The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa follows Timon, a meerkat, and Pumbaa, a warthog, both characters from the Disney animated film The Lion King. Taking place after the events of the original film (and the 2004 direct-to-video film The Lion King 1½), the characters live their Hakuna Matata lifestyle, as they are seen having (mis)adventures in the jungle as well as across the globe in various settings, such as Canada, the United States, France, and Spain.
Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed are a trio of hyenas who used to work for Scar and ran away from the Pride Lands after devouring him, and now they constantly search for food. They are given their own segment titled "The Laughing Hyenas."
Smolder is a grizzly bear. He is not exactly one of Timon and Pumbaa's enemies, but he does get grumpy very easily, whether it's getting a wrong order for food or waking him up from a nap, he will always threaten to do something very horrible, especially when Timon dupes him.
In the Fall of 1995, 13 episodes aired on Friday afternoons on the syndicated Disney Afternoon block while 12 more episodes aired on Saturday mornings on CBS. In the Fall of 1996, 13 new episodes aired on The Disney Afternoon on Mondays with 8 more airing on CBS.
After Season 2, the show was originally cancelled due to Disney purchasing ABC. However, in 1998, Disney ordered a 39-episode third season due to overseas demand. For this season, the show had a new set of writers and directors and was produced by the Canadian animation studio Studio B Productions for Walt Disney Television Animation. The episodes now open with the same title card artwork that is used in "Catch Me if You Kenya" and the Timon & Pumbaa logo that usually appeared at the frame is gone. These episodes premiered in the United States on the now-defunct Toon Disney in 1999.
On January 24, 1995, it was announced that a Lion King television series starring Timon and Pumbaa was set to premiere during the fall, as part of The Disney Afternoon. Gary Krisel, who was then president of Walt Disney Television Animation, found Timon and Pumbaa to be the best new comedy team to come on the scene for a long time and that they had the potential to be just as classic as Abbott and Costello, Hope and Crosby, Martin and Lewis, and Nichols and May.
For the first two seasons, Bobs Gannaway and Tony Craig served as the show's executive producers. As of Season 3, the series was produced by Chris Bartleman and Blair Peters, with Tedd Anasti and Patsy Cameron serving as the executive producers. Gannaway stated that he and Craig wanted to expand on Timon and Pumbaa's personalities as a comedy team to keep the series fresh and to keep the show interesting, they decided to not have Timon and Pumbaa be locked into the Serengeti, but allow them to explore the world and meet different kinds of animals.
According to one of the show's writers Kevin Campbell, at the beginning of the series, he and Gannaway made a giant list of puns using country names to open the doors on how many places they could go. After figuring out which funny animal or obstacle situation Timon and Pumbaa would face, they used a "Which Animals Live Where" atlas reference book to find where in the world an episode could take place and check a list of country puns they could pick.
As was common for Disney animated shows at the time, the animation production was done by a consortium of overseas animation studios, including Walt Disney Television Animation (Australia) Pty. Limited, Toon City, Wang Film Productions, Rough Draft Korea Co., Ltd., Sunmin Image Pictures Co., Sunwoo Animation, Koko Enterprises, Toonz Animation, Jaime Diaz Productions, Shanghai Morning Sun Animation and Studio B Productions.
Upon its premiere, Timon & Pumbaa was accompanied with a marketing campaign, which included tie-ins with Burger King, KFC, and SpaghettiOs.
The first two seasons of the show aired simultaneously on The Disney Afternoon and CBS, whereas the third and final season aired on Toon Disney. Reruns of the series aired on Disney Channel from 1997 to 2000 and later from 2006 to 2008. Reruns were shown on Toon Disney up until the channel's demise on February 8, 2009. As a result, the show went off the air for three years.
On March 23, 2012, the show returned to television when Disney Junior was launched as its own channel. However, only selected episodes were shown and some episodes were abruptly edited (presumably due to scenes being deemed inappropriate for preschoolers). As of 2014, the show was removed from the channel.
On January 21, 2017, Timon & Pumbaa was one of the shows presented to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Disney Channel France.
