- “Danger? Ha, I walk on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger!”
The son of Mufasa and Sarabi, Simba was next in line to rule the Pride Lands. However, after his evil uncle Scar murders Mufasa and blames Simba for the former's death, the young lion cub is sentenced to exile while Scar rules as king. It is now up to Simba to return to the Pride Lands and reclaim his throne and rightful place in the great circle of life.
As a cub, Simba was playful and always ready for an adventure with his best friend, Nala. He tried to see the best in everyone, even his uncle Scar. At times, he could be a show-off and arrogant, and boasted that he will be greatest king ever, which often got himself and Nala into danger. In spite of this, he came to see the fault in his actions and always learned from his mistakes.
Now as an adult, Simba still has his fun-loving demeanor, but has become ashamed of those actions he believed were his fault when he was a cub. After reuniting with Nala, Simba realizes he needs to mature and take responsibility, he becomes even more courageous and is determined to protect his family and kingdom, regardless of the cost. Simba becomes very strict and takes his job of ruling the kingdom very seriously. Unfortunately, later in life, this defensiveness causes him to become occasionally over-protective and condescending to others, even his family. However, he eventually comes to see the light and is successful in saving his pride. Simba is marked by his strong sense of justice and kindness. Yet despite this, he is still a little gullible to his enemies, such as when Zira congratulated Kovu for leading Simba into the ambush she set up, he automatically believes her words and distrusts Kovu again, when Kovu was really unaware of the ambush and therefore, had nothing to do with it. He is also extremely protective of Kiara to the point of keeping her in his eyesight constantly. He is so determined to keep his family safe that he ignores reality. He is very cold to Kovu but is not above listening to reason and to being loyal to what his own father was, and his rules and laws. At the trial, due to his injuries, his anger, and the stress of his position, he finally snaps, ignoring his daughter's pleas, nearly destroying his relationship with his daughter in the process.
When confronted by Kiara at the end of the movie, he harshly orders her out wanting to protect her, but his daughter convinces him that his foes are their own kin. Simba looking at everybody, finally realizes that Kiara is correct and begins to trust her more. When Kiara tackles Zira to prevent the irate lioness from killing him, he jumps after her to rescue her. Kiara tells him that she tried to save Zira, and seeing that Kovu belongs with her, gives his blessing for the two to marry. He is more forgiving of his enemies and more trusting of his daughter, indicating he is becoming a better ruler, the ruler he was always meant to be, and the ruler that his father, mother and wife saw in him.
In Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, he is shown to be protective, but not yet to the point that he reaches in Lion King II: Simba's Pride. He also shows a compassion similar to his father when he gently chides his son Kion for his choice of his non-lion friends as the new Lion Guard, due to him worrying that Kion wasn't taking his new responsibilities seriously. He also wasn't sure Kion was ready, but at the end of the film he admitted that Rafiki was right, that Kion was ready and he accepted his son's choice of Lion Guard teammates.
Newborn Simba was very small with a large head. He had light spots on his head and body, as newborn lions usually have. As a cub, Simba has "brownish-gold" fur, with a lighter cream color accenting his belly, muzzle and paws. He has large, bright eyes with orange irises (red as an adult) and yellow scleras; his upper lids are a deep tawny. Additionally, he has a light pink nose and four black whiskers on either side of his muzzle, and the insides of his ears are tawny and rimmed with black. Cub Simba boasts a small tuft of hair on top of his head, and a short bushy tail. He has somewhat stocky proportions.
Teenage Simba retains much of the appearance he had as a child, but is much more lithe. He has a mop of reddish-orange hair growing on the top of his head and partially down his neck; this is the early stage of his mane growing in. Teen Simba also has some noticeable darker colorations on his body, such as a brownish point above his nose.
