You Must Avenge My Death, Kimba… I Mean Simba

On one of my sporadic trips to the outskirts of the interweb, I learned of the striking similarities between Disney’s 1994 The Lion King1 and Tezuka’s 1965 anime series Kimba the White Lion. The so-called “controversy” is chronicled here (kimbawlion) and touched upon here (wikipedia), with the most striking similarity being the whole dead-father-appears-in-clouds-to-console-son scene.

Kimba the Lion

Admittedly, much of the evidence is at times anecdotal. Still, there is enough material there to form a strong conspiracy theory. From what I can tell, quite a bit of imagery from the Lion King looks borrowed from Kimba, although not much of the plot is. In fact, the Lion King is really more a re-hash of Shakespeare’s Hamlet than anything else – which is itself a retelling of ancient precursor legends

(i.e. nothing is original).

But none of that really matters to me. What I love about this controversy is that I finally get the joke in the Simpsons episode “Round Springfield” where Mufasa’s ghost appears alongside the ghosts of Bleeding Gums Murphy, Darth Vader, and James Earl Jones and says:

“You Must Avenge My Death, Kimba… I Mean, Simba.”

Round Springfield

Proof once again that the writers for the Simpsons were second to none

  1. The Lion King is probably my favourite Disney movie, with Aladdin a close second. []

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