|“||Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom. A king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day, Simba, the sun will set on my time here, and will rise with you as the new king.||„|
|~ Mufasa to his son, Simba.|
|“||Simba, let me tell you something that my father told me. Look at the stars: the Great Kings of the Past look down on us from those stars. (Simba: Really?) Yes. So, whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you...and so will I.||„|
|~ Mufasa's famous vow to Simba|
|“||Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king. Remember... who you are.||„|
|~ Mufasa's ghost telling Simba to remember who he is|
King Mufasa (simply known as Mufasa) was the father and mentor of Simba, husband of Sarabi, older brother of Scar, father in-law of Nala, posthumous paternal grandfather of Kiara and Kion, and formerly the king of the Pride Lands until his death. He is the tetartagonist of the 1994 Disney film The Lion King, one of the supporting characters in its 2019 remake and it's 2016 sequel TV series The Lion Guard, a posthumous major character in its 1998 sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and a minor character in its 2004 midquel The Lion King 1½.
He was voiced by James Earl Jones in the films and in The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, and by Gary Anthony Williams in The Lion Guard, who was voicing Br'er Bear from The Adventures of Br'er Rabbit.
Mufasa was born at Pride Rock in the Pride Lands to the king and queen. Sometime after Mufasa's birth, his brother Askari was born. Being the eldest, Mufasa was made heir to the throne whilst Askari, as second-born, was made leader of The Lion Guard (whose first leader, was Askari's namesake), a team who protect the Pride Lands and defend the Circle Of Life and was gifted with the Roar of the Elders, which made the lions of the Pride Lands past roar with him.
In his childhood, Mufasa was betrothed to a lioness named Sarabi, whom he married later on. Some point before or after the marriage, Mufasa became King of the Pride Lands.
One day during Mufasa's earlier reign as King, Askari returned to Pride Rock from the Outlands after using the Roar of the Elders to defeat a strange lion and cobra. Unbeknownst to Mufasa, Askari had previously partnered with the strange lion to overthrow Mufasa before being betrayed. Instead of praising him, Mufasa simply gave his brother a congratulatory pat on the head and gave him a nickname "Scar", due to the scar over his left eye, which he got from the cobra. Outraged at not being taken seriously by his brother, Scar (whose mind began to become corrupted by the cobra's venom) deemed that because of this, he should be King of the Pride Lands instead of Mufasa. Scar attempted to get the other members of his Lion Guard to help him overthrow Mufasa. But when they refused, Scar destroyed them by using the Roar of the Elders against, but lost the ability to use it in the process as the Roar is meant to be used for good not evil. At some point after this, Mufasa learnt about Scar's intentions, but forgave him and allowed him to remain in the Pride Lands rather than banish him.
The Lion King
Mufasa is seen on Pride Rock at the presentation of his and Sarabi's newborn son Simba where he nods and smiles at Zazu and hugs Rafiki before he and Sarabi watch Rafiki raise Simba into the air for all the animals of The Pride Lands to see and bow down to in the first place. Later that day, Mufasa stops Scar from devouring Zazu and says he and Sarabi didn’t see him at Simba's presentation. Scar claims it slipped his mind and when Zazu tells him that as the king’s brother, he should have been first in line, Scar replies that he would have been first in line until the "little hairball" was born. Mufasa steps in and says that the hairball is his son and Scar's future king. When Scar sarcastically promises to practice his curtsy and starts to leave, Mufasa warns him not to turn his back on him, to which Scar replies that perhaps Mufasa shouldn't turn his back on him. Mufasa roars angrily at this and runs after Scar and steps in front of him and demands to know if that was a challenge. Scar replies that he would not dream of challenging him and when Zazu asks why, he replies that as far as brains go, he got the lions share but when it comes to brute strength, he's at the shallow end of the gene pool. After Scar leaves, Mufasa wonders what to do with him, to which Zazu jokely suggests making him into a throw rug and that whenever he got dirty, Mufasa could take him out and beat him. Mufasa laughs at this suggestion.
