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Disney and The Lion King

The Film
Timon and Pumbaa
Shenzi Banzi and Ed
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The Lion King III Simba's Heir Ver. 1.4 (Story)
Crossing the Desert (Story)
The Lion King IV Dark Ruler Ver. 1.4 (Story)
The Lion King V : The Final Clash Ver 1.4 (Story)
The Lion King VI Human Encounter Ver. 1.4 (Story)
Scar's Revenge (Story)
The Best On Broadway (Story)
Redemption (Story)
How Shenzi and Banzai Met (Story)
Relations (Story)
The Scarring of Taka (Story)
Zira and Timon (Story)
Fond Memories (Story)
Scar's Revenge (Story) Rene Gorydon
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The Lion King Movie Pictures

Scar is the primary villain of Disney's popular 1994 animated movie The Lion King. He was voiced by Jeremy Irons and animated by Andreas Deja. He has since made appearances in other Disney media. Based on literary villains such as Claudius from Hamlet and Iago from Othello, Scar is widely regarded as one of the best Disney villains of all time.

Scar in The Lion King

Scar from the song "Be Prepared".
Scar from the song "Be Prepared".

Scar was the younger brother of the lion king Mufasa, and the uncle of Simba. Scar was jealous of Simba's position as the next king of the Pride Lands, so he plotted to overthrow his brother and nephew.

To do this, Scar recruited three hyenasShenzi, Banzai and Ed — who gladly did the scheming lion's bidding for food. At first, there were only three hyenas, but eventually Scar gathered a full army of them. The first attempt by the hyenas to kill Simba was foiled by Mufasa, so Scar lined up his ranks of troops and promised that, in the new era in which he would rule as king, the hyenas would never go hungry again.

With the help of the hyenas, Scar triggered a wildebeest stampede that was meant to kill both Simba and Mufasa, but Mufasa saved his son at the last minute. When Mufasa, clinging to a cliff, pleaded with Scar to help him, Scar leaned over the ledge, pierced Mufasa's paws with his claws, and flung his brother off the cliff to his death with the mocking words "Long Live The King". Scar then made Simba believe that the young prince was the one who caused the stampede and in turn killed Mufasa. Simba ran away, overwhelmed by guilt and fear. Scar then ordered Shenzi, Banzai and Ed to finish him off. Unknown to Scar, however, the hyenas did not succeed. Scar returned to Pride Rock and claimed the throne for himself.

Under Scar's reign, the kingdom soon began to decline as droughts hit and food became scarce. Years later, to Scar's surprise, Simba returned to challenge his uncle for the throne. Scar threatened to reveal the "truth" about Mufasa's death and backing him to the cliff edge. As Simba fell backwards and desperately clung to the rock, Scar taunted him by revealing that he had in fact killed Mufasa. In a blind rage, Simba leapt upon Scar and engaged him in battle. Simba had Scar trapped on the summit and slowly approached his uncle. Terrified, Scar pleaded for his life, blaming his crimes on the hyenas, unaware that Shenzi, Banzai and Ed had followed him and heard Scar blame them. Simba, at last not willing to sink to Scar's level, spared his life and banished him from the Pride Lands. Scar began to walk off, but then suddenly flung some burning embers into Simba's eyes, and resumed the fight. A fierce battle ensued, and in the end Scar was thrown from the summit by Simba.

The hyenas, determined to get revenge on Scar for denouncing them as "the enemy," surrounded their fallen leader. Scar tried to talk his way out of the situation, but the hyenas leapt upon Scar and tore into his body. His screams were drowned out by the hyenas' laughter.

Scar in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

In the direct-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998), it is revealed that Scar had a group of lioness followers who were exiled by Simba after he became king. They were led by a lioness named Zira, who may or may not have been Scar's mate. It is unclear whether Scar and Zira had a son, Nuka, and a daughter, Vitani. In the film, Zira attempted to use Kovu, a lion originally chosen to inherit Scar's throne but of no relation to Scar, to kill Simba and become king. Kovu is very similar to Scar in appearance (despite not being his son) and even gains a scar on his eye after being slashed by Zira.

Scar from Simba's nightmare in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
Scar from Simba's nightmare in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

In the film Scar only appears twice, the first time in Simba's nightmare. In the nightmare, Mufasa clings to the cliff above the stampede as in the first film, and Simba tries to reach down to help his father. However, Scar appears on the ledge and grabs Simba's paws. Mufasa falls, and then as Simba looks at Scar, he changes to Kovu. Kovu then flashes an evil grin and throws Simba into the stampede, as a repeat of Scar's actions in the first film. He appears again when Kovu is banished from the Pride Lands by Simba. As Kovu looks into a stream, Scar's reflection is shown instead of his own, much like in the first movie in which Simba was instructed by Rafiki to look into the water.

Scar in The Lion King 1

In the direct-to-video midquel The Lion King 1 (2004), Scar makes a few brief, non-speaking appearances in the scenes for which he was present in the original film.

Kingdom Hearts II

Besides appearing in The Lion King video games, Scar also appears in the popular Disney/Square Enix game Kingdom Hearts II as a world's villain, this time voiced by James Horan. Much like in the film, Scar murdered Mufusa to become king, with the Pride Lands suffering a drought and the food becoming scarce- again, like the movie.

