Nuka is the secondary antagonist from the film, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. He is the eldest child of Zira, brother of Vitani and Kovu. His name means "smell" or "stink" in Swahili. His voice was provided by Andy Dick. He is very boisterous and is always trying to impress his mother, Zira.
Nuka is the oldest son of Zira. He is considerably older than his two younger siblings, appearing first as a 'teenager' while Vitani and Kovu are still cubs. Sometime in between the events of The Lion King and The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, he was banished to the Outlands alongside Zira and the rest of Scar's followers. Despite being the oldest of Zira's children, he is neglected by Zira in favor of Kovu, Scar's chosen heir.
Appearance and Personality
Nuka is extremely mangy and is apparently infested with termites (partly due to living in a termite mound). Nuka has dark brown fur and a black mane, and keeps his front claws unsheathed, a trait seen in all the Outsiders. Judging from the thickness of his mane in his first appearance, he would be about a year and a half old. Despite being older than Kovu, his mane does not grow in as thickly - a trait seen in real lions, where stronger lions usually have thicker, fuller manes.
Nuka is shown to be cowardly, somewhat stupid and slightly neurotic. However, Nuka has an inflated opinion of himself, as he claims to be the strongest and the smartest. Because he is neglected by Zira in favor of Kovu, Nuka is shown to have a strong dislike and envy of his younger brother. Nuka also desires to please Zira, in order to get her attention, which eventually leads to his downfall. In addition, its also implied that he has some mental and emotional instability, including pyromania, as evidenced by when, before proceeding to burn a large part of the Pride Lands to trick Simba into allowing Kovu into the pride as part of Zira's plan, he shouts "Woo! Fire!". Nuka also has a sarcastic and wicked side to him because after he sees his sister pull on a branch he cuts the branch only to give a wicked laugh.
Role in The Lion King II
Nuka is shown at the home of The Outsiders, arguing with his younger sister Vitani over Kovu. Nuka has apparently left Kovu alone, despite being asked to baby-sit him, and it is implied that this happens often. Nuka expresses his jealousy over Kovu's position as Scar's chosen heir, as he was passed over despite being the oldest of Zira's children. He states his intention to tell his mother that he should be the heir, but quickly backs down after Zira returns and scolds him for not watching Kovu. Nuka watches as Zira makes a plan to have Kovu get close to Kiara so that Kovu can eventually kill Simba. Though Nuka likes the idea of killing Simba, he shows displeasure when Kovu's part in the plot is mentioned.
Nuka's next major appearance is as an adult, wandering the Elephant graveyard with Vitani. The two have been tasked with setting a wildfire while Simba's daughter, Kiara, is out on her first hunt. Zira's plot is to have Kovu rescue Kiara from the fire, to allow Kovu to get close to Simba and kill him. The plan is successful, as Kovu saves Kiara from the wildfire, and is allowed to return to the Pride Lands. Nuka secretly follows the pride alongside his mother, in order to spy on Kovu.
When it appears that Kovu is beginning to have second thoughts about his role in Zira's plot, Nuka accompanies the Outsiders as part of an ambush, to try to kill Simba. Simba is cornered in a ravine and is forced to climb a log dam to escape. When Kovu refuses Zira's order to kill Simba, Nuka impulsively decides to do it himself, exclaiming, "I'll do it - for you, Mother! Mother, are you watching?! I'm doing it for you... and I'm doing it for me!"
However, Nuka makes a wrong step, and falls, ending up being crushed under several logs. Kovu rushes forward to dig him out, but is knocked aside by the frantic Zira, who finishes the job herself. Nuka succumbs to his injuries, after apologizing to his mother for his failure. Ironically, through his death, he finally gains his mother's attention and affection, and Zira blames Kovu for Nuka's death by slashing him across the face, which leaves him with a scar on his face.
The film draws parallels between the relationships of Scar and Mufasa and Nuka and Kovu. Scar became jealous of Mufasa's kingship and Simba's potential passage to the throne, which left him out of the direct succession. Nuka has similar feelings towards Kovu, but as he is less intelligent and more cowardly than Scar was, and also because he desires to gain his mother's approval, his jealousy comes across as more 'goofy' than evil.
In an original cut of the film, Nuka's death scene is extended. After Nuka, being crushed in the logs, says "I'm sorry, Mother. I tried." Zira manages to reach her paw to cradle his head gently. Pleased with Zira's affection towards him, Nuka says "Well, I finally got your attention, didn't I?" before he finally dies. Zira then asks Scar to watch over Nuka.
- For more pictures and screenshots of Nuka, click here.
- Zira appears to love him as well as Kovu and Vitani, but was too focused on Kovu becoming Simba's murderer that she paid too less attention to him.
|The Lion King|
Characters: Simba | Nala | Mufasa | Scar | Zazu | Sarabi | Sarafina | Timon | Pumbaa | Rafiki | Shenzi, Banzai and Ed | Hyena Clan | Wildebeest Stampede | Kiara | Kovu | Zira | Vitani | Nuka | Outsiders | Crocodiles | Ma | Uncle Max | Gopher | Fred | Quint | Uncle Boaris | Toucan Dan | Boss Beaver | Speedy the Snail | Smolder the Bear | Little Jimmy | Erwin | Ned the Elephant | Cheetato and Cheetata | Rabbit | Dr. Happy | Happy Dog | Herman | Jackal
Songs: Circle of Life | I Just Can't Wait to Be King | Be Prepared | Hakuna Matata | Can You Feel the Love Tonight? | He Lives in You | We Are One | My Lullaby | Upendi | Not One of Us | Love Will Find A Way | That's All I Need | Digga Tunnah Dance | One by One | Chow Down | The Madness of King Scar | The Morning Report | The Lion Sleeps Tonight
See also: The Disney Afternoon