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Zazu

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Zazu, The Lion King (2)
Zazu
Background information
Feature films The Lion King
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
The Lion King 1½
Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse
Television programs Timon and Pumbaa
House of Mouse
It's a Small World: The Animated Series (cameo)
The Lion Guard
Video games The Lion King 1½
Meteos: Disney Magic
Disney Universe
Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion
Hidden Worlds (Temporary Scene)
Park attractions The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management
Mickey's PhilharMagic
Mickey's Soundsational Parade
The Legend of the Lion King
Disney Dreams!
Portrayed by
Portrayed by
Animators Ellen Woodbury
Randy Cartwright
Barry Temple
Travis Blaise
Rick Kohlschmidt
Voice Rowan Atkinson (in the first film)
Edward Hibbert (in the 1998-2004 sequels)
Michael Gough (in Timon and Pumbaa)
Jeff Bennett (2004-present)
Performance model
Designer
Inspiration Osric
Sebastian
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name
Other names Zasu
Zazzy
Ms. Banana Beak (or Mr. Banana Beak) (referred to by Simba and himself)
Little stooge (referred to by Shenzi)
Zero (referred to by Iago) [1]
Personality Organized, proper, dignified, serious, careful, nervous, cowardly, loyal, feisty, a bit eccentric, paranoid, and easily-rattled
Appearance Slender hornbill with blue feathers, white belly, undertail, underwings, and eyes with black pupils, aqua eyelids, both orange feet and bill with yellow trimming on both sides around his nostrils, indigo feather tips with white linings beneath them, thick black eyebrows, both indigo trimming on his head and feather on the back of it
Nationality
Species Red-Billed Hornbill
Birthday
Occupation Steward of the Pridelands
Mufasa's majordomo (formerly)
Scar's majordomo
Simba's majordomo
Alignment
Alignment Good
Affiliation
Affiliations
Goal To watch over Simba and Nala under King Mufasa's orders (in the first film)
To guard Kiara under the strict orders of King Simba (in the sequel)
Home Pride Lands
Relatives Zuzu (mother)
Zazu (cousin)
Pets
Allies Lion King franchise: Mufasa, Sarabi, Sarafina, Simba, Nala, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Pridelanders, Wildebeests, Kiara, Kovu, Vitani, Outsiders
Crossover material: Iago, Mickey and Friends, Jiminy Cricket, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, José, Michael, Pierre, Fritz, Showgirl Birds
Minions Gopher
Enemies Lion King franchise: Scar, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, The Hyena Clan, Zira, Nuka , Outsiders (formerly)
Crossover material: Mizrabel
Likes Being safe and organized
Dislikes Danger, being disorganized, Simba calling him Mr. Banana Beak, disrespect, idiocy
Powers and abilities His flight
Weapons
Fate Becomes Simba's majordomo after Scar's death
Quote See below

Zazu is a feisty red-billed hornbill who first appeared in the Disney's 1994 animated feature film the Lion King and its sequels. He serves as majordomo to Mufasa, Scar, and Simba. Zazu has had several voice actors portray him. Rowan Atkinson voices the character in the Lion King, while Edward Hibbert voices him in the 1998-2004 sequels in the saga. Michael Gough voices Zazu in its 1995-99 television series Timon and Pumbaa. Jeff Bennett provides Zazu's singing voice during the "Morning Report" sequence on the Platinum Edition of the Lion King DVD.

Background

Zazu has two conflicting histories as to how he became the King's majordomo:

Friends In Need

Young Zazu is about to be cooked and eaten by the young 3 hyenas (which explains his cry of "Oh, no! Not the birdie boiler!" in the first movie) Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, when a young Mufasa comes along, frightens off the hyenas and saves him. Zazu is thankful and hopes that he can be of service to the Lion King someday. Mufasa is doubtful of this. How could a small bird be of any use to a lion?

Zazu follows Mufasa around and watches over him. Mufasa tires of this quickly as Zazu disturbs his hunts and his private time with his betrothed Sarabi.

One day Zazu notices some vultures hovering. He asks Mufasa if he wants him to fly over and see what's happening, but Mufasa is not concerned and lies down for a nap. Zazu flies over to where the vultures are anyway and sees that Sarabi has fallen into a pit and can't get out. Zazu flies back to tell Mufasa who leaps up and runs to the gorge. But Mufasa can't find a way to rescue Sarabi. Zazu finds a tree trunk that Mufasa drags over to the pit, allowing Sarabi to climb out.

