Look, I love ‘The Lion King’.
It’s my fave Disney animated film of all time, next to ‘Mulan’ and ‘Aladdin.’ The flick has everything: a lovable hero, an awesome redemption story, and a catchy musical score in ‘Hakuna Matata.’
But as much as I love Simba and the squad, I’ll admit that the movie is also pretty controversial with regards to its source material.
For years, Disney built its empire on adapting fairy tales into animated films. Snow White, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid – all of these are famous literary works which date back centuries.
‘The Lion King’, on the other hand, is a landmark film for Disney. For the first time ever, Disney claims that they made a wholly original movie, one that wasn’t adapted from any previous work.
But as YouTuber Alli Kat’s vid prove – that isn’t entirely the case.
The vid introduces Kimba: The White Lion, – a Japanese manga character created by Osamu Tezuka in 1950 – which is almost certainly the inspiration for ‘The Lion King’, a flick which was released in 1994.
Aside from similar thematic vibes, the most compelling evidence is the side-by-side comparos, which sees elements from Kimba’s anime run in the 60’s and his own animated flick in the 80’s seemingly lifted and adapted straight into Disney 90’s flick.
But the most disturbing part about the whole ‘Simba/Kimba’ controversy is Disney’s vehement insistence that no one outside of the team has even heard of the Japanese character during The Lion King’s production.
The claim is close to impossible, as Kimba has been a huge cultural icon in Japan for years prior- a fact which was bound to reach a global brand like Disney.
Kimba’s even a damn mascot for a Japanese baseball team for fuck’s sake.
Even Matthew Broderick (Simba’s voice actor) initially thought he was cast for the role of Kimba.
The entire controversy gets even crazier – including a part where Disney filed a cease and desist order ON THE VERY FILM IT KNOCKED OFF – that you’ll just have to watch the video to believe.