The five best “Lion King” characters have become recognizable all across the globe. The first “Lion King” film was released in 1994 and immediately became Disney’s most successful animated film. To this day, the family movie is still the highest grossing hand drawn animation film ever. Influenced by Hamlet, these “Lion King” characters have a great deal of depth and have captured the imaginations of millions.


Simba is the lion king. He is the quintessential Disney protagonist. He has all the characteristics needed to be a hero. Simba is a young innocent cub who faces tragedy early in life with the death of his father. Although this affects him deeply, he is eventually able to face his past and rise above adversity with honor and bravery to become the grown lion his father would have wanted him to be. Heck, you put a cape on him and he could be Batman.


Mufasa is Simba’s father and the great king of the pride lands. He is a strong and powerful lion who rules his land with wisdom and nobility. Mufasa has a great impact on Simba, despite his early death. This “Lion King” character is a terrific role model and an inspiration to the story’s protagonist.

Timon & Pumbaa  

Timon and Pumba are unlikely partners and play off of each other so well they are almost one character. Timon is a meerkat with ADHD while Pumbaa is an over-trusting and dimwitted warthog. The carefree duo become associated with Simba after he runs away from the pride lands and attempt to teach him about their “put your behind in your past” philosophy. These characters add a lot of personality and humor to the “Lion King.”


Scar is the antagonist of the “Lion King.” He is the younger brother of Mufasa and therefore, the uncle to Simba. After Mufasa’s death only Simba stands ahead of Mufasa to be king. While Scar cunningly hides his evil plot by pretending to be concerned for Simba, his true intentions are to keep Simba out of the picture at any cost. He is a perfect example of a Disney villain.


Rafiki is the wise old baboon in the “Lion King.” He plays the role of a wise medicine man or a shaman. He is there to anoint Simba upon his birth and returns to guide Simba back to where he belongs. Rafiki makes the list because he is both wise and mysterious. He is a unique character who walks his own path and shows up when needed most to impart his wisdom.

- Corey Vassey