Mufasa realizes that the little hornbill is useful after all and appoints him as royal adviser.

How True, Zazu? from the Lion King: 6 New Adventures

Zazu's mother, Zuzu, was a steward to Kopa's great-grandfather Ahadi. When Zazu was young, Zuzu trained him to take her place when Mufasa's rule began.

In the book, Zazu reports everything he sees and tends to jump to conclusions. He ends up reporting false stories to Mufasa as three young animals make up stories to trick Zazu. Zazu redeems himself though as he spies an army ant attack and alerts Mufasa to the problem.

Personality

Although trying to appear proper and dignified, Zazu seems to be a nervous wreck. As majordomo to King Mufasa, his proper, dignified, nervous, and easily-rattled personality is the polar opposite in temperament of most of the rest of the cast. He tends to panic during emergencies, such as the wildebeest stampede. But it is implied that he can be brave when given the chance.

Zazu is also shown to have a sense of humor, as he was able to make a joke about turning Scar into a throw rug.

Appearances

The Lion King

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Zazu in the Lion King

As King Mufasa's majordomo and close friend (he is one of the few who call Mufasa by his name), he is very serious and always sticks to the rules.

He is first seen in the film during the opening sequence in which Simba is presented. He later confronts Scar on his absence from the ceremony and is almost eaten by him until Mufasa arrives. When Scar leaves, Zazu humorously suggests to Mufasa that Scar would make an excellent rug.

When Simba has grown into a cub, Zazu is often ridiculed by him, being the target in Simba's pouncing lessons. He is ordered to watch over the cubs by Sarabi when Simba claims he wants to go to the waterhole with Nala. In fact, Simba had been lured by Scar to go to the Elephant Graveyard, and after the song "I Just Can't Wait to Be King", Simba and Nala successfully lose Zazu and go to the graveyard. Zazu later catches up with them, but they encounter the three hyenas Shenzi, Banzai and Ed and the hornbill is put into the hyenas' "birdie boiler" geyser which rockets him up to the sky. Zazu manages to find Mufasa and lead him to the cubs, just in time to save them from the hyenas, although it is also implied shortly after the hyenas fled that, in addition to his being upset with Simba for deliberately disobeying him by going to the Elephant Graveyard, Mufasa was also upset at Zazu for failing to keep watch on them. Zazu is then ordered to take Nala home while Mufasa has a word with Simba.

During the wildebeest stampede engineered by Scar and his minions to kill both his brother and nephew, it is Zazu who leads Mufasa to Simba. As he watches the stampede, he wants to go back for help, but is struck by Scar into a wall and rendered unconscious. After Simba runs away, Zazu does not appear much. He also briefly appears in a scene after Scar has assumed the kingship of the Pride Lands. In this scene, Zazu is imprisoned and is being forced to entertain Scar by singing songs like "Nobody Knows the Troubles I've Seen" and "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts" (but not before briefly singing the lyrics of It's a Small World). When the hyenas come in to complain about the lack of food and water, Scar casually tells them to eat Zazu (although Scar also likely suggested to the Hyenas that they eat Zazu specifically as revenge for Zazu earlier mentioning Scar's brother in a favorable light compared to Scar under his breath), and he frantically insists that he'd be "so tough and gamey and eyugh!" although the Hyenas ultimately decide not to eat him, unknowingly agreeing with Zazu about Mufasa being better.

Later on, Simba returns to reclaim his throne. The lionesses, Timon, Pumbaa, and Rafiki battle the hyenas while Simba battles his uncle. Zazu pleads Timon to let him out of the ribcage he is imprisoned in, but Timon goes inside the ribcage instead as he is pursued by the hyenas. Pumbaa comes to the rescue and chases away the hyenas after Banzai accidentally insults him. Zazu is freed along with Timon, but it is unknown if he stays away from or joins the battle. Later, Zazu is seen at Simba's ascension to the throne and during the presentation of Simba and Nala's newborn cub.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

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Zazu in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

Zazu plays a minor role in the film, functioning mostly as a messenger. He is first seen at Kiara's presentation, signaling that everyone has gathered. He is next seen when Simba is lecturing Kiara before she goes out to play, and Zazu mentions the dangers of the Outsiders, calling them backstabbing and murderous. Sometime later when a wildfire starts, Zazu is sent ahead by Simba to find Kiara, who had been out on her first solo hunt. When Zazu finds that Kiara is being rescued by Kovu, he reports the information back to Simba. After Kovu asks to join the pride, Zazu notes that royal protocol demands that debts (such as the one Simba owes Kovu for rescuing Kiara) must be repaid, though Zazu would be quite happy to make an exception. Later, after Simba is injured in an ambush by Zira and the Outsiders, he is sent by Kiara to find help. Finally, near the end of the film, he appears in a panic, reporting that the Outsiders are preparing to attack. In the end, Zazu is seen standing next to Timon and Pumbaa at the presentation of Kiara and Kovu's wedding to which Timon and Pumbaa start crying with happiness and Zazu covers himself from the wetness of their tears.

