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Somebody once told me, That the great kings of the past are up there watching us.
~ Simba

Simba is the main protagonist of Disney's 32nd full-length 1994 animated feature film, The Lion King and it's upcoming 2019 remake, the tritagonist of its 1998 sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, the 2004 parallel The Lion King 1½ and the 1995-1999 TV series The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa, and a supporting character in the 2016 TV series The Lion Guard.

He is the son and only child of Mufasa and Sarabi, the nephew of Scar, the best friend later husband of Nala, the father of Kiara and Kion, the father-in-law of Kovu, the son-in-law of Sarafina and the current King of The Pride Lands.

In The Lion King: Six New Adventures books (which are non-canon to the films and TV shows), Simba and Nala are the parents of a son named Kopa. Also in these books, it is said that Simba's grandparents were called Ahadi and Uru.

He was voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Jason Weaver, singing) as a cub and Matthew Broderick as an adolescent and an adult (Joseph Williams and Cam Clarke, singing) in the films and Rob Lowe in The Lion Guard. Donald Glover is set to voice Simba in the upcoming remake of The Lion King.

Background

Physical Appearance

Newborn Simba was very small and slender with a large head. He had light spots on his head and body, as newborn lions usually have. As a cub, Simba was small and slender. He has yellow fur, with a lighter cream color accenting his belly, muzzle and paws. He has large, bright eyes with orange irises (red as an adult) and yellow scleras; his upper lids are a deep tawny. Additionally, he has a light pink nose and four black whiskers on either side of his muzzle, and the insides of his ears are tawny and rimmed with black. Cub Simba boasts a small tuft of hair on top of his head, and a short bushy tail. He has somewhat stocky proportions.

Teenage Simba retains much of the appearance he had as a child, but is much more skinny. He has a mop of reddish-orange hair growing on the top of his head and partially down his neck; this is the early stage of his mane growing in. Teen Simba also has some noticeable darker colorations on his body, such as a brownish point above his nose.

As a young adult, Simba is much larger and his body is muscular. His russet mane is now fully grown and covers the entirety of his neck and much of his back, and his ears are barely seen. His eyes are smaller in relation to his head and are more oval-shaped. In the sequels Simba's Pride and The Lion Guard, now a full grown adult, the colors of Simba's pelt and mane are somewhat duller, and he has a more aged look and a heavier build.

Simba takes after both of his parents. From Mufasa, Simba inherits his gold fur and red mane. From Sarabi, Simba inherits her ear rims (which he loses as an teenager), eye color and her rounded features.

Personality

As a cub, Simba was playful and enthusiastic, as he was always ready for an adventure with his best friend, Nala. He tried to see the best in everyone, even his uncle Scar. At times, he could be a presumptuous and arrogant show-off, and boasted that he will be greatest king ever, which often got himself and Nala into danger. In spite of this, he came to see the fault in his actions and always learned from his mistakes.

Now as an adult, Simba still has his fun-loving and effervescent demeanor, but has become ashamed of those actions he believed were his fault when he was a cub. After reuniting with Nala, Simba realizes he needs to mature and take responsibility, he becomes even more courageous and is determined to protect his family and kingdom, regardless of the cost. Simba becomes very strict and takes his job of ruling the kingdom very seriously. Unfortunately, later in life, this defensiveness causes him to become occasionally overprotective and egotistical to others, even his family. However, he eventually comes to see the light and is successful in saving his pride. Simba is marked by his strong sense of justice. Yet despite this, he is still gullible to his enemies, such as when Zira congratulated Kovu for leading Simba into the ambush she set up, he automatically believes her words and distrusts Kovu again, when Kovu was really unaware of the ambush and therefore, had nothing to do with it. He is also extremely protective of Kiara to the point of keeping her in his eyesight constantly. He is so determined to keep his family safe that he ignores reality. He is mean to Kovu but is not above listening to reason and to being loyal to what his own father was, his rules and laws. At the trial, due to his injuries, his anger, and the stress of his position, he finally snaps, ignoring his daughter's pleas. This almost nearly destroys his relationship with his daughter.

When confronted by Kiara at the end of the movie, he harshly orders her out, but his daughter convinces him that his foes are their own kind. Simba looking at everybody, finally realizes that Kiara is correct and begins to trust her more. When Kiara tackles Zira to prevent the irate lioness from killing him, he jumps after her to rescue her. Kiara tells him that she tried to save Zira, and seeing that Kovu belongs with her, gives his blessing for the two to marry. He is more forgiving of his enemies and more trusting of his daughter, indicating he is becoming a better ruler.

Simba also likes to stick to tradition, which was why at first he rejected his son Kion's choices for The Lion Guard as they were not all lions like previous Lion Guards. However, after seeing Kion and his Guard defeat Janja's clan, Simba realizes that Kion was wise to have chosen whom he chose and finally accepts the new Lion Guard.

Relationships

Nala

Simba's best friend since they were cubs, the two were nearly inseparable. Unknown to them, they were betrothed at an early age, and both agreed that friends marrying each other was too weird once they discovered this fact. They appeared to also have a small rivalry between them, arguing over who deserved the credit for escaping Zazu. When they fought, Nala would easily beat Simba with her special pin move and taunt Simba by smugly saying "pinned ya." They got into many adventures, but when they were being chased by the hyenas, Shenzi was about to kill Nala and Simba saved her. Simba and Nala nearly died when the hyenas were after them they were trapped. Simba let out a feeble roar, but then, Simba and Nala were saved by Mufasa. Nala was heartbroken when Scar claimed that Simba died with Mufasa in the wildebeest stampede. As young adults, Nala was the lioness who brought Simba back to Pride Rock, to save them from Scar's tyranny. Simba briefly fought her to protect Timon and Pumbaa from her, but immediately recognized her after she once again used her pin move on him. In the midst of all this, they finally realized their friendship had grown into a relationship, and eventually marriage as originally intended. As Queen of Pride Rock, Nala often acts as a voice of reason for Simba, trying to get him to see the light when his protective judgment gets the best of him.

In The Lion Guard, Simba and Nala continue to have a loving relationship and together raise their two children Kiara and Kion.

Mufasa

Simba had a strong father-son relationship with Mufasa. He looked up to him in every way, and after being chased by the hyenas, he said he was just trying to be brave like his father. Mufasa tries to teach Simba the appropriate conduct in times of danger and as a king, and discourages him from taking unwise risks. Simba spent all the time he wasn't with Nala with his father, and Mufasa showed him how to be a good ruler. When his father was killed in the wildebeest stampede caused by the hyenas under Scar's signal, he was upset, believing it to be his own fault. It was Mufasa's spiritual guidance that eventually convinced Simba years later to reclaim the throne stolen from him.

In the second film, it is shown that Simba desires to live up to his father's legacy. Several of Simba's actions are based on what he thinks his father would approve of.

Sarabi

The queen of Pride Rock and the mate to Mufasa, Sarabi and Simba had a loving mother-son relationship. She was enormously proud of her son, and like Mufasa, tried to teach him appropriate conduct and groomed him for his future as the king. She also was protective of him, ensuring that Simba didn't run off to where he could get himself into trouble. When Scar claimed that Simba died alongside Mufasa in the wildebeest stampede, she was heartbroken. Years later, when Simba arrived to save his home, he watched sadly as Scar berated his mother. When Scar struck her down in a fit of rage, Simba immediately came to her defense and comforted her. She was in disbelief to see him alive, but very elated. After Scar was forced to confess that he killed Mufasa, Sarabi fought by Simba's side and they managed to save their home. She watched proudly as Simba assumed his throne as intended. Sarabi still supported her son after he became king, as shown in the second film, when she stands by Simba's side along with Nala, Timon, Pumbaa, and the rest of the pride when Simba faces Zira.

Scar

At first, Simba loved his uncle, and would always tell him of his adventures, but Scar never seemed to be interested; in fact, Scar didn't care for Simba from the moment he was born. After Simba tells Scar about his dad showing him the whole kingdom, Scar deliberately told his nephew about the Elephant Graveyard, hoping that Simba would go there and get himself killed (even though he covered his mouth and pretended he told him by accident).

Scar sent the hyenas, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, after Simba to kill him, but this first attempt failed. Later on, Scar led Simba into a deep gorge, and Scar, along with help from the hyenas, caused a stampede of wildebeests in the gorge, intending to kill Simba and his father. He only succeeded in killing Mufasa, his older brother, by throwing him off of a high ledge he was clinging on to and into the stampede. He told Simba a lie about the death of his father, Mufasa was his fault, and that he should run away and never return. Scar then again ordered the hyenas to kill Simba, but they failed once again, unbeknownst to Scar.

Years later, Simba is now a young adult, and he went to challenge Scar for the throne. He saw Scar slap Sarabi (Simba's mother) across the face. Thus, Simba's love for his uncle turned into pure hatred, and he told Scar to either step down or fight. Scar said that he would step down, but he can't since the hyenas thought he was the King. Then, Scar made Simba reveal that he's responsible for Mufasa's death, but Simba insisted that it was an accident and that he is not a murderer. Just as Scar was about to throw the "murderer" off of Pride Rock, he whispered to Simba and told him that he killed Mufasa. In his rage, Simba jumped back up and pinned his uncle to the ground. After Simba forces Scar to reveal the truth to the lionesses, a violent fight between the lionesses, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki (who all appeared to support Simba), and the hyenas ensued. Simba chased Scar up Pride Rock on his own afterwards, and soon cornered him in an attempt to overthrow him. Scar, knowing he wasn't strong enough to defeat Simba, begged for mercy and tries to explain that it's the hyenas who are the real enemy. But Simba refuses to believe him, stating that everything Scar ever told him was a lie. Simba, not wishing to be the monster Scar was, spared him instead of killing him, telling him to run away and never return (the same words Scar told Simba when he was a cub). Scar pretended to leave, but tricked him and threw burning embers at Simba's face, and then a fight between Simba and Scar broke out. Before Scar can pounce on Simba and kill him, Simba kicked him over himself and over an edge and he lands down at the bottom of the ledge where the hyenas wait, they destroyed Scar by mauling him after years of broken promises and as revenge for his blaming them for Mufasa's death.