As a young adult, Simba is much larger and his body is muscular. His russet mane is now fully grown and covers the entirety of his neck and much of his back, and his ears are barely seen. His eyes are smaller in relation to his head and are more oval-shaped. In the sequel Simba's Pride, now a full grown adult, the colors of his pelt and mane are somewhat duller, and he has a more aged look and a heavier build.
In The Lion King, Simba was born to Mufasa and Sarabi, and, at his birth, was presented to the kingdom as their future king. Rafiki, a wise mandrill who was an old friend of Mufasa, headed the ceremony, performing a ritual before presenting Simba.
Simba grows up into a playful cub, with a rambunctious attitude. He grows excited about being king someday after Mufasa shows him the kingdom. Mufasa explains that Simba will one day rule over everything they can see, but warns Simba not to go to a shadowy area beyond the borders of the Pride Lands. Though Simba, initially believes that being king is about getting to do whatever he wishes, Mufasa teaches him about the responsibilities or royalty. Suddenly, Mufasa is called to handle an emergency, and Simba is sent home, much to his disappointment.
After Simba returns home, he tells Scar, his uncle, about the trip. Taking advantage of the cub's naive nature, Scar tells Simba what the forbidden place is in fact the elephant's graveyard, where only the bravest lions travel. Simba wants to prove himself brave, and so he along with his best friend Nala travel to the graveyard. Unknown to them Scar had placed his hyena henchmen there to kill the cubs, in an attempt to remove Simba from the line of succession so that Scar could become king. Having been found by Zazu, Mufasa saves the two cubs, foiling Scar's plan. Mufasa takes Simba home, lecturing him on the danger he put himself and Nala in and he forgives and forgets. Afterwards, Simba asks if they will always be together. Mufasa responds by telling Simba about the Great Kings of the Past, who look down from the stars. Mufasa tells Simba if he ever feels alone, the Great Kings will always be there to guide him, and so will he.
The next day, Scar tells Simba that his father has a surprise for him. Scar leaves him in a deep gorge, telling Simba that Scar will return with his father soon. In fact the "surprise" was another plot of Scar's, with the goal of killing both Simba and Mufasa. Scar's hyenas drive a herd of wildebeest toward Simba. Though Mufasa was able to save Simba, Mufasa did not survive. Mufasa had attempted to climb a sheer cliff to safety after dropping Simba on a safe ledge. Near the top, Mufasa called to Scar for help. Instead, Scar threw him off after saying with an evil grin, "Long live the king." However, this was unknown to Simba, who only saw his father fall to his death. Simba is later manipulated by Scar into believing that Mufasa's death was his own fault. Scar tells Simba to leave the kingdom, and secretly sends the hyenas to kill him. Simba is able to escape by leaping into a bed of thorns. Simba then runs far away from home.
After being stranded in a desert, he meets Timon, a meerkat, and Pumbaa, a warthog. The pair had saved him from death, and offered to let Simba stay with them, as Simba was an outcast like they were. They teach Simba about their life in the jungle, and about their motto "Hakuna Matata", which means "no responsibilities, no worries." Simba takes this to heart, and survives by eating bugs. But they also teach him a very important life lesson, how to put your past behind you which would become a key role later on in the young prince's life.
Years later, Simba has grown up into fairly carefree young adult lion but he is reminded of his father's death while he, Pumbaa and Timon are stargazing. One day, Simba is called upon to saving Pumbaa from a mysterious lioness, he discovers that the lioness is his old friend Nala. Though Nala is happy, as Simba being alive means that Simba can become king, Simba is hesitant, as he still feels guilt about Mufasa. After Simba and Nala spend time alone, they discover their friendship has blossomed into love. However, Nala tries to get Simba to return with her to the Pride Lands. She tells him about Scar's tyrannical rule, but Simba still refuses. Only encounters with both Rafiki and the ghost of Mufasa are able to convince him to return, as Mufasa reminds him that he must accept his role in the Circle of Life and Rafiki demonstrates how you can either run from the past or learn from it.
