|“||Simba: Step down, Scar.
Scar: Oh, oh, ye- Well, I would, heh, naturally... However, there is one little problem. You see them? They think I'm king.
Nala: Well, we don't. Simba is the rightful king.
Simba's pride is a group of lions who reside in the Pride Lands and are ruled by a reigning monarch. Simba's pride is ruled by Simba and his mate, Nala. When Simba dies or abdicates his powers as king, the Pride Lands will be ruled by his daughter, Kiara, and her mate, Kovu.
The pride is first seen during the "Circle of Life" sequence at the start of the film. As Mufasa and Sarabi nuzzle each other, lionesses watch from the shadows of Pride Rock, delighted that their new prince Simba is about to be anointed.
They are later seen a few months later resting near Pride Rock as young Simba comes racing to his best friend Nala and appear again during Scar's eulogy, during which they grieve the double losses of their king and prince in a wildebeest stampede. Their mourning is soon shattered when Scar becomes king and allows the hyenas into the Pride Lands.
Years later, the pride has noticeably dwindled, with only a few members remaining, and prey is scarce, prompting the exhausted lionesses to cease hunting for Scar. Angered at their lack of activity, Scar challenges Sarabi, who rebukes him as king. She starts to unfavorably compare him to Mufasa, and Scar strikes her in rage, which prompts a young adult Simba, who had been watching from the shadows, to run to his mother's aid.
With Simba at their head, the small band of lionesses returns, showing their disloyalty to Scar. After Scar is forced by Simba to confess to killing Mufasa, a battle for Pride Rock begins between the Pride Landers and the hyenas. Following the defeat of Scar, the lionesses watch joyfully as Simba ascends Pride Rock, and every lioness roars her approval as he takes back his father's throne.
The pride makes its first appearance when Simba challenges Zira, whose son Kovu has encountered the princess of the Pride Lands and Simba's daughter, Kiara. Two lionesses join Simba and Nala in challenging Zira, who attempts to win her way back into the Pride Lands, but Simba stands firm, and the added bulk of the pride convinces Zira to walk away peacefully.
The pride is later seen a few years later at the onset of Kiara's first hunt, during which they express confidence in their future queen, and can be seen later that night, entering the royal den while Kovu is intimidated away from the entrance. Not long after this, Simba believes Kovu to have betrayed him, and the lionesses assist their king in exiling him from the Pride Lands. Four of them keep Kiara from interfering with this but are later shocked when she tells Simba that he will never be like Mufasa after he rejects her plea to reconsider his decision and bans her from leaving Pride Rock unescorted.
During the film's climax, the pride follows Simba into battle against the Outsiders. The pride is seen fighting fiercely against their foes, holding their own despite the obvious strength among the Outsiders. Toward the end of the battle, they realize the error of their ways and welcome the Outsiders back into the pride.
At the very end of the film, they gather at Pride Rock for the union of Kovu and Kiara. Once the two are married, they bow their heads in respect as their monarchs stride past and roar out over their kingdom.
Nala appears in the jungle and implores Simba to return home. Later, the lionesses roar their approval as Simba takes his place as the king of Pride Rock.
Two Pride Lander lioness cubs named Tiifu and Zuri appear as supporting characters in the 2015 pilot film The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar and its follow-up series, The Lion Guard. They are friends to Kiara, and during her temporary queenship, they are her advisers.
In the episode "The Ukumbusho Tradition", several of the pride's lionesses appear.
In "Return to the Pride Lands", Vitani, the daughter of Zira, is revealed to have formed a Lion Guard while Kion was healing at the Tree of Life. Vitani's Guard consists of Outsider lionesses who presumably joined the Pride Landers after the death of Zira. After a competition between the two teams, Kion relinquishes his power as leader of the Lion Guard to Vitani. Sometime after, Kion permanently leaves Pride Rock to join the Night Pride, marry Queen Rani, and become the new king of the Tree of Life.
Common physical traits
- Orange or Red eyes are common among the pride, with orange eyes being seen more often than red. Mufasa's eyes are deep red, and Simba's appear to be the same color occasionally, but they usually reflect Sarabi's orange eyes. Some have green or blue eyes like Tiifu and Zuri. This trait is highly efficient within Simba's offspring.
- Stocky builds separate these lionesses, even the lean Sarafina-esque ones, from the Outsiders. They are usually heavily built.
- Colored paws and uncolored paws are equally common among the pride.
- Pride Lander noses are dominant in the pride. These noses, unlike the Outsider noses, which curve downward, are flat and rounded.
Lesser physical traits
- Freckles is a very rare trait for a member of the pride. Only one lioness has been observed with freckles.
- Ear rims are recessive among the pride. Sarabi is the only named adult lioness to sport them.
- Outsider traits, such as downward-curved noses and permanently extended claws, are not common, with only Scar possessing them.
- Permanently extended claws have only been observed in Scar.
- Green and blue eyes have been observed in both Sarafina and Scar, who have green, as well as Nala, whose eyes alternate between green and blue.
- Colored paw pads are a rare trait. Only Scar's paw pads are completely colored. Everyone else in the pride has only their toes colored.
- White or gray claws are traits only seen in Kion, Kiara, and Zuri. It is more common for Pride Landers to have black claws.
Types of lionesses
Throughout the film series, the lionesses appear to look the same, but some resemble the more prominent lionesses in the pride.
The main pride is comprised of many different types of lionesses. One of these types mimics Sarabi, the mate of Mufasa. In the original film, they aren't seen during the first act when Simba and Nala are still cubs. However, they completely dominate the pride toward the end of the film. They also make a brief appearance in the second film, as two Sarabi look-alikes appear when Simba confronts Zira, when Kiara is going on her first hunt, and following the exile of Kovu.
These types of lionesses are lighter, sleeker, and leaner than the heavier ones encountered at the end of the first film. They resemble Nala and her mother Sarafina with little to no differences. Among the books, the comics, and the other films, as well, these kind of lionesses are seen. However, toward the end of the first film, they seem to have been replaced by the heavier Sarabi-esque lionesses.
The lionesses of the pride are mainly absent during this movie, but when they do appear, they usually resemble the young adult Kiara. These lionesses are first seen before "One of Us," blocking Kiara from Kovu as the princess tries to prevent the Outsider from being exiled. They are later seen when a heartbroken Kiara flees into Pride Rock, and are shown to be shocked and saddened. During the war, they appear again at the very end when Kiara and Kovu stand up to their respective parents.
Temperament and traits
The main pride is a group of lionesses who are fierce and loyal defenders of their homeland. Despite being obedient to their king, the lionesses aren't blind in their loyalty; many are visibly upset over Scar's poor reign over the Pride Lands and rebel against him when the true heir, Simba, returns to the kingdom. This is shown again when, although they angrily help Simba exile Kovu, they express empathy and sadness for Kiara.
- The lionesses are responsible for providing the pride with food.
- In the sequel, the members of Simba's pride are simply referred to as the "Pride Landers." This alternate name also applies to the other animals in the Pride Lands, specifically in The Lion Guard.
- 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.
- Revealed in Disney's The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998). Written by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus, and directed by Rob LaDuca and Darrell Rooney. Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
- Revealed in "Pride Landers Unite!" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 26, Season 2. Written by Jack Monaco and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired January 21, 2019.