Months later, Mufasa is seen asleep in Pride Rock one morning with Sarabi and the other lionesses before being awoken by Simba whom Mufasa had promised to show the Pride Lands to. Mufasa gets up and takes Simba to the top of Pride Rock and tells him that everything the light touches is their kingdom. Simba asks about a shadowy place in the distance which Mufasa says is beyond their borders and tells Simba never to go there. When Simba replies that he thought that a King could do whatever he wants, Mufasa tells him that there's more to being King than getting your way all the time.
Mufasa then takes Simba around the Pride Lands and talks about everything being in a delicate balance and as king, Simba needs to understand the balance and respect all creatures and says that they are all connected in the great Circle of Life. Just then Zazu arrives and gives Mufasa a morning report and whilst this is going on, Simba tries pouncing on a bug. Mufasa decides to give Simba a lesson and uses Zazu as the target. After being pounced on by Simba, Zazu meets a mole who tells him that hyenas are in the Pride Lands, which Zazu tells Mufasa who goes to get rid of them but not before telling Zazu to take Simba home.
Later that day, Mufasa arrives with Zazu to rescue Simba and his friend Nala from Shenzi, Banzai and Ed and sees them off, before scolding Simba for deliberately disobeying him and takes the cubs home.
Upon returning to the Pride Lands, Mufasa tells Zazu to take Nala home as he's got to teach his son a lesson. After Zazu and Nala leave, Mufasa expresses his disappointment in Simba for almost getting killed, deliberately disobeying him and for putting Nala in danger. When a remorseful Simba replies that he was just trying to be brave like Mufasa, the King replies that he's only brave when he has to be and tells Simba that "being brave doesn't mean you go looking for trouble". Simba says that Mufasa is not scared of anything but Mufasa says he was today, saying that he thought he might lose Simba. Afterward, the two reconcile and have a brief play fight. Mufasa tells Simba something his own father told him, telling his son to look at the stars as The Great Kings of the Past look down on them from there and that they will always be there to guide Simba and so will he.
The next day, Mufasa is out patrolling the Pride Lands with Zazu who notices dust rising from The Gorge and points out that a herd is on the move which Mufasa finds odd. Just then, Scar arrives and tells Mufasa that there is a stampede in The Gorge and that Simba is down there. Mufasa (unaware that Scar had deliberately set up the stampede as part of his plan to kill Mufasa and Simba to become king) rushes to The Gorge with Scar whilst Zazu flies on ahead. After the two lions arrive at the gorge, Zazu points out Simba hanging from a tree to which Mufasa dives amongst the wildebeest to save his son. Just then, a wildebeest crashes into the tree Simba is on, causing Simba to be catapulted into the air. Fortunately, Mufasa manages to catch Simba in mid air and runs through the herd. However, Mufasa then collides with another wildebeest, causing him to drop Simba, but he is able to pick up and puts him on a ledge to safety. Suddenly, Mufasa is then knocked down by a wildebeest, but manages to leap out of the stampede and onto a steep cliff and starts to climb up it where he sees Scar at the top. Mufasa asks for Scar's help, but instead of helping, Scar grabs his brother's paws and sinks his claws into them, causing Mufasa to roar in pain. Scar then leans over the cliff and smiles evilly at his horrified brother and sinisterly says "Long Live The King" before throwing Mufasa off the cliff. Mufasa screams in despair as he falls back into the stampede and is trampled to death by the wildebeest as Simba (who did not see Scar throwing Mufasa off the cliff and believed that Mufasa lost grip) watches on and cries out in horror. Mufasa's body is later found by Simba, who Scar tricks into thinking that he caused his father's death (as Simba had roared seconds before the stampede began).
Years later, Mufasa's ghost appears to a now young adult Simba and accuses his son of forgetting him, to which Simba denies the statement. Mufasa replies that Simba has forgotten who he is himself and so forgotten Mufasa. He then tells Simba that he must take his place in the Circle of Life and that he is his son and the one true king. Simba returns to Pride Rock and discovers that Scar killed Mufasa and battles and defeats him, avenging his father. Simba ascends Pride Rock, looks up at the stars through an opening in the clouds, and hears Mufasa say "Remember" before roaring triumphantly.
The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride
Months later, Mufasa's ghost is shown in the opening song, "He Lives in You" watching his granddaughter Kiara's presentation in the first place.
