instructs Kion to ask the zebras for permission to use the watering hole in exchange for whatever boon they desire.
Janja's clan close in on a meditating Rafiki. As they stalk closer, a fire catches nearby. Just then, Rafiki notices the encroaching hyenas and moves in for the attack, defeating them with unexpectedly efficient martial prowess. In the midst of the tangle, Janja spots the Lion Guard closing in and realizes that their plan is falling apart.
The Lion Guard joins forces with Rafiki and defeats the entirety of Janja's clan. Just then, Reirei and her pack arrive to help, and a fight instigates, in which the Lion Guard and Rafiki beat back against the combined force of the hyenas and the jackals.
After the battle, Rafiki approaches the Lion Guard and thanks them for their help in saving his life. He then notices Kion approaching the site of the fire, which has died down to embers and burned grass. Rafiki joins him and notices a strange mark carved into the dirt, which he believes represents a great evil. Greatly troubled, Rafiki decides to consult the paintings of the past about the matter.
At Pride Rock, the Pride Landers sing "Good King Simba" in honor of the Kumbuka celebration. However, in the midst of the festivities, Sumu stings Simba's tail and then banks a hasty retreat as Simba collapses to the ground. Rafiki rushes to the king's side and examines the sting, determining that it had been inflicted by a scorpion. Kion sends Ono to find the scorpion, and together, the Lion Guard chases him into the Outlands.
With the scorpion gone, the Lion Guard returns to Pride Rock, where Simba has weakened severely. Rafiki explains that the only cure is volcanic ash, which can be found in the Outlands, and tasks the Lion Guard with retrieving it. Bunga offers to carry the gourd that will hold the ash, but when he almost breaks it, Rafiki orders Makini to accompany the team.
The Lion Guard returns before sundown with the ash. Rafiki orders everyone to leave Simba to his recovery, but Kion insists that he must talk to his father. He then explains to Rafiki that Scar has returned, and Rafiki worriedly agrees that Kion must speak to Simba once the king has recovered.
At Pride Rock, Rafiki tasks Makini with finding Kongwe, who is the oldest and wisest animal in the Pride Lands. Beshte comments that Kongwe lives near the Urembo River, which is a half-day's walk from Pride Rock. Simba worries that this is too long of a delay, but Fuli volunteers to lend her assistance in order to speed up the trip.
That night, Rafiki is present as Kongwe assures her audience that the answer to defeating Scar will come in time.
Rafiki appears in a painting during the musical sequence, "Wisdom on the Walls".
Bunga visits Rafiki and receives instruction on how to fight with a stick. Each of Bunga's attempts ends in failure, but Rafiki encourages Bunga to keep practicing regardless.
At Mizimu Grove, Rafiki and Simba announce Makini's mpando mpaya, and Timon and Pumbaa perform their song ("Tujiinue"). In the midst of the celebration, the Army of Scar attacks, and the Pride Landers rise up to defend themselves. The battle pauses when Scar appears in the flames and threatens to overtake the entirety of the Pride Lands.
Some time later, Kion notices something on the ground and rushes off to speak to the Pride Landers. At Pride Rock, he interrupts Simba's somber opening statement and implores the Pride Landers to follow him to Mizimu Grove, where Makini's baobab tree seed has survived the fire. This inspires the Pride Landers to remain in the kingdom and work together to defeat Scar. Makini then plants her baobab tree as Rafiki looks on.
One sunrise in the Pride Lands, Rafiki and Simba look out from Pride Rock. Some time later, the pair greet the older Lion Guard, with Rafiki noting the group's maturity and Kion's growing power with the Roar of the Elders. When Simba decides that they must take the fight to Scar and his army, Rafiki eagerly supports Kion's reasoning that they can call upon various allies. On the dawn of the attack, Rafiki turns from the rising sun to announce that "It is time."
After Scar's defeat, Rafiki examines the injured Ono, and declares that healing Ono's injured eyes is beyond his own abilities. He then looks to Kion, who has been scarred by Ushari, and calls for Makini to bring tuliza to help with Kion's venom symptoms. Rafiki further reveals that Kion cannot be cured in the Pride Lands, but that his deteriorating condition can perhaps be healed at the Tree of Life. He and Makini note that they met at the Tree of Life, and Rafiki gives the Guard instructions on how to make their way there.
Rafiki is amused, though hardly surprised given Kion's history, when Kion adds Ono back to the Lion Guard as the Smartest after appointing Anga as the new Keenest of Sight. Later, as the Guard is leaving the Pride Lands, Rafiki announces that he is sending Makini along with them, both as a guide and to provide Kion with tuliza as needed. He is then pleased to note that many other Pride Landers have assembled to bid the Guard farewell.
