The Meerkat Colony is a group of meerkats that make their first major appearance in The Lion King 1½.
Timon and Pumbaa
In "Once Upon a Timon," Timon's meerkat colony is introduced, which explains Timon's origin and how he came to be a wandering loner. The colony is complete with streets and shops, and it even has a princess whom Timon has a crush on.
When the Duke leaves the colony, Fred tells Timon that he can go on a date with Princess Tatiana. Timon tells his friend that he can't abandon his post because he'll get banished, but Fred tells him that he won't as long as he doesn't get caught. When Timon prepares for his date with Tatiana, a cobra invades the colony and kidnaps the princess, making the meerkats believe she's dead. The guards see that Timon abandoned his post and try to catch him. After Timon escapes the guards, he runs into the Duke, who banishes him for leaving his guard post.
After Timon meets Pumbaa for the first time, he sees Tatiana still alive and he and Pumbaa rescue her from the cobra. The meerkat colony is happy about Timon saving the princess, and Timon is offered to marry Tatiana and have a better life. However, since the Duke refuses to accept Pumbaa's presence at the colony, Timon chooses to stay with his new friend.
The Lion King 1½
In the beginning of the film, Timon's meerkat colony is introduced. They live in a network of tunnels miles away from Pride Rock, and are in constant fear of being eaten by hyenas. Towards the start of the movie, the colony sings "Digga Tunnah," a song that is a sole representation of the meerkats' lifestyle. But in the midst of their chant, Timon accidentally collapses the tunnel. The meerkats are annoyed and angry, mostly because this isn't the first time. Timon expresses to his mother that he doesn't fit in with the other meerkats, and that all this colony ever did was "dig so they can hide, and hide so they can dig." Ma points out to Timon that the world beyond their colony belonged to someone else. Uncle Max jumps in and openly insults their species.
Shortly after this, Ma volunteers Timon for sentry duty. But after he fails to warn the colony of a hyena attack, he is once again shunned by his fellow meerkats. Dejected and out of place, Timon finally decides to leave the colony in search of a new home. He eventually runs into Pumbaa, a warthog who is an outcast because of his extreme flatulence. The two become fast friends, though Timon is hesitant to accept Pumbaa. They move from place to place in search of the perfect home, until they finally settle in the jungle oasis.
The two eventually find Simba passed out in the desert and take him in as their own. Though they have trouble raising him, Timon and Pumbaa eventually form a strong bond with the young cub. As Simba grows into a teen, he can beat Timon in a grub-eating contest, of which he is very proud. Upon Simba reaching adulthood, the scenes played out in The Lion King are repeated. Nala comes to the jungle and convinces Simba to return to the Pride Lands. Timon, afraid of losing his friend, tries to keep the two from falling in love. When this initially fails, Simba goes back to Pride Rock, and Nala and Pumbaa go after him in an attempt to help him regain his kingdom. At first, Timon denies helping Simba, but then he gives in and goes after his lion friend.
As the group files into Pride Rock, Timon and Pumbaa provide a distraction for the hyenas. After chasing them away, Timon and Pumbaa run into Ma and Uncle Max, who have dug their way to Pride Rock in order to find Timon. The meerkats reunite and Timon introduces his mother and uncle to Pumbaa. The meerkats decide to help Timon in creating a distraction for the hyenas. As Timon and Pumbaa lure the hyenas into Pride Rock's inner cave, Ma and Uncle Max dig a trap tunnel underneath them. When the trap tunnel initially fails, Timon jumps in and finishes it, causing the hyenas to fall through the hole and down to the bottom of Pride Rock. This plays a role in the death of Scar, as it likely brings them to the same spot where Scar landed after his defeat by Simba, leading to their betrayal of Scar.
After the battle is won, Timon and his family watch Simba ascend the throne and roar over his new kingdom. When Simba is crowned king, Timon decides to help his colony find a better home and lifestyle. He takes his colony to the jungle oasis, where it is assumed they make their new home. Though Timon doesn't stay there, his colony is now safe from hyenas and are living a much more carefree lifestyle.
- The meerkats in The Lion King universe are anthropomorphic as they walk on two legs, while real-life meerkats can only stand on two legs.
- The tails of the meerkats in The Lion King stay rigid, while a real meerkat's tail is flexible.
- The Selfish Meerkat in "One Meerkat Too Many" is the only meerkat in The Lion King universe thus far to have whiskers.
- In the "Circle of Life" sequence, the meerkats look different than the meerkats seen in other parts of the movie.
- In real life meerkats are surprisingly aggressive.