Queen Nala is the deuteragonist of the 1994 film The Lion King , a supporting character in it's 1998 sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, a minor character in it's 2004 midquel The Lion King 1½ and is one of the supporting characters in the 2015 film The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar and it's 2016 series The Lion Guard. She is the daughter of Sarafina and an unknown male lion, Simba's best friend and later, his wife, Kiara and Kion (and unofficially Kopa)'s mother, Kovu's mother-in-law, Mufasa and Sarabi's daughter-in-law and the current Queen of the Pride Lands.
She is voiced by Moira Kelly.
The Lion King and The Lion King 1 1/2
Nala is first seen as a cub briefly with her mother Sarafina sleeping inside Pride Rock when Simba goes to wake up Mufasa. She is then seen later that day getting a bath from her mother when Simba arrives and asks her to come with him to a cool place but when Simba's mother Sarabi asks where the cool place is, he says it is at the waterhole. Nala asks what is so good about the waterhole to which Simba says that he will show her when they get there. The two cubs are given permission by Sarabi to go as long as Zazu goes with them much to the cubs dismay. As the trio get nearer to the waterhole, Nala asks Simba where they are really going and Simba replies that it is an Elephant Graveyard, but knowing Zazu won't take them there the two cubs create a way to distract Zazu in order to get away from him by singing "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" After the song, Simba and Nala are able to escape Zazu and stumble into the Elephant Graveyard where they are pursued by the hyenas (Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed) but are saved just in time by Simba's father Mufasa. Later that night Nala is seen taken home by Zazu while Mufasa and Simba stay behind to talk. She is last seen as a cub along with her mother, Sarabi and the other lionesses after been told by Simba's uncle Scar that Mufasa and supposedly Simba died in a wildebeest stampede and watches in horror as Scar is made king and allows the hyenas into the Pride Lands.
Nala doesn't appear again until Timon and Pumbaa hunt for grubs. An now young adult Nala tries to eat Pumbaa but is stopped by Simba (also a young adult). In the midquel, Nala doesn't appear until she is a young adult and her cub form doesn't have speaking lines. Simba realises that the lioness is Nala and Timon and Pumbaa feel jealous about Simba falling in love. They try to break them up, but they fail. Simba and Nala fall in love afterwards.
In the midquel, Timon spreads butterflies to bring love to them. Nala is now worried that Simba isn't returning to the Pride Lands. Arguing, Simba leaves the oasis, leaving Nala alone. In the midquel, Timon congratulates Pumbaa that they made the two lions break up. Nala accidentally wakes up Timon and Pumbaa, knowing that Simba ran away to fight Scar, according to Rafiki.
After Nala talks to the sidekicks in the midquel, Timon and Pumbaa don't get it. Nala gets frustrated and runs after Simba who is ready to fight Scar and his hyenas.
Nala is later seen during Simba confronting his uncle, rallying Pride Rock's lionesses, she then realizes it was Scar who really did killed Mufasa and he also blamed Simba for his death. During the battle, Nala fights off Scar's hyena thugs with the lionesses. After Scar's death and the hyenas have gone, Nala along with Sarabi, Zazu, Timon and Pumbaa watch Simba ascend Pride Rock and roar in victory. She finally appears during the final scene with Simba (now her husband), Timon and Pumbaa where her and Simba's newborn cub is shown to the other animals by Rafiki.
The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride
Nala is given a slightly minor role. Now a mature adult and is queen of Pride Rock. After their daughter Kiara goes off to play, Nala tells an overprotective Simba that she will be fine on her own but after Nala leaves, Simba sends Timon and Pumbaa to keep an eye on Kiara. Nala later appears with the other lionesses where they along with Simba go off to find Kiara and find her with a cub named Kovu and his mother Zira who along with her pride The Outsiders where banished by Simba for being loyal to Scar. After Zira and Kovu leave, Simba sends Nala and the rest of the pride back to Pride Rock while he has a word with Kiara.
Nala is next seen years later when Kiara (now a young adult) is starting her first hunt and tells her she will do just fine. After Simba spots a fire near where Kiara is hunting, Nala goes with him and finds Kiara with another lion who is revealed to be Kovu. The next day, Nala finds Simba watching Kiara and Kovu stargazing and says to him to give Kovu a chance.
The next day, she along with Kiara is shown to be shocked when Simba banishs Kovu from Pride Rock after believing he was responsible for an ambush on him which was really set up by Zira. But unlike Kiara, She remains silent and doesn't actively protest against the punishment. Nala is not present with the other lionesses when Kiara confronts Simba for his decision before running into Pride Rock, presumably going to another part of Pride Rock to leave the two be, believing it was not her place to interfere with her husband's decision. Nala later appears during the battle between the Pridelanders and the Outsiders, which she easily defeats Kovu's sister Vitani who taunts her over Kiara's disappearance until Kiara and Kovu arrives to put the battle to an end, then later directs Simba to rescue Kiara who is trying to get Zira up the cliff. After Simba helps Kiara back up the cliff, Nala is the first one to meet her and th mother and daughter hug. Nala is later seen watching roaring happily with Simba, Kiara, Kovu (now Kiara's husband) and the other lionesses when Mufasa's ghost points out, "We are one".
