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Pride Rock is the home of the King of the Pride Lands and his lioness, and functions as his throne and palace. The pride makes their den in a cavern in one part of the formation. It is shown to be so tall, that one can see the entire Pride Lands from its peak, and vice versa. The formation can be seen from any part of the Pride Lands. Because of this, the area serves as a gathering place for many events as well as a key part of the Circle of Life, as when a new prince or princess is born, they are presented to the entire kingdom from the peak of Pride Rock.
At the start of the The Lion King, animals from miles away gather around Pride Rock to witness Mufasa and Sarabi's newborn cub Simba being presented in front of them by Rafiki, with Rakifi standing on the formation's peak. Pride Rock is later shown with the landscape around it dying in the wake of Mufasa's death, which had apparently cursed the Pride Lands as no rain had fallen for a very long time, and is nearly consumed in flames before the rains extinguish them. Simba then ascends to the throne of Pride Rock and lets out a mighty roar, which echoes across the rainy Pride Lands.
One other tradition that seems to persist is that when a new ruler takes the throne, he climbs to the top of Pride Rock, and lets out a roar across the kingdom. Animal herds are also known to gather at other times. At the conclusion of the first film, animals gather around Pride Rock again to witness the presentation of Simba and Nala's newborn cub.
In Timon & Pumbaa, Pride Rock makes a cameo in Around the World with Timon & Pumbaa when Timon tries to revive Pumbaa's memories by holding him atop of it like Rafiki held up Simba. In the episode "The Man From J.U.N.G.L.E.", Pride Rock is seen when Chromosome Quint traps Timon, dressed as a superhero called Super Duper Hero X, in his aircraft and is about to reveal the superhero's secret identity to the animals. After Timon, Pumbaa and Speedy the Snail, who is the real Hero X, pull a lever that stops the aircraft from revealing Hero X's secret identity, the three realize that it also makes the aircraft stop working and fall and destroy Pride Rock. It is mentioned at the end that Speedy saved Timon and Pumbaa, Pride Rock, and all the jungle animals.
In The Lion King 1½, Pride Rock is seen in the same scenes as in the first film. However, its role is somewhat expanded, as Timon believes "the big pointy rock" to be his dream home. He later decides against this, as a pride of lions resides in Pride Rock.
The area surrounding Pride Rock is usually a lush savanna. however, during Scar's reign a severe drought hits the area, the water dries up, and plant life dies, which leads the animal herds to leave.
It is also a region for the Pride Lands level of Kingdom Hearts II, which Sora, Donald and Goofy travel to. During this level, the party takes the form of African animals, with Sora as a lion cub, Goofy as a tortoise, and Donald as a hornbill. The only scene which is different from the movie is Rafiki telling Sora he doesn't have the qualities to be king before being chased away by the hyenas. They return to Pride Rock to help Simba defeat the ghost of Scar and help Simba realize he can be a good king. Pride Rock is also present in the musical version of The Lion King. It appears as a circular staircase, so it can ascend and descend for certain scenes. In Kingdom Hearts, it is divided into four areas: Pride Rock itself, Stone Hollow, The King's Den (where the Hyenas are first fought while protecting Timon and Pumbaa) and the Peak, where Scar is fought.