Simba returns to the Pride Lands where he discovers that the land has been destroyed during Scar's reign. As a result the herds have moved on, leaving the pride with no food or water. Simba heads to Pride Rock, followed by Nala, Pumbaa, and Timon who had joined Simba. While Timon and Pumbaa distract the hyenas, Simba goes to find Scar, while Nala rallies the lionesses. Simba reveals himself to his uncle after seeing Scar strike down Sarabi. Scar is fearful at first, but is able to force Simba to admit guilt in Mufasa's death. Scar forces Simba over the edge of Pride Rock and pierces Simba's paws with his claws (just like he did to Mufasa) before revealing that he killed Mufasa, not Simba. Simba is enraged now realizing Scar was completely a big liar and after having a flashback to the fateful day he watched his father die, he summons a surprising level of strength and breaks free of Scar's grip and jumps up, and pins Scar down and forces him to tell the truth to the pride. Alongside the lionesses and his friends, Simba leads a battle against Scar. After a fight with Scar at the top of Pride Rock, Simba is able to flip the villainous lion over the ledge. There, Scar is consumed by his hyena henchmen, who were angered after Scar attempted to place the blame on them for Mufasa's death.
By the time the land is restored to its former glory, Simba has taken his rightful place as king. He married Nala, and the two have their own cub, who is presented to the kingdom in a similar manner to the beginning of the film.
In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Simba is now a mature adult and he and Nala have a daughter, Kiara. Though he's shown to be a loving father, he's also concerned and over-protective of Kiara, due to his experiences as a cub. One day Simba lets his daughter out to play with Timon and Pumbaa to watch her. Unknown to Simba, Timon and Pumbaa begin to argue about bugs and Kiara slips away from them unnoticed.
Kiara ends up crossing over into the Outlands where she meets Kovu, an Outsider cub whose pride was exiled by Simba because of their loyalty to Scar. The two befriend each other until Simba leaps in to confront Zira, Kovu’s mother, who was watching the two cubs. After the confrontation, Simba talks with Kiara and explains to her that they "are one."
When Kiara is a young adult, she heads out into the Pride Lands alone for her first hunt. Simba is worried for her safety and sends Timon and Pumbaa out to watch her again. While Kiara is hunting, Simba paces nervously at Pride Rock. He notices smoke from a wildfire, and rallies the pride to go find Kiara. Kovu rescues her, and asks to join the pride. Simba at first tries to send him away, citing his banishment alongside the other Outsiders. Nala and Rafiki convinces him to accept Kovu into the pride, as Pride Lands law states that debts must be repaid, and they owe Kovu for rescuing Kiara. Simba agrees to these laws but says he will place judgement on Kovu and when the pride returns to Pride Rock, he makes Kovu sleep outside the cave out of distrust.
That night, Simba later has a nightmare of him trying to save his father Mufasa from death, but is prevented from doing so by Scar, who morphs into Kovu, and is thrown off the cliff. Unknown to Simba, Zira has secretly trained Kovu to infiltrate Simba's pride and kill Simba. Simba gradually begins to trust Kovu, and Kiara and Kovu begin to fall in love. Soon Kovu begins to question his loyalty to the Outsiders.
After a while, Simba takes Kovu out for a walk, and tells him the real story about Scar. However, Zira and the other Outsiders ambush Kovu and Simba while they are walking, automatically reigniting Simba's distrust in Kovu, after Zira congratulates Kovu for leading him into the ambush, "just like they always planned". Kovu tries to convince Simba that he had nothing to do with the attack, and even tries to protect Simba, but is knocked down by his sister, Vitani. Simba is injured, but leaps up a river dam to safety, causing a few logs to fall on Kovu's brother Nuka, who tried to stop him from escaping, and dies from his injuries. Kovu is blamed for his death, and Zira strikes Kovu with her paw and gives him a scar over his eye that resembles Scar's. He then flees to the Pride Lands in shame, Zira telling her pride to let Kovu go.
