The Lion King Wiki
The Lion King Wiki
"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.

Betrothed Intended.png
Physical information




Feather color

Black, blue, and white

Eye color


Biographical information
Also known as

   Banana Beak (by Simba)
   Bird (by Janja)
   Bird-Brain (by Janja)
   Birdy (by Janja)
   Busybody Bird (by Bupu)
   Mufasa's Little Stooge (by Shenzi)




Pride Lands


   Pride Landers
   Pride Lands monarchy



Relationship information


Simba: Look, Banana Beak is scared.
Zazu: It's Mr. Banana Beak to you, Fuzzy.
Simba and Zazu[src]

Zazu is a male hornbill. He serves as the majordomo of the Pride Lands.


The Lion King

Step lively. The sooner we get to the water hole, the sooner we can leave.
―Zazu to Simba and Nala[src]

Zazu chastises Scar for disrespecting the title of Mufasa's son, Simba

Zazu is first seen flying over the animals heading toward Pride Rock to see the newborn Simba, and bows before Mufasa when he lands on Pride Rock.

Zazu is next seen telling Scar about playing with the prey that he has caught. He also warns Scar that he'd better have a good excuse for not attending the presentation of Simba. Annoyed, Scar jumps the bird and temporarily eats him. Just in time, Mufasa shows up to chastise his brother, who reluctantly spits Zazu onto the ground. Now with Mufasa to protect him, Zazu continues berating Scar, reminding him that as the king's brother, he should have been first in line at the ceremony.

Simba uses Zazu for pouncing practice, much to Mufasa's amusement

Unaffected by the chastising, Scar acts rudely toward Mufasa, who asks him if he's proposing a challenge. Scar replies that he would never dream of fighting with Mufasa. Zazu comments that that's a pity and asks why Scar did not want to face his brother in combat, to which Scar replies that his strongest weapon is the brain, and then leaves. Zazu tells Mufasa that every family has one unruly member (and adds that his family has two) and that such family members always spoil special events. Mufasa thoughtfully wonders what to do with Scar, and Zazu jokes that Scar should be made into a good rug. He then adds cheekily that Mufasa should throw him out and beat him whenever he becomes dirty. The two friends leave the cave, chuckling.

Simba and Nala make fun of Zazu during the musical sequence "I Just Can't Wait to be King"

Months later, Zazu can be seen telling Mufasa the morning report and is pounced on by Simba, who was being coached by Mufasa on pouncing. Then the gopher appears and informs Zazu that the hyenas have illegally entered the Pride Lands. Zazu informs Mufasa about it, and Mufasa leaves to intervene in this regard, telling Zazu to take Simba home. Simba is disappointed that he can't attend the fight, but Zazu tries to raise his morale, reminding Simba that he will one day be king and will be able to chase the hyenas from morning till evening.

Zazu attempts to protect Simba and Nala from a trio of hyenas

When Simba and Nala agree to go to the Water Hole, Sarabi instructs Zazu to accompany them. Along the way, the cubs perform "I Just Can't Wait to be King", temporarily losing Zazu, but the hornbill finds them again at the Elephant Graveyard. During the encounter with the hyenas, he is captured by the hyenas and exploded out the top of a geyser. He reappears as Mufasa fights off the hyenas, implying that he must have warned the king about the cubs being in danger. He is later frowned down upon by Mufasa for not protecting the cubs.

That evening, Zazu, Nala, Simba, and Mufasa return home. At one point, Mufasa stops and angrily calls Zazu to him. Zazu fearfully asks him what he wants, and Mufasa tells him that he needs to take Nala home while Simba will stay with Mufasa for a father-son talk. Zazu comes to cubs and tells Nala that they should go. He then turns to Simba and puts his wings on the cub's shoulders, wishing him luck. He and Nala then go home.

