The Lion King: The Brightest Star is a book and audio cassette tape set based on Disney's The Lion King. In the book, Mufasa tells his son Simba about Simba's great-grandfather Mohatu, a wise and gentle king. The book is considered to be canon as it does not conflict with the plot in any of the films.
In the Disney's Read Along Collection recording of this book, Mohatu is voiced by Avery Brooks.
Mufasa and Simba are on the top of Pride Rock on a cold winter's eve. Mufasa shows Simba the brightest star in the sky and says that it goes back to the time of Simba's great grandfather, Mohatu. Mufasa then tells Simba the story of Mohatu.
A terrible drought had gripped the Pride Lands. The water hole was reduced to a puddle, and all of the grass dried up and died. Mohatu made a law about how much each animal could drink. Lions were to go the water hole last, as they could survive a relatively long time without water.
The law worked and each animal was able to survive. But one day a selfish, lazy lion (who looks very much like Scar) sat at the water hole and drank a large amount of water The other animals stood nearby waiting for him to finish. Eventually an antelope approached him and asked if she could have a drink as well. The lion lunged at her, and all of the waiting animals ran in fear.
Mohatu was outraged when the news reached him, and decided that he had to find a more permanent solution to the water shortage problem.
Mohatu walked for many miles. After a while he came to a large river. After having a drink, he lay down to rest, when he heard someone crying. He went to investigate, and found a large crocodile sobbing in the river. The crocodile was lonely and wanted some friends, but the other animals were afraid of him, because he once bit Hippo's tail. Mohatu said he would help the crocodile gain the trust of the other animals again.
As Mohatu left the river, he bumped into a hippopotamus. Hippo said that she did not go to the river because he was scared of Crocodile. Mohatu walked further until he came to a wildebeest. The Wildebeest did not go to the river because he was scared of Hippo. Mohatu then came across a zebra. Zebra did not go to the river because Wildebeest did not go.
After Mohatu returned to the Pride Lands, he realized that of all the animals needed to trust each other so that they could all use the Great River as their water supply.
He told the animals that no animal could harm another until the drought had passed. A zebra spoke up saying that since the first law wasn't followed and was broken by Mohatu's kind (the lions), he wanted the protection of the wildebeest. But Wildebeest did not want to go, as he did not trust the hippos near the river. A hippo spoke up and said that the only animal to be feared was the crocodile. The animals began to argue with each other, and Zebra said that it was each animal for themselves.
All of the animals ran off towards the Great River in a massive stampede. Cheetah ran forward in a burst of speed and tried to overtake Giraffe and Zebra. Zebra kicked Cheetah in the chest, and the animals ran over Cheetah as they rushed forward to try and be first at the river.
Zebra reached the river first. He raced forward to drink but became lodged in quicksand. All of the animals rushed forward to try and pull Zebra out, but Zebra was firmly stuck.
Mohatu finally arrived with Cheetah on his back. Mohatu, seeing that Zebra was stuck, called out to Crocodile for help. Crocodile appeared, and digging his muscular legs into the bank, he reached his tail out to Zebra. Zebra grabbed Crocodile's tail and was pulled to safety.
Zebra apologized to Cheetah for kicking him. All of the animals drank their share of the water, being careful to avoid the quicksand. The animals of the Pride Lands returned to the Great River again and again, and Crocodile was always kind to them. Finally the drought ended, but King Mohatu still journeyed to the river to see his friends Crocodile, Zebra, Wildebeest and Hippo.
Many years passed by under Mohatu's kind and gentle rule until Mohatu's death one winter's eve. The animals grieved heavily and began fighting once more. But just as they thought that there would never be peace again, a mysterious star appeared in the sky. The star was bigger and brighter than any other star. It filled the animals with peace and harmony and the fighting ceased. They knew that the star was the spirit of their king.