Welcome to another edition of PUMP UP WEEK! Where we work all week to bring you articles that….well…get you pumped up for the latest Animation Addicts Podcast. This week’s episode will cover (FINALLY) the listener voted The Lion King.
The Lion King is one the most loved Disney classic films ever. So it’s no surprise that most kids not only know all the words to every single scene, but also all of the hidden treasures that are sprinkled throughout the film. Although, some of them may prove to be more misconceptions than facts. Read on (with caution, some of the material may be PG-13 sensitive) and see if you know these little tidbits of delicious trivia.
1.) Of course everyone thinks Rafiki is bananas. At least Simba does, particularly during this part of the film:
Turns out though, he’s not as crazy as we might think. Translated from Swahili into English, “Asante sana Squash banana, Wewe nugu mimi hapana” means “Thank you very much, Squash banana, You’re a baboon and I’m not.” While this is still something really silly to say, particularly to royalty, apparently it is a popular children’s rhyme much like “Cinderella dressed in yella, went upstairs to kiss her fella…”
2.) This random bit of Disney lore is actually a misconception. While scores of fans and foes have certainly used this little nugget to impress their friends with their knowledge of all things Disney, it is NOT true that when Simba plops down onto the grass, that the leaves and general dust the wind carries spells out the child un-friendly word: “SEX”.
In actuality, it spells out “SFX”. This was the animators’ ode to the Special Effects team (get it? SFX, Special Effects), that worked on that portion of the film.
3.) As with any production in history, there was a lot of cast shuffling that happened with The Lion King. One of the most interesting (at least to me), is that hyenas Banzai and Shenzi were supposed to be voiced by Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin, which makes sense considering their past work together (minus their feud). But for whatever reason, production couldn’t get a hold of Tommy Chong, so they went with Whoopi Goldberg, which ended up being a stellar pairing:
4.) The development and production of The Lion King
overlapped, so that many of the animators working for Disney at the time had to chose one or the other. Many animators flocked to Pocahontas
thinking it would be the more fulfilling project. Though Pocahontas
is still a well regarded film, The Lion King
remains Disney’s highest grossing film.
5.) And finally, apparently Simba’s mane was modeled after U2 band member Bono’s hair…..whhaaaaattt??