Today it was brought to our attention that The Lion King’s director, Rob Minkoff, and producer, Don Hahn, have stated that Mufasa and Scar weren’t actually blood-related brothers.
But nup, we’re not having that.
In a new interview with Hello Giggles, the creators explained:
“[While making the movie] we talked about the fact that it was very likely [Scar and Mufasa] would not have both the same parents.”
“The way lions operate in the wild… when the male lion gets old, another rogue lion comes and kills the head of the pride. What that does is it causes the female lions to go into heat [to reproduce], and then the new younger lion kills the king and then he kills all the babies. Now he’s the new lion that’s running the pride.”
“There was always this thing about well, how do you have these two [male] lions?” Don continued.
“Occasionally there are prides that do have two male lions, in an interesting dynamic because they’re not equals [since they don’t have the same parents]. One lion will always kind of be off in the shadows.
“We were trying to use those animal truths to underpin the story so we sort of figured Scar and Mufasa couldn’t really be from the same gene pool. In fact, that’s what [Scar] says. There’s a line, he goes, ‘I’m from the shallow end of the gene pool.’ When he’s talking to Mufasa, when Mufasa gets mad at him for not coming up to the coronation of Simba.”
Okay, sure, we get what they are saying here… HOWEVER, throughout the entire film they refer to each other as brothers, and Scar as Simba’s uncle. Like, a lot. And not in a ‘we just say brother and uncle even though we’re not related’ way.
Like this line -
Scar: "Why! If it isn't my big brother descending from on high to mingle with the commoners.”
And this one -
Zazu: "Well, as slippery as your mind is, as the King's brother *you* should've been first in line."
Scar: "Well, I was first in line, until the little hairball was born.”
The story was also influenced by Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and those characters were definitely related. We know you’re thinking, "yeah but that was 'influenced by', not based on the exact story", but you know what? It was never suggested otherwise throughout the film that they weren’t blood-related.
Also, why are they saying this TWENTY THREE years after it’s release?
Disney did an incredible job at creating a realistic portrayal of lions; their mannerisms, habitat and dynamics, so we understand their explanation that the two couldn’t be brothers because that’s not how the pride works.
But you know what? In real life, most lions don’t sing and most meerkats don’t dress in drag and do the hula, we think this one is fine to overlook.
In the famous word of Scott Calvin, "What if I choose not to believe it?"