The Lion King 1½

Zazu's appearances are extremely brief in The Lion King 1½. He is first seen at the presentation of Simba, talking to Mufasa. He is then seen going to rescue Simba from the hyenas with Mufasa. In the credits for this film, he is incorrectly listed as "Zasu".

Timon and Pumbaa

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Zazu in The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa

Zazu appears as a main character in the series starring Timon and Pumbaa. Zazu appears in the episode "Once Upon a Timon" where he is researching the reasons that Timon became an outcast. He eventually learns the reasons from Rakifi, and the story becomes so engrossing, that Zazu forgets about a meeting with Simba. "Zazu's Off Day Off" has Zazu being forced to work on his day off when an elephant is blocking flow of the river.

"Zazu's Off-by-One Day" shows that Zazu is responsible for taking a census of the animals. However, he is fired by the jungle inspector when it's discovered that he missed one animal. As a result, his job is given to his gopher assistant. In an attempt to regain his job, Zazu searches for the animal he missed, only to discover that it was himself. Zazu along with Timon, Pumbaa, Simba, Rafiki, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed are the only characters from The Lion King to appear in the series.

Runaway Brain

Zazu makes two cameo durings in the short.

House of Mouse

In the episode "Donald's Pumbaa Prank" he was kidnapped by Shenzi, Banzai and Ed and nearly eaten. He also makes a few cameos in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse seen alongside Rafiki and the others from the film.

It's a Small World: The Animated Series

Zazu makes a brief, non-speaking cameo in the animated mini-series' episode One Golden Sun.

Musical

Zazuc

Zazu in the musical adaptation.

In The Lion King musical, Zazu is a puppet controlled by an actor dressed in blue striped clothes and a bowler hat much like a stereotypical butler. Zazu's blue feathers have been replaced with white and the puppet is partially constructed from parachute silk with a slinky contained in the neck for ease in movement.

Zazu, like in the Platinum Edition of the film, sings the song Morning Report before being pounced on by Simba. The musical version of the song is longer than its film counterpart (in the spanish version of the musical, "Morning report" is deleted).

In certain English productions of the show (and in the Spanish one), Zazu breaks the fourth wall. In the original Broadway production when, being blocked by curtains at the beginning of the "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" number, shouts out "This didn't happen in the movie!" or "These look like shower curtains from Target!" (Ikea in some productions) and also, at the end of the number, the puppet is taken from his head and he cries out "Give me back my bird, Zazu!" The Memphis tour changes the curtain reference to "Graceland"; the London production "IKEA", and the Hawaii production "Hilo Hattie". The Toronto production had him make references to Honest Ed's, the original business of the theatre's owner, Ed Mirvish. Zazu also attacks his puppeteer, stating, "This is your fault!"

In the spanish production uses: "this didn't happen in the movie"; "this is your fault!" and (speaking to the conductor): "stop this!".

Disney Parks

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Zazu in The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management

Like most characters from The Lion King, Zazu does not appear for meet-and-greets. However, he appears in several entertainment entities. His likeness is also featured Disney's Art of Animation Resort in Walt Disney World.

At the Magic Kingdom, a former show called The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management), starred Zazu and Iago from Aladdin, as audio animatronics. Also in the park, Zazu makes a cameo in Mickey's PhilharMagic during Simba's "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" sequence.

In parades, Zazu is featured in Flights of Fantasy Parade in Hong Kong Disneyland, Mickey's Soundsational Parade in Disneyland, and in Disney's Once Upon a Dream Parade, as part of the jungle themed float's decor.

Zazu is also featured in The Legend of the Lion King stage show in Disneyland Paris, where he reluctantly assists Timon and Pumbaa in creating a reenactment of the film in honor of Simba.

Quotes

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of quotes said by Zazu.

Gallery

Wiki
The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Zazu.