Zazu unwillingly sings "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" to Scar

Later, Zazu is with Mufasa near the Gorge and is alerted by Scar that a stampede of wildebeests is occurring with Simba in danger. Zazu flies down to the Gorge and finds Simba hanging from the edge of a dead tree. In a panic, he informs Mufasa, who throws himself into the stampede after his son. As Zazu watches the stampede, he reacts in panic and tries to look for help before he is struck by Scar into a wall and rendered unconscious. When Scar gives his eulogy to Mufasa and Simba, Zazu is shown comforting Sarabi. He also briefly appears in a scene after Scar assumes the kingship of the Pride Lands. In this scene, Zazu is imprisoned and is being forced to entertain Scar by singing songs. First, he tries "It's a Small World," only for Scar to interrupt, asking for another song, to which Zazu sings "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts".

Zazu watches as Simba ascends Pride Rock

As Scar enjoys singing this new tune, Zazu laments not having to do this for Mufasa, and Scar quickly interrogates him and warns him never to mention that name in his presence. When the hyenas come in to complain about the lack of food and water, Scar casually tells them to eat Zazu, but the hornbill frantically insists that he'd be too tough and gamey.

Later on, Simba returns to reclaim his throne. Simba, the lionesses, Timon, Pumbaa, and Rafiki battle the hyenas. Zazu pleads with Timon to let him out of the ribcage he is imprisoned in, but Timon shoves his way inside the ribcage instead as he is pursued by the hyenas. Pumbaa comes to the rescue and chases away the hyenas after Banzai accidentally insults him. Zazu is freed along with Timon. Finally, Zazu witnesses Simba's ascension to the throne and flies around Pride Rock during the presentation of Simba and Nala's newborn cub.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

Mmm, yes, sire. Clearly we are in his debt, and royal protocol demands that all debts be paid. Though in this case, you might want to make an exception.
―Zazu to Simba about Kovu[src]

Zazu spots Kovu with Kiara

After witnessing the presentation of Kiara, Zazu is seen with Simba, who is lecturing Kiara about Zira and the Outsiders. Zazu joins in on the warnings, calling the Outsiders "backstabbers." Zazu is seen flying back to Pride Rock after Simba confronts Zira. Years later, when Kiara is a young lioness, Zazu assures Simba that she will be fine on her first hunt until Simba notices that a wildfire has started.

Zazu is sent ahead by Simba to find Kiara. When Zazu finds that Kiara is being rescued by Kovu, he reports the information back to Simba. After Kovu asks to join the pride, Zazu notes that royal law demands that debts (such as the one Simba owes Kovu for rescuing Kiara) must be repaid, though he is quite happy to make an exception.

Zazu reports to Simba that the Outsiders are on the attack

Later, after Simba is injured in an ambush by Zira and the Outsiders, he is sent by Kiara to find help. Finally, near the end of the film, he reacts in panic when reporting that the Outsiders are preparing to attack. At the same time, Simba learns that Kiara has fled the Pride Lands, to which Simba sends Zazu to find her.

At the end of the film, Zazu spectates the union of Kiara and Kovu, a ceremony which makes Timon and Pumbaa start crying with happiness. Annoyed, Zazu shields himself from the wetness of their tears.

The Lion King 1½

Zazu's appearances are extremely brief in this film. He is first seen at the presentation of Simba, talking to Mufasa about how the animals are kneeling before the new prince. He is later seen with Mufasa, alerting him that the hyenas are after Simba and Nala.

The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

Zazu makes a brief appearance in this film. He leads Simba to Kion shortly after Kion fails to show his friends the Roar of the Elders. Zazu stands by as Simba has a stern talk with Kion and then leaves with his king after the talk is over.

Other roles

The stage musical

Geoff Hoyle as Zazu

In the stage production of The Lion King, Zazu's role is slightly expanded. Zazu, like in the Platinum Edition version of the film, sings "The Morning Report" before being pounced on by Simba. The musical version of the song is longer than its film counterpart. There is also a scene in which Zazu reminds Mufasa that he was just like Simba when he was a cub.

In the musical, Zazu is a puppet controlled by an actor dressed in blue, striped clothes and a bowler hat, much like a stereotypical butler. Zazu's blue feathers have been replaced with white, and the puppet is partially constructed from parachute silk, with a slinky contained in the neck for ease in movement.

