The Lion King 1½ is a 2004 American animated musical buddy comedy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and DisneyToon Studios. It's a spin-off to the The Lion King franchise and a prequel / midquel to the original 1994 film. It focuses on Timon and Pumbaa's story showing how they met and what they did during the events of The Lion King.

It stars Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Robert Guillaume, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings, Matthew Broderick, Moira Kelly and Edward Hibbert reprising their roles from the main movies and spin-off series with Julie Knaver and Jerry Stiller joining them voicing new characters.

The film was positively welcomed from audience and film critics alike that praised its original story, irriverent humor, heart and soundtrack. Unlike the sequels, this film was released in theaters in some countries.


The film is told through the perspective of Timon and Pumbaa through the literary device known as a frame story and starts out with the two watching the original film, The Lion King, being shown in silhouette commenting on the movie being shown before them, in a style nearly identical to that of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

They quickly stop the film and rewind it so they can show their side of the story, occasionally stopping the footage to talk with one another. Timon shows Pumbaa the meerkat's backstory, revealing him to be an outcast in his colony on the outskirts of the Pridelands. While supported by his mother Ma, Timon wished for more in life and left the colony after his Uncle Max is nearly eaten by hyenas Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed. He meets mandrill Rafiki who advises him to find his place in the world via Hakuna Matata. Timon wanders into some long grass upon deciding to venture to Pride Rock, meeting Pumbaa for the first time and they become friends very quickly.

The pair arrive at Pride Rock during Simba's presentation to the Pridelands' animals. However, Pumbaa informs Timon that he gets anxious in crowds and passes gas explosively that knocks some of the animals out, making the rest of them kneel. Mufasa sees this and is very puzzled, but Zazu tells him that they are bowing down to Simba. Timon and Pumbaa look for several other places to live, intercepting with other events in the film. They are eventually caught in the wildebeest stampede that takes the life of Mufasa, but survive, and find a vast jungle which they decide to make their home, Timon learning of Pumbaa's own philosophy of Hakuna Matata, embracing it to his fullest. However, the two find Simba and raise him as their own despite the negative effects of Hakuna Matata.

Years on, Nala appears after chasing Pumbaa and reunites with Simba. Timon and Pumbaa attempt to prevent the two lions from getting together, but ultimately fail in their plan. Timon spots Simba running away after his off-screen argument with Nala and laughs it off (Not explaining that Timon thought they were still together in the first film), Pumbaa feeling guilty. Later, Nala appears asking where Simba is, but Rafiki explains Simba has run off to challenge Scar. After Nala goes to follow Simba, Pumbaa argues with Timon, who is angry that Simba had left them and selfishly declares he has everything he wanted in the jungle, but when Pumbaa leaves, loneliness started to kick in. Rafiki appears to Timon and reminds him that his Hakuna Matata is not a home but friendship, prompting Timon to go after his friends.

At Pride Rock, Timon and Pumbaa evade the hyenas but run into Ma and Uncle Max who came looking for Timon. Wanting to help Simba, Timon proposes that they get rid of the hyenas by using tunnels. Whilst Simba fights Scar, Ma Zazu and Uncle Max construct a series of tunnels beneath them, Timon and Pumbaa use various tactics to distract the hyenas. When the tunnels are done, they quickly knock down the sticks keeping them from caving in; however, the last few do not fall and thus, the plan fails. Now cornered once again by the hyenas, Timon dives underground and quickly hurries and breaks the remaining sticks, saving his family and Pride Rock. Immediately afterwards, Scar is thrown off of Pride Rock by Simba and falls into the same location as the hyenas, who kill him for betraying them. Simba accepts his place as king of the Pride Lands, thanking Timon and Pumbaa for helping him. Timon takes Ma, Uncle Max and the meerkat colony to live in the jungle, realizing his true Hakuna Matata is family. The meerkats and Pumbaa celebrate with Simba, praising Timon as their hero for finding them a safe, beautiful haven and forever ridding them of the hyenas. In the final scene of the film, Ma, Uncle Max, Simba, Rafiki, and several silhouetted Disney characters (who don't belong in the movie) join Timon and Pumbaa to re-watch the film in the cinema. Then Pumbaa informs Timon he still grows anxious in crowds, ending the film.


