The Savanna-The Lion King-The Lion King: A Giant Leap







In the velvet blackness of an African night,

at the hour before dawn when the land is full of dreams,

a lone voice heralds the new day.


A the red disk of the sun rises,

the one voice becomes many

until the Pride Lands echo with song.


The distant mountain floats above the mist.

Vast herds move across the golden plain,

and heavens come alive with storks and doves,

kingfishers, and flamingos.


High on Pride Rock, Mufasa the Lion King waits,

watching as the creatures of his domain gather below

to celebrate the arrival of th newborn prince.


Rafiki, keeper of mysteries,

anoints Prince Simba's brow,

sprinkles the cub with ceremonial dust,

and raises him to the skies

for all of heaven and earth to see.


Mufasa's jealous sibling, Scar,

sits in the shade, taking bitter pride in his absence

from the sacred ceremony, scheming and dreaming of the day

he will usurp the throne.


Zazu the hornbill, Pride Rock's chief of protocol,

informs an indifferent Scar

his trauncy has not gone unnoticed.

Confronted by Mufasa,

Scar hides his rage beneath a cloak of scorn.


Each sunrise finds Simba in th royal cave,

nudging his father from sleep, begging him to join

in the immemorial games that ensure

the survival of the species.


From the peak of Pride Rock,

father and son survey the Lion King's domain.


Crossing his kingdom, Mufasa speaks earnestly

of the Circle of Life-the endless chain

that links all living things,

from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.


Too young to read the fury in his uncle's eyes,

Simba tells Scar all he has learned that day-

how he, not Scar, will become th Lion King.


Sly Scar exacts a promise from the cub,

a pledge that Simba will never venture near

the forbidden place where elephants go die.

A graveyard!


Scar has planted a secret Simba must share at once

with Nala, his greatest and most trusted friend.


He finds her in the dappled shade of Pride Rock,

lazing with the lionesses of the pride.


Simba and Nala can barely mask their curiosity,

but they must first lose their escort, Zazu,

sent along to keep mischief at bay.


Mistaking the cubs' whispered plans for love talk,

Zazu imagines that romance is blooming.

The cubs scoff at his quaint ideas

and plot their escape.


Trying to elude their feathered guardian,

the cubs play hide and seek.


Elephants and hippos, monkeys and giraffes

join in the fun as Simba sings his song.


"I'm going to be a mighty king!"


Escaping Zazu,

the lion cubs arrive at the graveyard,

an eerie spot guarded by thermal springs.


A jet of steam subsides to reveal an eerie landscape

littered with skeletons and monumental piles of bones.

This macabre world seems to go on forever,

vanishing into hissing vapor and eternal gloom.


From within a massive skull comes chilling laughter,

and in the empty sockets blazing eyes appear.

A grinning trio of hyenas slink into view:

Baleful Shenzi, sadistic Banzai, and addlepated Ed.


Weaving amongst the skeletons, blinded by mist and steam,

their short legs racing over treacherous terrain.

Simba and Nala flee, hyenas in pursuit.


Zazu is caught

and plunged into a thermal cauldron,

barely escaping with his feathers intact.


A roar seems to bring the whole world to a stop.

The three hyenas freeze

until Mufasa's paw sends them running.


The sun sinks in the sapphire sky,

but Simba does not notice his expiring glory.

His head hung in shame, he follows Mufasa home,

planting his childish paws in his father's giant footsteps.


In the gathering dusk, Mufasa turns to face his son.

Tears of regret glisten in Simba's eyes.


Mufasa talks of wisdom and folly,

the difference between bravery and bravado,

and explains how even a Lion King can know fear

when he believes he may have lost a son he loves.


Night comes quickly to the Pride Lands.

The sky turns violet and shatter into stars.

At his magic hour, Mufasa and his son

sit beneath the slowly turning galaxies,

surrendering themselves to

the rhythms of the nocturnal world.


Mufasa passes along the wisdom of pride,

telling Simba how the great kings of the past

look down from the stars and will always be there

to guide them.


Meanwhile, Scar concieves a bolder scheme,

one that will rid the Pride Lands of King Mufasa

and the royal brat at one fell swoop.

Scar preens and poses on his rocky pedestal,

exhorting his accomplices to greater heights of infamy.


Rank upon rank of hyenas strut below

as geysers erupt in clouds of steam.

The earth itself appears to crack apart

in the face of Scar's villainous ambitions.


With lies and wily flattery,

Scar lures Simba to a winding gorge

and tells him to wait there until Mufasa comes.


As Simba practices his roar,

Scar signals to his criminal confederates

and sets a tragedy in motion.


Simba hears a sound like thunder.

Dust rises, and the earth begins to tremble.

As he clings to a rotting tree,

a tide of wildebeests sweeps by.


Scar warns Mufasa of Simba's peril,

sending his brother charging

into the path of the stampede.


With his last reserve of strength,

Mufasa reaches up and places Simba on a ledge,

safe from the panicked herd.


Scrambling to save himself,

Mufasa sees hi brother above him on the cliff,

stretching out a helping paw.


Inch by inch, Scar pulls Mufasa toward safety

but, at the last moment, lets him go and watches gleefully

as Mufasa vanishes beneath the slashing hooves.


In the stillness that follows,

Simba searches for his father

and finds a lifeless body sprawled in the dust.


As Simba sobs beside his father,

Scar savors his hour of victory.


Scar toys with Simba,

planting the seeds of guilt,

and tells the bewildered cub to flee

far from the Pride Lands.


With Scar's hyena mercenaries

in pursuit and gaining,

Simba plunges from a bluff

into the unknown.


The three hyenas watch

as Simba vanishes,

certain that the desert sun

will finish off their work.


Eloquent with false grief,

Scar reports the deaths of Simba and Mufasa

to the pride.


When the usurper's hyenas cronies

lope into view,

the lionesses recoil in horror.


In his tree, Rafiki mourns

the loss of his friends.


Vultures circle overhead

as Simba collapses to the desert floor,

dazed by the blinding sun,

his legs too weak to carry on.




With an earsplitting yell,

Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog

charge at the vultures.


As the ugly birds scatter,

the two friends see the lion cub

near death on the desert floor.


Timon pries Simba's lips apart

to reveal a fearsome set of teeth-

the jaws of a carnivore.


The cub seems so helpless;

Pumbaa picks him up

and carries him to the lush coolness

of the nearby jungle.


Waking in unfamiliar surroundings,

Simba thanks the Good Samaritians who saved him,

then rises to take his leave.


Persuading Simba to stay with them,

Timon and Pumbaa

introduce him to their philosophy:



No cares at all!


Timon pulls back a fern,

and Simba is introduced to his new friends' lair,

a jungle paradise complete with hanging vines,

a carpet of soft grasses, and a canopy of leaves.


Succulent spiders, juicy beetles, and worms-

Pumbaa and Timon initiate their newly found friend

into the surprises of their creepy-crawly diet.


And so it happens

that Simba, the lost crown prince,

grows into manhood ...


far from the Pride Lands,

in the jungle playground

of Pumbaa and Timon.


Meanwhile, at Pride Rock,

Scar the usurper sprawls in the royal cave,

tormenting Zazu to relieve his boredom.


Contemptuous and unannounced,

Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed burst into the royal presence,

demanding food. But the herds have moved on,

and the larder is bare.


One glorious tropical night,

Simba, Pumbaa, and Timon sprawl in a jungle clearing,

gazing at the stars.


Simba recalls another starry night

and his father's reassuring word.


Overcome by melancholy, Simba goes off by himself.

Flopping to the ground, he loosens seed floss

from a milkweed plant.


A breeze from the cooling plain below

lifts the seeds high into the starry sky

and carries them toward an ancient tree.


A hand snatches the seed floss from the air.

Rafiki sees what he has snared and dives into the tree.

In a big tortoiseshell, he mixes the floss

with the contents of a gourd,

interprets the signs in the gumbo, and laughs....


Simba is alive!


With all the stealth a warthog can muster,

Pumbaa stalks a plump and tasty bug.

Too late he spots a pair of hungry eyes.

The hunter is hunted.


The lioness springs at th trapped warthog

and all seems lost till, with a roar,

Simba dashes from the trees.


The lions battle in the dirt,

Simba gaining the upper hand until,

with a crafty flip, the lioness pins him.


Simba cannot believe that Nala has found him!

Nala cannot believe that Simba is alive!


Simba is still king.

This is Nala's firm belief-

a point of view that Simba does not share.


Together after so many years,

Simba and Nala feel the awakening of secret longings,

the reawakening of childhood dreams.


Simba and Nala wander through the enchanted landscape.

Watching from afar, Timon senses the love between them

and realizes that the carefree bachelor days have ended.


Nala tells Simba how Scar and his hyena hoodlums

have laid waste to the Pride Lands.


Still Simba insists he will never return.


Confused by the news Nala has brought him,

Simba seeks solitude and guidance from the Stars.


But the voices of the former kings are silent,

and soon his reverie is interrupted

by a curious song:


"Asante sana.

Squash banana.

We we nugu.

Mi mi apana."


Telling Simba that his father is still alive,

Rafiki orders the bewildered lion to follow him.


Simba gazes into the waters of a pool

and sees the image of a full-grown lion there,

but it is merely his reflection.

Disappointment overcomes him once again,

but then he hears Mufasa's voice!


The darkness begins to shimmer.

Mufasa's spectral image appears,

an awesome presence filling the air with supernatural radiance,

as if some star has fallen to earth.


And now the phantom king

speaks to his son:


"Look inside yourself, Simba.

You will find that you are more

than what you have become.

You must take your place

in the Circle of Life....


"Remember who you are."


The ghost has vanished.

Rafiki, like a friendly goblin reappears,

and with his stick he teaches a lesson:


sometimes the past can hurt,

but it will hurt more if you run away

than if you face its consequences.


Rafiki brings a message to Simba's friends:

the rightful king is on his way

to claim his throne.


Simba speeds toward Pride Rock,

but when he reaches the borders of his kingdom,

he finds a scene of utter desolation-

naked trees, the earth scattered

with sun-bleached bones.


As storm clouds gather,

Nala arrives to fight at Simba's side-

Timon and Pumbaa too-

and together they moved onward

to do whatever must be done.


At the foot of Pride Rock,

starving hyena sentries can't believe their eyes.

Pumbaa and Timon-

a banquet and a tasty snack-

ham it up, Hawaiian style.


From the cover of a boulder,

Simba and Nala watch

their friends' diversionary display, then-

while the sentries dream of chitterlings-

they dash toward Pride Rock.


As thunder rumbles all around,

Scar calls on Sarabi, Simba's mother,

demanding that her hunting parties

scour the land for food.


Flashes of lightning

set the bushes afire.

Flames throw Simba's noble head

and muscular body into a silhouette.


For a moment, Scar panics,

believing Mufasa has returned to haunt him.


Simba nuzzles his mother,

assuring her that it is he,

back to fulfill his destiny.


Seeing that Simba, not Mufasa, is his foe,

Scar feels his confidence return.


Simba admits his past mistakes,

failing to notice that Scar has backed him up

against a precipice.


Simba slips and hangs from the rock,

seeming completely at Scar's mercy

just as Mufasa had been years before.

Gloating, Scar recalls Mufasa's death.




Simba pins Scar and forces him to confess

to the listening pride that it was he, not Simba,

who caused Mufasa's death.


As the Pride Lands burn,

Simba and Scar are locked in mortal combat.


The battle is joined once more,

with lionesses clawing at hyena throats

and Rafiki welding his staff with furious skill.


To save himself, Scar lies again-

not realizing that his closest allies are listening

as he betrays them.


Giving his uncle one last chance, Simba tells Scar to flee.

Scar capitulates. Another trick.

Scar lunges at Simba once again,

but Simba sends his father's assassin flying off the ledge.


Scar lands in the burning brush,

pride Rock at his back.

Led by Shenzi, hyenas advance upon him through the flames.

Friends, Scar calls them.

But they are friends no more.


Simba reunites with Nala and the pride,

and then, through smoke and rain,

Rafiki appears once more

and motions for the youthful king

to take his rightful place.


King at last, Simba climbs through the rain

to the summit of Pride Rock.


Simba looks up to the heavens once again

and sees the clouds part to reveal an ocean of stars.


Distant thunder rumbles,

and the new king hears the old king's voice:




In answer, Simba lets out a mighty roar.


The Pride Lands return to life.

Tender shoots and sweet grasses

bring the great herds

back to the water hole,

and the union of Simba and Nala

brings a new cub into the world.


The sacred ceremony is repeated.

Rafiki holds the infant aloft for all to see,

and the world resounds

with song once more.