In the English touring production, Zazu is portrayed with a Glaswegian accent and when Mufasa threatens (in jest) to fire him, he exclaims 'you can't send me back to Glasgow!'

In certain English productions of the show, Zazu breaks the fourth wall to communicate directly with the audience.

In the original Broadway production, when being blocked by curtains at the beginning of the "I Just Can't wait to Be King" number, he shouts out, "This didn't happen in the movie!" or "These look like shower curtains from Target!" This later changed to 'this wasn't in the cartoon!' and 'this looks like a shower curtain from IKEA!'


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

At the start of the story, Zazu is reporting to Simba, warning the king that the Pride Landers are in disarray with one another, unwilling to share the Water Hole. When Simba asks if there's anything he can do about it, Zazu admits that he's tried and that no one will listen to him. Despite the crisis, Rafiki insists on telling Simba, Nala, their son Kopa, and Zazu a story from when Mufasa and Scar were cubs. At the tale's end, Zazu proclaims that he had been exceptionally proud when his mother became the king's majordomo.

Vulture Shock

Along with other Pride Landers, Zazu helps Simba and Nala save their son Kopa from the claws of hungry vultures.

Follow the Leader

Zazu can be seen reporting to an exhausted Simba at the start of the story.

How True, Zazu?

At the start of the book, Zazu is telling Kopa stories about his younger days, one of which involves a valuable lesson learned in spreading gossip. When Zazu was younger, he reported everything to Mufasa, even personal business among the animals, which sparked anger and resentment from the Pride Landers. Intent on getting their revenge, a group of young animals began to feed lies to Zazu, who, in turn, told Mufasa. After numerous lies, Mufasa began to distrust Zazu. However, the hornbill later regained his trust when he reported an army ant attack on the Pride Lands and helped to save the kingdom. After this instance, the young animals were ashamed, and both they and Zazu learned their respective lessons in telling lies and spreading gossip.

A Little Help From a Friend

Zazu informs Simba that Outsiders have invaded the Pride Lands.


Video games

The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure

Zazu appears in every level, notifying the player about his goals and marking the checkpoints after a certain amount of time.

Kingdom Hearts II

Zazu as he appears as a costume character in Disney Universe

Curiously, while Zazu plays a supporting role in the films, he doesn't appear in the video game Kingdom Hearts II with the other characters. However, Donald's Bird form bears a vague resemblance to Zazu. Zazu does appear in the Kingdom Hearts II manga.

Disney Universe

Zazu appears as a bonus unlockable costume character which can be unlocked in one of the Alice in Wonderland levels. He is only available in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game as a DLC.

Strangely, though he is only available as a store exclusive DLC, he appears in the intro of the game alongside Simba in the Monsters Inc. world, opening a door for another guest, and then he is later seen running away when HEX takes over the Disney Universe.

TV series

The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa
"The Sky is Calling"

After Pumbaa gets a tall lump from accidentally banging his head while trying to throw the meteorite back up in the sky where it belongs, several birds that look like Zazu can be seen flying around the wound.

"Rumble in the Jungle"

Zazu is hired as the wrestling judge during Timon and Pumbaa's wrestling matches against each other. Zazu's job is to whack the bell with a hammer at the start of each and every match.

"Zazu's Off-by-One Day"

Zazu on a quest to find out which animal he forgot to count

When Zazu comes home, he finds it to be completely messy. He calls his mole assistant, Gopher, who tells him that he was reorganizing and shows him that the jungle inspector is coming soon. Panicked, Zazu and Gopher clean up the mess and place it outside. However, Gopher tells Zazu that the inspector is at the same place Zazu put the mess.

Zazu opens the door, which causes the mess to get back in, and finds the inspector in the trash can. The inspector tells Zazu that list of animals is incomplete, stating that he forgot to count one animal. After showing Zazu that he's off-by-one, he fires the hornbill and gives the job to Gopher. When Zazu gets kicked out of his tree, he goes on a quest to find the one animal he forgot to count.