Simba, believing Kovu had dark motives when he saved Kiara, exiles the lion, after refusing to accept his apologies and silencing his daughter, when she orders her father to listen to Kovu. As Kovu flees, he glances back at Simba, ignoring Rafiki, who merely watches in sadness. Kiara is distraught at this, and pleads with her father to reconsider, but he claims that Kovu used her just to get to him, that he is following Scar's paw prints, and that he himself must to follow his own father's. Kiara angrily defies her father, exclaiming, "You will never be Mufasa!" causing Simba to hurt immensely, and Kiara then runs away to find Kovu. The two reunite in the desert later that night. As Simba enters the cave to find his defiant daughter gone, Zazu arrives and announces that the Outsiders have initiated a war. Simba heads out to fight with his lionesses and Timon and Pumbaa and send Zazu to find Kiara. Before the battle begins Simba, in earnest, offers Zira a chance to surrender and leave peacefully, which the lioness, determined to see her goals to fruition, rejects. At this point, Simba leads the charge against the Outsiders.
After a lengthy battle, Simba and Zira confront each other directly. Just as the two are about to clash, Kiara and Kovu leap into the middle of the confrontation, and Kiara tells Simba that both sides "are one". Simba understands his daughter's wisdom and they nuzzle, as his father shines a beacon of sunlight upon him. The Outsiders, after learning of their leader's true nature when she threatens to kill a defecting Vitani, abandon Zira entirely and join the Pridelanders. Simba tells Zira to let go of her hatred as much as he has, so that peace may come between them; however, she is too overcome with disdain to accept his understanding. Zira, enraged, tries to leap at Simba, when he is momentarily distracted as the dam breaks, only to be knocked aside by Kiara. The two lionesses tumble into the gorge, which rapidly began filling with water. Simba jumps down the cliff after them while Zira, despite Kiara's offers of aid, slips and falls to her death into the swirling torrents of the river below. Simba reaches Kiara and gives her his paw to help her back up the cliff.
After Simba and Kiara climb back up to safety, he finally reconciles with his daughter and accepts Kovu and the other Outsiders into his pride. The two united prides head back to Pride Rock, where Kiara and Kovu are married. In celebration, Kovu, Kiara, Simba and Nala walk up to the promontory of Pride Rock and roar out across the kingdom, along with the rest of the pride, the rest of the animals of the Pridelands celebrating below. The disembodied voice of Mufasa congratulates him warmly, his deep voice rumbling through the air. "Well done, my son. We are one."
In the 2004 direct-to-video interquel The Lion King 1½, Simba appears as a supporting character. He briefly appears in the movie's opening with the unveiling ceremony where the animals are bowing, although unknown to Mufasa or Rafiki, the real reason they were bowing is because Timon forced Pumbaa to fart in order to clear the crowd, and they were trying as best as they could to block out the stench. More is revealed about Simba's life in the jungle with Timon and Pumbaa after his exile.
Simba proves to be a handful, as he scales tall and dangerous trees and swims over waterfalls, not caring about the danger he is in and Timon's frantic efforts to discipline him. As a teenager, he has beaten Timon in every kind of bug eating contest, along with a snail slurping contest that is shown. He also has a tendency to wake up at night, thirsty or "needing to go" and in one scene, he mentions that he had a "bad dream", either about his father's death or getting killed in the stampede trying to get to safety, leading to him sleeping beside Timon and Pumbaa.
Later on, Simba has become a teen and is challenged by Timon to a snail slurping contest which Simba walks away from victoriously. Soon enough, he reunites with Nala, and while they are having a date, Timon and Pumbaa lie in the background attempting to break them up. Simba then leaves the next day to reclaim the throne and get help from Timon and Pumbaa. Before he reclaims the throne, he thanks Timon and Pumbaa stating "I couldn't have done it without you guys."
