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Disney and The Lion King

Shenzi Banzi and Ed
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Shenzi, Banzai and Ed are a trio of villainous hyenas who first appeared in the 1994 Disney animated film The Lion King. They were loyal followers of Scar.

The Hyenas in The Lion King

Shenzi, Banzai and Ed in The Lion King.
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Shenzi, Banzai and Ed in The Lion King.

The hyenas first appear in the Elephant Graveyard that Simba and Nala venture into. The hyenas, under Scar's orders, chase the cubs in an attempt to kill them, but are frightened off by Mufasa. Afterwards, they help Scar carry out his plan to kill Mufasa by triggering the wildebeest stampede. Immediately after Scar tells Simba to run away and never return, he commands the hyenas to kill Simba too, but Simba eventually eludes the clumsy hyenas. Years into Scar's reign, they complain about lack of food in the Pride Lands but Scar ignores them. When Simba returns to overthrow Scar, the hyenas join the fight, but when they overhear Scar telling Simba the hyenas are the enemy, they turn against their master. Together with the other hyenas, they corner Scar and kill him.

The Hyenas in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

The hyenas are only briefly mentioned by Nuka, Scar's son, as he and his sister Vitani arrive at the Elephant Graveyard.

  • Nuka: Yeesh. This place is even creepier since the hyenas ran off.

The Hyenas in The Lion King 1

The hyenas in The Lion King 1 1/2.
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The hyenas in The Lion King 1 1/2.

The hyenas have a fairly major role. They are the the main predators of the meerkat colony where Timon lives. They also make an appearance at the end of the film in the battle against Scar, where they chase and corner Timon and Pumbaa before falling into the tunnels that the meerkats dug.

The Hyena Trio

Shenzi

Shenzi
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Shenzi

Shenzi is the only female of the hyenas. According to Timon in The Lion King 1, her full name is Shenzi Marie Predatora Veldetta Jackalina Hyena. She is the leader of the trio and the smartest hyena. She deals best with Scar and knows how to talk with him. She has a big, black tuft and normal, grey snout (unlike Ed and Banzai). Her name means "savage" or "barbarious" in Swahilli. She was voiced by Whoopi Goldberg. In fact, the animators may have taken her into consideration when designing the character.

Shenzi first appeared in the Elephant Graveyard with Ed and Banzai. They were sent by Scar to kill Nala and Simba. During the chase Simba scratched her cheek. When she and hyenas tried to kill the cubs, Mufasa appeared and attacked them. The hyenas were frightened and ran away. Later, still in the Elephant Graveyard, Shenzi yelled at Ed and Banzai (they were fighting) and appeared a few times during the song "Be Prepared". After that she sat on the meadow near the herd of wildebeest. After Scar's signal she scared the herd and triggered the stampede. Scar soon ordered her and the others to kill Simba as the stampede had failed to do so, but they failed because Simba tumbled down into a patch of thorns and they did not want to follow. She also appeared with Banzai and Ed to ask Scar for food and water during Scar's reign. When Simba and the lionesses fought the hyenas she and Banzai tried to eat Timon and Zazu, but were beaten up by Pumbaa. She appeared for the last time with the other hyenas before they killed Scar.

Banzai

Banzai
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Banzai

One of three hyenas. He is voiced by Cheech Marin. His name means "skulk" in Swahilli.

He first appeared in the Elephant Graveyard with Shenzi and Ed. When Mufasa attacked them, Banzai tried (with Shenzi) to "explain" why they were chasing the cubs. After Mufasa roared at them he was the first that ran away, but Mufasa slashed him. Later on, Ed began laughing at Banzai's injuries and the two fought before Shenzi stopped them. After that he was with the others on the meadow near the herd of wildebeests and scared them with Ed and Shenzi to trigger the stampede. As the hyenas were chasing Simba on Scar's orders, Banzai tumbled down into the thorn patch. He also came with Shenzi to ask Scar for some food ("It's dinnertime, and we ain't got no stinkin' entrees!") and then tried to eat Zazu and Timon during the battle at Pride Rock.

Ed

Ed
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Ed

Ed is considered stupid, but the creators themselves said they don't know if he's only pretending. He always has a smile on his face and usually laughs (he never speaks at all; as such, his voice is left untouched in the movie's dubs.) He has two round cuts on each ear. He was voiced by Jim Cummings.

Ed first appeared in the Elephant Graveyard with Shenzi and Banzai. He had fun torturing Zazu with the others and he also chased the cubs. When Mufasa attacked them, they got into even more trouble when he confirmed (by nodding) that they knew Simba was Mufasa's son. Later he laughed at Banzai because he was wounded. Banzai got angry and attacked him, but after the scuffle ended Ed was actually biting his own leg. After that he was with the others on the meadow near the herd of wildebeests and scared them with other hyenas to trigger the stampede. After they failed to kill Simba, Ed laughed (again) with Shenzi at wounded Banzai. He later appeared with Banzai and Shenzi when they wanted to ask Scar for some food and water. During the hyena fight with adult Simba he was waiting for his friends at the entrance. Although Ed is considered stupid he understood Scar's betrayal. When Shenzi and Banzai asked Ed for his opinion on what to do with the fallen Scar, he just gave a sadistic smile, started laughing, and killed Scar along with the other hyenas.

Kingdom Hearts

The hyena trio also appear in the Disney/Square Enix video game Kingdom Hearts II. In the game, they are also Scar's followers and fight against Simba, Sora, Donald Duck and Goofy. After Scar is destroyed, they later show up again in the Elephant Graveyard where they are chased by the main protagonists. They have unusually high speed when running. Tress MacNeille replaced Whoopi Goldberg as Shenzi's voice whereas Cheech Marin and Jim Cummings reprise their roles in the English version.