The Lion Guard
Nala appears in the 2015 film The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar and it's 2016 TV series The Lion Guard. It is in the middle of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and sees Nala and Simba having another child together, a son named Kion.
She is voiced by Gabriella Union.
Nala is first seen in The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar with Simba and Rafiki at Pride Rock overhearing Kion's Roar of the Elders (which he had used to save his friend Bunga from two hyenas named Cheezi and Chungu). Hearing this, Rafiki declares that it is time for Kion to become leader of The Lion Guard (which is led by the second-born child of The Lion King). Simba is reluctant as he believes that Kion isn't ready for that responsibility as he is still a cub, but Nala agrees with Rafiki and encourages Simba to listen to him, before leaving the two be.
She is later seen with Simba and Kiara's friend Tiifu witnessing and watching in horror as Kiara gets caught in a gazelle stampede caused by Janja and his clan. Luckily, Kion and his Lion Guard (Bunga, Beshte, Fuli and Ono) are able to get the herd away from Kiara and get her to safety.
After Janja and his clan are driven away, Nala and Simba are shown to be proud of their son.
"The Rise of Makuu"
When Kion feels worried about the upcoming mashindano between crocodiles Makuu and Pua, Nala reminds her son that Simba had to physically fight Scar in order to defeat him.
Nala is later seen along with her family, The Lion Guard and several other animals, watching the mashindano. When Makuu wins, Kion is in disbelief but Nala grimly assures him that Makuu is the winner. It is later mentioned by Kiara that Nala and Simba are away hunting when baboons invade Pride Rock.
"Can't Wait to be Queen"
While Kiara stays behind to watch over the Pride Lands, Nala meets with Simba and Zazu to begin their journey to Kilio Valley for a funeral. Along the way, Simba worries over having to give a tribute in the elephant language, and Zazu brags over his own skill in mastering animal languages. Unbeknownst to the trio, they have been spied on by Mzingo, who resolves to keep an eye on the doings of the Pridelanders.
As Zazu teaches Simba elephantese, the king loses his patience and roars at Zazu, blowing him into a patch of grass. Nala dashes to her mate's side and reminds him that though he may not be an elephant, he is a king and that it is his duty to carry out this tribute to an old friend.
Eventually, Simba and Nala arrive at Kilio Valley, where they witness the elephant herd placing flowers on the dead Amanifu's body. After meeting with the herd, Simba gives his tribute to the elephants, but instead of saying, "He had good on him," the standard elephantese tribute, he says, "He had poop on him." Though Simba and Nala are horrified at this turn of events, the elephants begin to laugh, and Amanifu's daughter, Matembo, explains that her father always used to have poop on him and that it was often the cause of much laughter.
When Simba and Nala return home, Kiara asks how the tribute had gone, and Nala answers that everything had turned out fine. She then asks how ruling the Pride Lands had gone, and though Kiara begins to stumble over her words, Kion jumps in, proclaiming that Kiara is going to make a great queen someday.
The Lion King: Six New Adventures
In 1994 six books called The Lion King: Six New Adventures where released set after the events of the first film where it showed Nala along with Simba having a son named Kopa.
One book in the series was called Nala's Dare and featured Nala as a cub living in the Pride Lands during Scar's reign and had two friends, two cubs named Kula and Chumvi. In the book, Nala is saved from hyenas by a young rogue lion named Ni, who is offered a place in the Pridelander pride, but turns the offer down to start his own pride.
Nala is given a larger role unlike in the movie. As a major role is given to her, she is seen as an adult in Act II ("The Madness of King Scar"). Her roles are the same like in the movie in Act II.
- Father: Unknown Lion
- Mother: Sarafina
- Husband: Simba
- Daughters: Kiara
- Sons: Kion and Kopa
- Father-In-Law: Mufasa
- Mother-In-Law: Sarabi
- Son-In-Law: Kovu
- Nala is voiced by Niketa Calame as a cub and The Cutting Edge star Moira Kelly as an adult.
- Nala is constantly thought to be the second film's tritagonist and secondary tritagonist.
- Nala is the third Disney heroine to have known the hero in childhood, separated, and reunited in adulthood, the first two being Faline and Maid Marian (Princess Aurora may or may not count, as she couldn't walk or talk in infancy, and she was hidden in a woodcutter's cottage). Yet, she's the second to actually be seen as a child with the hero, Faline being the first.
- Nala is similar to Zoey as both are their film's deuteragonist and both are the best friend and love interest of the protagonist (Nala with Simba and Zoey with Rudolph). But unlike Nala and Simba, Zoey and Rudolph don't have children together. Another difference is that Nala was only friends with Simba in childhood but developed feelings for him when she was a young adult whilst Zoey had feelings for Rudolph since childhood.
- Young Nala rarely appears in the midquel, but she is not animated nor seen speaking.
- In the original script for The Lion King (then called King of The Jungle), Nala was the daughter of a lioness named Naanda who was Sarabi's sister. This would have made Nala and Simba's relationship incensious as they would have been cousins.
- In earlier scripts, Nala had a trouble-making younger brother named Mheetu.