Later, Mufasa is seen a few years later in Simba's nightmare in which Simba tries to rescue him and stop him from falling into the gorge, but is stopped by Scar. Then, all of a sudden, Mufasa falls into the stampede before Scar transforms into Kovu (who was hand chosen by Scar to succeed him as king before Simba returned) and throws Simba into the gorge after him.
Later, he is mentioned after Simba arrogantly exiled Kovu (after believing that the younger lion was involved in an ambush on him by Scar's most loyal follower and Kovu's mother Zira and her pride the Outsiders) and tells Kiara that he knows that Kovu is following in Scar's pawprints, and that he himself must follow in Mufasa's (unaware that Mufasa wished for Kiara and Kovu to be together, in hopes of ending the conflict between the Pridelanders and Outsiders). Kiara (who believed that Kovu would never do such a thing) tells Simba that he will never be Mufasa (suggesting that in Kiara's eyes, Mufasa would have at least heard what Kovu wanted to say before deciding whether or not to banish him, unlike Simba who exiled Kovu without giving him a chance to explain), to her father's shock and that event will happened if he still continuing to refuse to reconsider and the Circle of Life will be broken forever. After Kiara and Kovu reunited that night, a breeze blows over at them, indicating the pleased spirit Mufasa was watching them and his goals was finally fulfilled. After Zira's death and the Outsiders rejoining the Pridelanders, Mufasa congratulates Simba on a job well done and says his signature line "We are one".
The Lion King 1½
Mufasa makes brief appearances in the film which is set from Timon and Pumbaa's point of view. He first appears at Simba's presentation where he sees the animals bowing (due to being knocked out by Pumbaa's flatulence). Mufasa's second appearance is when he arrives at The Elephant Graveyard with Zazu to save Simba and Nala from Shenzi, Banzai and Ed and is watched by Timon and Pumbaa. His last appearance in the film is as a ghost which Timon and Pumbaa mistake for bad weather.
The Lion King (2019)
See Mufasa (2019)
Mufasa appears in the live action/CGI remake of the original 1994 film. Like his original counterpart, he was also voiced by James Earl Jones.
The Lion Guard
Mufasa appears as a recurring character in the 2016 Disney Junior series The Lion Guard, which serves as a midquel to The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and focuses on Mufasa's grandson Kion, who serves as leader of the Lion Guard which protect the Pride Lands and defend the Circle of Life.
Mufasa first appears in the series's 2015 pilot film The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar in a painting inside an area of Pride Rock called the Lair of the Lion Guard, which is being shown to Kion and Bunga by Simba and Rafiki. In the same scene, it is revealed that when Mufasa was younger, Scar led the Lion Guard and a ability called the Roar of the Elders and attempted to overthrow Mufasa, but this failed as his Lion Guard refused to help, resulting in Scar killing them with the Roar. This caused Scar to lose the Roar as it is not meant to be used for evil.
Mufasa later appears in spirit form to Kion, who was feeling dejected after Simba scolds him for not putting lions in the Lion Guard and for treating his role as leader as a game. Mufasa tells Kion that he's about to embark on a great journey being leader of the Lion Guard, but Kion replies that he doesn't think Simba will let him lead the Lion Guard, worried that he can't handle it. Mufasa tells Kion that Simba is worried because he loves Kion and that being leader of the Lion Guard is not always easy.
Kion believes that he's not ready to lead the Lion Guard or use the Roar of the Elders (as when he tried to use it again, it came out as a squeak) and doesn't want to end up like Scar, but Mufasa tells Kion to trust his instincts and that the Roar will be there when he needs it and so will he.
Mufasa makes recurring appearances throughout the series mostly to give advice to Kion. In the show's second season, Mufasa discovers that Scar has returned from the dead. Although this is beyond his experience, Mufasa believes that Kion, the Lion Guard and Simba will be able to defeat Scar.
In the final episode "Return to the Pride Lands", Mufasa witnesses the wedding and coronation of Kion and Rani at The Tree of Life alongside the spirits of Askari (the first leader of the Lion Guard whom Scar was named after) and Janna (Rani's grandmother and the previous Queen of the Tree of Life).
