Is ‘The Lion King’ a ripoff of a Japanese Cartoon from the 60s?
If you're like me you're STOKED about the remake of The Lion King set to release this summer. Disney just dropped the first full-length trailer where we get the first look at many of the characters and we get to see James Earl Jones reprise his infamous role of Mufasa. The CGI is impeccable in my opinion. If you haven't seen the trailer you can catch up below.
Many people think of The Lion King and think back to the early 90's cartoon we all know and love. Others can't help but draw parallels between The Lion King and the Japanese created American cartoon Kimba, the White Lion.
The Los Angeles Times picked up on the story back when The Lion King came out in 1994 comparing similarities between the storyline and characters.
First off the obvious similarities in name Simba and Kimba both representing the lion cubs in their respective cartoons. When Matthew Broderick was offered the role even he thought he was playing Kimba, "I thought he meant Kimba, who was a white lion in a cartoon when I was a little kid, so I kept telling everybody I was going to play Kimba."
We all know the characters Zazu, right-hand to Mufasa and rangler of Simba, Rafiki, the wise-baboon, and Scar, the evil brother to Mufasa looking for a seat on the throne. But did you know Kimba, The White Lion features Pauley Cracker a bird who's friends with Kimba? Or Dan'l Baboon, also a friend to Kimba. What about Claw? The black maned lion with a scar over his eye? Both films also have wise-cracking hyenas.
There's even tragedy in both. Perhaps the most heartbreaking scene in Disney history is when Mufasa tragically dies in the stampede. In 'Kimba' the father, Leo, tragically dies at the hand of a hunter.
When co-director, Rob Minkoff, was asked about the similarities he stated it's, "not unusual to have characters like a baboon, a bird or hyenas," in a story set in Africa
What do you think? Pure coincidence? Or were The Lion King creators influenced by the 1960s cartoon?