Disney's "The Lion King" was written by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts and Linda Woolverton. These writers have also been involved in the writing of several other animated features, either with Disney or other studios. Mecchi helped to adapt "The Lion King" for Broadway and to adapt the musical "Annie" for television.
Irene Mecchi, who has written for print media and television as well as for film and stage, is also credited for her writing work on Disney's feature films "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Hercules" and "Brave." She was educated in theater at the University of California, Berkeley, and the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
Among Jonathan Roberts' screenwriting credits beyond "The Lion King" is his work on Triggerfish Animation Studios' "Khumba," which was also set in Africa and followed the story of talking animals.
Of the three writers who worked on "The Lion King," Linda Woolverton has been the most engaged in Disney features. She has been credited as a writer on "Maleficent," the "Sleeping Beauty" reboot, 2010's "Alice in Wonderland," "Mulan" and "Beauty and the Beast." She has claimed that she wrote the character of Belle for "Beauty and the Beast" as a break from the more passive Disney princess embodied by Ariel of "The Little Mermaid." This progression continued through her later work on Nala in "The Lion King" and the characters of Mulan and Alice.