Brown, cream, and tan
Dark ear rims
|Also known as||
Mom (by Simba)
Queen of Pride Rock (formerly)
During Mufasa's reign, Sarabi served as his queen and the leader of his hunting party. However, when Mufasa and Simba purportedly died in a stampede, she was forced to serve Mufasa's younger brother, Scar, instead. Over the seasons, Scar's hyena minions took over the Pride Lands, and the kingdom fell into disrepair as a result. Eventually, Sarabi condemned Scar's poor leadership and helped a full-grown Simba overthrow him.
Sarabi lived in the Pride Lands as a member of a pride of lions. She was presumably betrothed to Mufasa, the prince heir of Pride Rock, as per the law of the Pride Lands monarchy. As a result, she became Mufasa's mate, the queen consort of the Pride Lands, and the leader of the pride's hunting party. The couple eventually had a son named Simba, whom they betrothed to Nala.
One morning, Mufasa called the Pride Landers to Pride Rock to witness the presentation of Simba. Once the crowd had congregated and Rafiki had ascended Pride Rock, Mufasa went to Sarabi and nuzzled her. She licked Simba, who was resting in her paws, and the cub turned to spectate Rafiki. In turn, the mandrill shook his gourds over Simba's head, then used the juice from one of his gourds to mark the cub's forehead. After anointing Simba, Rafiki took the cub gently into his arms, carried him to the promontory, and lifted him high for all the animals to see. As the gathered Pride Landers cheered and bowed, Mufasa and Sarabi looked on proudly.
Seasons later, when Simba was a cub, Sarabi slept beside Mufasa in the den of Pride Rock. Simba arrived to arouse his father, and Sarabi reminded Mufasa that his son was awake. To this, Mufasa remarked that Simba was her son before sunrise. With enough pestering from Simba, both parents awoke and strode out of the den. Before Simba ascended Pride Rock with his father, he nuzzled Sarabi, and she gave him an encouraging nudge.
Later, Sarabi rested beside Sarafina, who was bathing her daughter, Nala. Simba arrived and asked Nala if she wanted to visit a "great" place with him, but Sarabi grabbed him and began to bathe him. Despite Simba's struggles, Sarabi held on to him and finished giving him a bath. Afterward, Simba asked if he and Nala had permission to leave, and Sarabi questioned where they wanted to go. Simba lied that the place he wanted to visit was around the water hole, and Sarabi gave the cubs permission to go. However, before they left, she told them to bring Zazu along as a babysitter.
After Mufasa and Simba purportedly perished in a stampede, Sarabi mourned alongside the lionesses. Scar delivered a eulogy to the grief-stricken pride, during which Zazu placed a comforting wing on Sarabi's paw. In the midst of Scar's eulogy, he announced that he was letting the hyenas into the Pride Lands, which shocked and devastated the pride. As Scar's hyena allies swarmed into Pride Rock, the lionesses looked on helplessly.
In the following seasons, the Pride Lands fell into disrepair, and most of the herds moved on. As a result, the lionesses could not catch enough food to sustain the pride or their hyena allies.
Battle of Pride Rock
One day, Scar summoned Sarabi to Pride Rock, where he demanded to know why the hunting party was not catching enough prey. Sarabi explained that the herds had moved on, but Scar accused her of not looking hard enough. She retorted that it was "over" and that the pride must leave Pride Rock if they wanted to survive. However, Scar refused to leave his kingdom and proclaimed that, as the king, he could do whatever he wanted. Disgusted and enraged, Sarabi started to disfavorably compare Scar to Mufasa, which incited him into striking her across the face.
Just then, a full-grown Simba emerged and rushed to Sarabi's side. At first, she mistook him for Mufasa, but when he denied this, she recognized him as her son and questioned how he could still be alive. Simba merely replied that it did not matter because he was home. The two then shared an affectionate nuzzle.