The Lion King Six New Adventures
"A Tale Of Two Brothers"
In this book, which takes place some years before the events of The Lion King, Mufasa is depicted as an adolescent and is the son and heir of King Ahadi and Queen Uru. In the story, Mufasa along with his younger brother Taka and Ahadi, are patrolling the Pride Lands which is suffering from a drought, resulting in Uru leaving Pride Rock to find a water source. The three lions see a madrill named Rafiki being surrounded by three young hyenas named Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. Ahadi chastises the hyenas for attempting to hunt for sport and make them leave Rafiki alone. Mufasa strikes up a friendship with Rafiki.
The animals of the Pride Lands come to Ahadi to complain about the current drought affecting them. When the King chooses to deal with the situation over taking his sons hunting, Taka expresses annoyance at this and also accuses Ahadi of favouring Mufasa over him.
Later in the book, Taka attempts to make Mufasa look like a fool in an attempt to convince Ahadi to make him his heir instead. He attempts to get Mufasa to fight a cape buffalo named Boma, but this fails and it is Taka who is attacked by Boma and his herd and is slashed across his left eye by one of the buffalos horns. Fortunately, Ahadi arrives to help his sons. Rafiki tends to Taka and says that he will heal but the cut over his eye will remain. Feeling guilty for his stupidity, Taka asks to be known as Scar from then on.
Afterwards, Mufasa talks with Ahadi and Rafiki and agree that a majordomo is needed and so recruit a female hornbill named Zuzu. Rafiki is also recruited as adviser.
"How True Zazu?"
In this book, which like "A Tale Of Two Brothers, takes place before the film, Mufasa being informed of everything happening in The Pride Lands by Zazu (who is the son and successor of Zuzu). When the other Pride Land animals become annoyed by this, they trick Zazu into giving Mufasa fake stories, causing the King to start to lose trust in him.
However, Mufasa regains his trust in Zazu after he warns him of an ant attack.
"The Brightest Star"
On a cold winter's eve, Mufasa and Simba are on Pride Rock stargazing. Simba notices the brightest star in the sky and asks his father which Great King of the Past it is. Mufasa replies that the star is Simba's great-grandfather Mohatu, who searched for a water supply during a drought in the Pride Lands.
After Mufasa finishes the story, Simba tells his father that he wished Mohatu could still be with them. Mufasa explains to his son that Mohatu still is with them, at least in spirit. He was there to remind them to respect and love one another, no matter how different they may be. Then, Mufasa proclaims that it was time to go to bed. As they leave, Simba says good-night to his great-grandfather's star, and tells him that he wanted to grow up to be just like him. Mufasa smiles proudly at his son and they head down Pride Rock.
"Simba's Big Secret"
Mufasa is seen with Simba who accidentally lets slip that Nala is scared of mice, to which Mufasa replies that he himself was scared of mice when he was younger.
Later in the book, Mufasa goes with the pride to the Red Cliffs to look for Nala after Simba reveals that she told him that she found a secret cave there. Luckily, the pride are able to rescue Nala after she became trapped in the cave.
Mufasa was known for his benevolence, bravery, a tender and playful side yet stoicness and seriousness. He was respected amongst every lion in Pride Rock (except for his brother Scar, of course) but Mufasa still wasn't without his faults, for instance he exiled the hyenas to the Elephant Graveyard leaving them with very little food which shows he can be quite racist, however when Scar became King of Pride Rock and he invited the hyenas to live there, it is understandable why he would exile him. Mufasa has something of an ill temper, when confronting Scar who replies "Oh no, Mufasa. Perhaps you shouldn't turn your back on me.", It prompted the King to growl in anger.
All of his faults in hand, Mufasa was a selfless and loving lion who cared about his family to the very end. Mufasa was also a massive believer in the Circle of Life and prepared his son, Simba to follow it in his paw prints. Mufasa was utterly devoted towards his son and would risk his life for him even at the cost of his own safety. He charged head-first to attack the hyenas when they were about to devour Simba and his friend, Nala. Mufasa was also able to save Simba from a stampede of wildebeest at the cost of his own life this time however. In a twist of irony however, Mufasa's love for his family also attributed to what causes his downfall and death as when he was climbing up the edge of a cliff and Scar was at the top, he begged for help only for Scar to reveal his true nature and throw him off the cliff before replacing him as King. This shows that despite being wise, Mufasa had a slight poor judge of character as he was unaware of Scar's resentment and hatred of him and Simba until it was too late and assumed that he was just arrogant.