Zazu discovers that the one animal he forgot to count was himself

After Rafiki makes Zazu realize that the one animal he forgot to count was himself, the hornbill flies home and finds some animals incorrectly placed. He sees that the mole is responsible for this. The inspector scolds the mole for his job, which the gopher replies that being a jungle administrator is a very difficult job for one animal to do. Zazu returns and agrees with what the mole says. He states that the mole is better off working as a jungle administrator's assistant.

When Zazu shows the inspector is now-complete list of animals, the inspector apologizes to the hornbill for firing him and gives him his job back. However, Zazu and the mole's jobs are switched: the mole is the jungle administrator while Zazu is his assistant.

"Zazu's Off Day Off"

As Zazu attempts to enjoy his day off, Gopher reports him that Jumbo Jumbo is blocking the river, causing the other animals to die of thirst. When Zazu finds Jumbo Jumbo, he tries to convince the elephant to move, but he refuses to do so. Zazu then shows him the Standard Jungle Animal Contract that he signed to show respect to the tradition of the Circle of Life. Jumbo Jumbo, however, eats the form and blows the pieces on Zazu.

Zazu tries to get Jumbo Jumbo to move, as he is blocking the river

Since Jumbo Jumbo refuses to listen to Zazu, the hornbill has to try to make the elephant move himself. After two failed attempts to do so, Gopher suggests that he tries to make it rain on the other side of the river. This attempt, however, also fails and Zazu gives up.

Jumbo Jumbo then tells Zazu that the reason he was sitting in the river in the first place is because he believes it's his day off. When Zazu corrects Jumbo Jumbo by telling him that it is actually his day off, showing him a form for proof. Realizing that Zazu is right, Jumbo Jumbo leaves the river to go back to his herd, leaving the water to splash on Zazu.

As Zazu is about to enjoy the rest of his day off, Gopher informs him that it will be Jumbo Jumbo's day off the next day. This makes Zazu pass out as he believes that Jumbo Jumbo will block the river once again and he will have to try to make him move.

"Once Upon a Timon"

Zazu learning about Timon's past from Rafiki

Zazu informs Rafiki about Simba's royal reputation being at stake, and is a bit concerned about Timon and Pumbaa and their influence of the lion. When Rafiki asks Zazu why he doesn't go talk to Timon and Pumbaa himself, he replies that he tried by having them fill out the Pride Lands registration form, which they returned, now cut into the words "Hakuna Matata". While he already knows why Pumbaa is an outcast from his sounder (which is due to his gas odor), he tries to figure out why Timon is an outcast from his colony.

Zazu attempts to have Rafiki to write a report on Timon's story as he has an important meeting with Simba, but Rafiki decides to tell the story to Zazu instead. After learning how Timon became an outcast from his colony, Zazu becomes interested in knowing what happened to him and the duke's daughter, Tatiana, and how Timon and Pumbaa first met. The story becomes so engrossing that Zazu procrastinates on his meeting with Simba.

When Rafiki interrupts the part where Timon is forced by the Duke to choose between having power, riches and love or be friends with Pumbaa, saying that Zazu should go see Simba at any time now, Zazu, wanting to hear the end of the story, mockingly states that Simba probably just needs "his diaper changed." Little does Zazu know that Simba has overheard, but wants to know the end of the story as well. Thus, Rafiki finishes the story to Zazu and Simba.

"Truth Be Told"

Zazu talks with Rafiki about the Friendship Of The Year Banquet being the same boring routine every year. He is later seen in the crowd of animals, repeating this to himself.

The Lion Guard

Zazu as he appears in The Lion Guard

"The Rise of Makuu"

Though Zazu does not physically appear in this episode, he is mentioned by Kiara, who tells Kion that Zazu has reported that the giraffes have moved into the baboon's forest.

"Can't Wait to be Queen"

While Kiara stays behind to watch over the Pride Lands, Zazu meets with Simba and Nala to begin their journey to Kilio Valley for a funeral. Along the way, Simba worries over having to give a tribute in the elephant language, and Zazu brags over his own skill in mastering animal languages. Unbeknownst to the trio, they have been spied on by Mzingo, who resolves to keep an eye on the doings of the Pride Landers.

