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Simba

Simba

Simba is a fictional lion character and the protagonist of one of Disney's most famous animated feature films, The Lion King. He is the son of Mufasa and Sarabi, nephew of Scar, mate of Nala and father of Kiara. He is seemingly the strongest lion in the pridelands. His name is Swahili for 'lion'.

Portrayers of Simba

Media Actor
The Lion King (1994) (film) Jonathan Taylor Thomas (cub voice)
Matthew Broderick (adult voice)
Jason Weaver (cub singing voice)
Joseph Williams (adult singing voice)
Evan Saucedo (The Morning Report sequence cub singing voice) (2003 Special Edition)
The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa (1995) (TV series) Cam Clarke (adult voice)
The Lion King (1997) (Broadway musical) Scott Irby-Ranniar (cub) (original actor)
Jason Raize (adult) (original actor)
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998) (film) Matthew Broderick (adult voice)
Cam Clarke (adult singing voice)
The Lion King 1½ (2004) (film) Matt Weinberg (cub voice)
Matthew Broderick (teenager and adult voice)
Kingdom Hearts II (2006) (video game) Jonathan Taylor Thomas (cub voice) (archive recording)
Cam Clarke (adult voice)

The Lion King

In the opening sequence of The Lion King, Simba is the new-born son of King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi. After being anointed he is held up by the wise mandrill Rafiki atop Pride Rock for all the animals in the Pride Lands to see.

Simba grows up into a lively and rambunctious, if occasionally arrogant, young cub who believes that being a king is all about doing what he wants all day and going wherever he pleases. Taking advantage of the cub's naive nature, Simba's scheming uncle Scar tells him about the elephant graveyard. Although Scar tells Simba not to go there, he knows that the young cub will do so out of curiosity. Not only does Simba go, but he also brings along his best friend Nala which is also said that they were to be betrothed by Zazu who accompanied them. Simba and Nala then plot to get rid of zazu which was accomplished throughout the musical "can't wait to be king." When they reach the graveyard they are chased by the three spotted hyenas Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, who are actually Scar's minions. Mufasa comes to the rescue of the two cubs after being informed of their plight by Zazu.

Mufasa is upset with Simba, but resolves to not scold his son, and instead teaches him about the great kings of the past up in the stars, who guide and watch over the young prince. Also, Simba sees after putting his paw in his father's paw print (when he was walking to Mufasa in shame) learning that he had rather large shoes to fill.

Later, Scar tricks Simba into waiting in a gorge, saying that Simba's father has a "marvelous surprise" waiting. There, Scar commands Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed to start a wildebeest stampede into the gorge where Simba is. Mufasa saves Simba from the stampede, but cannot save himself from Scar. Mufasa falls down off a cliff, and asks Scar to help him, but he pushes Mufasa down where the raging stampede is, and is killed. (This scene is seen again in Simba's dream from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride). Simba is tricked by Scar into thinking that he was responsible for his own father's death, and that he should run away. Emotionally shattered, Simba does so, but Scar sends his hyenas after Simba in an attempt to kill him. Simba escapes into a patch of thorns and wanders off into the desert. The hyenas do not follow him, deciding that he's as good as dead out in the desert, and just before they leave, they warn him that if he ever returns, they'll kill him.

They were very nearly correct as Simba finally collapses from heat exhaustion. Vultures circle and gather around Simba, but they are scared off by Timon and Pumbaa. Timon and Pumbaa rescue Simba and take him to their jungle home. Intrigued by the idea of a major predator protecting them, the desperate pair introduce the cub to a diet of insects, which Simba finds to be agreeable fare.

Simba grows into an adult lion while living in the jungle. He lives the Hakuna Matata ("No worries, no problems!") lifestyle for about 3-5 years, but his profound self-recrimination is never far from the surface. The turning point begins when his childhood friend Nala appears, now a fierce young lioness. The childhood friends reconnect and quickly fall in love. Nala tells Simba about the devastation Scar's tyranny has wrought upon the Pride Lands, and later tries to convince him to return to the Pride Lands as he is the rightful king. Simba, still deeply guilt ridden by his father's death, refuses both to help her or explain his reasons. He runs off into the grasslands to end their fight, leaving Nala upset and angry.

