He was originally voiced by Nathan Lane.
Timon is the best friend of Pumbaa, friend and guardian (when he was little) of Simba, son of Ma, and nephew of Uncle Max. Inspired by the idea of having a major predator on their side in The Lion King, he and Pumbaa took Simba in when he collapsed of heat exhaustion and guilt after his father's death. In The Lion King 1½, Timon is primarily shown as the every-man meerkat of his colony, who longs for a better life and according to him: "...where we don't have to dig tunnels and live with our heads stuck in the sand."
In the The Lion King films, Timon can be self-centered and thoughtless at times. One example is proven when they decided to take Simba in, he robs Pumbaa of the credit Pumbaa rightfully deserves. But in the end, he has a good heart, and is loyal to his friends and family. Unlike most meerkats, who work constantly, Timon is a daydreamer which results in him being an outcast of his colony. His status at the bottom of the food chain means he relies on stronger animals to protect him once he's on his own, and as such, he usually looks out for himself, but nonetheless, never abandons his friends and family in times of trouble and is willing to risk himself for them. He is also shown to be self-absorbed and not as clever as he'd like to think he is, such as sometimes claiming Pumbaa's good ideas as his own. Timon is not incapable of thinking up his own plans though, as shown by one of his greatest moments being the "Tunnels" plan in The Lion King 1½.
He is also a bit of a coward, but with some amount of ability to be a bit of a daredevil, as evidenced by the part of The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride where he tried to intimidate Zira by sarcastically introducing himself and Pumbaa to her and yelling at her to get out of their Pride Lands, but it backfired when Zira instantly replied, "YOUR Pride Lands?!" and roared, and Timon hid behind Pumbaa.
In The Lion King 1½, Timon is shown to have a very good heart in this film and is loving in some scenes between him and Ma, and shares a strong bond with her. He is also shown to have unique heroic characteristics in this film not seen in other appearances, such as having exceptional bravery in the part where he risks his own life to fix a failed hyena trap that Ma and Uncle Max create. However, Timon also shows a selfish side when he refuses to help Simba challenge Scar and prefers to stay alone in the jungle rather than going to Pride Rock with Pumbaa (though he regrets what he has done after encountering Rafiki a second time and decides to make up with his friends and help Simba).
Timon is also iconic for being best friends with Pumbaa, the warthog. The two are nearly inseparable, and are shown together constantly. Being extremely close, they share interests such as sleeping, fun-filled activities, and most of all, eating bugs, which they mostly refer to as grubs. The duo are also known to argue time and time again, mostly because of Timon's selfishness and Pumbaa's ultimate nobility causing their personalities to clash. Even so, they never separate for long, and soon enough, their bond is tightened once again. Also, while Pumbaa is generally the true brains of the outfit, he is still very childish, with Timon shown to be rather protective of the warthog when the latter is in some kind of unfortunate event due to his naivety. This is an example of Timon's ultimate loyalty towards his friends and family. Despite his self-absorbed nature, he will eventually come around to do what's right, despite the sacrifices he has to make.
On very rare occasions, particularly in the Timon and Pumbaa television series, Timon has demonstrated a rather selfish side. Notable examples are in "To Kilimanjaro Bird", where Timon callously steals a bowlful of bugs from a baby eagle and is initially reluctantly about babysitting the eagle in retribution; in "You Ghana Join the Club", he needlessly steals a watch from a lion when retrieving a set of jingle bells; in "How to Beat the High Costa Rica", after Timon and Pumbaa retrieve a case full of stolen money from Criminal Quint, Timon squanders it all on himself instead of taking it to the police; in "Kenya Be My Friend?", Timon forgets "Bestest Best Friend Day" and outright prefers to end his friendship with Pumbaa instead of admitting that he forgot (although they reconcile and he continues to deny forgetting it to avoid breaking Pumbaa's heart), among others. In these instances, it is usually Pumbaa who is the voice of reason and helps Timon to make the right decision. Other than those times, Timon is also shown to be caring towards his friends and is still shown to have heroic characteristics. Some examples are in "Timon's Time Togo", where he rescues Pumbaa from falling off a cliff, "French Fried", where he and Pumbaa rescue Speedy the Snail from getting cooked by Culinary Quint, and "Once Upon a Timon", where he and Pumbaa rescue Tatiana from a cobra.
