"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




Eye color


Distinguishing features

   Lidded eyes

Biographical information



   Elephant Graveyard (formerly)
   Pride Lands (formerly)


   Shenzi's clan
   Pride Landers (formerly)
   Simba's pride (formerly)


Clan leader

Relationship information


There ain't no way I'm going in there. What, you want me to come out looking like you? Cactus butt?
―Shenzi teases Banzai[src]

Shenzi is a female hyena. She is one of Scar's chief henchmen, along with Banzai and Ed. She is the leader of her clan.


Early life

Shenzi led her clan, who lived in the Elephant Graveyard due to their exile from the Pride Lands. At some point in her life, Shenzi became close friends with her fellow hyenas, Banzi and Ed, as well as a lion named Scar.

The Lion King

You know, if it weren't for those lions, we'd be runnin' the joint.

Shenzi corners Simba, Nala, and Zazu in the Elephant Graveyard

In her first appearance, Shenzi, along with Banzai and Ed, tries to coax Zazu and young Simba and Nala to stay in the Elephant Graveyard for dinner. As the hyenas chase after the trio, they capture Zazu and place him in "the birdy boiler", sending him flying out of the Elephant Graveyard. Simba tells the hyenas to pick on someone their own size, which Shenzi declares him and Nala to be, resulting in the cubs being pursued once more.

Shenzi tries to catch Nala, only to be scratched by Simba with his claws. As they corner Simba and Nala in the cave, Simba tries to protect Nala by attempting to roar at them, but Shenzi, becoming more amused than scared at his feeble roar, begs Simba to roar again. Just then, Shenzi and the other hyenas are hear a thunderous roar and, before they can know it, Simba's father Mufasa arrives and wrestles the hyena trio to the ground. Frightened, the hyenas run away.

Shenzi and her friend, Banzai, mock Mufasa, the king of the Pride Lands

Later that night, Shenzi shares Banzai's mutual hate for lions, but Mufasa's brother Scar arrives and tells them that lions are not all that bad. They join Scar in the "Be Prepared" musical sequence in which they all plot to kill Mufasa and Simba so Scar can take the throne.

The next day, she tells Banzai to stop complaining about food and to wait for the signal from Scar at the gorge. When Scar arrives, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed trigger a wildebeest stampede that is planned to kill Simba. After Simba runs away believing that he is responsible for Mufasa's death, Scar then orders the three hyenas to kill the cub. When Shenzi and Ed both knock Banzai into the bramble bush, they both laugh at him.

Shenzi helps to chase Simba out of the Pride Lands

Shenzi then spots Simba out in the distance. Banzai tells her to go after him, but she refuses, not wanting to look like "Cactus Butt," despite Banzai telling her that they must finish the job. Shenzi then decides that there is no way Simba can survive out there anyway and they will kill him should he return.

Years into Scar's reign, when Shenzi, along with Banzai and Ed visit Scar, she talks to Scar about the Pride Lands being barren with no food and no water. She manages to get Banzai out of trouble after he foolishly mentions the name Mufasa, as Scar had banned anyone from saying his brother's name in his presence.

Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed turn on Scar after he betrays them

When Simba returns to challenge Scar for the throne, Shenzi, along with Banzai and Ed, gulp in shame when Scar briefly discovers they had not killed Simba. She and the other hyenas take part in the ensuing battle, where she and Banzai chase Timon into Zazu's cage, only to be chased off by Pumbaa. As the battle on Pride Rock escalates, Scar tries to get out of punishment by saying the hyenas were the real enemy. Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed overhear this and turn against Scar.

After Simba throws Scar off of Pride Rock, Shenzi and the other hyenas take their revenge and kill Scar, and then run off. It is unclear what happens to her afterwards, although it is known that she and her clan did not go back to living in the elephant graveyard.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

Nuka mentions Shenzi and her clan when he says, "the hyenas ran off" when gathering fire with Vitani at the Elephant Graveyard, likely indicating that Shenzi's clan left the Pride Lands, abandoning the graveyard as a whole.

