The Lion King: The Novelization
TLK novelization.png
Attribution information

Elizabeth Rudnick

Publication information

Disney Press


June 4, 2019







Everything the light touches is their kingdom.
―Quote from the back of the book[src]

The Lion King: The Novelization is a book inspired by The Lion King. It was published by Disney Press on June 4, 2019.

Publisher's summary

"Everything the light touches is their kingdom.

When a lion cub named Simba is born, his father, King Mufasa, introduces him to the beautiful Pride Lands he will one day rule.

But when Mufasa is killed unexpectedly, young Simba blames himself. Unable to face his family, he runs away, leaving the Pride Lands under the rule of his evil uncle, Scar. Years later, the young prince must make a choice. Will he take back his homeland or turn his back on the kingdom in its darkest hour?


The classic, beloved characters of The Lion King come to life in an all-new way through a thrilling novelization that retells and expands upon the story Disney fans everywhere know and love."[1]

Plot summary

The Lion King: The Novelization follows the plotline of The Lion King.

Differences from the film

  • There are additional characters, such as a dung beetle and a honey badger.
  • Rafiki's staff is more prominent.
  • All the songs are omitted.
  • Scar's backstory is explored a little more deeply, as it's revealed that after he received his scar, his father refused to take him on any more hunts, as he deemed Scar ineffectual.
  • Scar's first conversation with Simba starts while the cub is stalking a beetle; in the film, it starts after he fails to catch it.
  • Shenzi is described as a hyena queen, and it is noted that Simba had heard of her before actually meeting her.
  • Kamari is larger and physically tougher than Azizi; in the film, it's the other way around.
  • While being chased by the hyenas in the Elephant Graveyard, Simba and Nala briefly encounter a hyena cub, who at first appears to be cute and friendly, but then tries to eat them. In the film, there is no cub shown amongst Shenzi's clan.
  • In the film, Shenzi watches Mufasa fight her clan without attempting to help them and then watches the lions leave. In the book, she attempts to stare Mufasa down, but he injures her leg with his claws and corners her against a wall before delivering his warning. Shenzi then heads back to her den and doesn't watch the lions leave.
  • Shenzi chases Simba out of the Pride Lands with the help of roughly twenty members of her pack, whereas in the film, she pursues him with only Kamari, Azizi, and an unnamed hyena who falls off a cliff.
  • During his coronation, Scar subtly invites Sarabi to be his queen, but is rejected with a snarl. This scene does not happen in the film.
  • When Simba and Nala reunite in the jungle, it is Nala who recognizes Simba first; in the film, it's the other way around.
  • When Timon and Pumbaa follow Simba to the Pride Lands, a bush baby, an elephant shrew, and a honey badger also follow them and join the final battle. Only Timon and Pumbaa join Simba in the film.
  • When Simba and his friends return to the Pride Lands, they have to distract two particularly large hyenas guarding Pride Rock's entrance; in the film, it's five normal-sized hyenas.
  • Simba interrupts Scar and Sarabi's argument before the former can attack the latter; in the film, he interrupts the fight just as Scar is about to overpower Sarabi.
  • When Simba "confesses" that he caused Mufasa's death, Sarabi says, "No. You were a cub! This can't be true." In the film, she says, "It's not true. Tell me it's not true."
  • Nala's one-on-one fight with Shenzi doesn't happen in the book.
  • Simba is aware of the hyenas overhearing Scar's betrayal and feels a sudden kinship with them due to the fact that they were both deceived by Scar.
  • In the film, Simba defeats Scar by knocking him onto his side and causing him to slide off Pride Rock. In the book, he instead dodges Scar's final lunge, causing the older lion to fall off the cliff due to sheer momentum.
  • Simba briefly watches the hyenas surround Scar before leaving him at their mercy.


  • The audio book version was released on June 18, 2019.[2]
  • There is a typo on page 117: "Mufasa's" is misspelled as "Mufas's."



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