|Simba (2019 film)|
|Cub • Adult|
Cream, gold, and tan
• Blue (infant)
After the ceremony, Mufasa's younger brother, Scar, laments how he is no longer second-in-line for the throne. Mufasa arrives and questions Scar as to why he had been absent at Simba's presentation, to which Scar feigns ignorance.
Many months pass, with Simba growing into a lively young cub. One morning, he wakes his father and begs to be taken on patrol around the Pride Lands. Mufasa takes Simba to the top of Pride Rock and shows him their kingdom. He declares that Simba will become king someday and that everything the light touches will be his to protect. Simba wonders how far the kingdom's borders extend, and Mufasa forbids him to ever visit the shadowy place.
The two leave Pride Rock behind and walk through the open grasslands, with Mufasa teaching Simba about the Circle of Life. Just then, Zazu arrives and begins to give his morning report to Mufasa. As Zazu drones on, Mufasa encourages Simba to practice his pouncing. Simba pounces on Zazu, knocking him to the ground, and Mufasa congratulates him for a job well-done. Zazu then reports that there are hyenas in the Pride Lands, to which Mufasa promises that he will take care of the threat. He orders Simba home, despite the cub's protests.
With Mufasa gone, Simba follows Zazu back to Pride Rock. He attempts to catch a beetle, but fails. Scar comments on his hunting skills, and Simba declares that he will someday become the king of the Pride Lands. Scar then subtly informs Simba that there is an Elephant Graveyard beyond the borders of the Pride Lands, where only adult lions are allowed to venture.
Simba hastens to where his friend, Nala, is being bathed by her mother and urges her to come play with him at the water hole. However, before the cubs can depart, Sarabi instructs Simba to bring Zazu with them.
With Zazu flying overhead, Simba and Nala journey to the water hole. Along the way, Zazu informs them that they will someday be married, to which both cubs react with disgust. Simba then asserts that he will not have to marry anyone, as he will be the king. Zazu argues that Simba cannot break tradition, to which Simba declares that he can do everything his way. The cubs race away through a crowd of animals at the water hole.
After losing Zazu, Simba and Nala scuffle and accidentally fall into the Elephant Graveyard. They begin to explore the area, though Nala warns Simba that they should return home. Just then, Shenzi and her clan arrive and surround the cubs. Zazu intervenes, warning Shenzi that she will be starting a war with Mufasa if she hurts Simba, but she declares that hyenas and lions are already at war.
The hyenas attack Simba and Nala, who flee into a network of tunnels. Eventually, they break free and find themselves once more surrounded by hyenas. However, before they can be eaten, Mufasa arrives and fends off the clan. He warns Shenzi to never hurt his son again, then leads the cubs away to safety.
Once back in the Pride Lands, Mufasa orders Zazu to escort Nala home. He then chastises Simba for disobeying him and tells him that he is only brave when it is necessary. Simba asserts that Mufasa is not scared of anything, to which Mufasa admits that he is afraid to lose Simba. The two then have a playful scuffle, and Simba asks his father if they will always be together. Mufasa answers by teaching Simba about the Great Kings of the Past, who live among the stars and watch over the lions of the Pride Lands. He then promises to always watch over his son.
The next morning, Scar brings Simba to the gorge and tells him to practice his roar in order to impress his father. Simba does so, scaring off a lizard. No sooner has he done this when a stampede of wildebeests bursts into the gorge. Simba flees the stampede, taking refuge on a dead tree.
Meanwhile, Scar warns Mufasa of the stampede and leads him to the gorge. Mufasa races into the stampede and bears his son to safety. However, he is drawn back into the herd by the wildebeests and only barely jumps back onto a ledge. He begins to climb, and Simba rushes up to meet him at the top. However, as Mufasa reaches the top, Scar grabs him by the paws and heaves him off the side of the cliff. Simba reaches the rim just in time to see his father fall.
Simba climbs back down to the floor of the gorge, where he finds his father's body. As he grieves, Scar approaches and blames Simba for Mufasa's death. He then urges Simba to run away, and the cub obeys. Shenzi and her clan pursue the cub, only to lose him over a ledge. Shenzi orders her lackeys, Azizi and Kamari, to check that the cub is dead, but they do not follow through, as they believe that the fall is too high for a cub to survive.