The Lion King 1½

Timon: Shenzi Marie Predatora Veldetta Jacquelina Hyena, would you do me the honor of becoming my bride?
Shenzi: ...I don't think so!
Timon proposing to Shenzi[src]

While Timon is singing "That's All I Need", Shenzi appears alongside Banzai and Ed. After Timon finishes the song, Shenzi pushes him aside and starts to infiltrate the meerkat colony with her two companions. The hyenas fail to devour the meerkats, as they escape into their burrows, but they nearly catch Uncle Max, who barely escapes in time.

The trio is briefly seen chasing Timon and Pumbaa after they perform a hula dance to distract them, while Simba makes his way to Scar. The hyenas corner Timon and Pumbaa in a cave and nearly kill them, but Pumbaa releases flatulence, sending the hyenas packing.

Shenzi along with Banzai and Ed in The Lion King 1½

Shenzi is later seen at the top of Pride Rock, going after Simba to protect Scar. However, the hyenas are insulted by a joke made by Timon and Pumbaa, Shenzi tells them, "For your last meal, you're gonna eat those words." She and the other hyenas go after Timon and Pumbaa and corner them at the edge of Pride Rock. Timon and Pumbaa try several tactics to entertain them while Uncle Max and Ma dig a tunnel under the hyenas. One tactic Timon uses is to propose to Shenzi so she can become his bride, which Shenzi declines. When the trap tunnel initially fails, Shenzi along with the other hyenas finally moves in closer and closer to eat Pumbaa, Ma, and Uncle Max. Timon goes in to finish the tunnel and succeeds. The hyenas fall into the tunnel plummet to the bottom of Pride Rock to meet, confront, and corner Scar after he is thrown off a cliff by Simba.

Other roles

TV series

The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
"Cooked Goose"

Cheetata convinces Shenzi that she's the brains of the bunch

Shenzi and her cohorts prove themselves to be poor hunters, constantly disrupting the hunts of Cheetata and Cheetato. In order to get rid of the hyenas, the cheetahs plot to send them on a wild goose chase, far from where they plan to hunt.

First, they attempt to give the hyenas a treasure map, but when the hyenas struggle to spell "X," the cheetahs come up with a new plan, catapulting the hyenas into a volcano via their own dastardly contraption, the Serengeti Shuttle. Once again, the hyenas return to the hunting grounds of the cheetahs, having been suspicious about the lack of airbags, peanuts, and seat belts in the Serengeti Shuttle, and the cheetahs are forced to execute their final plan.

The hyenas corner the cheetahs, preparing to eat them

Together, the two split up the hyenas, giving each one directions to the North Pole after telling them individually that they are the brains of the bunch. To the frustration of the cheetahs, the hyenas run into each other along the way and realize that they've been tricked. Back in the Serengeti, the cheetahs stuff themselves with meat and end up too full to outrun the hyenas, but before the trio can eat them, a wild goose arrives, asking which way is south. The five courteously give him directions and then give chase.

"Doubt of Africa"

Shenzi and her cohorts appear in a flashback, cooking Timon over a fire. It is implied that Pumbaa saves his friend from the claws of the hyenas.

"Big Top Breakfast"

The hyenas about to eat Simon

The hyenas are seen wandering the savanna, dangerously hungry and in bad tempers for not having eaten in months. When Banzai grumbles about how he could eat a whole circus monkey if he were offered one, a circus monkey named Simon lands on top of the trio alongside a giant crate of circus supplies.

Upon seeing the dazed simian, the hyenas begin to argue over who has rights to the prey, giving Simon time to scurry away. With their quarry gone, the hyenas take chase, broiling over how they should go about ensnaring the monkey. While Shenzi suggests that they impersonate monkeys and hide in a barrel, Banzai proposes that they build an environment suitable for monkeys like Simon.

As a compromise, the hyenas set up an obstacle course for Simon, waiting until he dives into their circus cannon to fire it. Instead of performing as expected, the cannon explodes, leaving the hyenas charred and barren of prey. With Simon out of their paws, Banzai complains that he's hungry enough to eat a whole blue whale, summoning a giant whale that lands directly on top of the trio.

"Can't Take a Yolk"

The hyenas attempt to steal the ostrich egg from its mother

Shenzi and her cohorts spot a mother ostrich nursing an egg and resolve to make the egg into their breakfast. The three attempt to sneak up on the egg but find that the nest is heavily armed.

Seeing no hope in removing the egg themselves, the hyenas target its mother, attempting to crush her beneath a giant rock, though they end up being crushed themselves. They then try to tunnel underneath the egg but end up emerging in China, where they are run over by a cart. Refusing to give up, the hyenas send an elephant after the mother and egg, but once more, they are crushed beneath their own foul plans.

Finally, after all else fails, the hyenas disguise themselves as ostriches and persuade the mother ostrich to hide her head in the sand. With the mother oblivious to their doings, the hyenas steal her egg and replace it with a rock. Despite their victory, the three begin to argue over who deserves the egg, giving it time to hatch into a giant ostrich that knocks them into a canyon, where they are crushed beneath an enormous rock.

"TV Dinner"

Shenzi performs ballet dancing for the documentary show

The hyenas are inspired by a nature documentary about an armadillo to become famous movie stars. For the host Martin Pardon, Shenzi demonstrates ballet dancing, making Martin yell "cut." Shenzi then asks Martin to give her some steak, but Martin spins the female hyena away.

When Shenzi's companions also get turned down abruptly by Martin, the three hatch a plan on taking over Martin's directing position. When the armadillo gets a movie deal, the hyenas are offered jobs, but they decide that they'd rather be directors of the show and replace Martin Pardon as host, cooking him in a pot for lunch. This may indicate that the hyenas are living a new life as directors and stars of the wildlife documentary show, where they get fed during their new career.

"Once Upon a Timon"

The hyenas after failing to catch and eat Timon and Pumbaa

Timon finds himself being chased by Ed until he runs into Pumbaa, who has been captured and tied up by the hyenas. Upon seeing his friend, Pumbaa asks if the hyenas had invited him over for dinner as well. Ignoring the idle chatter of their soon-to-be meals, the hyenas close in on the duo, prompting Timon and Pumbaa to make a hasty getaway.

"Space Ham"

The hyenas bully Timon by using him as a volleyball until Pumbaa shows up and rams into Banzai, sending him flying into the leaves of a nearby bush. Thoroughly intimidated, the hyenas scurry away. Timon and Pumbaa later get revenge on the hyenas by using the tractor beam of their UFO to continuously pick up and slam the hyenas back into the ground.

House of Mouse

Shenzi and her cohorts in House of Mouse

The hyenas make several cameos in House of Mouse.

In "The Stolen Cartoons," the hyenas can be seen clapping for Mickey Mouse as he comes onstage.

In "Donald's Pumbaa Prank," the three are seen at a table about to eat Zazu.

In "House of Turkey," the hyenas are anxiously waiting to eat Mr. Turkey, but when they learn that he's a guest performer and not an entrée, they attempt to eat Pumbaa.

In Mickey's House of Villains, Banzai is seen singing "It's Our House Now" alongside one of Captain Hook's pirates, Kaa, the Queen of Hearts, and Tick-Tock the Crocodile.

The stage musical

Ed, Shenzi, and Banzai respectively as portrayed in the musical

Shenzi's role is largely the same in the Lion King stage musical. She is given an additional song, "Chow Down", to sing when Simba and Nala enter the Elephant Graveyard. She also sings in "The Madness of King Scar", in which she and Banzai give their complaints to Scar over a shortage of food and water anymore and tell Scar that he is adored.


The Lion King: Six New Adventures
A Tale of Two Brothers

As an adolescent, Scar (then named Taka) often meets in secret with the hyenas. During one particular occasion, Shenzi and her friends attempt to ambush Taka in an attempt to scare him, but the young lion reacts with boredom, commanding the trio to drop the act. He then warns the three that his father is searching for them, a statement which causes Banzai to suggest that they move to the mountains. Annoyed, Shenzi and Taka yank his whiskers, silencing the hyena.

The conversation soon takes a turn toward Taka and his father. When Shenzi suggests that Ahadi has ditched Taka again, the young lion reacts sensitively, yelling that he never gets ditched. Banzai and Shenzi then proceed to suggest to their lion friend that he get Mufasa in trouble with his father so that Ahadi might have second thoughts about which son becomes the next king. Encouraged by his friends' suggestion, Taka sets about to enact the plan.