Middle East - Jeem TV and Ajyal TV
Japan - Cartoon Network Japan and Disney Channel
Australia and New Zealand - Boomerang and Disney XD
Korea - Disney Channel Korea and KBS1
India - Disney Channel
Indonesia - MNCTV and SpaceToon
Finland - MTV3, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network
United Kingdom & Ireland - Disney XD, Disney Junior, CITV and Disney Channel
1997 - Best Individual Achievement: Storyboarding in a TV Production - Bob Logan (for "Bumble in the Jungle"). (Nominated)
1997 - Best Individual Achievement: Production Design in a TV Production - Mike Moon (for "Bumble in the Jungle"). (Nominated)
1997 - Best Individual Achievement: Production Design in a TV Production - Kexx Singleton (for "Beethoven's Whiff"). (Nominated)
1997 - Best Individual Achievement: Production Design in a TV Production - Sy Thomas (for "Bumble in the Jungle"). (Nominated)
1997 - Best Individual Achievement: Character Animation - Bob Baxter (for "Beethoven's Whiff"). (Nominated)
1997 - Children's Animation Category - Roberts Gannaway (for "Once Upon a Timon"). (Nominated)
Golden Reel Awards
2000 - Best Sound Editing - Television Animated Series - Sound - Jennifer Martens, Charles Rychwalski, Eric Hertsguaard, Rick Hammel, Kenneth Young, and David Lynch (for "War Hogs / The Big No Sleep"). (Nominated)
2000 - Best Sound Editing - Television Animation - Music - Fil Brown and Liz Lachman (for "Hot Air Buffoons"). (Nominated)
2000 - Best Sound Editing - Television Animation - Music - Brian F. Mars and Liz Lachman (for "Steel Hog / Dealer's Choice Cut"). (Nominated)
Much of the show's crew (including executive producers Tony Craig and Bobs Gannaway) went on to work on House of Mouse and Leroy & Stitch. The Timon and Pumbaa-centric episodes of the former and the duo's cameo in the latter most likely served as tributes to the show.
The show consists of 85 episodes. This makes Timon & Pumbaa one of the few Disney animated series at the time to last for more than 65 episodes.
The two half-hour episodes, "Once Upon a Timon" and "Home is Where the Hog Is", explain Timon and Pumbaa's origins and how they came to be wandering loners. The former, however, was contradicted by The Lion King 1½, which may indicate that said episode and 1½ exist in two separate timelines.
The series is the first (and so far only) Lion King-related media where humans make physical appearances.
It is also the first Lion King-related media to feature locations outside of the Serengeti, the second being The Lion Guard.
Not counting Mufasa and Scar, Nala is the only major character from the original film to not return in the series.
Timon & Pumbaa gets referenced in some other media. A scene from the episode "Uganda Be an Elephant" is shown in the 2000 Disney Channel Original Movie Stepsister From Planet Weird. The title card artwork for the two Zazu-centered episodes is also referenced in the House of Mouse episode "King Larry Swings in".
Despite the fact that the series takes place after the first film, it does contain a few inconsistencies with said film, though many of them may have explanations:
Timon and Pumbaa are shown to live in the jungle, despite the original film (taking place before the series) showing them in the Pride Lands after Scar's death. However, it's possible that they just make frequent visits in the Pride Lands (at least until Kiara's presentation), which is showcased in the series.
The episodes "Congo on Like This" and "Shake Your Djibouti" show Simba residing in the jungle with the duo as well, even though in the first film, he is now the king of Pride Rock living in the Pride Lands. However, it is likely that either these two episodes take place during Simba's exile in the jungle, (thus making them whole episode flashbacks as well as midquels to the original film) or Simba merely visits the duo from time to time, which is also implied at the end of the subsequent third film.
In "Never Everglades", Timon argues that they should not raise a kid of a different species, yet they have already raised a child outside of their own kind. Although, this may be because Timon and Pumbaa took Simba in as a new friend and additional member of their Hakuna Matata lifestyle as they believed he was an outcast just like them, whereas Pumbaa Jr. was hatched in an egg Pumbaa believes he laid, thus making them believe they are "mother" and son.
In "Zazu's Off-by-One Day" and Around the World with Timon & Pumbaa, Scar makes small, non-speaking cameos despite being killed in the original film. While the latter was likely intentional due to Timon trying to restore Pumbaa's memories, the former remains a mystery (although it is possible that it's his dead body but unlikely considering the hyenas ripped him apart).
The rest of Shenzi's clan are absent in the series. It's quite possible the clan disbanded after Scar died in the film, leaving only the trio.
Timon & Pumbaa Opening 1
The opening sequence for the Season 1 episodes that aired in syndication
Timon and Pumbaa Intro
The opening sequence for the Season 2 episodes that aired in syndication
CC 12 - Timon and Pumbaa Opening HD
The opening sequence for the Season 1 and 2 episodes that aired on CBS
Timon & Pumbaa Intro
The opening sequence for Season 3
Timon & Pumbaa Fun Fridays promo
Timon & Pumbaa Fun Fridays promo (featuring Bill Nye)
Timon & Pumbaa Promo- Today's Special (1995)
Timon & Pumbaa CBS promo
Timon & Pumbaa Promo- Dinner (1995)
Timon & Pumbaa CBS promo
Timon and Pumbaa Promo "What is Hakuna Matata?" (Toon Disney) (2004)
Timon & Pumbaa 2004 Toon Disney promo
Timone and Pumba Trailer Official Disney Junior Africa
Timon & Pumbaa Disney Junior Africa promo
Toon Disney Pumbaa Bowl VI This Sunday! (January 2004)
Pumbaa Bowl VI promo
Toon Disney Promo
A Toon Disney promo featuring The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa and The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
Toon Disney The Great Toon Weekend Getaway (2006-2008)
A Toon Disney promo featuring The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
Toon Disney 2x Toons Weekend Promo (2004)
A Toon Disney promo featuring The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa