The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice along with the musical score created by Hans Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M. Directed by Julie Taymor, the musical features actors in animal costumes as well as giant, hollow puppets. The show is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.
One special morning as the sun rises, in the vast of the african savanna Rafiki the baboon calls the animals to Pride Rock to witness the presentation of Simba the new prince. With 2 Antelopes and Gazelles singning about the circle of life As Rafiki sings, the sun rises behind her and two giraffes and a cheetah walk out onto the stage, shortly followed by a trio of zebras. As the first verse gets underway, white birds gazelles and antelope appear. Two elephants (an adult and a child), more white birds, a rhinoceros and two wildebeests walk up the aisle between the lower level of seats and up onto the stage. Meanwhile once there She greets King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi before lifting baby Simba high above the gathered animals. where Zazu then appears as a kite swung around on a pole by his puppeteer. Meanwhile Mufasa and Sarabi appear with their son Simba on Pride Rock as the two antelopes engage in more call and response. Rafiki goes over to them and takes the cub Simba, lifting him into the air as the song draws to a close. The animals below turn to face Pride Rock and bow as Simba is presented Meanwhile Rafiki lifts their newborn son for all to see. the song ends with a Blackout as Rafiki lifts Simba high into the air with Mufasa and Sarabi looking on. Meanwhile Elsewhere, Scar the king's wicked brother laments about the unfairness of his life and on his lost chance at becoming king of the Pridelands, and he is about to attack the hornbill majordomo Zazu. But before he can do so, Mufasa arrives and confronts him. Where he resents the new prince and the cub's status as next in line to be king including a conversation between Mufasa and Zazu about Mufasas parenting skills Back at her baobab tree, Rafiki asks the spirits to conjure the new prince's name: Simba. She paints an image of cub Simba onto her tree. to conjure the new princes name Simba. Time passes on and Simba grows into a healthy and lively young lion cub His father Mufasa shows him the Pridelands from the top of Pride Rock, and then leads his son down into the grasslands. Mufasa explains to Simba that everything exists in a delicate balance known as the Circle of Life. Mufasa then warns Simba not to stray beyond the boundaries of the Pridelands while pointing out a shadowy area in the distance where Simba sees a flock of buzzards which allows the king to explain to his son that they are all connected in the great circle of life. Meanwhile Zazu arrives and delivers a report on the goings-on in the Pridelands, and Simba takes this opportunity to practice his pouncing After being pounced on, the mole appears telling Zazu that the hyenas have invaded the Pridelands.Then Zazu relays the information that the hyenas have been sighted in the Pridelands. and Mufasa leaves immediately to deal with them and Simba is left all alone to his own devices. Meanwhile Simba goes to see his uncle Scar. The scheming lion piques the cub's curiosity by mentioning the elephant graveyard, a place where Simba is forbidden to go. Scar knows that Simba will be unable to resist the temptation and go there. Meanwhile the lionesses go out hunting and Simba arrives and asks his best friend Nala to come with him to the elephant graveyard, although he does not mention their intended location to his mother. Sarafina (Nala's mother) and Sarabi agree to let the cubs go, but only if Zazu accompanies them. Simba and Nala formulate a plan and manage to lose Zazu while Simba brags about his future position where there are four wildly colored giraffe puppets and other animals at the end of the song they bow over the orchestra pit. Meanwhile with Zazu now alone the cubs journey to the elephant graveyard and begin to explore until Zazu stops them and asks them to leave. They are about to leave until they are confronted by the three hyenas Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. Then when they heard that Zazu had called them "slobbering, mangy, stupid poachers," they shoot the majordomo bird into the air with the "Birdie Boiler." The hyenas begin to gloat over Simba and Nala eagerly But as the predator-prey chase pursues, Simba climbs up to safety, and Nala gets surround by the hyenas where, Mufasa appears at the elephant graveyard thanks to Zazu warning him earlier, saves the two cubs and frightens off the hyenas. After the hyenas run away in fear Mufasa scolds at Simba for disobeying him. Where they return back to the Pridelands and Scar is watching off of a ledge. On the way back to the Pridelands Mufasa orders Zazu to take Nala home while he has a private talk with his son Simba. Then Mufasa takes his mask off to have a heart-to-heart talk with Simba. Mufasa is very disappointed that Simba had disobeyed him. Mufasa tells Simba that he could have been killed, and that Simba also put Nala in danger, which Simba explains to his father that he was only trying to be brave like his father. Mufasa explains the difference between bravery and bravado. Simba asks if he and his father will always be together, causing Mufasa to look up to the night sky and tell Simba about the great kings of the past on how they guide and watch over everything in the night sky. Mufasa says that he will always be there for his son. Meanwhile back at the elephant graveyard, the three hyenas lick their wounds until Scar arrives at the elephant graveyard throws a fake zebra leg for the hyenas and tells the hyenas of his plan to kill Mufasa and Simba, so that he can be king of the Pridelands if the hyenas assist him, and that the hyenas will never be hungry again if they agree to support him Meanwhile at Pride Rock, Zazu apologizes to Mufasa for Simba's bad behavior. In which Mufasa accepts his apology Mufasa jokes with Zazu but he admits that he is worried about Simba. Zazu tells Mufasa that Simba resembles the King when he was a cub. Meanwhile the giraffe enters from stage left meandering cautiously across the stage as the cheetah enters from stage right where it spots the giraffe and slowly turns around to stalk it where it's interesting to note that this scene along with the shadow puppets of Simba and Scar were needed to set up the technically complex wildebeest stampede. Later, Scar takes Simba to the gorge telling his nephew that Mufasa has a wonderful surprise for him and tells him to wait there. Scar leaves and signals the hyenas, who started a wildebeest stampede down into the gorge. Where the wildebeests thunder into the gorge, and Simba runs for his life. Meanwhile Scar tells Mufasa that Simba is trapped in the gorge and Mufasa races to his son's aid. Mufasa leaps into the stampede and manages to save his son, but as he climbs a cliff, Scar looks down at his brother, who asks him for help, put's his claws into Mufasa’s arms, and whispers Long live the king then throws him off the cliff back into the stampede of wildebeests where he is killed. Then when the dust clears Simba finds Mufasa's lifeless body. Where Scar appears and causes Simba to believe that his father's death was his fault, and Scar tells Simba to leave the Pridelands and never return. But as Simba runs, Scar orders Shenzi, Banzai and Ed to chase and kill Simba, but Simba escapes and the hyenas decide to leave him and make Scar believe that Simba is dead. Meanwhile back at Pride Rock the Lionesses and Rafiki mourn the death of Mufasa and Simba. Meanwhile Scar climbs to the promontory of Pride Rock, to claim the throne for himself, and lets the hyenas into the Pridelands as his executive staff. Later Rafiki returns to her tree and smears the drawing of Simba, while Sarabi and Nala quietly mourn for the ones that they have loved and lost. With Simba out in the desert Simba collapses from heat exhaustion. Where buzzards begin to circle, but they are scared away by Timon, the wise cracking meerkat, and Pumbaa, the big hearted warthog. Where Simba feels responsible for Mufasa's death, but the duo take the cub back to their jungle home and introduce him to their laid-back way of life they tell Simba that they are outcasts as well and later they introduce him to their diet of bugs. Where Simba stays in the jungle with his new friends and grows into an adult lion for a very short time just before the end of Act 1 they see the young lion transform into an adult lion where Simba Timon and Pumbaa sing their solo and join in while the curtain closes for a 15 minute intermission.
