Mufasa is a lion
character who first appeared in Disney's
popular 1994 animated feature film The Lion King
. He was voiced by James Earl Jone
Mufasa in The Lion King
At the start of the The Lion King, Mufasa, son of Ahadi and Uru, is the King of the Pride Lands, father of Simba and mate of Sarabi. He appears to be a wise and fair ruler, who follows the "Circle of Life". However, his brother Scar is jealous of him and forms a plan to kill Mufasa and Simba, so he can be king. His first attempt to kill Simba is foiled
when Mufasa interferes, but he succeeds the next time by triggering a large-scale wildebeest stampede. Mufasa successfully saves Simba and struggles to climb up a cliff. Scar, waiting for him at the top, pierces Mufasa's
paws hard with his claws and lets go after saying "long live the king". Simba didn't see this happening and Scar makes him
believe that he, Simba, had caused Mufasa's death. Ridden with guilt, Simba runs away from the Pride Lands and meets two good
friends, Timon and Pumbaa. After many years, Simba meets his old friend Nala who persuades him to return and take his place as king. Simba refuses and runs away from Nala to a field where he encounters
the wise baboon Rafiki. Rafiki takes him to a small magical pool which brings upon Mufasa's ghost, up in the sky. The ghost tells Simba that he
is his only son and has to take his responsibility to be King of the Pride Lands. Simba then returns to his homeland, defeats
Scar and takes his rightful place as king.
Mufasa watches over the presentation of Kiara in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
Mufasa in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
Mufasa also makes a few brief appearances and dialogue in the 1998 direct-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. He first appears as a ghost in the sky again in the beginning of the film, overlooking the presentation ceremony of
his granddaughter Kiara. His next appearance is in Simba's nightmare, where he is seen again clinging to the cliff right before his death. Simba
tries to save him but is stopped by Scar, who morphs into Kovu (Kiara's lover and Scar's chosen heir). However, he also makes more indirect appearances; it is he who inspires Rafiki to
attempt to bring Kovu and Kiara together in order to avert war between the Pride Landers and Scar's group of loyal lionesses,
and, once this plan has been achieved, his voice congratulates Simba as Simba, Nala, Kovu and Kiara stand on Pride Rock.
Mufasa in The Lion King 1½
In the 2004 direct-to-video midquel The Lion King 1½, Mufasa is seen again in only three scenes, one at the presentation of Simba, one in the elephant graveyard saving his
son and Nala, and one when he's forming from the clouds in the grasslands at night.
Mufasa was the first son and heir of King Ahadi and Queen Uru, as evidenced in a set of prequel books released after the success of The Lion King. In A Tale of Two Brothers,
Scar tried to make a fool out of Mufasa when he was young (see more at Scar's Backstory). The storybook Friends in Need reveals how he met Zazu, his trusted hornbill "majordomo": he saved the bird when he was caught by no other than the three hyenas Shenzi, Banzai and Ed in the elephant graveyard. However, this conflicts with another book How True, Zazu? (part of The Lion King: Six New Adventures), in which Zazu becomes steward to the king after Zazu's mother, Zuzu, retires.
Mufasa was reportedly the name of the last king of the Bagada people, who were dispersed during the English colonization of Kenya (see ). The name could also be derived from Mustafa, the given name of Kemal Atatürk. In the movie, one of the hyenas, Banzai, at one point pronounces the name in a funny way ("Qué pasa"), as Scar overheard him say Mufasa's name at some point after
Mufasa's death. Banzi used Qué pasa (Spanish for "What's up?" or "What's new?") as a quick and bumbling come-back for his
mistake in saying Mufasa. Qué pasa entered '90s American pop culture soon after.
Mufasa In Other Media
Mufasa makes a cameo in The Simpsons episode "'Round Springfield" alongside Darth Vader and James Earl Jones himself, saying "You must avenge my death, Kimba... dah, I mean Simba.", also doubling as a reference to the Lion King/Kimba the White Lion controversy.
Kingdom Hearts II
Mufasa is seen only in Simba's flashbacks and as a ghost in Square Enix and Disney's video game, Kingdom Hearts II; the game takes place after Mufasa's death. Archive footage of James Earl Jones was used for Mufasa's scenes.