While Simba is by himself, Rafiki appears and tells Simba to follow him, as he knows where the apparently alive Mufasa is. Simba follows Rafiki across the grasslands and through a patch of thorny vines. Once they reach a pool of water, Rafiki tells Simba to look at his reflection in a pool, but instead of Simba seeing his own face, he sees his father's. Mufasa's ghost then appears in some swirling storm clouds and tells his son that he must go home and take his rightful place as king. Simba realizes what he must do and runs home.

Once back in the Pride Lands, Simba confronts his uncle Scar. Scar tells the rest of the pride that Simba was responsible for Mufasa's death, and tries to kill Simba. However, as Simba clings to the edge of Pride Rock's promontory, Scar tells him the truth about his father's death. An enraged Simba leaps up and pins Scar to the ground, forcing Scar to reveal the truth to the nearby lionesses. A fight ensues as a fiery inferno, caused by lightning striking a dead tree, rages in the background. Nala rallies the other lionesses, including her mother Sarafina and the erstwhile Queen Sarabi, and the lionesses attack the hyenas. Simba wins as Scar, after being thrown over a cliff by Simba, is killed by the hyenas he betrayed. Simba then takes his rightful place atop Pride Rock and roars out across his kingdom.

Some time later, when the Pride Lands are restored to their former glory, the animals gather at Pride Rock once more as Rafiki lifts Simba and Nala's newborn cub, Kiara, high into the air, thus continuing the circle of life.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Simba has fathered a daughter named Kiara. One day Simba lets his daughter out to play with Timon and Pumbaa to watch her. Unknown to Simba, Timon and Pumbaa begin to argue about bugs and Kiara slips away from them unnoticed.

Kiara ends up crossing over into the Outlands where she meets Kovu, an Outlander cub whose pride was exiled by Simba because of their loyalty to Scar. The two play tag until Simba leaps in to confront Zira, Kovu’s mother, who was watching the two cubs play. After the confrontation, Simba talks with Kiara and explains to her that they "are one."

When Kiara is grown she heads out into the Pride Lands alone for her first hunt. Simba is worried for her safety and sends Timon and Pumbaa out to watch her again, against Nala's advice. After Kiara discovers Timon and Pumbaa spying on her, she runs away only to be trapped in a fire that the Outlanders have set. Kovu rescues Kiara from the fire, and Simba at first tries to send him away, but Nala convinces him to accept Kovu into the pride because of a law that was passed by Simba's father, Mufasa stating that all debts must be repayed.

Simba later has a nightmare of him trying to save his father Mufasa from death, but is prevented from doing so by Scar who morphs into Kovu. Unknown to Simba, Zira has secretly trained Kovu to infiltrate Simba's pride and kill Simba.

Simba gradually begins to trust Kovu. And Kiara and Kovu begin to fall in love. Soon Kovu begins to question his loyalty to the Outlanders.

After a few days Simba takes Kovu out for a walk and tells him the real story about Scar. Zira and the other Outlanders ambush Kovu and Simba while they are walking, reigniting Simba's distrust in Kovu. Kovu tries to convince Simba that he had nothing to do with the attack, and even tries to protect Simba, but is knocked down by the Outlanders. Simba is injured but leaps up a log dam to safety, causing a few logs to fall and crush Nuka, Zira's son and Kovu's brother. Kovu is blamed for the death and he flees to the Pride Lands in shame.

Simba, realizing Kovu had dark motives when he saved Kiara, exiles the lion, refusing to accept his apologies. Kiara is distraught at this, and after being grounded by her father, escapes to find Kovu. The two reunite in the desert later that night. As Simba enters the cave to find his daughter gone, Zazu arrives and announces that the Outlanders have initiated a war. Simba heads out to fight with his lionesses and Timon and Pumbaa.