As Mzingo flies away, Simba begins to lament having kingly responsibilities, and Zazu reminds him of the perks of the job, singing "Duties of the King". After the song, he begins to coach Simba on his elephantese accent.

During an elephantese lesson, Simba loses his patience and roars at Zazu, blowing him into a patch of grass. Nala dashes to her mate's side and reminds him that though he may not be an elephant, he is a king and that it is his duty to carry out this tribute to an old friend.

Simba, Nala, and Zazu arrive at Kilio Valley

Eventually, Nala, Simba, and Zazu arrive at Kilio Valley, where they witness the elephant herd placing flowers on the dead Aminifu's body. After meeting up with the herd, Simba gives his tribute to the elephants, but instead of saying, "He had good on him," the standard elephantese tribute, he says, "He had poop on him." Though Zazu is horrified at this turn of events, the elephants begin to laugh, and Aminifu's daughter, Ma Tembo, explains that her father always used to have poop on him and that it was often the cause of much laughter.

After the funeral, Zazu returns to Pride Rock with his king and queen.

"The Kupatana Celebration"

For the annual Kupatana celebration, Zazu directs the opening choral piece, which is performed by Basi, Mbuni, Twiga, an aardvark, and an elephant.

"Bunga and the King"

When Bunga suggests that he and Simba should spend more time together, Simba simply says that he will ask Zazu for his royal schedule.

"Never Roar Again"

Zazu flies into the Lair of the Lion Guard and delivers news that a rock slide has blocked up the giraffes' access to their water hole. The Lion Guard sets out to clear the wreckage, but Ono is reluctant to go until Zazu forces him out of the cave.

"The Lost Gorillas"

When Zazu gets his bill stuck in a beehive, Bunga climbs into the tree to free him. After the rescue, Zazu thanks the Lion Guard for their help and informs them that the pangolins have been spraying excessively elsewhere in the Pride Lands. Kion agrees to scout out the situation, and the Lion Guard departs to deal with the problem.

"The Savannah Summit"

Zazu looks on as Simba gathers several key animal leaders to Pride Rock to begin a Savannah Summit. As the party proceeds to Mizimu Grove, Zazu and Simba sing "Everyone Is Welcome", in which they stress the importance of equality and unity.

Zazu and Simba sing "Welcome to the Summit"

Later, the Lion Guard hears Zazu squawking for help, and they follow the noise to where Rafiki is attempting to paint a portrait of the baboon leader and Mbeya, the leader of the rhinoceroses, who is sitting atop Zazu. The Lion Guard demands an explanation, and Mbeya furiously explains that Zazu had called him clumsy. The baboon leader clarifies that it had been him who had called Mbeya clumsy and then accuses Mbeya of having bumped into him. Zazu yells for Mbeya to get off him, and the rhinoceros complies, much to Zazu's relief. The baboon leader and Mbeya start to bicker again, but Beshte steps in-between them and encourages them to get along with one another. The three then apologize to one another.

"The Lion Guard: The Rise of Scar"

Zazu is seen flying around Simba and Nala as they observe the Pride Lands from Pride Rock.

"The Morning Report"

Kion recalls how Zazu had once saved his life by offering himself to the crocodiles in Kion's place

The Lion Guard gathers around Bupu the sable antelope, whose horns are stuck in the branches of a tree. Kion suggests breaking the branch off the tree, to which Bupu reluctantly agrees. Just then, Zazu arrives and comments that he will be including the commotion in his Morning Report to Simba.

After Zazu's departure, Fuli critiques Zazu's nosiness, to which Kion reminds her that it is part of his job to know the business of the Pride Landers. He then reminds her of the time that Zazu had saved him and Bunga from crocodiles. When Bunga had foolishly challenged Makuu to a fight, Zazu had stepped in and offered himself in place of the cubs. This had caused Pua, the float leader, to back down and let the cubs walk away to safety. Beshte and Ono express awe over Zazu's bravery, though Fuli remains unimpressed.

