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Zazu, The Lion King (2)
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
The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar (cameo)
Short films
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
Dan Tanaka
Marcia Kimura Dougherty
Travis Blaise
Lee Dunkman
Rick Kohlschmidt
Bill Thinnes
James A. Harris
Richard D. Rocha
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
Inspiration Osric
Honors and awards
Character information
Full name
Other names Zasu (common misspelling)
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, fierce, 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
Occupation Steward of the Pridelands
Alignment Good
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)
Allies Mufasa, Sarabi, Sarafina, Simba, Nala, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Pridelanders, Kiara, Kovu, Vitani, Outsiders
Minions Gopher
Enemies Scar, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, The Hyena Clan, Zira, Nuka, Outsiders (formerly)
Likes Being safe and organized
Dislikes Danger, being disorganized, Simba calling him Mr. Banana Beak, disrespect, idiocy, the birdie boiler
Powers and abilities His flight
Fate Becomes Simba's majordomo after Scar's defeat
Quote See below
I, Madame, am the king's majordomo!
―Zazu to Shenzi

Zazu is a red-billed hornbill and major supporting character in Disney's 1994 animated feature film, The Lion King.

Uptight and dignified, Zazu has served as majordomo to Mufasa, Scar and Simba.


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 three 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?

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.


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 (to which he adds that Mufasa can beat him "whenever he gets dirty").


The Lion King

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


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".

The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

Zazu makes a brief appearance in this film where he leads Simba, Kiara and Tiifu to Kion after Kiara told Simba that Kion had chosen Bunga to be part of his Lion Guard. After Simba scolds Kion for treating his role as leader of The Lion Guard as a game, Zazu leaves with his King.

Timon and Pumbaa

435px-Timon & Pumbaa Zazu's Off-By-One Day

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.



A captive Zazu in House of Mouse.

In Runaway Brain, Zazu makes two cameo appearances.

Zazu also appeared in the series, 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.

In the mini-series, It's a Small World: The Animated Series, Zazu makes a brief, non-speaking cameo in the episode One Golden Sun.



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.


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


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


  • The name "Zazu" means "Movement" in the Hebrew language.
  • 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 birds capable of that are the hummingbird and certain birds-of-prey like the kestrel, the latter doing so to pinpoint prey; birds-of-prey also cannot do so indefinitely.


v - e - d

Films: The Lion King | The Lion King II: Simba's Pride | The Lion King 1½ | The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar
Television: Timon and Pumbaa (Episode list) | Timon and Pumbaa's Wild About Safety | The Lion Guard
Soundtracks: Soundtrack | Rhythm of the Pride Lands | The Legacy Collection | The Lion King Collection | Return to Pride Rock: Songs Inspired by Disney's The Lion King II: Simba's Pride | Best of the Lion King | The Lion King 1½: Songs from Timon and Pumbaa's Hilarious Adventure | Original Broadway Cast Recording | The Lion Guard
Video Games: The Lion King | Timon and Pumbaa's Jungle Games | The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure | Kingdom Hearts II | Animated Storybook: The Lion King | Disney Universe | Disney INFINITY: 2.0 Edition | Adventures in Typing with Timon and Pumbaa | Activity Center | The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride: Active Play | The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride GameBrack | The Lion King 1½
Books: Classic Storybook | Disney's Wonderful World of Reading | Golden Sight 'n' Sound Book | Little Golden Book | Marvel Comics | The Art of the Lion King | Simba and the Lost Waterfall | Morning at Pride Rock | Simba and Nala Help Bomo | The Bright Star | Simba and the Big Flood | Simba the Fortune Teller | The Pal Patrol | Simba's Hide and Seek | Far from the Pride Lands | Simba's Daring Rescue | Pumbaa Runs Away from Home | No Worries: A New Story About Simba | How Simba Met Timon and Pumbaa | Way to Go, Simba! | The Lion King 1½

Disney Parks

Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable | The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management) | Festival of the Lion King | The Legend of the Lion King | The Lion King Celebration | Restaurant Hakuna Matata | Animazment - The Musical | Feel the Magic | Animagique | The Golden Mickeys | Disney's Believe | Disney's Wishes | Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom


The Lion King: Simba | Nala | Mufasa | Scar | Rafiki | Timon | Pumbaa | Zazu | Shenzi, Banzai and Ed | Sarabi | Sarafina | The Pridelanders | Hyena Clan | Wildebeests | Cape Buffalo | Gopher
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: Kiara | Kovu | Zira | Vitani | Nuka | Outsiders | Crocodiles
The Lion King 1½: Ma | Uncle Max | Iron Joe | Meerkat Colony
Timon and Pumbaa: The Native Chief | The Three Natives | Monty | Baampu | Nobi | Fred | Quint | The Woodpecker | Bruce | Stinky | Ralph and Eddie | Teds | Savage Lion | Bartholomew | The Tarsier | Toucan Dan | Vulture Police | Ned | Rabbit | Uncle Boaris | Uncle Ernie | Boss Beaver | Boy Beaver | Lester the Whale | The Tigress | Jackal | The Cobra | Speedy the Snail | Smolder the Bear | Little Jimmy | Irwin | El Toro | Mr. Pig | Wolverine | Jumbo Jumbo the Elephant | Cheetato and 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 | Mr. Buttons | Sharla | Herman | Lara | Mel | Claudius | Bahuka | Tutan Pharaoh | Genie | Madame Credenza | Duke Meerkat | Tatiana | Mother Eagle | Baby Earl | King Leopold | Princess Claudia | Sigmund and Lloyd | Heinrich and Schnitzel | Pimon and Tumbaa | Mad Dog McGraw, Billy the Goat, and Three-fingered Jackelope | Dr. Exceter | Sal Manders | Jungle Inspector
The Lion Guard: Kion | Bunga | Fuli | Beshte | Ono | Tiifu | Zuri | Janja | Mzingo | Cheezi | Chungu
Printed Media: Uru | Ahadi | Kopa | Pimbi | Boma | Ni | Kula | Zuzu | Joka | Lulu
Deleted: Diku | Baasho | Iggy | Herr Rhino | Kwashi | Bhati | Mheetu | Banagi | Daabi | Dwala | Naanda | Binti | Lemuta | Timon's Father | Buzz | Tesma | Nala's Father


Season One: "Boara Boara" | "Kenya Be My Friend?" | "Brazil Nuts" | "Never Everglades" | "Yukon Con" | "How to Beat the High Costa Rica" | "Russia Hour" | "Uganda Be an Elephant" | "Rocky Mountain Lie" | "French Fried" | "Madagascar About You" | "Mojave Desserted" | "Don't Break the China" | "The Pain in Spain" | "Unlucky in Lesotho" | "Tanzania Zany" | "Mombasa-In-Law" | "Back Out in the Outback" | "Timon's Time Togo" | "Manhattan Mishap" | "Be More Pacific" | "Let's Serengeti Out of Here" | "Okay Bayou?" | "Yosemite Remedy" | "Mozam-Beaked" Season Two: "Palm Beached" | "Oregon Astray" | "Isle of Manhood" | "Klondike Con" | "Beetle Romania" | "Wide Awake in Wonderland" | "Animal Barn" | "Africa-Dabra!" | "Shopping Mauled" | "Catch Me if You Kenya" | "Monster Massachusetts" | "Forbidden Pumbaa" | "Alcatraz Mataz" | "I Think I Canada" | "Beast of Eden" | "Timon on the Range" | "Maine-Iacs" | "Rome Alone" | "Once Upon a Timon" | "Home is Where the Hog Is" | "Beethoven's Whiff" / "Bumble in the Jungle"


The Lion King Trilogy: Africa | The Zuberi River | Mount Kilimanjaro | Pride Rock | The Pride Lands | The Desert | The Water Hole | The Elephant Graveyard | The Gorge | Jungle | The Great River | Rafiki's Ancient Tree | The Outlands
Timon and Pumbaa: Zazu's Tree | Madame Credenza's Place | Savage Rock | Boss Beaver's Log Land


The Lion King: Circle of Life | The Morning Report | I Just Can't Wait to Be King | Be Prepared | Hakuna Matata | Can You Feel the Love Tonight | Hawaiian War Chant
Instrumental Scores: This Land | The Hyenas | ...To Die For | Under the Stars | King of Pride Rock | Didn't Your Mother Tell You Not to Play with Your Food | We are All Connected | Hyenas in the Pride Lands | Elephant Graveyard | I Was Just Trying to Be Brave | Stampede | Mufasa Dies | If You Ever Come Back We'll Kill You | Bowling for Buzzards | We Gotta Bone to Pick With You | Kings of the Past | Nala, is It Really You? | Remember Who You Are | This is My Home | The Rightful King
Rhthym of the Pride Lands: Kube | Lea Halalela | It's Time | Lala | Busa | Noyana
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: He Lives in You | We Are One | My Lullaby | Upendi | One of Us | Love Will Find a Way
The Lion King 1½: Digga Tunnah | That's All I Need | Sunrise, Sunset | Grazing in the Grass
Musical: Lioness Hunt | Rafiki Mourns | One by One | Grasslands Chant | Chow Down | The Madness of King Scar | Shadowland | Endless Night
The Lion Guard: A Beautiful Day (Ni Siku Nzuri) | Zuka Zama | Tonight We Strike | Kion's Lament | Here Comes the Lion Guard
Other: Alone Together | Stand by Me | Yummy, Yummy, Yummy | The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Deleted: To Be King | Warthog Rhapsody | The Lion of the Moon | Old Fearless Buzz | The Madness of King Scar | Be Prepared (reprise)


King of the Jungle | Musical | The Battle of Pride Rock | List of Species seen in The Lion King Franchise

See Also

The Disney Afternoon | Find Out Why | House of Mouse | One by One

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