Simba has not forgotten how Scar ruined his life, and swore to spare the Pride Lands from another such tragedy. In the second film, it is implied that maybe Simba is trying to forgive his uncle for his actions because when he takes a walk with Kovu, he simply says that Scar couldn't let go of his hate and in the end, it destroyed him.

Timon & Pumbaa

Timon and Pumbaa have been Simba's best friends ever since he ran away after his father's death. Though it is shown in the third film that Simba had a habit of waking Timon up in the middle of the night (this happened 4 times in the film: 1st was to go to the restroom, 2nd was to get a drink of water, the 3rd was presumably go to the restroom again, and the 4th time being that he had a bad dream and ends up sleeping with them). He was also, according to Timon, holds the record of the world's "longest bug belch", as well as beating both of them in various bug-eating contests (Slug Swallowing, Cricket Crunching, Grub Gulping, Maggot Munching, and the shown Snail Slurping). As a cub, Simba thought of Timon as a surrogate father figure and looked up to him a lot, while he saw Pumbaa merely as the uncle he never had.

As gratitude for saving him out in the desert, Simba decided to repay them by protecting them from danger. When Simba went back to Pride Rock to save the Pride Lands from Scar's Tyranny, Timon and Pumbaa fought alongside Simba and Simba was again grateful to them for helping him (in the third film, when they bowed respectfully to him, he hugged them, and claimed that he couldn't have done it without them). While Simba is King, Timon and Pumbaa are his body guards and are often tasked by him to look after Kiara.

Zazu

Not much is known about Simba's relationship with Zazu, apart from the fact that as a cub, he was never pleased when Zazu had to watch him and Nala, and the fact that Simba liked to tease the bird at every chance he got, even calling him Banana Beak, much to Zazu's chagrin. Despite this, Simba had at least some degree of respect for Zazu, as he willingly goes with Zazu when Mufasa tells him to take Simba home while he takes care of some trespassing hyenas, though Simba was a little disappointed that he couldn't go with him. After Simba voiced his frustrations, Zazu boosts Simba's morale by reminding him that one day he will be king. When Simba grew up and became king, he let Zazu retain his job as majordomo and had a more respectful and professional relationship with him.

Rafiki

When he first interacted with Rafiki, Simba found him to be extremely aggravating, most likely due to not remembering that Rafiki was the same baboon that anointed him at his birth ceremony. After he helped Simba with his identity crisis and helping him in the fight against the hyenas, Simba began to respect Rafiki as a friend and ally.

Shenzi, Banzai and Ed

Simba and the hyena trio are enemies. They made attempts on his life as a cub; however all of them have ended in failure. After Simba defeated Scar, who was then is killed by the hyenas, even though then they have stopped being loyal to Scar, it is assumed that the hyenas remained enemies with Simba, as they're not shown together in the sequel.

Kiara

Simba had a loving father-daughter relationship with Kiara. Simba tries his best to protect his daughter, but the headstrong lioness doesn't listen to his instructions, shown to stray from the path that her father marked for her and even entering the Outsider's lands even after Simba warning her about it. When Kiara met the Outsider Kovu, son of Simba's hated enemy Zira, he immediately disapproved of their friendship and became even more determined to protect Kiara.

When Kiara is an adolescent, Simba promised to let her go on her first hunt alone. And yet, he secretly sent Pumbaa and Timon to keep a close watch on her like he did when she was a cub. Kiara discovered this and becomes furious with her father, and ran off to the outskirts of the Pride Lands. Angry and worried, Simba forbids her to go on anymore hunts when Kiara nearly passed away in a brush fire set by Vitani and Nuka, Kovu's siblings. When Kovu returned, he kept a close eye on the two friends, but eventually warmed up to Kovu when he proved himself trustworthy. Unfortunately, Zira ambushed Simba in a trap supposedly set by Kovu, when he in fact did it unknowingly and unwillingly which almost ended up in Simba's death. After this incident, Simba forbade Kiara from so much as leaving his sight, and exiled Kovu. Heartbroken, Kiara said her father would never be Mufasa, greatly hurting her father. Kiara ran off to find Kovu afterwards.

