If you grew up in the ’90s then it’s highly likely that one of your favorite films as a child was Disney’s The Lion King. With a Shakespearean plot, iconic characters, and an even better soundtrack, what wasn’t there to like? However, it looks like The Lion King wasn’t exactly an original idea from the minds at Disney
If you take a closer look, The Lion King looks extremely similar to a 1960’s anime called, Kimba the White Lion. Kimba was spawned from a 1950’s Japenese Comic book entitled Jungle Emporer which was created by artist Osamu Tezuka. Though Kimba obviously doesn’t look anything like Simba, the similarities in their names alone are enough to raise some eyebrows.
Likewise, the settings in Kimba and The Lion King are extremely similar. While Simba has Zazu who desperately tries to keep him out of trouble, Kimba has a bird sidekick as well named Pauly Parrot. Furthermore, the villain in Kimba whose name is Claw, is nearly identical to Simba’s menacing uncle Scar. There’s even a double for the wise baboon Rafiki, only in Kimba he’s called Dan’l Baboon. And finally, both franchises use the death of a parent as a central theme.
Though the noise has long since quieted, when The Lion King debuted, many people called Disney out on the similarities. There were books written and articles published. Unfortunately, Disney denied every having any knowledge about Kimba….SMH!!!
It’s also super suspicious since a 1993 memo from Roy Disney mentions Kimba appearing in The Lion King and Kimba artist Osamu Tezuka passed away the same year production began on the Disney flick.
What do you guys think? Let us know in the comments below.