The second act begins with ornate bird puppets and kites, begin the second act in which some of the ensemble come out and use the birds on flags to twirl over the audience where a colorful scene is full of hope.as the Birds fly overhead the Pridelands. But as the song ends, However the beautiful birds went away to their place and are replaced by vultures and the skeletons of gazelles scatter the Pridelands. Where a drought has hit the Pridelands under Scar's tyrannical rule. with Nalas support where the Pridelands cannot support so many predators and the Circle of Life is out of balance because he has ignored Mufasas philosophy about the circle of life showing his ambition about only becoming king and also displaying his carelessness for the circle of life where the Pridelands are now dry and lifeless. Meanwhile with Zazu, now a prisoner of Scar, in his cave Scar listens to the king's woes where Zazu begins to comfort the new king by singing a song. But Scar cuts him off by advising him to sing something else. Where at first, Scar gets delusions of Mufasa's ghost haunting in every shadow. And it's strongly implied that he felt remorse for murdering his brother Mufasa Then, he laments that he is not loved, and arrives on the idea of finding a queen and having cubs so badly. And rapidly switches between delusional confidence and paranoid despair where Nala arrives to to inform Scar that there is no food and no water left, just as the hyenas reported the same thing a few minutes ago Scar decides to take Nala as his mate but when; Scar attempts to flirt with her. Nala slashes Scar's face and escapes by sending her running out of his cave. Where the lionesses wildly belong to him. Later with Nala utterly frustrated and upset at the current events, Nala decides to leave the Pridelands and find help, vowing that she will never forget her pride. In which the lionesses and Rafiki offer a blessing and bless her good luck for Nalas journey where Nala bids her pride a sad farewell and leaves. Meanwhile back in the jungle Simba leads Timon and Pumbaa to find a resting place. Timon and Pumbaa want to sleep, but the restless Simba is unable to stop moving. Annoyed by Timon and Pumbaa, Simba leaves them in the jungle and disappears into the night, but Timon and Pumbaa lose their courage and follow him. Simba leaps across a fast-moving river and challenges Timon the meerkat to do the same. Timon falls into the water and is swept downstream by the current until he reaches a waterfall, where he grabs onto a branch hanging over the waterfall to keep from plummeting to his death .Meanwhile in the pond below, two hungry crocodiles wait for Timon to fall so that they can eat him. Where Simba wants to save Timon but he is sent by a flashback of Mufasa's death. Which Timon loses his grip on the tree branch falls in from the branch and Simba snaps out of the flashback, rescuing his friend Timon before the crocodiles get to him. Where Timon comes back onstage with a fish. Which he throws it to Pumbaa who catches it in his large mouth on cue, much to the audience's delight. Where Simba is stunned and ashamed that Timon the meerkat nearly died because of Simba's recklessness. That night the three friends look up at the stars, wondering what they are. Simba recalls Mufasa's words regarding the great kings of the past, but Timon and Pumbaa dismiss it and laugh at the notion. Simba leaves, looking up at the sky and bitterly remembering his father's promise that he will always be there for Simba. Meanwhile at Rafikis Tree, Rafiki hears Simba's song on the wind and comes to the joyous conclusion that Simba is alive. She draws a mane onto the drawing of Simba on her tree and she said, It is time. Meanwhile in the jungle, Pumbaa is being hunted and chased by a lioness. Simba confronts the lioness and saves his friend. The lioness flips Simba, causing Simba to recognize that the lioness is his childhood friend Nala when he was a cub. Where Nala is shocked and overjoyed to find Simba alive, knowing that he is the rightful king. Timon and Pumbaa are confused by this and Simba tells them to leave so that he and Nala can be alone. Timon realizes what is happening and laments that it's the end of Simba's Hakuna Matata lifestyle. Meanwhile Nala tells Simba about the state of the devastated Pridelands, trying to encourage him to return and take his rightful place as king. Simba is still guilty about his father's death and refuses to return to the Pridelands. Later that night Simba meets Rafiki in the jungle. Rafiki explains to Simba that his father is still alive and helps him inside through the song But as Simba looks towards the sky his father appears as a heavenly vision. Mufasa demands that Simba remembers who he is - the rightful king - and that Simba must return home. But as Mufasas image fades away Simba realizes what he must do take responsbility and return home. Meanwhile Nala wakes up Timon and Pumbaa to ask where Simba is and Rafiki appears to tell them all the news. Meanwhile Simba returns to Pride Rock with Nala, Timon and Pumbaa, where Simba witnesses the ruin that his home has fallen into. Timon and Pumbaa lure some hyenas away allowing Simba and Nala to