Friends in Need

An adolescent Shenzi, along with Banzai and Ed, attempts to put Zazu in a geyser. Luckily, the young hornbill is saved by a then Prince Mufasa, who roars at the hyenas, who flee.


The hyenas in Greedy is as Greedy Does

Video games

Kingdom Hearts II

In the game, the trio is desperate for food and try and eat Sora as a cub, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Banzai almost killed Sora but were stopped when Scar roared. The hyena trio ran to Scar to see what he wanted with other hyenas.

The hyena trio was seen again at Pride Rock and were about to attack Sora, Donald, and Goofy but Scar roared then the hyena trio looked up and saw Scar and Pete. When Nala knocked down Scar and told Sora, Donald, and Goofy to run. The three heroes ran with Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, and other hyenas in pursuit. Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Nala managed to get away from the hyenas. The hyena trio is later seen again at Pride Rock preventing

Shenzi in Kingdom Hearts II

Simba from getting to Scar. Sora then told Simba to go after Scar while his friends handle the hyenas. Timon and Pumbaa knocked the hyenas into the air but they were chased into Pride Rock by the hyena trio and other hyenas. Sora, Donald, and Goofy battled the hyena trio inside Pride Rock. The trio was easily defeated and ran away out of Pride Rock.

Later on in the game, the trio of hyenas have fought again for information on the source of Scar's ghost, meaning that they survived the first Lion King movie. They know nothing of the ghost and taunt Simba about it. They also seem to have somewhat of a grudge against Sora, Donald, and Goofy, as it was thanks to their part in overthrowing Scar that they were sent back to the Elephant Graveyard to only eat scraps. It's also noted that in the video game, Scar never said the hyenas were the real enemy. In addition, Scar was not killed by the hyenas, but by Simba in their fight. Thus, they remained loyal to him.

Personality and traits

Whoopi's character came on as somebody who's particularly scheming all the time. She's the leader of the gang, and it's true about actual hyenas. They're led usually by females, by what is known as an alpha female, so her character was always cool, always scheming, very rarely lost composure, and so on.
Alex Kupershmidt on Shenzi

Shenzi is sassy, but has a longer fuse than most hyenas. Due to her superior intelligence and the fact that she often takes command in more serious situations, she is the leader of the group of hyenas. Shenzi is vicious but also has a sense of humor, albeit a somewhat malicious one, stating that she wants a "cub sandwich" and teasing Banzai by calling him "Cactus Butt" when he falls into a thicket of thorns. This malicious sense of humor is shared wholeheartedly by Banzai and Ed. Shenzi's sense of humor sometimes distracts her however and she doesn't notice Simba, Nala and Zazu fleeing until Ed and Banzai point out that their dinner is escaping.

Throughout most of the film, Shenzi is very loyal to Scar and never disobeys his commands. She reprimands Banzai for wanting to attack wildebeest before Scar's signal. However as time goes on, Shenzi begins to doubt Scar, complaining about the lack of food and water. Finally her faith in Scar is broken completely when he tries to blame her and the other hyenas for Mufasa's death. She also shows a vengeful streak in the climax of the film as she and her fellow hyenas attack Scar and tear him apart for betraying them.

Concept art

Shenzi's earlier concept

Shenzi and her lackeys looked a lot like actual hyenas before their finalization.

Voice actors




In development

Concept artwork of Shenzi witnessing Scar's betrayal

  • During production, Shenzi was originally written to be a male hyena voiced by Tommy Chong. However, when the directors couldn't get hold of Chong, Shenzi was instead written as female.
  • Before Banzai says, "Kitty, kitty, kitty," Shenzi was supposed to say, "Look, boys. A king fit for a meal!" This line was deleted for reasons unknown, though the line does feature in one of the film's books.
  • Concept artwork suggests that Shenzi was originally the only hyena who discovered Scar's betrayal.


  1. Online Swahili - English Dictionary. African Languages. Retrieved on September 29, 2020.
  2. Revealed in Disney's The Lion King 1½ (2004). Written by Tom Rogers, and directed by Bradley Raymond. Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
  3. Iss49Prt10.png
  4. Revealed in Disney's The Lion King (2019). Written by Jeff Nathanson, and directed by Jon Favreau. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
  5. YouTube favicon.png The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar Disney Channel on the Disney Channel YouTube channel

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