The Disney Masterpiece “The Lion King” celebrates its 25th anniversary with a bang this year by releasing a whole new version of the story with stunning visual; and sound effects which technology today can now offer, making the well-loved story even more realistic and fantastic. But the original movie will be always in our hearts and memory as many of us grew up with watching Simba, Mufasa and Scar throughout our school days. But even to all the die-hard fans of the movie who know all the dialogues and scenes by heart there are some surprises such as these Lion King facts, which we shall unearth for you and trust me they are shocking as well as interesting.

1 Scar


The Scar on the face of the main antagonist character of the movie aptly named “Scar” was inspired by the scar which was sported on the face of Al Pacino in his character Tony Montana in the movie Scarface.

2 The movie title

The movie title

There were several different names suggested for the title of the movie like King of the Kalahari or King of the beast and finally they went with “King of The Jungle”. But the makers then realised that Lions usually do not live in the jungles so the name was changed to the “Lion King” and well we all know rest is history. But interestingly, Disneyland stores still have the t shirts with the name “King of the Jungle”.

3 They wanted it to be a documentary

They wanted it to be a documentary

Among Lion King Facts, George Scribner was the first chosen director for the feature film who wanted to direct the movie with a documentary narrative, much in the league of National Geographic which would be animated, but when the Disney team decided to make it a musical, Scribner quit the project immediately.

There were changes made in the original plot as well as the original story was about full on war between lions and baboons. Timon and Pumbaa were Simba’s friend since childhood where Simba turns into a lazy and awkward character.

4 Screenwriters thought it wouldn’t work

Screenwriters thought it wouldn’t work

It may sound unbelievable now but at the time of making the Lion King, not many were greatly confident about the success of the movie in which the main protagonist is a baby cub accused of killing his father and Elton John’s music score at the background also had its fair share of cynics. Screen writer Brenda Chapman didn’t want to work in the movie because she actually thought the story was not good enough! Also, Writer Barney Mattison actually wondered who is going to watch this movie. After 25 years we think they both have got their earful of answers!

5 It outdid Pocahontas

It outdid Pocahontas

Even during the production of the movie, the team was more hopeful about Pocahontas doing major business and the lion King was considered a secondary project. But the box office result as well as international acclaim of the movie changed everything as “The Lion King” was considered the Renaissance of animation movies in the 90s and business of Pocahontas was $346million which could not hold a candle to massive $ 968 million earned by the Lion King movie.

6 What names mean

What names mean

In Lion King, the names of the characters are actual words with meanings in African language, like Simba means “Lion”; Rafiki means “friends”; Pumbaa means “a fool”; Banzai means “hiding” and shenzi means “uncivilised”. Even the name Mufasa was an actual name of the last king of Kenya before it was colonised by Great Britain.

7 The background study

The background study

In fact, Kenya has a lot of influence in the looks of the movie as well. In order to create an authentic African environment, the team travelled to Kenya and studied the local nature, Flora and fauna along with discussing with wildlife experts regarding the animal movement patterns and behavioural traits too. Kenya’s amazing forest reserves and spectacular landscapes made the movie even more natural, realistic and spell binding. By the way the Disney team came across famous Hakuna Matata song for the first time when they were in Africa.

8 Mufasa and Scar are not brothers

Mufasa and Scar are not brothers

Among Lion King facts, A major confession was made by the movie makers after 23 years of the release of the movie that Mufasa and Scar were not blood related but belonged to rival clans and called it each other brothers without actually being one. This makes the character of scar a little less devilish.

9 15 versions of the song “Can you feel the love”

15 versions of the song “Can you feel the love”

Elton John and Tim Rice wrote many the songs for the movie out of which only 5 were selected. The Legendary song Can you feel the love tonight itself had 15 different versions of which the original was selected for the screening. Although they both were sceptical about the suitability of the song which featured parents and children, the movie makers decided to let the song remain unchanged and it went on to be a classic hit which earned them an Oscar award!

10 Hakuna Matata

Hakuna Matata

Timon and Pumbaa were going to sing a song about joys of eating bugs when the movie makers remembered the iconic song Hakuna Matata, since according to Tim the song sounded similar to the Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo song from the movie Cinderella, they decided to make it a full song and well along with it made a cinematic history as well! Hope you liked reading these Lion King facts.