Simba turned to confront Scar and demanded that he abdicate the throne. Nala soon arrived with the lionesses, who helped Sarabi to her feet, and the pride showed their support of Simba's right to rule. However, Scar forced Simba to confess that he had been responsible for Mufasa's death, and a horrified Sarabi begged him to deny the accusation. Simba admitted that it was true, and Scar accused him of being a murderer. Eventually, Scar let it slip to Simba that he, in fact, had killed Mufasa, and Simba forced his uncle to state the truth in front of the pride.
After Scar and the hyenas were defeated, Sarabi nuzzled Simba and watched proudly as he ascended Pride Rock. Upon reaching the edge of the promontory, Simba roared over his kingdom, and the lionesses roared back their assent.
Seasons later, when Scar's spirit returned to the Pride Lands for revenge, Sarabi's grandson, Kion, and his Lion Guard passed through the Lair of the Lion Guard to view cave paintings of the Pride Lands' past. Rafiki's apprentice, Makini, began to show the friends several paintings of the Pride Lands' history, including a painting of Mufasa and Sarabi during Simba's presentation.
Sarabi is a large, long-bodied, and muscular lioness. She is notably taller and more heavily-built than the other lionesses, as she was able to stand nose to nose with Scar. Additionally, she is a powerful huntress and fighter, and displayed exceptional fighting prowess during the battle of Pride Rock. Unlike most of the lionesses, she has square-like features, including a boxy muzzle, a broad chest, and a rectangular body.
Sarabi's main pelt is medium brown, while her chest, muzzle, eye rims, and paws are tan. She has dark ear rims and a light brown nose. Her eyes are orange.
Personality and traits
Sarabi is affectionate, kind-hearted, and maternal. She is especially loving toward her son, Simba, and tolerates his antics with patience and understanding. She is quite perceptive when it comes to her son's intentions, as she immediately caught on to his mischievous scheme to visit the Elephant Graveyard and so forced him to bring along Zazu as a babysitter. She ultimately does what is best for him, even if he chafes at her decisions and interference.
In times of tragedy, Sarabi is persistent and strong-willed. She continued to lead her pride's hunting party despite the purported deaths of her mate and son. Unlike Scar, who did not respect the Circle of Life, she demonstrated an understanding of the delicate balance between predator and prey, and tried to explain to Scar that his reign had stripped the kingdom of its food. When wronged or insulted, Sarabi can be headstrong, temperamental, and unafraid to dole out criticism, especially in the defense of her pride.
Sarabi is brave, ferocious, and dutiful. She was quick to throw her support behind a full-grown Simba and joined her fellow lionesses in challenging Scar's rule. During the ensuing fight, she charged into battle fearlessly and fought with ferocity and zeal. Additionally, she showed her loyalty to Simba by accepting his right to rule and affirming his claim to kingship over the Pride Lands.
- The role of Sarabi in the stage musical version of The Lion King was originated by Gina Breedlove.
- Sarabi's name means "mirage, optical illusion" in Swahili.
- A lioness who strongly resembles Sarabi appears in the "The Ukumbusho Tradition" episode of The Lion Guard.
- Flip Kobler, a co-screenwriter of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, noted that Sarabi was excluded from the film because there was "no place for her" in the story and because Nala already fulfilled any role Sarabi might have had. Additionally, the filmmakers wanted to respect Sarabi's deceased voice actress, Madge Sinclair. This tradition was upheld in The Lion Guard.
- In Issue 62 of The Lion King: A Nature Fun and Learn Series, the "Puzzles" section states that Sarabi has a sister and a nephew named Mtoto.
- A since-suspended Disney website stated that Sarabi was banished from the Pride Lands alongside the Outsiders.
- Sarabi's voice actress, Madge Sinclair, and Mufasa's voice actor, James Earl Jones, played African King Jaffe and Queen Aeoleon in the 1988 live-action film Coming to America, which was released six years prior to The Lion King.
- In the January 1990 and May 1990 drafts of The Lion King, Sarabi had three sisters named Diku, Dwala, and Naanda. Additionally, she was the aunt of Naanda's daughter, Nala.
- In the 1993 draft of The Lion King, Sarabi attended the presentation of Simba and Nala's newborn cub.
- According to concept artwork, Sarabi originally had whiskers.