- “Ah, you're an outcast! That's great, so are we!”
- ―Timon on he and Pumbaa to Simba
Timon is a comical meerkat who is one of the tritagonists from Disney's 1994 film The Lion King and its 1998 sequel. In its 2004 interquel, Timon is the central main protagonist. He is the best friend of Pumbaa, friend and protector (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 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: "...where we don't have to dig tunnels and live with our heads stuck in the sand." He has been voiced by Nathan Lane in the trilogy films, Kevin Schon in Timon and Pumbaa and House of Mouse, Quinton Flynn in some of the Timon and Pumbaa episodes, and by Bruce Lanoil in Kingdom Hearts II, Disney Th!nk Fast, and The Wild About Safety shorts.
Timon can be rather selfish and thoughtless at times, but in the end, he has a good heart and is loyal to his friends. Unlike most meerkats, who work constantly, Timon is a lazy daydreamer which results in him being cast out 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, he never abandons his friends 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, often claiming Pumbaa's good ideas as his own (and seemingly genuinely believing it). He is not incapable of thinking up his own plans, though, as shown by his greatest moment 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 & Pumbaa to her and yelling at her to get out of their Pridelands, 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 exceptional bravery in the part where he risks his life to fix a failed hyena trap that Ma and Uncle Max create. He is also shown as loving in some scenes between him and his mother. Timon is often very sweet in this film, despite being self-absorbed at times.
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 misfortunate 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.
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 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 a 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 his throne. Fortunately, Rafiki, a mandrill friend of Simba and his father Musfasa, informs the trio by simply saying the the king has returned.
Timon joins Nala and Pumbaa as they race to meet up with Simba. Eventually doing so, he and Pumbaa danced the hula to distract hyenas so that Simba and Nala could get back into the Pride Lands unnoticed and Simba would have a clear shot at Scar. He and Pumbaa fight off numerous hyenas before he is chased by Banzai into Scar's cave and takes cover in Zazu's cage. Pumbaa rescues him, breaking Zazu free at the same time, and at the film's end, Timon decides to stay and live with Pumbaa and Simba at Pride Rock, claiming great praise alongside Simba, Nala, and Pumbaa 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. They 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.
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 dismay however, he is then told by Ma that "Everything the light touches, belongs to someone else."
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 Timon's family agrees to him doing so, 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 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 even 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.
During his journey, he meets Rafiki, who tells him to look beyond what he sees (not realizing that Timon takes such things literally) and then Pumbaa, who he at first considers a bodyguard, but 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 meet up with Simba (as seen in the original film) and comes to face the responsibilities of parenthood. 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, and splits from Pumbaa briefly. But then, after a long time of feeling lonely and guilty due to what he'd done, he meets with Rafiki and comes to understand that if you're alone and unhappy, you cannot have "Hakuna Matata". He follows Pumbaa back to Pride Rock, where he reunites with his Ma and Uncle Max. He then joins the final battle, diverting the hyenas from attacking Simba. He then thinks up a plan involving tunnels to trap the hyenas, stalling them while his Ma and Uncle Max are digging 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. The tunnel trap fails, and Timon dives between Shenzi's legs and breaks the last few supports, completing the trap. Finally, Timon brings his entire colony to live in the jungle home he and Pumbaa found, and is hailed, a hero.
In the spinoff 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 actions in the show involves "get rich quick" schemes.
In the episode "Once Upon a Timon" some of his back story was revealed. He lived in a 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 and kidnapped her. Timon was baned 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.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 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 is not seen until Simba is seen in the oasis. At this point, Timon looks a little emotional to a degree, noting to Pumbaa: "Look at 'him Pumbaa, look at how he's grown. Why, when I rescued the little guy, he was only this big" and then lowers his hand to level with his knee. He is eventually met by Sora and the gang and teachs them about Hakuna Matata, which means no worries. As he leads a conga line of sorts with him at the lead and Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Pumbaa in the back, he chants "Hakuna", while the others respond "Matata". However, this carefree antic is put to a stop by Simba's fight with Nala about going back to the Pride Land. Later, Timon helps the entire group to try and take down Scar, alongside Pumbaa. However, their attempts ultimately fail and they are cornered by Shenzi, Banzai and Ed in a cave, which means it is Sora's responsibility to rescue them. At the end of the First Visit, Timon is present and even delivers the line, after the gateway to the next world has been opened, "Hey! What's with the light show?", which shows other people can see the glow that is seen whenever Sora unlocks another gateway.
Timon is seen only scarcely, but ultimately helps Simba by telling him to "Live for today". He also gives some good advice before facing the Groundshaker.
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. Many of the episodes begins 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.
Timon and Pumbaa also appear as mascots for the Disney 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 Jangle 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.
- Although The Lion King 1½ appears to be centered on both Timon and Pumbaa, the beginning and ending areas of the film reveal that it is Timon's own movie.
- 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).
- 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 treats Pumbaa quite bad in most of the Timon & Pumbaa series' episodes. Timon is impulsive, rude, selfish and arrogant.
- Timon has a polar opposite named Monti. He makes his first and only appearance in the Timon & Pumbaa series' episode Kenya Be My Friend?.
- He has some knowledge about human technology, such as rifles/blowpipes. In Simba's Pride, when he and Pumbaa are cornered by the Outsiders during the battle, Timon jumps on the back of frightened Pumbaa and brandishes his tail like a rifle/blowpipe and points it at the Outsiders, claiming that it's "loaded". The Outsiders foolishly fall for it and run away in fear. This implies that in unseen occasions, humans and the indigenous people with rifles and blowpipes come to Pride Land (possibly as hunters, wildlife rangers, tourists or poachers), otherwise Timon and the Outsiders wouldn't know of rifles. This also imply that they have encounter humans before.
- 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 outcast 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 and Stitch, right before the climatic battle.
- Timon's line, "What do you want me to do? Dress and 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 Axel and Lea in the Kingdom Hearts series.
- In the Spanish version of the play, he speaks with an Andalusian accent.