Simba makes occasional appearances in the Timon & Pumbaa animated TV series. This includes one episode in which Timon drags him out to try to revive Pumbaa's lost memory. In the episode "Congo on Like This", Timon and Pumbaa suspect that Simba may have reverted to his carnivorous nature. The episode "Shake Your Djibouti" features Simba again where Timon and Pumbaa are forced to train Simba to protect them from a laboratory monster. In another episode, he appears only as a cardboard cutout.
Another episode entitled "Rome Alone" sees Simba being captured by Romans, who force him into gladiatorial battle with another lion named Claudius when he refuses to eat Timon and Pumbaa, but he gets out of the battle when Claudius falls asleep before the fight after Timon and Pumbaa keep him up all night trying to bribe him to forfeit the fight. In the episode "Once Upon a Timon", Simba arrives during the episode's climax and persuades Rafiki to finish telling the story of how Timon became an outcast.
Simba also appears in a music video of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" starring Timon and Pumbaa, which appeared at the end of one episode.
Simba made numerous appearances in the House of Mouse television series as a guest at the club. He is sometimes seen as a cub or as an adult.
In "The Stolen Cartoons", Rafiki was seen bathing in Simba's soup. In "Timon and Pumbaa", he complains about Timon and Pumbaa's popularity, saying "Those guys always get all the attention!". In "King Larry Swings In", a cub Simba was seen in a flashback and fell from the cliff of Pride Rock after Donald accidentally dropped him. He also appears in the finale advertisement with Nala being scolded by a babysitting Donald Duck in "Mickey vs. Shelby". He was also featured in re-used crowd shots of guests fleeing the club on several occasions.
He also makes brief appearances in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse and Mickey's House of Villains.
Simba is set to appear in the 2016 TV series The Lion Guard which will centre around his and Nala's son and youngest child, Kion.
First appearing in the 2015 pilot film, Simba is first seen reciting the speech Mufasa gave to him early on in the original film, to his daughter, Kiara. In the middle of the speech, however, Kion and his best friend, Bunga, barge in and cause distraction. This increases Simba's concern over Kion's immaturity, and he voices his hopes that his son will eventually "grow up". Later on, while at Pride Rock, Simba and Nala are told by Rafiki that Kion has been blessed with the "Roar of the Elders": a power given to the second-born of each Lion King, which indicates the new leader of a team of protectors known as the Lion Guard. Simba feels Kion is not yet ready for such responsibility, but he eventually agrees to inform Kion of his newfound responsibility, and asks his son to assemble the Pride Lands' finest lions to join the team. Instead, Kion assembles of a diverse group of animals, much to Simba's disappointment. In the end, however, Kion and his friends are able to prove their worth by rescuing Kiara from a stampede and fending off troublesome hyenas. Because of this, Simba finally agrees with Rafiki's testament, confidently declaring it is time for the Lion Guard to rise again.
Cameos and other appearances
Simba, as a very young cub, makes a brief cameo in the episode Safety Smart: Goes Green of Timon and Pumbaa's Wild About Safety, in which Timon misunderstands a CFL light bulb as a "cute fluffy lion." Then, an angry Sarabi comes to get back her son.
Simba also appears in the animated blooper reel featured in the The Lion King: Diamond Edition special features. One outtake featured Simba continuously botching the pronunciation of "Hakuna Matata". Another featured Simba trying to wake Rafiki in the midst of their scene during the latter half of the film. The final outtake on the short showed Rafiki accidentally dropping an infant Simba off the ledge of Pride Rock.
Simba appears as a character in the book series The Lion King: Six New Adventures. In the books, Simba and Nala are shown to have a son named Kopa.
He's also commonly featured in a variety of crossover games alongside other iconic Disney characters such as Kingdom Hearts and the Disney Universe game, which featured an add-on costume of Simba.
Young Simba also made an appearance in the Nintendo DS game Disney Friends as one of the characters the player has to care for as a babysitter.