Timon, along with Pumbaa, found Simba when the cub had succumbed to heat exhaustion. After Pumbaa suggested that an adult Simba would make a great bodyguard, Timon took the idea for his own. When Simba woke up, they taught him their life philosophy, "Hakuna Matata". They also introduced Simba to a diet of bugs to keep him from one day eating them. They lived happily with Simba, until his childhood friend Nala arrived to search for help.
After Timon and Pumbaa are almost eaten by Nala and Simba rescues them, Timon is baffled to see Simba realizing who Nala is to him. Trying to find out why Simba and Nala stopped fighting suddenly, he walks in between them and shouts about what is happening with them. After learning that Simba is the king, and that he was going to reclaim his kingdom, Timon was at first doubtful, but when Simba confirmed it, he was exceedingly enthusiastic about it, feeling a great sense of power. When he and Pumbaa see Simba and Nala falling in love, he is regretful about losing Simba, not only as a bodyguard but also as his friend, eventually becoming heartbroken by the whole event. Later that night during a nap, Nala awakens Timon and Pumbaa asking where Simba was. Oblivious to the three, Simba has returned to Pride Rock to reclaim the throne. Fortunately, Rafiki, a mandrill friend of Simba and his father Mufasa, informs the trio by simply saying the the king has returned.
Timon joins Nala and Pumbaa as they race to meet up with Simba. With all four standing near a desolate Pride Rock, Timon questions Simba if they are going to fight Scar for his home. After Simba confirms so, Timon replies by saying that he is with him to the end and bows. At Pride Rock, he and Pumbaa dance the hula to distract the hyenas so that Simba and Nala could get by and Simba would have a clear shot at Scar. He and Pumbaa then fight off numerous hyenas before he is chased by Shenzi and Banzai into Scar's cave and takes cover in Zazu's cage after Scar confess to the pride at what he had done to Mufasa. Pumbaa rescues both him and Zazu. At the film's end, Timon is shown standing on top of Pumbaa, while claiming great praise alongside him, Simba and Nala, as heroes of the Pride Lands.
It is unclear whether Timon and Pumbaa have taken up residence at Pride Rock, or just make frequent visits. They serve as aides to Simba, and are often called upon to keep an eye on his adventurous daughter Kiara so in a way replacing Zazu's role as babysitters. Despite being bumbling, Simba trusts them to look after Kiara, and does not blame them when Kiara runs off as he knows what Kiara is like. When Kiara goes on her first hunt, they are hired to make sure she won't get hurt. Enraged, she escapes from the Pridelands to hunt outside the boundary.
Timon and Pumbaa also teach Kovu how to have fun after he forgets due to years of indoctrination in hatred. When Kovu's pride, the Outsiders, turn on Simba and ambush him, Timon is on Simba's side automatically, not even wanting to hear his argument. Though, he is not seen driving Kovu out or aiding the lionesses in holding back Kiara. Timon and Pumbaa later assist in the battle against Kovu's vengeful mother Zira, and her pride of exiled lions, but get chased off and cornered by a group, until Timon threatens to use Pumbaa's tail as a gun and use his gas on them causing them to flee in fear. Despite being slightly cowardly, they are willing to fight for what is right. When Simba tries to make peace with Zira after realizing that both prides "were one", he uses the same advise Timon and Pumbaa gave him when he was a cub (Put the past behind you) showing how much he had learned from his old friends.
- “I found a place that was beyond my wildest dreams. But... it still wasn't home.”
- ―Timon, to his mother.
In the beginning, Timon is shown to be the meerkat of his colony who wants to do things differently than from what a "normal" meerkat has to do in order to survive. After causing a network of tunnels to collapse, we see Timon's unfortunately failed attempt at building a skylight in view of his colony, which then crumbles in front of his feet. Timon's mother attempts to salvage the issue of another colony-despised work from her son, and leads him away. Timon tells Ma that all they do is hide from predators and dig to survive, and that he wants to live in a place where they do not have to live this way. To his temporary dismay however, he is then told by Ma that: "Everything the light touches, belongs to someone else," and that it is nature's design.