reach Pride Rock. While Timon and Pumbaa try to distract the hyenas Simba tells Nala to go find his mother while he searches for Scar. Meanwhile as Scar, is resting in his royal cave. His three lackeys come to him, moaning about the lack of food and reminding him of his promise of no hunger. To which Scar gets very angry and asks his son Nuka to go check if they're hunting and Nuka runs down from Pride Rock into the Grasslands, then he saw them where Sarabi was moping around while the others were still trying their best to hunt but Nuka ran back to his father and told him that Sarabi isn't hunting. Later when he grew angry Scar calls for Sarabi and he demands to know why the lionesses aren't hunting. Sarabi tells him that there is no food or water, because the herds have moved on, and that they have to leave Pride Rock in order to survive. Scar refuses to do so where Sarabi is angrily comparing him to Mufasa and when Sarabi snaps at him for not being half the king that Mufasa was, Scar strikes his sister-in-law telling her that he is ten times that Mufasa was. At this, an enraged Simba leaps down, and startling Scar who believes his nephew to be dead. Scar forces a confession of murder from Simba and attacks him, forcing him over the edge of Pride Rock. Believing that he has won, Scar whispers to Simba that he was the one who killed Mufasa. Where Simba, is infuriated, leaps up and grabs Scar by the throat, causing Scar to reveal the truth to the Lionesses. A fierce battle rages between the Lionesses, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki and the hyenas. Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed chase Timon towards Mufasas majordomo Zazu and surround them. But before they feast, they have faced the wrath of "Mr. Pig!" where Simbas friends fight the hyenas while Simba battles Scar to the top of Pride Rock. Meanwhile Simba corners Scar on the top of Pride Rock, where Scar begs for his life and blames everything on the hyenas where Simba lets him leave Scar out of mercy. In a repetition of Scar's words to cub Simba, Simba tells Scar to run away and never return. With the thought of Simba killing him Scar appears to follow this request, but Scar turns quickly and attacks Simba again. But luckliy Simba blocks his evil uncle's attack and flips his evil uncle Scar over the cliff making Scar trip and fall off the cliff where the hyenas are waiting below heard Scar's betrayal and are still starving. Where they surround their former leader kill him where he was the main course. And the hyenas devour Scar beneath the shadow of Pride Rock and teared him to shreds. Sometime later after Scar and the hyenas were defeated Simba became the king, but Zira told Simba that he couldn't rule the Pridelands because Scar had chosen their son Kovu, to become the next king. But Simba told Zira that Scar was never the real king, of course Zira wouldn't listen to reason, so instead she attacked Simba, as she was very close to Scar, alas Simba won the battle and Zira had lost but after a crushing defeat he had to banish Zira and the Outsiders, from the Pridelands, because they were being loyal to Scar. Meanwhile the battle had finally ended. And so with the battle won Simba's friends and family come forward and acknowledge Simba as the new rightful king after the defeat of Scar and the Hyenas by Simba and the Pridelanders. Which Rafiki crowns Simba with the mantle of kingship after his victory. and Simba ascends Pride Rock as heard Mufasas voice remember he then gives a mighty roar across the whole kingdom claiming his title. Meanwhile the Pridelands recover and all the animals come back to the Pridelands to recognize Simba as the rightful king and celebrate the continuing Circle of Life. Where the assembly of animals that appear are slightly different from the beginning of Act 1 without the wildebeests and the adult elephant (only the baby elephant) the giraffes the cheetah the rhinoceros and three gazelles appear instead of four where two zebras appear instead of three only half of the bird ladies from the beginning appearance instead of four along with three cranes appear on stage and the birds on poles as kites. And the lionesses appear to celebrate the continuing Circle of Life before the animals present Simba and Nalas newborn cub the future lion king where a giraffe enters the stage as the Circle of Life is restored back to the Pridelands and the Circle of Life begins again with Simba and Nala having a newborn lion cub of their own. Where at the end Simba marries Nala and becomes Simba's wife. And the musical ends as Rafiki lifts up Simba and Nalas newborn cub to all the animals thus completing the Circle of Life once again and ushering their newborn cub in a new golden age. Where a Blackout finishes Act II And leads to the curtain call at the end of the second act.
In the episode "Today, I Am a Clown" During his televised Bar Mitzvah, Krusty thanks the cast from The Lion King Musical as they leave the stage.
In the episode Girls Just Want to Have Sums the Itchy and Scratchy musical "Stab-A-Lot" spoofs the songs and the look of "The Lion King on Broadway." The song The Circle of Knife is a parody of The Circle of Life.