Simba is a recurring character in the Kingdom Hearts series. He is voiced by Cam Clarke (adult) and Jonathan Taylor Thomas (child) in English and Japanese voice is done by Mitsuru Miyamoto (adult) and Tatsuya Nakazaki (child).
In Kingdom Hearts II, he took on a much larger role since he was an ally and party member. This was largely due to the fact that his homeworld, the Pride Lands, was visited by Sora, Donald and Goofy. His role was similar to that of the film: Nala, along with the trio, encouraged Simba to return to Pride Rock and overthrow the tyrant king, Scar. Simba agreed to this after his father's spirit, Mufasa, rebuilt his confidence. He returned to his kingdom to find out that Scar had turned into a Heartless so after a battle, Scar was defeated and the hyenas were expelled, allowing Simba to take his rightful place as king. However, Simba's confidence in his leadership capabilities dabbled when Scar's ghost returned to haunt and torment Simba. Sora eased his worries and helped him defeat Scar's ghost so that there was nothing holding Simba back any more.
As a cub, Simba is one of the many Disney animated characters having been kidnapped by the evil witch Mizrabel. He is later rescued by Mickey Mouse and brought to the Fortress. Afterwards, Simba asks Mickey to find his friends Timon, Pumbaa, and Zazu.
Following the success of The Lion King, Julie Taymor created the musical The Lion King.
In this production, we have an insight into events that weren't explored in the original film, as Simba, young and old, is in nearly all the musical numbers. But in the Broadway production, we see a slightly extended role, which includes scenes like Timon being trapped above a lake full of crocodiles, which was Simba's fault; as the situation reminded him of the day his father was killed by his uncle Scar, and sings an additional song called "Endless Night".
Jason Raize plays Simba while Scott Irby-Ranniar plays young Simba in the original Broadway cast of The Lion King. However, after Raize committed suicide in 2004, a new actor had to take his place as Simba in future showings.
Like most characters from The Lion King, Simba does not appear for meet-and-greets. Instead, he appears in certain shows. He makes cameos in It's a Small World, Fantasmic! and Mickey's PhilharMagic where he sings "I Just Can't Wait to Be King". In Disneyland, Simba is seen atop a float for Mickey's Soundsational Parade.
Simba has his own spell card known as "Simba's Roar" in the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Simba, and other characters from The Lion King are also featured in Disney's Art of Animation Resort in Walt Disney World.
Simba is also a prominent character for Disney's Animal Kingdom merchandise and promotional material. Also in the park, Simba stars in Festival of the Lion King, hosted by Timon. In the former Magic Kingdom attraction The Legend of the Lion King, the story of the film was retold using animatronic puppets and scenes from the film, and of course, Simba appears in it.
Simba also makes an appearance on a float in Paris Disneyland with Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki and Scar hiding at the back.
- I Just Can't Wait to Be King
- The Morning Report
- Hakuna Matata
- Can You Feel the Love Tonight
- We Are One
- Endless Night (stage musical)
- He Lives in You (stage musical only)
- Along with Timon and Pumbaa, Simba is the most well-known character from The Lion King franchise.
- 'Simba' in Swahili means 'lion'.
- In some concepts, Simba is shown with blue eyes.
- When the animators were drawing adult Simba, they wanted a little twist for his appearance and personality to be like his voice actor Matthew Broderick.
- In one episode of Home Improvement, Randy (played by Jonathan Taylor Thomas) says that he always expected his dad to be called a king by everyone while playing with a lion cub doll who resembles Simba. Thomas was the voice of young Simba in The Lion King.
- Simba is never referred to as a prince, but his daughter, Kiara is sometimes referred to as a princess.
- While Simba regularly appears as both a cub and an adult, his more iconic age is as a cub. The original film also goes more into depth with his cub personality.
- Simba is the first animated Disney character to have a villain as a biological relative, followed by Hercules.
- Simba's adult mane was supposedly inspired by Jon Bon Jovi's hair.
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