While hearing Uncle Max ask the colony who is on sentry duty in the background, Ma comes up with idea to help Timon take up this duty for them. After witnessing Iron Joe and Timon's family agreeing to him doing so (and Timon telling us the audience that he is now "convinced" about his new job), he is taught by Uncle Max to "Scurry, sniff, flinch," and to scream when he sees a hyena invade their colony.
While on sentry duty, Timon practices the technique a few times on a large rock, before he begins to daydream and eventually breaks into his song "That's All I Need". This causes him to not realize that Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, the hyenas have invaded his colony until the hyena trio is standing right in front of him. When Timon is confronted by them, Shenzi hits him aside, and the hyenas begin to raid the meerkat colony. Timon is pulled safely underground by Ma, along with the rest of the colony finding shelter in their underground tunnel network. Uncle Max, however, is nearly eaten by Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, before appearing where the rest of the meerkats are hiding from the hyenas.
While underground, Timon tries to apologize to his entire colony for his disastrous mistake, but is completely despised by them and Uncle Max for failing at being a sentry. His entire colony leaves him where he is standing, except for Ma, who attempts to help her son, but Timon sighs and walks off.
Later on outside, Timon is sitting down, grieving his mistake on the same rock where he was on sentry duty. For a moment, his mother watches him from behind but then goes to comfort him. Timon explains to her that he is never going to please his colony and that he must find his own home away from there. At first, Ma strays from this and attempts to muse her son's hair, while claiming that he can still fit in, which irritates Timon, who continues to insist to his Ma that he cannot stay any longer with the colony, until his mother eventually (but reluctantly) gives into her son's desire to leave.
When Timon hears Ma's wish, which is that he will find what he is looking for away from his original home, he walks back to hug her and tells his mother that he loves her while doing so. After a long embrace between them, Timon briefly holds Ma's hands and assures her of his safety while he is gone. He then smiles warmly at her, just before turning away to begin his journey in finding his own home.
After walking for some time and now night, Timon stops and suddenly but comically breaks into tears, crying out for his "mommy" due to realizing what he has done by leaving his original home. Unsure of where to go now and kneeling next to his tree, Rafiki then appears next to him and asks what he seeks. After briefly freaking out at Rafiki's sudden appearance, Timon tells him that he wants to live in a place where he does not have to hide or worry. In response, Rafiki tells him about Hakuna Matata and to "Look beyond what you see" (while not realizing that Timon takes such things literally).
At first, Timon questions the mandrill about looking beyond what he sees but after making a sarcastic remark about Rafiki's existential behavior; he looks out over the horizon to find what Timon refers to Pride Rock in this scene as "the big pointy rock." Trying to confirm with Rafiki that this is his new home, he is now nowhere to be found and Timon briefly wonders about his identity, but takes it off his mind and then continues walking onward to what he now sees as his dream home, to Pride Rock.
After a short while of walking in a tall grass field, Timon is initially frightened by an unknown animal who reveals itself to be Pumbaa. At first and after introducing each other and telling Pumbaa about his journey, Timon considers him to be a bodyguard, but later comes to see as a friend. Timon and Pumbaa are shown passing through the numerous musical sequences and major events of The Lion King throughout their journey, even getting caught up in the stampede which killed Mufasa.
The two eventually find the oasis and dub it their new home, living in complete bliss until meeting up with Simba (as seen in the original film) and comes to face the responsibilities of parenthood, while also doing activities such as a snail-slurping contest with Simba during his teenage years. It is revealed that Timon and Pumbaa also actively tried to stop Simba and Nala from falling in love rather than merely singing about it.
At first, after Simba returns to Pride Rock, Timon does not want to follow (due to claiming that he and Pumbaa already had Hakuna Matata before Simba), and splits from Pumbaa. Which causes their friendship to be temporarily broken. But after a certain amount of time of being lonely and feeling guilty due to what he'd done, Rafiki comes back to him in the jungle paradise and Timon comes to understand that if you're alone and unhappy, you cannot have "Hakuna Matata". He then runs to Pride Rock and confronts Pumbaa along the way, repairing his friendship with him by declaring that: "Friends stick together to the end."