A major plot point for Scar's world, named (fittingly enough) the Pride Lands, is that Sora already knows Simba; Simba had just recently finished fighting alongside Sora in the first game, the original Kingdom Hearts. While everyone else in the Pride Lands, including Scar, thought Simba was dead, Sora knew he was alive and well and tells Nala. Scar is oblivious to all this, as he had already attempted to kill Sora (under the orders of Pete, who had appeared in this world as well- in the amusingly-rotund shape of a fat gray lion with Pete's face- to help Scar maintain his hold on the throne.) Due to this, Scar was not near Sora when he revealed to Nala that Simba was alive.

Scar killed his brother on his own, but as Pete was traveling, Pete found the Pride Lands, and he and Scar struck up a deal. This gave Scar the use of the Heartless, themed off the jungle (monkey-like Shamans, giant, dinosaur-like creatures called Bone Heads, and flying, punching bird-creatures called Sky Highs). He has not been using these Heartless for long; Nala, who has been secretly trying to find a lion with the power to challenge Scar, is attacked by a pair of Heartless in the Elephant Graveyard, where Sora intervenes and saves her. When told that the creatures they fought were Heartless, she gets a strange look on her face, and says, " Heartless? Is that what they're called?" From this comment, as well as the fact that Simba (who has lived in relative peace in the Oasis of the wastelands for years without seeing a single Heartless there) gets attacked by a group of them almost immediately on Sora's arrival, it can be safe to assume that Scar has not had them long.

In the storyline, Sora (in the form of a lion cub, a change brought on by his clothes and not Donald's magic) managed to bring Simba back to the Pride Lands so he could challenge his uncle for the throne. While Sora and his group were busy saving Timon and Pumbaa from a pack of hyenas, the battle between Scar and Simba took place, and in the end Scar was thrown from the summit by Simba.

But this was not the end. With Pete explaining (from a safe distance), the hate and jealousy Scar felt in his heart had turned him into a Heartless, and the now mute, eerily flaming lion attacked Sora and company. Pete has an interesting statement at this point; he mentions that "your kingdom will rise again" (in reference to Simba, the rightful ruler) but "this time, it will be as the Pride Lands of Darkness!" During the fight with Scar, the plateau all the combatants are standing on is surrounded by a dark sky, and it seems as if this will be the new form of the Pride Lands if Scar wins. Unfortunately for Scar, Sora and Simba won, and he died with a muffled "oomph" as his form hit the ground and faded away.

By the time Sora returned to see how Simba is faring, rumors of Scar's ghost haunting the Pride Lands drove Simba into doubt. But once he overcome this problem, the "ghost" is found to be the interaction of Simba's lack of confidence and Scar's spirit. Multiple copies of Scar's ghost then combine to form the gigantic GroundShaker Heartless that was defeated by Simba and Sora.

The name "Groundshaker" is interesting in how it applies to Simba. Simba is quite clearly Earth-based; his gemstone in the first game was the Earthstone, and in this game, his Limit Break's first attack is giant rocks shattering out of the ground. A boss with the name "Groundshaker" can be thought of as one who shakes the confidence of any earth- shattering its foundations- and this was exactly what the Scar ghosts were doing to Simba. Likewise, due to his "Earth" nature, Simba can be thought of as the true "king of the rock"- Pride Rock, in this case. Groundshaker could also be an obscure reference to the mighty wildebeest stampede which took Mufasa's life- not only did the stampede physically make the earth shake, but it also totally upended Simba's life and drove him into exile. Groundshaker could be an excellent pseudonym by which all of Scar's life- and it's effects on Simba- could be compiled.

Scar in Other Media

Timon drags out Scar to try and revive Pumbaa's wiped memory.
Timon drags out Scar to try and revive Pumbaa's wiped memory.

Scar briefly appeared in Disney's 1997 animated film Hercules (as a mere lion skin), and in the animated TV series House of Mouse (2001-2003). He also made a very brief, non-speaking appearance in an episode of the Timon and Pumbaa television series in which Timon tries to revive Pumbaa's wiped memory.

Scar also appears as one of the villains The Queen evokes to fight Mickey Mouse in the Disney-MGM Studios version of Fantasmic! Nighttime Show Spectacular.

Scar's Backstory

Taka talks to Shenzi, Banzai and Ed.
Taka talks to Shenzi, Banzai and Ed.

According to the novel series The Lion King: Six New Adventures, Scar was once called Taka, which is Swahili for "dirt" or "trash". In A Tale of Two Brothers, one of the books in the set, Taka is upset that Mufasa was chosen to be king and not him. Taka wanders off to talk to the three hyenas Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, who tell him that if Mufasa is made to look like a failure, then he will look kingly in comparison and soon take the throne.

Taka tricks his brother into going down to the waterhole, where a Cape buffalo named Boma is refusing to share the water. The Pride Lands is in a terrible drought and any water there is is precious.

Mufasa begins reasoning with Boma, when Taka roars and says that Boma must move by order of the Lion King, or Mufasa will face Boma in combat. Boma charges out of the water at Mufasa.

Mufasa escapes to safety with Rafiki the mandrill, but Boma says that his herd will get Taka. Mufasa runs back to find Taka being attacked by Boma's herd. The largest of the buffaloes slashes Taka with his horns causing Taka to be knocked unconscious. Mufasa leaps in to save his brother and the buffaloes ready themselves to attack again.

Before they can do so, Taka and Mufasa's father King Ahadi appears with a large herd of animals. The herd surrounds the buffaloes.

After the fight, Rafiki examines Taka and finds a deep cut on Taka's face, which cannot be fully healed. Taka then asks that he be called Scar from now on as a reminder of how he foolishly allowed his anger to rule him.