Trivia

  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge's first Abyssinian ground hornbill chick is named after Zazu and dubbed his cousin.
  • Zazu is similar to Sebastian from The Little Mermaid in the sense that both are assigned to look after the protagonist (Zazu, Simba; Sebastian, Ariel) and try to keep them out of trouble (for Sebastian, it was keeping Ariel away from humans and for Zazu, it was to keep Simba and Nala from going to Elephant Graveyard), though both of them failed. Also, they have a dislike for someone who is close to the king and like making fun of them (Zazu, Scar; Sebastian, Marina Del Rey).
  • Zazu makes two cameos in the Mickey Mouse short, Runaway Brain. The first is where he is seen being one of the many things being sucked into Dr. Frankenoolie's laboratory, and the second is where he is later seen being blown away by Julius' roar.
  • He is the only major character from The Lion King who does not appear in Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Zazu has shown the ability to remain one spot mid-air, a very difficult flying ability. The only real world bird capable of that is the hummingbird.

References


The Lion King
The Lion King Textless poster 1

Films and Shows: The Lion King | The Lion King II: Simba's Pride | The Lion King 1½ | Timon & Pumbaa (Episode List) | House of Mouse | Timon and Pumbaa's Wild About Safety | The Lion Guard

Video Games: The Lion King | Timon & Pumbaa's Jungle Games | The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure | Kingdom Hearts II

Disney Parks: Fantasmic! | Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable | Festival of the Lion King | World of Color | Disney Dreams! | Celebrate the Magic | The Legend of the Lion King | The Lion King Celebration

Original Film Characters: Simba | Nala | Mufasa | Scar | Rafiki | Timon | Pumbaa | Zazu | Shenzi, Banzai and Ed | Sarabi | Sarafina | Pridelanders | Hyena Clan | Wildebeests | Cape Buffalo | Gopher | Diku (Deleted Character)

Sequel Characters: Kiara | Kovu | Zira | Vitani | Nuka | Outsiders | Crocodiles

Midquel Characters: Ma | Uncle Max | Iron Joe | Meerkat Colony

Timon and Pumbaa Characters: Native Chief | The Three Natives | Monti | Baampu | Nobi | Fred | Quint | Bruce | Stinky | Jackal | Ralph and Eddie | The Cobra | Teds | Savage Lion | Bartholomew | Toucan Dan | Vulture Police | Ned | Rabbit | Uncle Boaris | Uncle Ernie | Boss Beaver | Boy Beaver | Lester the Whale | Speedy the Snail | Smolder the Bear | Little Jimmy | Irwin | El Toro | Mr. Pig | Wolverine | Jumbo Jumbo | Cheetato & Cheetata | Martin Pardon | Rita Book | Captain Bloodbeard | Cisco Pig | Cisco Pig's Gang | Dr. Caliostro | Torgo | The Meerkat Angel | Pumbaa Jr. | Nefu | Dr. Happy | Leslie Lambeau | Sharla | Herman | Lara | Mel | Claudius | Bahuka | Madame Credenza | Duke Meerkat | Tatiana | Mother Eagle | Baby Earl | King Leopold | Princess Claudia | Pimon and Tumbaa | Mad Dog McGraw, Billy the Goat, and Three-fingered Jackelope

The Lion Guard Characters: Kion | Bunga | Fuli | Beshte | Ono

Locations: Africa | Mount Kilimanjaro | Pride Rock | Pride Lands | Water Hole | Elephant Graveyard | The Gorge | Jungle | Rafiki's Ancient Tree | The Outlands | Madame Credenza's Place | Savage Rock | Boss Beaver's Log Land

Songs: Circle of Life | I Just Can't Wait to Be King | Be Prepared | Hakuna Matata | Can You Feel the Love Tonight | This Land | ...To Die For | Under the Stars | King of Pride Rock | Busa | He Lives in You | We Are One | My Lullaby | Upendi | Not One of Us | Love Will Find a Way | Digga Tunnah | That's All I Need | The Morning Report | Lioness Hunt | Rafiki Mourns | One by One | Grasslands Chant | Chow Down | The Madness of King Scar | Shadowland | The Lion Sleeps Tonight | Endless Night | Warthog Rhapsody (Deleted Song)

Other: The Lion King (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) | Broadway Musical | Rhythm of the Pride Lands | The Battle of Pride Rock | Marvel Comics | List of Species seen in The Lion King Franchise

See also: The Disney Afternoon | Find Out Why

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