After a lengthy battle, Simba and Zira confront each other directly. Kiara and Kovu leap into the middle of this confrontation and end the war, convincing both sides that they "are one." The Outlanders abandon Zira entirely and join Simba's pride. Zira, enraged, appears to leap at Simba but takes down Kiara and they both tumble into the gorge. Kiara tries to help her up, but Zira is too proud. Zira falls to her death into a river swollen when the log dam burst from its previous damage. Simba realizes that he was wrong about Kovu and the Outlanders. The two prides, now united, return to Pride Rock, and Simba and Nala look on proudly as Kiara and Kovu are married. Mufasa's voice booms down proudly to his son. "Well done, my son, we are one." The four lions then roar out over the Pride Lands to establish the merging of the prides.

The Lion King 1½

In the 2004 direct-to-video interquel The Lion King 1½, more is revealed about Simba's life in the jungle with Timon and Pumbaa after his exile.

Simba proves to be a handful, as he scales tall and dangerous trees and swims over waterfalls, not caring about the danger he's in and Timon's frantic efforts to discipline him. As a teenager, he has beaten Timon in every kind of bug eating contest, along with a snail slurping contest that is shown.

Beyond The Films

Simba's story has been widely expanded beyond the films to numerous children's books, most notably a set of books titled The Lion King: Six New Adventures, where he has a son called Kopa.

Simba makes occasional brief appearances in the Timon and Pumbaa TV animated series. This includes one episode in which Timon drags him out to try and revive Pumbaa's lost memory. The episode Shake Your Djibouti features Simba again where timon and pumbaa are forced to train simba to protect them from a labratory monster. The other entitled Rome ALone where Simba is captured by Romans, and forced into gladitorial battle with an other lion called Claudius. Simba also appears in a music video of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" starring Timon and Pumbaa, which was shown theatrically in front of the film Tom and Huck in 1995.

Simba was featured as one of the guests in House of Mouse where he tends to alternate between child and adult versions.

Live versions of Simba also appear in the Lion King musical and in the parades and shows at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Simba was also the main character in Legend of the Lion King, a former Fantasyland attraction in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, which retold the story of the film using fully-articulated puppets. Other Disney attractions that have featured Simba include the Mickey's PhilharMagic 3D show and the Hong Kong Disneyland version of It's a Small World.

The Kingdom Hearts series

Kingdom Hearts

In Kingdom Hearts Simba appears as a summon spirit whose world has been destroyed.

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, he appears as a summon card.

Kingdom Hearts II

Simba plays a much more active role in Kingdom Hearts II as a full-fledged partner rather than a summon. When the main protagonists (Sora, Donald and Goofy) explore the jungle in the Pride Lands world, Simba almost attacks them, not recognizing them as they were turned into animals due to Sora's enchanted clothes. Initially, Simba refuses to go back to the Pride Lands, stating he was "not who he used to be." His father, Mufasa, comes to him and tells him to go back; afterwards, he accompanies Sora, Donald, and Goofy to Pride Rock for a climactic battle with both the hyenas Shenzi, Banzai, Ed and Scar, who had been turned into a Heartless because of his anger and jealousy.

Sora left after the successful coronation of Simba. When Sora returned, Simba had been driven into doubt by rumors of Scar's ghost. He later gained confidence and stood up to Scar's ghost, which was a manifestation of Simba's uncertainty and fear. Simba then has to prove himself as leader in a fight with a huge Heartless.

Simba has a Limit move with Sora that causes huge rocks to appear and strike opponents,called "wildcat" after which he slashes foes, a move known as "high claw" - ending, finally, with his summon attack from the first game, Proud Roar.

Cam Clarke voices Simba in the above two appearances, with an archival recording of Jonathan Taylor Thomas used for Young Simba in a flashback sequence in Kingdom Hearts II.

References



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