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- For his live-action/CGI counterpart from 2019, see: Simba (2019).
|“||Danger? Ha, I walk on the wild side. I laugh in the face of danger!||„|
|~ Young Simba.|
|“||Run. Run away, Scar. And never return.||„|
|~ Simba right before physically fighting his uncle and arch-nemesis, Scar.|
|“||That's like saying, "you don't wanna be a lion." It's in your blood, as I am. We are part of each other.||„|
|~ Simba to his daughter Kiara.|
King Simba (simply known as Simba) is the titular protagonist of the Disney’s The Lion King franchise. He first appeared as the protagonist of Disney's 32nd full-length 1994 animated feature film The Lion King, the tritagonist of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and of the 2004 parallel The Lion King 1½ , the deuteragonist of 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 and later husband of Nala, the father of Kiara and Kion, the father-in-law of Kovu and Rani, the son-in-law of Sarafina and Nala's father and the current King of The Pride Lands.
In The Lion King: Six New Adventures books (which are non-canon to the films and television shows), Simba and Nala are the parents of a son named Kopa. Also in these books, it is said that Simba's grandparents were named Ahadi and Uru.
He was voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Jason Weaver, singing) as a cub and Matthew Broderick as an adolescent and as an adult, who also played Niko Tatopoulos in Godzilla, Inspector Gadget in the live-action Inspector Gadget films, Despereaux Tilling in The Tale of Despereaux, Adam Flayman in Bee Movie, and Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, (Joseph Williams and Cam Clarke who also plays Freddy the Ferret in Back at the Barnyard, and Barnyard, Mac in Clifford the Big Red Dog and Leonardo in the 1987 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, singing) in the films and Rob Lowe in The Lion Guard. In the Japanese dub, he was voiced by Mitsuru Miyamoto, and Tatsuya Nakazaki and Sota Murakami as a cub.
As a cub, Simba was fun-loving and lively, as he was always ready for an adventure with his best friend, Nala. He tried to see the best in everybody, even his relative Scar. At times, he could be a brash and cocky show-off and boasted that he’ll be a great 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 admitted his mistakes.
Now as an adult, Simba still has his fun-loving and happy-go-lucky demeanor, but he has become guilty of those actions he believed were his fault when he was as a cub. After reuniting with Nala, Simba realizes he needs to grow up and take responsibility, he becomes even more lion-hearted and becomes determined to protect his kingdom and family, 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 selfish to others, even his family. However, he eventually comes to see the light and becomes successful in rescuing his pride. Simba is marked by his strong sense of justice.
Yet despite this, he is still credulous to his foes, 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 became unmindful 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 at all times. He is so determined to keep his family safe that he ignores reality. He’s very rude to Kovu when he sees him with his daughter as adolescents. At the trial, due to his injuries, his fury of what happened to his father, his anger and stress gets the better of him. This almost nearly destroys his relationship with his daughter.
When he gets confronted by Kiara at the end of the movie during the last fight, he declines to listen at first, but his daughter convinces him that his foes are their kind. While Simba is looking at everyone, finally realizes that Kiara is correct and begins to trust her more. When Kiara tackles Zira to prevent the irate lioness from slaughtering him, he jumps after her to rescue her. Kiara tells him she tried to rescue Zira and seeing that Kovu belongs with her, gives his blessing for the two of them to marry. He’s more forgiving of his enemies and more trusting of his daughter to her own decisions and having her adventures without worrying about her, indicating he is becoming a much better ruler.
Simba also likes to stick to tradition, which was why at first he rejected his son Kion's decisions for The Lion Guard as they weren’t all lions like previous Lion Guards. However, after seeing Kion and his Guard defeat Janja's clan, Simba realizes Kion was judicious to have chosen who he chose and accepts the new Lion Guard at last.
Simba has 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 him the appropriate conduct in times of danger and as a king, and discourages him from taking unwise risks. Simba spent the day with his father all the time, and Mufasa showed him how to be a good ruler. When his father was slaughtered in the wildebeest stampede caused by the hyenas under Scar's signal, he was upset, believing it to be all his 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. However, after Simba exiles Kovu believing he was involved in Zira's ambush to kill him in order to avenge Scar, Mufasa disaproves this decision to exile him and was very disappointed in Simba for deliberately disobeying him again, even Simba tries to admit his mistakes to him and Kiara that he only wanted to follow what Mufasa want, which caused Kiara to tell him that he will never be his late father. However, after Zira's demise and Kovu and Kiara reunited, Mufasa congratulates Simba and tells him that "We are one.".
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 the appropriate conduct and groomed him for his future as the king. She was also protective of him, ensuring that Simba did not run off to where he might get himself into trouble. When Scar claimed that Simba died with Mufasa in the wildebeest stampede, she was heartbroken. Years later, when Simba arrived to rescue his home, he watched sadly as Scar berated his mother. When Scar struck her down in a fit of rage, Simba came to her defense and comforted her at once. She was in disbelief to see him alive, but she was very elated. After Scar was forced to confess that he killed Mufasa, Sarabi fought the hyenas by Simba's side and they managed to rescue 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.
At first, Simba loved his uncle and would constantly tell him of his adventures, but Scar never seemed to be interested; in fact, Scar did not care for Simba from the moment he was born. After Simba tells Scar about his father showing him the whole kingdom, Scar told his nephew about the Elephant Graveyard on purpose, hoping that Simba would go there and get himself slaughtered (even though he covered his mouth and pretended he told him by accident).
Scar sent the hyenas, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed, after Simba to slaughter him, but this first attempt failed. Later on, Scar led Simba into a deep gorge, and Scar, along with the assistance 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 must run away and never return. Then Scar ordered the hyenas to kill Simba again, but they fail again due to Simba escaping into a desert through a thorn thicket much too dense for them to follow him through, unbeknownst to Scar.
Years later, Simba is a young adult now, and he went back to challenge Scar for the throne. Upon arriving, he witnessed the devastation Scar's reign had done to his home, and then saw Scar backhand Sarabi (Simba's mother) across the face for questioning his rule. Thus, Simba became enraged and even threatened to tear Scar apart. However, he still maintained some love for his evil uncle, as he resisted to make good on his threat and calmly gave him the choice to either step down from the throne or fight for it. He was even coerced by Scar to admit his guilt in his role in Mufasa's death. Upon which, Scar then accuses Simba for murdering his father, despite Simba assuring that it was an accident, and even taunted him that his father wasn't there to save him this time as it was his own fault. But just as Scar was about to throw Simba off of Pride Rock into a blazing inferno, Scar arrogantly and cruelly whispered to him that it was really he who killed Mufasa. In that moment, any love that Simba once had for his uncle turned into a burning hatred. In his rage, Simba jumped back up and pinned Scar to the ground, and then forced him to admit the real truth to the lionesses. As a result, an intense fight occurred between the lionesses and the hyenas.
Scar attempted to flee the scene to the top of Pride Rock, but Simba chased him up there on his own and had him cornered. Simba then approached his uncle with hate in his eyes, calling him a murderer who had no right to live after all he'd done. Scar, knowing he wasn’t strong enough to defeat Simba, begged for mercy and even used the excuse that they were family, which was hypocritical of him. He then tried to pin the blame entirely on the hyenas, who unbeknownst to him were listening, but Simba refuses to believe anymore of Scar's lies. Scar then asks if Simba was really willing to kill his own uncle, and in response, Simba states that he won't; not out of love, but only because he didn't wish to become a monster like Scar. Scar pretends to be grateful and asks if there is anything he could to make it up to Simba, but Simba, knowing full-well that his uncle cannot be trusted and not wanting to be around him anymore, chooses to exile him (the same words Scar told Simba when he was a cub). Surprised by this, Scar pretended to depart, but he tricked him and threw burning embers at Simba's face, and then a fight between Simba and Scar broke out. Scar eventually gains the upper hand in the fight, but before he can pounce on Simba and kill him, Simba kicks him over himself and over an edge and he lands down at the bottom of the ledge where the hyenas wait, they eliminated Scar by eating him alive after years of his lies, derogatory treatment, and broken promises and as revenge for his blaming them for Mufasa's death in an attempt to get Simba to attack them and not him. Simba watches the hyenas consume Scar’s flesh and does nothing to save him, knowing Scar does not deserve to live.
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.
Simba has 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 quickly 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 by herself. 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 frustrated with her father, and ran off to the outskirts of the Pride Lands. Outraged and troubled, Simba forbids her to go on anymore hunts when Kiara nearly passed on 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 did it unknowingly and unwillingly which almost ended up in Simba's demise actually. After this incident, Simba forbade Kiara from so much as leaving his sight, and coldly exiled Kovu. Heartbroken, Kiara said her father would never be Mufasa, hurting her father deeply. Kiara ran off to find Kovu afterwards.
When Simba fought the attacking Outsiders, Kiara stopped him, with Kovu's guidance. She made him realize that he and the Outsiders were one and the same, finally ending the feud, and he and his daughter nuzzle at long last. When Zira attacked Simba in rage, Kiara tackles her, and Simba assisted her after Zira fell to her demise in the raging river below. Simba was finally able to reconcile with his daughter and accepts that she's old enough to become self-reliant 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.
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 could not go with him. After Simba voiced his frustrations, Zazu boosts Simba's morale by reminding him that he’ll be king one day. 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.
Songs Performed by Simba
- "The Morning Report" (The Lion King)
- "I 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)
- "Welcome to the Summit" (The Lion Guard)
- "The Path of Honor" (The Lion Guard)
- In an earlier draft of The Lion King, Simba was going to tell Nala that the reason he did not want to return to Pride Rock was because he felt responsible for Mufasa's death. Afterwards, Nala would have assured Simba that Mufasa's death was an accident and that he should not blame himself.
- After meeting Timon and Pumbaa, Simba was originally going to tell them that he left the Pride Lands because of his belief that he caused Mufasa's death. Timon would of seen Simba as "a wanted criminal" (though shortly after, warmed up to Simba) whilst Pumbaa took pity on Simba. This scene would then have led to "Hakuna Matata".
- 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 maternal 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.
- 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 (along with his betrothed Timira) 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.
- In the sequel, Simba goes through Five Stages of Grief due to Mufasa's death. He refused to let Kovu joined the Pridelanders despite he saved Kiara from a wildfire (Denial), he was furious at Kovu for bringing him to the Outlanders despite he never saw there's an ambush (Anger), he selfishly exiled Kovu from Pride Lands after he got injured from a fight with the Outlanders (Bargaining), he was implied to become remorseful as he became shocked and horrified as Kiara told him that he will never become Mufasa (Depression), and he and the Pridelanders making amends with the Outlanders including accepting Kovu (Acceptance).
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