Mufasa had a strained relationship with his younger brother since at least adolescence as Scar (back then known as Askari) returned to Pride Rock after defeating a strange lion and cobra and expected Mufasa (who was in his early reign as King) to praise him. However, Mufasa simply gave his brother a congratulatory pat on the head and gave him a nickname "Scar", due to the scar over his left eye, which he got from the cobra. Outraged at not being taken seriously by his brother, Scar deemed that he should be King instead. He attempted to have his Lion Guard help him overthrow, but when they refused, he destroyed them with his Roar of the Elders, losing it in the process. Mufasa learnt about Scar's intentions, but forgave him and allowed him to remain in the Pride Lands rather than banish him and believing that he will not be no longer be a threat to him.
As adults, the two brothers continued to have a strained relationship with Scar becoming jealous of Mufasa's son Simba replacing him as next in line to be king. Months later, after saving Simba from a wildebeest stampede, Mufasa had a hard time climbing up a cliff to safety and asked Scar for help, believing that despite their poor relationship, he would help him. However, Mufasa was horrified when Scar revealed his true nature and threw him to his death.
Despite Scar causing his death, Mufasa did not wish vengeance on him and when he appeared as a ghost to an older Simba, he only wanted him to take his rightful place as king rather than just get revenge on Scar.
Upon hearing that Scar has returned from the dead, Mufasa is concerned about what would happen, but was assured that Simba and Kion will be able to defeat him.
Though not seen, it is most likely that Mufasa is relieved that Kion defeated Scar.
Mufasa loved his wife very much. They were betrothed to each other when they were younger and as adolescents, they would spend much time together. When informed by Zazu that Sarabi was trapped in a pit, Mufasa went out of his way to rescue her.
As adults, Mufasa and Sarabi became King and Queen of the Pride Lands and had a son together named Simba, whom they both loved dearly.
After Mufasa died, Sarabi was deeply saddened and was angered to learn that the one responsible was Scar, and so along with the pride, took part in the battle of Pride Rock to avenge her husband's death.
Mufasa cared very much for his son and did what he could to train him to become a great king like him. After Mufasa died saving Simba from a wildebeest stampede, the cub was upset and believed himself responsible and fled his home.
Years later, Mufasa's ghost appeared to Simba and encouraged him to return to the Pride Lands and become king. To this day, Simba tries to be as great a king as Mufasa was.
Though they are not seen interacting, it is presumed that Mufasa had a good relationship with Nala, due to her being Simba's best friend.
He came to her and Simba's aid when they were about to be killed by Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. Later, Mufasa expressed disappointment in Simba for putting Nala in danger. Nala expressed sadness after hearing that Mufasa and supposedly Simba had died in the stampede.
Years later after Simba returned to the Pride Lands, Nala joins in the battle with Scar and the hyenas to avenge Mufasa.
Though he died before Kiara was born, Mufasa loves his granddaughter very much. He watches proudly as an infant Kiara is presented to the animals of the Pride Lands.
Years later, Mufasa wished for the Pridelanders and their offshoot the Outsiders would reunite and decide that Kiara along with Kovu would be the ones to reunite the prides. After Kiara and Kovu's wedding and Kion's return to the Pridelands, Kiara was able to meet Mufasa's spirit for the first time, with both of them happy in each other's presence.
Though he died before Kion was born, Mufasa loves his grandson very much and will give him guidance when he needs it, such as encouraging him to trust his instincts and to be there for his older sister Kiara.
Mufasa had a fairly good relationship with his majordomo. The two first meet as adolescents after Mufasa saved Zazu from Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. As thanks, Zazu would stay by Mufasa, much to the prince's aggravation as it disrupted his time with Sarabi. However, after Zazu alerted him to Sarabi being in danger, Mufasa gained respect for the young hornbill and told him that once he became king, Zazu would be his majordomo.
Zazu served Mufasa throughout his time as ruler of the Pride Lands, doing tasks such as giving the king a morning report on what the animals of the Pride Lands were doing. Zazu was with Mufasa on patrol when Scar revealed that Mufasa's son Simba was trapped in a stampede. Zazu, along with the pride, was devastated when Scar claimed that both Mufasa and Simba died in the stampede. Years later, Zazu witnessed the battle of Pride Rock, where an alive and well Simba and the pride battled against Scar (who confessed to killing Mufasa) and his hyenas and avenged Mufasa.