When Simba fought the attacking Outsiders, Kiara stopped him, with Kovu's guidance. She finally made him realize that he and the Outsiders were one and the same, finally ending the feud, and he and his daughter finally nuzzle. When Zira attacked Simba in rage, Kiara tackles her, and Simba helped her after Zira fell to her death in the raging river below. Simba was finally able to reconcile with his daughter and accepts that she's old enough to become self-sufficient and make her own decisions.

In The Lion Guard, Simba and Kiara have a close father-daughter relationship, with Simba teaching his daughter about being future queen.

Kovu

Since Kovu was the son of Zira, his enemy in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, and since Kovu was also Scar's chosen heir, he saw Kovu as untrustworthy and saw him as an enemy. And yet, when an adolescent Kovu saved his daughter, Simba was forced to reserve any judgement. Later, when Simba took Kovu out and talked to him about Scar, it seems Simba has accepted him, but when the Outsiders attack him and Zira implies that Kovu was the one to lure him, all trust Simba had for him vanished, and now saw Kovu as a traitor all over again. When Kovu tried to ask for forgiveness, despite Kiara's protests, Simba exiled him. In the end, when he sees Kiara and Kovu together, he owes Kovu an apology for arrogantly exiling him and accepts him, along with the other Outsiders, to the Pridelands. He also watches Kovu and Kiara as Rafiki blesses the two of them. Roaring with him on the top of Pride Rock, alongside Nala and Kiara.

Kion

Simba has a fairly good father-son relationship with Kion. In The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, Simba becomes annoyed with Kion when he and Bunga disrupt his lecture with Kiara and ends up having to separate his two children when they argue on purpose. When Rafiki declares that Kion is ready to lead The Lion Guard, Simba is worried about this, thinking that due to Kion being a cub, he's not ready in the first place. But he changes his mind when Nala encourages him to listen to Rafiki.

After seeing that Kion has chosen Bunga, Beshte, Fuli and Ono to be part of The Lion Guard, Simba is most displeased. He tells his son that The Lion Guard has always been made up of lions and scolds Kion for treating his role of leader as a game and tells him to take his responsibilities seriously like Kiara is with hers.

However after Kion and The Lion Guard save Kiara from a gazelle stampede and chase away Janja and his clan, Simba realizes that Kion was wise to have chosen who he chose and expresses pride in his son and accepts The Lion Guard.

Songs Performed By Simba

  • "Just Can't Wait To Be King" (The Lion King)
  • "Hakuna Matata" (The Lion King and The Lion Guard)
  • "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" (The Lion King)
  • "We Are One" (The Lion King II: Simba's Pride)
  • "Duties of the King" (The Lion Guard)

Trivia

  • Simba is constantly believed to be the second film's deuteragonist. However though, he functions as the tritagonist, while the title of deuteragonist goes to Kovu, his son in law.
  • Simba, alongside with Timon and Pumbaa, is one of the most popular characters in the movie.
  • Simba has influences from William Shakespeare's Hamlet as well as Bambi and Littlefoot from Don Bluth's The Land Before Time.
  • In the original script to The Lion King, Simba had three aunts; Naanda, Diku, and Dwala and would have been Nala's cousin (due to her being Naanda's daughter). However their relationship would have been incest, so they were changed to friends and Naanda became Sarabi's friend Sarafina and Diku and Dwala were dropped.
  • Simba has never been able to beat Nala in a fight. She beat him twice while play fighting as cubs and again in a real fight as adults. He has only been able to accidentally pin her once, while they were rolling down a hill together in "Can You Feel The Love Tonight."
  • Simba was originally going to have dark fur like Sarabi. However, it was later decided that he should take after Mufasa instead.
  • Simba's name literally means "lion" in Swahili.
  • In The Lion King comic "An Unusual Choir", reveals that Scar isn't the only relative Simba has besides his parents, as in the comic, he is shown that he has another uncle (who has a resemblance to Mufasa), an aunt (who resembles Sarabi) and two young cousins.
  • Simba was inspired by Prince Hamlet, the main character of William Shakespeare's play "Hamlet".
    • Both are princes.
    • Both their fathers (Mufasa and King Hamlet) are killed by their uncles (Scar and Claudius), who then take over as King.
    • Both are visited by the ghost of their father.
  • In the early drafts of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Simba was meant to have two cubs: a son named Chaka (who was meant to be the cub seen at the end of the first film) and a daughter named Shani (who would eventually become Kiara). However, Chaka was cut from the film as he made it too complicated.
  • Though not outright mentioned, it is revealed in The Lion Guard episode "Paintings and Predictions" that Simba had a great-uncle who led The Lion Guard that saved Nala's father after he fell from a tree as a cub.

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