After Pumbaa embraces him, they both continue on to Pride Rock to help Simba reclaim the throne. Here, Timon reunites with Ma and Uncle Max, who come looking for him after Rafiki tells Timon's mother about the metaphor he had told her son. He then joins the final battle, diverting the hyenas from attacking Simba. Timon thinks up of a plan involving tunnels to trap the hyenas, stalling them while Ma and Uncle Max are digging underground, by spinning plates, doing the can-can, break dancing, and finally, in desperation to Shenzi's disgust and Pumbaa's jaw-dropping speechlessness, "proposing" to Shenzi.
After noticing that the tunnel trap fails to swallow the hyenas that are closing in on Timon and his friend and family members, he dives between Shenzi's legs (who nearly eats him in the process), and determinedly runs underground to break the last standing support, completing the trap. This successfully diverts the hyenas away from Ma, Pumbaa and Uncle Max.
Soon after the hyenas and Scar are defeated, Timon is temporarily nowhere to be found. This causes his mother to become frantic about her son, fearing that he may no longer be alive. But Timon arises from a ground opening behind her, and calls to Ma that he is okay while walking toward her. Ma ,however, remains frantic and, nearly going crazy in the process, grabs her son by the chest and shakes him while not realizing that it is Timon. When Ma notices him right in front of her, she embraces him in a huge hug and Timon gives in. Although his mother initially refrains from fixing Timon's hair due to him being irritated from it near the beginning, Timon allows her to fix it and dust him off, just before Uncle Max then grabs and hugs Timon tightly around his neck.
Afterward and while rain is falling over Pride Rock, Timon is shown along with Pumbaa standing on one side from Simba just before his ascension on the promontory where he hugs both of them and says that he could not have become the rightful king without them. With his hands clasped together, Timon watches Simba make his way up to the promontory and tells Pumbaa that he promised himself that he was not going to cry at the ongoing event. While Simba and the lionesses roar in the background, Timon deeply smiles up at his lion friend and then shares a look with Pumbaa, Ma and Uncle Max.
With Ma standing next to him and his hands behind his back and still watching Simba, she then asks her son in wanting to know if he had found what he was looking for since leaving the colony. Timon replies to his mother, saying that although he found a place that was beyond anything he could ever dream of, it still was not truly home without her, along with his friends and family. He then takes Ma's hand and the background around them revolves to the jungle paradise where he is now showing it to her. After Ma tells him that their new home has everything, Timon reaffirms her that with everyone now there (including his meerkat colony), it surely does.
During the reprise of "Digga Tunnah", Timon is hailed as a hero and praised by his colony for bringing them to the Promised Land. He is shown standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his mother with their hands together at the end, on top of and along with Pumbaa and Simba below their feet, while balanced over water.
In the spin-off series, Timon and Pumbaa have many adventures in the jungles of Africa. He and Pumbaa have been to many famous places such as Las Vegas, Paris, and Hollywood. Many of Timon's actions in the show involves "get rich quick" schemes.
In the episode "Once Upon a Timon", a pre-existing version of his back story was revealed. He lived in a modernized Meerkat colony complete with streets, shops and even a princess who Timon had a massive crush on. One day when Timon had guard duty, he left his post to speak with the princess. While he was gone, a snake invaded the colony and kidnapped the princess. Timon was banned and met Pumbaa. Soon enough, he came across the captive princess and rescued her. He was offered to marry her and get the good life but that would mean leaving Pumbaa. He decided to stay with his pal.
In the series, Timon's last name was revealed to be Berkowitz. According to Pumbaa, Timon's middle name is Leslie.House of Mouse television shows and films. Timon made appearances usually along with Pumbaa, but also with Simba, Rafiki, Nala, Mufasa, Scar, Zazu, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. He often has a comment on a certain performance (most of the time, it's rude).
In the episode "Timon and Pumbaa", Timon and his buddy get into an argument and do not reunite until Pumbaa is embarrassed on stage and Timon backs him up.
A recurring gag in the series involves Timon trying to eat Jiminy Cricket, and nearly succeeds until Pumbaa saves him.
In "Donald's Pumbaa Prank", Pumbaa is kidnapped by Pete, and Timon spends the evening trying to find his friend through the help of the club's staff. Eventually, through the help of Donald Duck, Pumbaa is returned safely.