Zazu is kidnapped by Janja and his cronies, Cheezi and Chungu

Elsewhere in the Pride Lands, Janja and his cronies, Cheezi and Chungu, lie in wait for Zazu, as they have been commanded to do by Scar. As Zazu swoops by, continuing to monitor the kingdom for his Morning Report, the hyenas jump out of hiding and abduct him. Without revealing much of their plan, Chungu picks the hornbill up in his mouth, and they return to the Outlands,

In the Outlands, Cheezi and Chungu monitor Zazu, who is trapped in a bone cage, while Janja seeks an audience with Scar. Cheezi and Chungu consider eating him, though Zazu is quick to remind him that Janja won't be happy for ruining their plan. The pair thank Zazu for the reminder, which later gives Zazu an idea. He tries to persuade Cheezi and Chungu into letting him free by claiming that they are smarter than Janja, and explaining to them that the smart thing to do would be to let him go free. Just when Chungu is about to do just that, Janja arrives

Zazu sings "I Do Have a Great Deal to Say", during which he reveals unhelpful truths about Simba

He demands that Zazu reveal the secrets of the Pride Lands to them, but Zazu refuses. Janja then backs the bone cage up to the edge of a vent, where steam burns the tips of Zazu's feathers, and Zazu fearfully gives in to their request. He sings "I Do Have a Great Deal to Say", in which he explains shallow, unhelpful information about Simba to the hyenas.

The Lion Guard happens to overhear Zazu's singing and rushes to the rescue. They arrive just in time to stop the hyenas from eating Zazu and begin to engage the clan in a fight.

Zazu thanks the Lion Guard for saving him from the hyenas

During the battle, Zazu manages to roll down a hill in order to save Fuli from a pair of hyenas, but in doing so, he begins to plummet toward the bottom of a volcano. Kion swiftly uses the Roar of the Elders to clear a patch of rock on the lava, where Zazu lands, breaks free of his cage, and is able to take to the air. With Zazu free, the hyenas give up and retreat farther into the Outlands.

Back at Pride Rock, Zazu delivers his Morning Report, despite it being nighttime. He laments being late for the first time, but the Lion Guard assures him that he is not to blame. Fuli adds that Zazu had saved her life, and Kion reminds Zazu of how he had saved him and Bunga from the crocodiles all those seasons ago. Zazu acknowledges his part in saving Kion, then carries on with delivering his Morning Report.

"Battle for the Pride Lands"

While the Pride Landers train at Pride Rock for the upcoming battle with Scar's army, Zazu reports to Simba. He explains that Hadithi has arrived with the gorilla warrior, Shujaa, and that the Lion Guard has gathered the other herds. Simba orderS Zazu to tell the Pride Landers to get some rest, and Zazu left to do so. Shortly afterward, Scar's army set fire at Pride Rock.

"Return to the Pride Lands"

Zazu attends Kion's wedding to Rani.

Runaway Brain

Zazu makes two cameos during the short.

House of Mouse

In the episode "Donald's Pumbaa Prank," Zazu is kidnapped by Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed and nearly eaten. He also makes a few cameos in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, being seen alongside Rafiki and others from the film.

It's a Small World

Zazu makes a brief, non-speaking cameo in the animated mini-series episode "One Golden Sun."

Personality and traits

Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play with your food?
—Zazu mocks Scar

Perhaps one of the most noble birds to ever take to the skies, Zazu's heart is sworn to duty. Even at the cost of his life, he protects those under his care, undergoing abuse and threat of death in order to keep his charges safe. Even in everyday life, the hornbill shows fierce determination to follow his job, displaying disdain for those who radiate disrespect or disobedience toward Zazu's king. A bit peckish, Zazu takes his duty almost too far, especially with Scar, unafraid to upbraid the much larger lion for crimes committed against Mufasa.

