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For her live-action\CGI counterpart from 2019, see: Sarabi (2019).


Hero Overview


So, what is this really cool place?
~ Sarabi to her son

Sarabi is the mother of Simba, the wife later widow of Mufasa, the sister-in-law of Scar, the mother-in-law of Nala and the paternal grandmother of Kiara and Kion, the former Queen of the Pride Lands and a supporting character from the 1994 film The Lion King and it's 2019 remake.

In The Lion King: Six New Adventures books (which are non-canon to the film), Sarabi is the paternal grandmother of Simba and Nala's son Kopa and that Ahadi and Uru are her parents-in-law.

She was voiced by the late Madge Sinclair.

History

Backstory

Not much is known about Sarabi's early life apart from the fact that she and Mufasa were betrothed to each other at a young age. Prior to the events of The Lion King, she became the queen of Pride Rock, reigning alongside her husband, Mufasa, who became the king of Pride Rock.

The Lion King

Sarabi gives birth to the newborn cub Simba. Sarabi and Mufasa embrace as Rafiki presents their baby son Simba to the other animals of the Pride Lands.

Months later, Sarabi wakes up with Simba (now a young cub) wakes up Mufasa so he can be shown The Pride Lands. When they exit their cave, Sarabi gives Simba a playful nudge and watches him and Mufasa go up to the top of Pride Rock.

Later that day, Sarabi is seen sleeping on a rock across from her friend Sarafina who is cleaning her daughter Nala. When Simba arrives to ask Nala to come with him to a "cool place", Sarabi wakes up and gives a reluctant Simba a bath. Sarabi questions her son on where the cool place is, Simba tells her that it's around the waterhole (but it is really The Elephant Graveyard). Sarabi and Sarafina allow the two cubs to go but as long as Zazu goes with them. Sarabi is later seen the following night with Nala, Sarafina, Zazu and the rest of the pride mourning Mufasa and supposedly Simba's deaths before watching in horror as their new King Scar allows hyenas to roam The Pride Lands.

Sarabi is later seen years later, arguing with Scar over the hunting party not doing their job as the herds have moved on. Sarabi tells Scar that there is nothing left and that they must leave Pride Rock, to which Scar refuses. When Sarabi protests that Scar cannot do that, he replies that he is the king and can do whatever he wants. When Sarabi accuses her brother-in-law of not being half the king Mufasa was, Scar (who has made it against the law to mention Mufasa's name in his presence) strikes her and snarls that he's ten times the king Mufasa was. Just then Simba appears and comes to his mother's defence where both Sarabi and Scar believe him to be Mufasa but Simba reveals who he is. Sarabi along with Nala and the pride are at first shocked when Simba says he was responsible for Mufasa's death but then realizes it was Scar who really killed her husband and Simba was being framed and fights the hyenas when they attack Simba with help from Timon, Pumbaa and Rafiki.

After Scar's death, Sarabi watches proudly as Simba becomes king and gains a daughter-in-law in Nala and becomes the grandmother of her and Simba's child.

Musical

Sarabi's role is the same as in the movie, though she appears with more roles in another song ("The Lioness Hunt").

The Lion King ½

Sarabi makes a non-speaking cameo during "The Circle of Life" scene as Timon and Pumbaa walk past Pride Rock.

The Lion Guard

In the Season 2 episode "Cave Of Secrets", a painting of Sarabi is seen in The Lair of The Lion Guard.

Other media

Sarabi makes several book appearances. Sarabi is seen first in The Lion King: Six New Adventures book "How True, Zazu?". After Zazu leaves Sarabi and Mufasa alone, an angry water snake tries to kill them, but Zazu alerts the two about the threat.

In the book "Friends in Need", she is seen as a adolescent lioness trapped in the gorge, but is saved by the then Prince Mufasa after being alerted by Zazu. In this book it is revealed that like Simba and Nala, Sarabi and Mufasa were betrothed to each other.

In the book "Simba's Big Secret", when Nala disappears, Sarabi asks Simba if he has seen her. At first Simba denies as he had promised Nala that he would not tell anyone where she was going. Sarabi tells him that some secrets must be told for the safety of others, causing Simba to reveal that Nala is at a cave at the Red Cliffs. Sarabi goes with the pride to find Nala, which they succeed, after finding her trapped in the cave.

Sarabi makes a cameo appearance in an episode of Timon and Pumbaa's Wild About Safety episode "Safety Smart Goes Green", where she comes to claim back Simba (portrayed as a baby) after Timon uses him as an example of a CFL (which he thought meant cute fluffy lion cub, where in fact it is a light bulb).

Trivia

  • In the original script to The Lion King, Sarabi had three sisters; Naanda (who later became Sarafina in the final film), Diku and Dwala and would have been Nala's aunt. However, Nala's relationship with Simba would have been considered as incest, due to Nala being Naanda's daughter and Simba's cousin. Because of this, Naanda became Sarafina and was Sarabi's friend rather than her sister, whilst Diku and Dwala were scrapped.
  • Originally after Simba's encounter with Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, Sarabi was to sing him a lullaby called The Lion in the Moon to relax him.
  • In the 1993 script of The Lion King, Sarabi was originally going to witness the presentation of Simba and Nala's cub at the end of the film.
  • According to storyboards at the time where there was no opening song, Sarabi would have been seen with Mufasa and Simba shortly before the latter's presentation. After noticing an angered Scar leaving the presentation, Sarabi expressed her disapproval of Scar's attitude, believing that Scar could at least show a little respect, though Mufasa decides to proceed without his brother. Sarabi mistakes Rafiki as a threat to Simba and roars at him in protection of her son, before Mufasa assures her that Rafiki means no harm.
  • In the comic "An Unusual Choir", it is shown that Simba has an aunt and uncle who have two newly born sons. As Scar is Mufasa's only sibling, this would mean that Sarabi is the sister of either Simba's aunt or uncle.
  • Sarabi did not appear in the sequel of The Lion King, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, and apparently not in the television series The Lion Guard, at least physically. It is known that she is the paternal grandmother of Simba and Nala's son and daughter, Kion and Kiara. As she is not present at all in the sequel or the television series, it is left unknown whether she is still alive or that she died. However, when answering an email from a fan, Flip Kobler, the co-screenwriter of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride revealed that the reason that Sarabi does not appear in the film is because there was no place for her in the story. Another reason for Sarabi's absence from the film and also The Lion Guard was the producers wish to honor the memory of her voice actress Marge Sinclair, who passed away in 1995.
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