In Mickey's Magical Christmas, Timon and Pumbaa are asked their Christmas wishes. While Pumbaa wants grubs, Timon desires air fresheners for Pumbaa's odor problem. At the end of the film, it is revealed that Timon actually did get an air freshener for Pumbaa. However, Pumbaa was pleased by the gift.
Timon and Pumbaa star in a series of educational shorts centering steps on living a healthy and/or safe life. Timon however, acts as the example most of the time, not knowing any safety/healthy guidelines. This leads Pumbaa to teach his friend about a certain topic.
Quite a few episodes begin with Timon and Pumbaa enjoying an activity when Timon demonstrates an act of irresponsibility to his own well-being, which prompts Pumbaa to begin the lesson. Timon can behave rather dim-wittedly in the shorts, following the lines of the television series where it was revealed that Pumbaa was the real brains of the outfit, and Timon would usually just steal his ideas.
Cameos and other appearances
Timon made a non-speaking cameo appearance in the episode "Around the World in Eighty Days" during Mickey and Goofy's travels.
In one of the Lilo & Stitch parody trailers spoofing The Lion King, during the iconic "Circle of Life" scene, Rafiki holds up what's meant to be baby Simba, but it's instead Stitch, which Timon announces in confusion (although in one of the full-length trailers, which also shows the scene, he and Pumbaa are replaced by a different warthog making the note of Stitch).
Timon appears in the Virtual Magic Carpet Ride game included on disc 2 of the 2004 Aladdin Platinum Edition DVD. The Genie accidentally teleports him into Agrabah, when he was trying to poof in one of his relatives, and asks him to replace him while he is gone on vacation. Genie grants him magic, and he helps Aladdin find his way to Jasmine throughout the game.
Timon and Pumbaa make a brief, non-speaking cameo in the animated mini-series It's a Small World: The Animated Series, in the episode "One Golden Sun."
Timon has made various appearances in many video game titles over the years. He's featured in titles based off the film such as The Lion King as well as The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure. Timon also plays a role in The Lion King 1½ as one of the central playable characters alongside Pumbaa. A costume of Timon is also a playable feature in Disney Universe.
In Disney TH!NK Fast, Timon appears as the guest questioneer in the Pride Lands. He asks a few questions about The Lion King, and then leaves.
A townsperson of him makes an appearance in Disney INFINITY: 2.0 Edition.
He becomes emotional as Simba grows up and teaches Sora, Donald and Goofy the phrase "Hakuna Matata", which means "no worries". He and Pumbaa try to help overthrow Scar, though their attempts ended up with them being cornered by Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. Luckily, Sora was there to rescue them. Later after Simba reclaims his kingship, Timon advises him to "live for today."
Timon is one of the captive Disney characters in the game and appears within the phony kingdom of Prince Eric.
His role in the story remains practically the same, along with Pumbaa, the only true difference being a few lines and a few gags being revamped such as the hula scene (which is, instead, the duo performing the Charleston).
However, in one particular scene, adult Simba begins wandering off into the jungle, prompting Timon and Pumbaa to follow him until he reaches a river stream, jumping across it with ease and recklessly dares Timon to do the same. Reluctant at first, Timon eventually agrees to, only to fall into the water and end up being horrifically taken down to a waterfall, hanging onto a branch in struggle and calling out to Simba for help, as Pumbaa worriedly watches on. Unfortunately, Simba is paralyzed by flashbacks of Mufasa's death, triggered by the sight of Timon in peril. Eventually, the branch snaps, but Simba still manages to rescue his friend, just in time; feeling extreme guilt for nearly causing yet another death because of his foolishness.Disneyland Paris and very rarely shows up at Walt Disney World and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Timon and Pumbaa also appear as mascots for the Disney theme parks by hosting for park safety as a good way to help theme park guests figure out what to do and what not to do when being checked by cast members and park security. You can see their images on the posters for the entrances and exists for the park.
Timon, along with Pumbaa appears as a mascot or Disney's Animal Kingdom and can be found in numerous areas inside the park. Timon also appears in Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade during Christmas time.
In the live stage show, Timon is the host and tells tales of The Lion King. In the show Timon along with Simba and Pumbaa host a series of songs and stunts from The Lion King film. Timon is accompanied by a pack of monkeys who preform different stunts and tricks and are a pain in the neck according to Timon.