Mufasa had a fairly good relationship with Rafiki. They first met when Rafiki arrived in the Pride Lands during Mufasa's adolescence, where the two befriended each other.
Years later, a now King Mufasa warmly greeted Rafiki when he came to bless and present Mufasa and Sarabi's son Simba to see the Pride Lands' animals. Months later, Rafiki is saddened after hearing from Scar that both Mufasa and Simba died in a stampede.
Years later, however, Rafiki discovered that Simba was alive and so travelled to him and brought him to Mufasa's spirit, who encouraged his son to return to the Pride Lands and defeat Scar, who let the hyenas destroy the kingdom. Rafiki helped Simba battle Scar's forces and avenge Mufasa after it was discovered that Scar killed him.
Months later, Mufasa's spirit watches Rafiki present Simba and Nala's daughter Kiara to the Pride Lands's animals. Mufasa contacts Rafiki to tell him of his plan to make Kiara fall in love with Kovu (Scar's heir) in order to end the feud between the Pridelanders and their offshoot group the Outsiders later on. After the two prides reunite, Rafiki watches Mufasa's spirit congratulate Simba.
- Mufasa is voiced by treasured actor James Earl Jones (who also played the voice of Darth Vader) and Gary Anthony Williams.
- The wildebeest scene in which Mufasa dies has been ranked in one of the most iconic and saddest moments even outside of animation.
- In earlier drafts for The Lion King, Mufasa and Scar were originally unrelated with Scar being a rogue lion until it was decided that the threat should come from within the royal family. Also in earlier concept art, Mufasa was smaller than Scar.
- Mufasa was originally going to sing a song called "To Be King". However the song was scrapped as it did not suit James Earl Jones' singing voice.
- Before James Earl Jones was cast as Mufasa, Avery Brooks was considered for the role of Mufasa, but turned down the role due to scheduling conflicts with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- Sean Connery and Liam Neeson were considered for the role of Mufasa.
- After Simba exiles Kovu, forbidding Kiara from leaving Pride Rock un-escorted and Kiara tells Simba that he will never be Mufasa and runs away heartbroken to find him, Mufasa was supposed to appear in the sky and lecture Simba for his distrust on Kovu, arrogantly exiling him and failing to follow his paw prints and breaking the Circle of Life.
- In an early draft to The Lion King, Mufasa was originally going to die fighting Scar, who was originally going to be a rogue lion and would have been much larger than Mufasa, until it was decided that they should be brothers. In another early draft, Mufasa was to die saving Simba from a flood instead of a stampede.
- Mufasa is slightly similar to Osiris from Egyptian mythology as both were kings and both are later killed by their brothers (Scar and Set) who then takeover as king. Both their deaths are later avenged by their sons (Simba and Horus). A difference between the two is that Mufasa died after Simba was born whilst Osiris died before Horus was born, but conceived him after being briefly resurrected by his wife Isis.
- Mufasa is also similar to Bambi's Mother as both are a parent to the protagonist (Simba and Bambi) and both are killed by their film's antagonist at their son's young age (Mufasa was killed after Scar threw him off a cliff into the wildebeest stampede whilst Bambi's Mother died after being shot by Man). Both later appear to their son in a dream in the second film.
- Mufasa is also similar to Littlefoot's Mother as both are a parent of the protagonist (Simba and Littlefoot). Both die saving their sons from a threat caused by their film's antagonist who, in turn, killed them (Mufasa died saving Simba from the stampede instigated by Scar whilst Littlefoot's Mother died saving Littlefoot and Cera from Sharptooth who killed her after biting in her back and neck). Both later appear in spirit form to their sons on their journeys.
- In The Lion King comic "An Unusual Choir", Mufasa is shown to have two nephews who are the children of Simba's aunt and uncle from Sarabi's side of the family.
- Though not outright mentioned, it is revealed in The Lion Guard episode "Paintings and Predictions" that Mufasa and Scar had an uncle who led the Lion Guard that saved Nala's father after he fell from a tree as a cub.