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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)
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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)
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The Scarring of Taka (Story)
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Fond Memories (Story)
Scar's Revenge (Story) Rene Gorydon
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The Lion King Movie Pictures

Zazu is a fictional character who first appeared in the Walt Disney Pictures animated film The Lion King. Zazu is an anthropomorphized hornbill and is the polar opposite in temperament of the heroes, lion cubs Simba and Nala. In the original film, he was voiced by Rowan Atkinson and his singing voice in the Morning Report sequence in the 2003 Special Edition was provided by Jeff Bennett. In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and The Lion King 1, Zazu's voice was provided by Edward Hibbert. Hibbert also provides Zazu's voice in the Disney World attraction The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management.

Zazu in The Lion King

Zazu's role in the film is primarily comic relief. The story becomes very dark near the halfway point, and Zazu is played as a tool for laughter when it's desperately needed, much like the characters Timon and Pumbaa. Most of Zazu's contributions are during the first half of the movie, where the main characters are still children. He is the majordomo to the king—originally Mufasa, then Scar. Zazu always sticks to the rules.

After Simba runs away, Zazu is hardly seen again. He briefly appears in a scene where Scar has assumed the kingship of the Pride Lands. In this scene, Zazu is imprisoned and is being forced to entertain Scar with a song. Later, he pleads with Timon and Pumbaa to let him out of the ribcage he is imprisoned in.

Zazu in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

The character makes a few brief appearances in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, but he is no longer a comic character and his presence in this film is a little redundant.

Zazu in The Lion King 1

Zazu appears very briefly in The Lion King 1 at Simba's dedication. He is then seen going to rescue Simba from the hyenas with Mufasa. In the credits for this film he is incorrectly listed as 'Zasu'.

Zazu's Backstory

Zazu has two conflicting histories as to how he became the king's majordomo.

Friends in Need

Young Zazu is about to be cooked and eaten by the three hyenas Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, when a young Mufasa comes along, frightens off the hyenas and saves him. Zazu is thankful and hopes that he can be of service to the Lion King someday. Mufasa is doubtful of this. How could a small bird be of any use to a lion?

Zazu follows Mufasa around and watches over him. Mufasa tires of this quickly as Zazu disturbs his hunts and his private time with Sarabi.

One day Zazu notices some vultures hovering. He asks Mufasa if Mufasa wants him to fly over and see what's happening, but Mufasa is not concerned and lies down for a nap. Zazu flies over to where the vultures are anyway and sees that Sarabi has fallen into a pit and can't get out. Zazu flies back to tell Mufasa who leaps up and runs to the gorge. But Mufasa can't find a way to rescue Sarabi. Zazu finds a tree trunk that Mufasa drags over to the pit, allowing Sarabi to climb out.

Mufasa realizes that the little hornbill is useful after all and appoints him as royal advisor.

How True, Zazu? from The Lion King: Six New Adventures

Zazu's mother, Zuzu, was a steward to Kopa's great-grandfather Ahadi. When Zazu was young, Zuzu trained him to take her place when Mufasa's rule began.

In the book, Zazu reports everything he sees and tends to jump to conclusions. He ends up reporting false stories to Mufasa as three young animals make up stories to trick Zazu. Zazu redeems himself though as he spies an army ant attack and alerts Mufasa to the problem