Disney’s 1994 animated film The Lion King is considered to be one of the studio’s best. However, it’s no secret that Disney’s animated films have a dark side. After all, we’re talking about the studio that killed Bambi’s mommy and disposed of many type of of its villains in gruesome manners. So it doesn’t specifically come as a shock that the original ending to The Lion King was a tiny less than family-friendly.




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Kiara and also Simba | Disney Junior via Getty Images

How did ‘The Lion King’ end?

The theatrical finishing of The Lion King is considerably much less gruesome than its alternate equivalent. In instance you require a recap prior to we delve right into just just how messed up the different finishing is, here’s a quick summary of exactly how the original film ends.

Simba rushes earlier to Pride Rock to face both his uncle Sautomobile and also all of his fears surrounding returning residence after living in exile for so long. Simba supplies Sauto tranquility at first, but the prideful lion refuses the offer and throws red hot coals into his nephew’s confront. Scar and also Simba fight as Pride Rock erupts into flames around them.

Simba, at last, gets rid of his name by forcing Scar to confess he killed Mufasa. The two fight while the rest of the pride fights off Scar’s band of hyenas. Simba spares Scar’s life and leaves his fate as much as the hyenas, that aren’t specifically merciful. In a stroke of poetic irony, Svehicle is eaten alive by his very own gang of cackling, four-legged followers. 

As the chaos dies dvery own, a healing rain sweeps across the valley and restores Pride Rock to its glorious former self through Simba as the rightful king. 




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The alternative ending was a little as well Shakespearean — not to point out gruesome 

Storyboards disclose a much darker conclusion to The Lion King we understand and love.

Throughout the battle of Pride Rock, Simba gains the upper hand and also throws Sautomobile over the edge. A moment later on, Simba hears a cry for assist. Sauto endured the loss, having actually ordered on to the side of Pride Rock. Simba is conflicted for a moment, learning fully well Sauto murdered his father and also simply moments earlier would certainly have actually murdered him.

Still, Simba upholds his ethical compass and also helps his uncle to safety and security. Then, Svehicle whispers to Simba, “Goodnight, sweet prince,” in an extremely Hamlet fashion and throws his nephew right into the burning abyss listed below. 

Simba survived the fall, unbeknownst to Scar, who is gloating over his victory by laughing maniacally on optimal of Pride Rock. His hubris distracts him from the increasing flames neighboring him, which ultimately consume him. 

Disney producers eventually decided to scrap this ending on account of it being far too terrifying for children and figured that having Sauto confront the hyenas one last time would certainly be poetic sufficient, albeit still disturbing. 


The film’s sequel ‘The Lion King II’ had actually a comparable dark alternate ending

As if The Lion King’s different finishing wasn’t upsetting enough, The Lion King II additionally has a dark villain death in yet another alternative scene. 

The Lion King II welcomes a brand-new league of antagonists recognized as The Outsiders, a team of lions who still follow Scar as fanatics and loathe Simba for his part in their leader’s death. Their leader, Zira, attempts to usage her son, Kovu, to get cshed to Simba and also kill him. However before, points don’t exactly go as planned when Kovu drops in love with Simba’s daughter, Kiara. 

Like the initially film, the climax of The Lion King II is a 2nd vicious fight pitting lions versus lions. Zira attempts to kill Simba, but Kiara conserves him prior to Zira falls right into a flooding river and also drowns.

But in the different ending, Zira’s death isn’t as a lot of an accident. Kiara attempts to reach Zira and also conserve her life. But rather, the lioness smiles evilly at Kiara, saying, “No! Never!” prior to letting go of the rocks and falling to her fatality. Yikes.

For a franchise so centered on the circle of life, it’s amazing simply how a lot of The Lion King’s story is cloaked with fatality. For the sake of all our childhoods, we’re glad the animators made a decision to stick via the theatrical endings of both films. Hakuna matata.

Read more: Here’s How the Original Animators of ‘The Lion King’ Feel About The Remake