Timon appears during the bubble montage in Disney Hollywood Studios' version of the show. Timon later reappears riding either the Mark Twain Riverboat or Steamboat Willie.
Timon and Pumbaa are planning on building "Hakuna Matata Lakeside Village Resort" in the jungle by damming the river and draining a nearby watering hole. This prompts Simba to show them another species whose actions have affected the environment for the worse - humans.
Timon and Pumbaa are featured on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship's show about three high school graduates who meet various Disney characters on their biggest adventure ever. Timon and Pumbaa are the first of the characters to be introduced and sings "Hakuna Matata" to teach the kids to loosen up and be carefree when they can.
- In The Lion King 1½, Timon is shown to interact with the audience a few times, especially in the beginning and ending non-movie theater setting scenes of the film.
- Timon and Rafiki are the only Lion King characters who make meet and greet appearances at Disney Parks.
- Timon's appearance in The Lion King 1½ compared to other works is appealing in most cases, since also being the central protagonist of this film.
- In the first Lion King film, Timon is the only character who stands and walks on his back feet (while meerkats normally walk on all four). Interestingly he is seen running in all fours at least once in both the first film (exiting the cave entrance on Pride Rock with Pumbaa and Zazu, after the off-screen fight against the Hyenas) and the sequel (in a futile attempt to charge at an outsider with Pumbaa). Moreover, it occurred in the climactic battle sequence of both movies.
- It is revealed in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride that Timon is unaware of Scar's death.
- Timon, along with Pumbaa and Simba, is the most popular character from The Lion King franchise.
- Despite the fact that Scar is one of Timon's enemies, they never interact with each other.
- In an early script for The Lion King 1½, Timon's digging skills would be just fine and there were four bullies that make him leave.
- Timon has a polar opposite named Monti. He makes his first and only appearance in the Timon & Pumbaa episode "Kenya Be My Friend?".
- He has some knowledge about human technology, such as guns. In Simba's Pride, when he and Pumbaa are cornered by the Outsiders during the battle, Timon jumps on the backside of frightened Pumbaa and brandishes the latter's tail like a gun and points it at the Outsiders, warning that "this thing loaded". The Outsiders foolishly fall for it and run away in fear. This implies that in unseen occasions, the beasts of Pride Land have encounter humans with guns (possibly wildlife rangers, hunters or poachers), otherwise they didn't know the concept of guns. On the first Virtual Safari, he has some knowledge of the GPS tracking system.
- The television series and the Wild About Safety episodes showcase Timon owning several human items, as well as Pumbaa, even including an iPad.
- According the filmmakers, Timon and Pumbaa were meant to be childhood friends of Simba who stuck with him after his exile from Scar. It was later decided that Timon and Pumbaa were outcasts as well to have a better relationship with Simba.
- According to the Timon and Pumbaa's Wild About Safety episode "Fire Safety," Timon's address is 500 Buena Vista St., which is the street address of the headquarters of The Walt Disney Company in Burbank, California.
- Timon and Pumbaa make a brief cameo appearance in the film Leroy & Stitch, right before the climatic battle.
- Timon's line, "What do you want me to do? Dress in drag and do the hula?", was improvised by his voice actor, Nathan Lane.
- Timon prefers crunchy bugs above all other foods.
- Timon's original voice actor in the films was Nathan Lane, who was occasionally replaced in other media as Timon's voice by Quinton Flynn, who voices Lea and Axel in the Kingdom Hearts series.
- In the Spanish version of the play, he speaks with an Andalusian accent.
- A monkey resembling Timon makes a cameo in The Jungle Book 2, along with a warthog resembling Pumbaa, during the song "W-I-L-D".
- Timon and Pumbaa were originally supposed to sing the entirety of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" in a comical fashion, but Elton John decided not to use that version of the song because he felt that it sounded horrible.
- Timon has a guest appearance in the game Aladdin's Magic Carpet Adventure on the Aladdin Special Edition DVD, mistaken as Genie's "Aunt Barbara."
- In the movie, MouseHunt, which co-starred Nathan Lane, he briefly says "Hakuna matata" in one of the scenes before the auction.
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