Rafiki is mentioned by Ono, who notes that they are following a map of Rafiki's that he has memorized leading to the moja kwa moja stones.
Rafiki is mentioned on several occasions, with Makini noting that her parents, Kitendo and Fikiri, took her to the Tree of Life in order to meet him. They also come across one of his paintings, besides those on the moja kwa moja stones. In flashbacks, a young Makini is told about Rafiki by her parents, and later meets him and Janna at the Tree of Life. The younger Rafiki greets Makini fondly; in the present, his choice to send Makini along with the Guard persuades Kion to trust her judgment.
When the Guard encounters an inland sea, Makini recalls Rafiki speaking of the soothing properties of saltwater.
Bunga refers several times to Rafiki's warning that Kion's scar could eventually change his behavior.
Kion and Ono discusss Rafiki's map to the Tree of Life as they near the end of their journey.
Janna mentions Rafiki, guessing correctly that he sent the Lion Guard to the Tree of Life. She also recalls Makini's previous visit and first meeting with Rafiki. Nirmala also mentions Rafiki when Kion becomes frustrated with his healing process, reminding him that Rafiki sent him to the Tree of Life.
Rafiki's map is mentioned as the Guard make their way back to the Pride Lands.
When the Guard arrives at Pride Rock, Rafiki takes note of Makini's absence, and is amused to learn that she remained at the Tree of Life. As he explains, Queen Janna had predicted her place there, whereas Rafiki himself had believed Makini would succeed him in the Pride Lands. He later helps explain to the Guard the events behind the fall of Zira and reconciliation of the Outsiders and Simba's pride. As the Guard members are warmly welcomed home, Rafiki notices the approach of several of their friends with amusement.
Rafiki and Simba later chuckle over the Guard's happiness in returning to the Pride Lands, with Rafiki reminding Simba of his own experience. Rafiki later presides over the Battle of the Lion Guards, in which Kion's Guard competes with a new one formed by Vitani in their absence. After Kion's Guard surrender their roles to Vitani's, Rafiki is among the Pride Landers who travels to the Tree of Life with them. He attends Kion's wedding to Rani, Janna's granddaughter, and laughs happily after Makini completes the ceremony.
House of Mouse
Rafiki is a recurring guest in House of Mouse. Rafiki's most memorable scene is in the episode "The Stolen Cartoons," where Timon yells that there is a fly in Pumbaa's soup and that he wants one as well. Timon then asks what's in Simba's soup, and he replies that it is Rafiki, who is bathing in his soup.
Rafiki is given his own advertisement at the end of "King Larry Swings In," which promotes Rafiki's Royal Treatment, a service in which Rafiki can be hired to partake in special events like birthdays, tea parties, holidays, and puppet shows.
Rafiki is seen in the form of a trophy in the episode "Honest and Real!"
In this sequence of the Diamond Edition of the film, during the credits, Rafiki appears twice. The first time, he falls asleep on a rock during the shooting of a scene, and Simba tries to wake him up, shaking his shoulders, but fails and proposes to continue filming tomorrow. The second time, Rafiki carries baby Simba to the edge of Pride Rock but stumbles and lets Simba fall from Pride Rock.
Rafiki appears at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meet-and-greet character. He hosts the Rafiki's Planet Watch area of Disney's Animal Kingdom, an area that hosts various conservation education programs and the park's veterinary facilities. One of the various shows inside the pavilion has Rafiki profiling different endangered species and telling guests how they can help them.
Rafiki can be seen in the Disney's Hollywood Studios version of the show. He replaces King Louie in the jungle sequence. He also appears onboard the riverboat with the other characters in the show's finale. In the Tokyo DisneySea version, Rafiki arrives after the jungle mash and showcases the Circle of Life.
Rafiki is a costumed character with a Disney Characters' Articulated Heads as the narrator of the former Magic Kingdom show.
Rafiki can be seen in the live show for the Disney Dream cruise ship. Rafiki is one of the "magic makers" to help an uptight father believe in magic. Rafiki is seen right after Grandmother Willow's sequence and uses the mystery of the animal kingdom to aid the father's imagination. Much like the Broadway version of The Lion King, Rafiki is portrayed by a woman.
In Adventureland, Rafiki notices a disturbance in the Circle of Life when he is informed that Scar has been revived from the dead by Hades. Rafiki also learns that Scar plans to gain immortality and destroy Adventureland. Rafiki guides the park guests on their quest to defeat the villainous lion. Rafiki also has his own spell card called "Rafiki's Wisdom Stick."