Simba crosses a desert and passes out beneath the scorching sun. However, just as vultures begin to pick at his body, a meerkat named Timon and a warthog named Pumbaa arrive and fend off the flock. Pumbaa wishes to keep Simba as a pet, and Timon agrees after realizing that Simba can protect them once he is older.
Once Simba awakens, he tells the two that he has done something terrible. They urge him to forget his past and embrace the present with no worries. They lead him to their jungle home and take him in as one of their friends. He grows up with them, leaving his past behind.
As a young adult, Simba attempts to play with his jungle friends, but they deliberately avoid him. Timon and Pumbaa gently explain that he is a predator now and that many animals are afraid to spend time with him. That night, they sit together and wonder what stars are. Simba passes on his father's story about the Great Kings of the Past, only for Timon and Pumbaa to laugh at him. He walks off, saddened, and a tuft of his mane flies off in the wind. The tuft of mane carries across the savanna until it reaches Rafiki in his tree. Rafiki then realizes that Simba is alive.
Back in the jungle, a full-grown Nala attempts to hunt Pumbaa, only to be thwarted by Simba. The two scuffle until Nala uses a familiar fighting trick and Simba realizes her identity. The two have a joyous reunion. Nala then tells Simba that he must return to the Pride Lands, as Scar has taken over and become a tyrannical king. Unwilling to embrace his past, Simba instead invites her to take a tour of the jungle. They stroll through the jungle together, with Timon and Pumbaa watching unhappily.
Eventually, Nala confronts Simba about why he has not returned to Pride Rock, and Simba explains that he is not the rightful king. Nala argues that Scar is a tyrant, but Simba refuses to return home with her. Disappointed and angry, Nala bids him farewell and leaves.
Simba wanders off, muttering to himself that he does not need to return to the Pride Lands. Along the way, he runs into Rafiki, who reveals that he once knew Mufasa. He promises to show Simba that his father is indeed alive, and Simba follows him on a run through the jungle. Eventually, Rafiki stops beside a pool and urges Simba to look into the water. Simba declares that he can only see his reflection, to which Rafiki asserts that Mufasa lives in him.
Just then, Mufasa's ghost appears, speaking to Simba through a lightning storm. He commands his son to return to the Pride Lands and take his place as the king of the Pride Lands. Moved by his father's words, Simba agrees to return home.
Simba races home, catching up with Nala along the way ("Spirit"). They arrive in the Pride Lands, with Timon and Pumbaa arriving shortly after. Timon and Pumbaa distract the hyenas, while Simba and Nala hasten to Pride Rock. Once there, Simba sees Scar demanding that Sarabi be his queen. She refuses yet again, and Scar attacks her viciously.
Simba intervenes, protecting his mother and ordering Scar to back off. Scar realizes that Simba is alive and declares that the hyenas recognize him as the rightful king now. Nala argues that the pride stands with Simba, and Simba offers an ultimatum: step down or fight. Instead of giving in, Scar accuses Simba of killing Mufasa and calls him a coward. He backs Simba to the edge of Pride Rock until he is hanging only by his claws and confesses that he had in fact killed Mufasa.
Enraged, Simba attacks Scar and demands that he tell the pride his crimes. Scar refuses, but the pride sees through his lies and attacks. The hyenas jump to Scar's defense, but the lionesses eventually overpower them.
Meanwhile, Simba chases Scar to the top of Pride Rock, where Scar attempts to lay blame on his hyena minions. Simba does not believe Scar's story and instead commands that he leave the Pride Lands forever. In answer, Scar attacks Simba, and the two fight. Simba overpowers Scar and heaves him from Pride Rock.
Behind the scenes
- As a cub, Simba is voiced by JD McCrary. As an adult, he is voiced by Donald Glover.
- Chance the Rapper originally auditioned for the role of Simba, but lost out to Donald Glover.
- Young Simba is modeled after lion cubs from the Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya.