The blockbuster remake of Disney’s 1994 The Lion King has captured the hearts of children and adults alike. With fans world wise, The Lion King franchise had also opened the hearts of many by raising their awareness to the wild life. We could say that viewers were not only able to enjoy the story plot of the movie, but had also peaked an interest in wild life and its faunas.
Who could blame the audience though? The life action has portrayed all animals that has existed in the story line to be both realistic and endearing. Viewers were so captivated with the animation, and it’s safe to say that some younger viewers may have not seen these animals on screen before. We can only imagine the magic children must have felt after seeing a life wild boar on screen for the first time. So, without further ado, here is the list of animals portrayed in The Lion King.
As the name of the franchise clearly states, Lions were present in the real life adaptation of The Lion King. These big cats are no strangers to children and adults alike. Their large manes and huge bodies can be easily spotted from afar – making them one of the most popular big cats to have ever existed.
With their grandeur physiques and dominating personalities, it’s no wonder that Lions are seen as the king of the jungle. These big cats are carnivorous and would feed on every prey they can come across – such as deers, wild boars, zebras, and even tiny rabbits. A Lion’s natural habitat belongs in the wild, but the alarming increase of illegal animal poaching has forced them into cohabiting temporarily in sanctuaries. Whilst they are romanticised for their graceful looks, viewers should also be aware that there are dark facts behind their declining population.
2. The Hornbill Bird – Zazu
Another main character featured in the movie was the Hornbill bird – portrayed by the endearing character, Zazu. The Hornbill bird is a subspecies of the bird family that is closely related to the Beo bird, Canaries, Globe birds, and many more. Bird enthusiasts may recognize the Hornbill bird at first glance, but some may not even recognise the existence of said birds before the release of the movie.
The one thing the movie audience’s should recognise is that these birds are considered wild animals – therefore, should not be domesticated by all costs. Though there are professional sanctuaries that keep them far away from predators, Hornbill birds should not be kept at home.
3. Mandrill – Rafiki
The next supporting role in the franchise that most people recognize would be the Mandrill. Mandrill is a monkey subspecies from the Cercopithecidae family, that also includes the baboons and drills. They are well known for their distinctive looks that resembles an old man’s features.
An interesting fact about Mandrills is that because on their unique facial features, they are often regarded as the “wise monkey” – thus the creation of Rafiki. Mandrills are a baboon that is part of the Papio genus, but after further recent research conducted, scientists have decided to classify a different genus for this species: Mandrillus.
As monkeys go, Mandrills should not be domesticated in a normal household. They are wild animals that belong in the wild – and should not be tempered with.
4. Meerkats – Timone
Another wild animal featured in the franchise would be the Meerkats. Meerkats, a species played as a character named Timone, resembles similarly to a koala – however are different. Meerkats are small mamalian creatures under the mongoose family, that lives in the outskirts of the Kalahari desert.
On that note, a meerkat’s natural habitat lies in the outskirts of deserts located around Namibia, Southwest Angola, and Southern Africa. Meerkats live in packs of 20, and hunt in these packs as well. Meerkats travel in packs to avoid predators – therefore, the bigger the pack, the safer they are from outside danger.
5. Warthog – Pumba
A lesser known and much more foreign to Indonesian audiences, the Warthog has made a cameo in The Lion King franchise. In said movie, the animal was portrayed as this humorous species – despite their intimidating looks. In reality, instead of how clumsy Pumba had acted, Warthogs are actually fast and intimidating by nature.
Warthogs’ natural habitat is heavily concentrated around the continent of Africa. People who are unfamiliar with this species could associate Warthogs as a part of the dog family – when in reality they are not from the same family. Warthogs are a special kind of animal that belongs in the wild: where they could hunt for food.
The main antagonists of the franchise, Hyenas has made a cameo appearance in the movie. Their rather “creepy” physique and intimidating aura has made it more convincing to tailor them as an antagonist – but in reality, they are not as harmless nor evil as you may think. Hyena’s are smart by default, as they sneak and hunt for their preys in the most intricate and well-thought out process most carnivores are not able to articulate.
Hyenas, like all the animals listed in this article, are wild animals – therefore should not be domesticated by any given chance. However, due to the alarming rates of illegal poaching and other external reasons, some Hyenas are forced to be relocated in sanctuaries that provides a safe haven for them to live away from these predators. There are many organisations world wide that you could get involved in and support the cause.
7. Roan Antelopes
Last, and not least, is the Roan Antelope. Roan Antelopes are wild animals that are closely related to deers and their cousins alike. They are large mammals that could grow up to 1.2 m in length, with a 178 cm tail. An adult Antelope could weigh to around 73 kg, with the shoulder height of 81.2cm – though the measurements may vary for every Antelopes. They are wild animals that feed on smaller preys and greens.
So this marks the end of the list of animals portrayed in The Lion King. As mentioned multiple times in this article, these animals are wild animals and should not be domesticated at all cost. Illegal poaching of these animals have been brought up to concern as well due to the alarming decline rate of their population, so readers should be aware of this issue to avoid the worst case scenario. There are multiple organisations world wide that helps support the cause, so its advised that readers find out more information on them.