Personality and traits
|“||Oh, yes, the past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.
At his core, Rafiki is a royal adviser, able to utilize his shamanistic abilities and deep wisdom to benefit the many kings of the Pride Lands, from regal Mufasa to still-learning Simba. The old baboon appears to have abilities that none of the other characters understand, as he can read omens and signs in the wind and communicate with the Great Kings of the Past. His ability to synchronize with nature gives him a good sense of the world, clearing his thoughts for wisdom and leading him to be at the right place at the right time.
Not only is Rafiki in tune with the world around him, but he is as wise as his years suggest. From the very beginning, he is shown to be a respected figure, as the animals part before him during Simba's presentation to let him pass. He is also able to recognize a good leader when he sees one, lamenting Scar's rise to power and the death of a noble line of rulers. In recognizing good leadership, Rafiki is able to establish order once more by bringing back a lion of noble blood, convincing him of his own accountability. In doing so, Rafiki establishes himself as one with a good sense of responsibility, as he has taken the time to bring Simba back himself, not leaving it up to the young lion to figure out on his own.
Though insightful on the inside, Rafiki does not always match up on the outside. Loud-mouthed and as outgoing as they come, the old baboon does not fear judgment, taking it upon himself to be as annoying and energetic as possible in order to bring about order in the Pride Lands. His methods are often bothersome to the other creatures around him, as he doesn't mind crossing social barriers in order to nudge others in the right direction. This can be seen when he chants nonstop in Simba's ear and tugs provokingly at Kovu's tail. His energy is plentiful, and he is capable of outrunning a lion when pent up on excitement. However, when this energy is vented in anger, Rafiki proves himself to be a rather dangerous foe, capable of taking on a large group of hyenas single-handedly. His high-strung personality can be deadly, though it is more often than not used for good.
Despite these odd bursts of vivacity, Rafiki is a gentle caretaker and a loyal friend. When handling infant Simba, he is shown to be soft in his movements and eager to play, shaking the gourds on his staff above the infant's head. He is also courteous of the child's parents, always looking to them for assurance before handling the cub, and harbors friendly relations with both, though more so with Mufasa. Since the lion's adolescence, Rafiki has been watching over the Pride Lands, devoting himself to keeping his promise to Mufasa's father, Ahadi. In keeping this promise, which spans the course of many years, Rafiki establishes a covenant with the royal family, devoting himself entirely to their kingdom and their betterment. Dedicated and loyal, he has been a constant heart of the kingdom and continues to serve even in his old age.
- Kingdom Hearts II - (2005) - (video game) - Robert Guillaume
- The Lion Guard - (2015–2019) - (TV series) - Khary Payton
- Rafiki's name means "friend" in Swahili.
- Rafiki is animated by James Baxter in The Lion King. He is animated by Alexs Stadermann in The Lion King 1½.
- In The Lion King, Rafiki is referred to as a "baboon." In actuality, he is a mandrill. This mistake is rectified in The Lion Guard.
- In addition, mandrills do not have tails (at least not ones that are the length of Rafiki's). In the film's extended version DVD, there is a commentary by an animator, who admits that he'd known this, but given Rafiki a tail anyway in order to make him more monkey-like.
- Rafiki's Swahili chant loosely translates to: "Thank you very much. Squash banana. You're a baboon, and I'm not."
- During production, Rafiki's name was Kwashi.
- In early drafts of the film, Rafiki was a cheetah instead of a mandrill.
- Online Swahili - English Dictionary. African Languages. Retrieved on September 27, 2020.
- James Baxter. IMDb. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved on September 27, 2020.
- Alexs Stadermann. IMDb. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved on September 27, 2020.
- 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.
- Alex Simmons. A Tale of Two Brothers. Grolier Books. ISBN 0717283488.
- The Lion King Diamond Edition (Disc 1), Pride of The Lion King. Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 2011.
|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":|
|Season 3 of The Lion Guard|
|"Battle for the Pride Lands (Part One)":
|"Battle for the Pride Lands (Part Two)":
|"The Accidental Avalanche":
|"Ghost of the Mountain":
|"Marsh of Mystery":
|"Journey of Memories":|
|"The Race to Tuliza":
|"Friends to the End":
|"The Tree of Life":
|"The River of Patience":
|"Little Old Ginterbong":
|"Poa the Destroyer":
|"Long Live the Queen":|
|"The Lake of Reflection":
|"Triumph of the Roar":
|"Journey to the Pride Lands":
|"Return to the Pride Lands":|