- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Pumbaa from the 2019 movie. The mainstream version can be found here: Pumbaa (Disney).
Pumbaa is a warthog and a supporting character of the 2019 film The Lion King, a remake of the 1994 animated classic film. He is based off his original incarnation with the same name.
He is voiced by Seth Rogen, who also played B.O.B. in Monsters vs. Aliens, Morton the Mouse in Horton Hears a Who!, Mantis in Kung Fu Panda, Frank in Sausage Party, himself in This Is the End, Dale Denton in Pineapple Express and Paul in the 2011 film of the same name.
Pumbaa and his friend, Timon, are chasing off vultures when they stumble upon Simba’s unconscious body. Timon implores Pumbaa to run for his life, but Pumbaa expresses interest in adopting Simba as a pet. He begs Timon for permission, and the meerkat eventually relents.
The two bring Simba to their jungle home, where they teach him to embrace an “Hakuna Matata” lifestyle. They introduce him to their animal friends and tell him that he must eat grubs in order to live with them. Simba agrees, and the two accept him as their friend.
Over the years, Simba grows up with Timon and Pumbaa. One day, he asks his friends about the Circle of Life, and they explain that life is more like a line in which everyone is out for themselves. Pumbaa insists that his actions do not affect anyone but himself.
That night, Pumbaa stargazes with his friends. He wonders if the stars are balls of boiling gas, but Timon merely pokes fun at him for obsessing over gas. Simba offers his father’s explanation of the Great Kings of the Past, only for Timon and Pumbaa to laugh at him. When he wanders off sorrowfully, Timon blames Pumbaa, who feels guilty.
The next day, Pumbaa and his friends are wandering through the jungle when they are attacked by a lioness. The lioness targets Pumbaa and chases him through the jungle. Just before she can catch him, Simba jumps to his aid and fends her off. As they fight, the two recognize each other as childhood friends and have a joyous reunion.
Simba introduces Timon and Pumbaa to Nala. He then leaves with her to explore the jungle, much to Timon’s disapproval. Pumbaa is clueless as to why Timon is upset, but understands once Timon explains that Simba will fall in love and leave their trio.
The next day, Timon and Pumbaa journey across the desert to catch up with Simba, who has left to reclaim the Pride Lands. They distract the hyenas in order to let Simba and Nala sneak into the kingdom and join in the battle that follows. When the hyenas call him fat, Pumbaa attacks and declares that he dislikes bullies.
After the fight, Pumbaa watches Simba ascend Pride Rock. Months later, he and Timon witness the presentation of Simba’s cub.
- The piglet version of Pumbaa is erroneously depicted as a red river hog.
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