Zazu displays his dignified and dutiful nature

Especially when duty is on the line, Zazu can be skeptical and irascible. He often makes a show of scoffing at those he disapproves of, an attitude which shines through when he is around Scar. Zazu is not known to be tactful but rather painstakingly honest and very vocal in his opinions. Despite his occasional rudeness, Zazu is considerably formal, playing the role of mediator between Mufasa and Scar. He takes his role as majordomo very seriously and often assumes authority over those under Mufasa's scrutiny. Zazu's tie to his king is very apparent in the manner in which he defends Mufasa's decisions and mannerisms, and practically follows the king around the Pride Lands. Respectful and duty-bound, Zazu will follow Mufasa to the ends of the Earth, even putting up with the king's high-energy son to do so.

A duty-bound bird of formality doesn’t mix well with a rambunctious cub, and Zazu's patience often wears thin when he is around youngsters. Especially around those of high energy, Zazu is flighty and nervous, ready to uphold his dignity and high status. He can be quick-tempered when he disciplines Simba, though his irritation with the cub holds much less malice than his aggravation with Scar. Unlike Mufasa, Zazu is not one to mess around and would rather stick to his job than playtime. Despite this, Zazu shows his gentle and comforting side when Simba gets terrified, revealing the hornbill to be somewhat parental on the inside, even if he does not show it often.

Zazu displays his more skeptical and irascible side

Zazu is not completely without jest, though his jokes tend to be drier in humor. His natural lack of tact mixed with banter results in somewhat offensive jokes, though the hornbill typically means no harm by them, seen in the cheeky smiles he usually gives upon delivery. Even more than jokes, Zazu enjoys gossip and can be quite the social butterfly, a trait of his which slackens as he grows older. Still, the hornbill can hardly resist waggling his tongue about the animals of the Pride Lands, even in his formal reports to Mufasa.

Zazu's minimal control of his tongue mirrors his inability to control himself in dire circumstances. When in a moment of great distress, the hornbill often loses his head, panicking until the situation is under control. He is easily ruffled, and though he wants to assist those in need, he more often than not adds stress to the situation with his loud outbursts and overwrought movements. With a loose grip on self-control, Zazu is a bird of order and finds it difficult to stop himself from panicking until the world is back in alignment.

Voice actors




  • Zazu's line "Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play with your food?" could be a nod to Sheena's line from King of the Kalahari: "How many times must I tell you — don't play with your food." The context is the same, as Sheena is telling her son Rego to stop cruelly toying with a mouse.[3]
  • Zazu's line "There's one in every family, sire...two in mine, actually," could be a nod to Babazu and Nazu, two deleted hornbills who were possibly related to him.[4]

In development

  • When Simba descends after defeating Scar, Zazu is seen moving his lips, but the audio is never heard. He was supposed to say, "Your Majesty." This mistake was intentional according to Mouse Under Glass, as the filmmakers wanted the scene to be a quiet moment. This line was re-used for the stage musical and the 2019 film.
  • In the final version of the film, the cubs flee from Zazu when a rhino sits on him. In earlier concepts, they ditch Zazu at the water hole.[9]
  • In a deleted scene, Scar was to ask Zazu why he isn't loved and what Mufasa had that he doesn't. In response, Zazu mentioned Mufasa's queen, which led Scar to make advances on Nala.[10]
  • At one point during production, Zazu was going to have black wings with red tips.[11]


  1. Revealed in "Can't Wait to be Queen" from Disney Junior's The Lion Guard. No. 4, Season 1. Written by John Loy, Jack Monaco, and Ford Riley, and directed by Howy Parkins. Originally aired January 29, 2016.
  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. KotK.png
  4. Baasho.png
  5. 5.0 5.1 Simmons, Alex. A Tale of Two Brothers (1994). ISBN: 0717283488.
  6. Korman, Justine. Friends In Need (June 1, 1994). ISBN: 0307628485.
  7. Ountlie3z8.png
  8. YouTube favicon.png Old version of "Be Prepared", Scar wants Nala as his Queen | Deleted Scene | FullHD 1080p on the TimonPumbaPL YouTube channel
  9. Zazutimelinescreensecond.png