18 Things About ‘The Lion King’ We Definitely Didn’t Know

The Lion King is one those greats movies where you can sing along with even after all these years. The music is epic, the story is heartbreaking, and the characters will stay with you forever. It’s one of the most successful Disney movies ever made, but there’s actually a lot about the film that people don’t really know. Don’t worry, though, these 18 facts will get you up to speed!
1. “B-list” animators made the movie. The “A-listers” were working on Pocahontas, which Disney thought would be more successful.
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2. There was at least a million hand drawn animations by the time the movie was completed.
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3. The beginning of the movie was supposed to introduce the characters originally, but that was changed once “The Circle of Life” was created.
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4. The lyrics to the song actually translate to:
“Here comes a lion, Father / Oh yes, it’s a lion / Here comes a lion, Father / Oh yes, it’s a lion / A lion We’re going to conquer / A lion a lion and a leopard come to this open place.”

Obviously, it doesn’t have a deep message, but at least it’s to the point.

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5. The Lion King was the first original Disney movie.
All the others at that point were adapted from preexisting stories.

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6. The film earned over a billion dollars in revenue just on merchandise alone the year it came out.
Yeah you read that right. ON MERCHANDISE ALONE!

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Side note, did anyone have these cute stuffed lions with the magnetic noses? They were awesome.
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7. Wildlife expert Jim Fowler brought a bunch of wild animals to the set, including lions and a hornbill so that animators could study them.
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8. The movie was going to be called “King of Beasts”, then it was changed to “King of the Jungle”.
Someone must have told them that lions don’t actually live in the jungle.

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9. Scar was supposed to be the ruler of a pack of wild baboons and unrelated to Simba.
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10. Rafiki was going to be a cheetah, and Timon and Pumbaa were supposed to know Simba from the very start.
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11. Pumbaa was the first Disney character to ever fart in a movie.
He could clear the savannah.

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12. “Hakuna Matata” almost didn’t happen. There was a song about eating bugs, but not everyone liked it. People liked “Hakuna Matata” because it reminded them of “Bippity Boppity Boo.”
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13. “Hakuna Matata” was supposed to have a verse where Timon talks about how he has trouble fitting in with other meerkats.
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14. Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella wanted the hyena parts. The directors felt they worked too well together so they were cast as Timon and Pumbaa.
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15. Matthew Broderick was the voice of adult Simba. Although he can sing, his voice was not used singing portions.
For adult Simba, Joseph Williams’ singing voice was used instead.

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16. The wildebeest stampede scene took two years to animate.
Kudos to them for not throwing in the towel!

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17. Simba was originally supposed to lose in battle to Scar in the end with Scar accidentally dying in a fire.
As if the movie wasn’t traumatic enough?

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18. It was Disney’s most successful film until it was surpassed by Frozen and Zootopia.
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