  • Nathan Lane as Timon, a meerkat who is Pumbaa's best friend. Though somewhat self-centered, selfish, and distracted, Timon shows strong loyalty towards his friends. Lianne Hughes and Alexs Stadermann served as the supervising animators for Timon.
  • Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa, a warthog who is Timon's best friend. Though slow-witted, he is very empathic and ready to trust and befriend anyone. He is also claustrophobic and passes gas in crowds. Bob Baxter served as the supervising animator for Pumbaa.
  • Julie Kavner as Ma, Timon's supportive mother. She is quite protective and attached to her son, often trying to get him accepted amongst the colony, but never succeeding. Lianne Hughes served as the supervising animator for Ma.
  • Jerry Stiller as Uncle Max, Timon's paranoid, eccentric but well-meaning uncle. He initially doubts Timon's ability, but warms up to him at the film's climax. Lianne Hughes served as the supervising animator for Max.
  • Matthew Broderick as Simba, Mufasa and Sarabi's son, Scar's nephew, Nala's husband and the current King of the Pride Lands. Matt Weinberg voices Simba as a cub. Bob Baxter served as the supervising animator for Simba.
  • Robert Guillaume as Rafiki, a mandrill who teaches Timon about Hakuna Matata, and gives him faith in him self to do what he dreams of doing. Alexs Stadermann served as the supervising animator for Rafiki.
  • Moira Kelly as Nala, Simba's childhood friend. Most of her dialogue is archived from the original film. She only has one scene with newly recorded dialogue.
  • Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin and Jim Cummings as Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, a trio of hyenas who act as the local predators of Timon's meerkat colony before their allegiance with Scar. Bob Baxter served as the supervising animator for the hyenas.
  • Edward Hibbert as Zazu, a hornbill and the loyal adviser of The Lion King.He helps Timon And Pumbaa To Find his dream home
  • Jason Rudofsky as Flinchy, a meerkat who served as the colony's sentry before Timon took over his post.
  • André Sogliuzzo as Zebras
  • Sally Ann Brooks as Female Meerkat #1
  • Cooper Cowgill as Male Meerkat #1
  • David Cowgill as Male Meerkat #2
  • Rachel Crane as Female Meerkat #2
  • Moosie Drier as Male Meerkat #3
  • Jackie Gonneau as Female Meerkat #3
  • David Hiller as Male Meerkat #4
  • Wendy Hoffman as Female Meerkat #4
  • Mark Robert Myers as Male Meerkat #5
  • J. Lamont Pope as Male Meerkat #6 
  • Kane Ritchotte as Male Meerkat #7 
  • Clay Savage as Male Meerkat #8 
  • Aaron Spann as Kid Meerkat 
  • Jeff Bennett as Iron Joe Male Meerkat Digger #1 Bashful, and March Hare
  • Tress MacNeille as Female Meerkat Digger #1 
  • Corey Burton as Grumpy, and Mad Hatter
  • Bill Farmer as Doc, Goofy, and Sleepy
  • Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck 
  • Cam Clarke,as Simba 
  • Shaun Fleming as The Lost Boys 
  • Carolyn Gardner as Snow White
  • Bob Joles as Sneezy
  • Chris Sanders as Stitch
  • Kevin Schon as Happy
  • Blayne Weaver as Peter Pan

Danske Stemmer[]

  • Henrik Koefoed - Timon
  • Lars Thiesgaard - Pumba
  • Birthe Neumann - Timons mor
  • Peter Schrøder - Onkel Max
  • Peter Jorde - Simba
  • Peter Belli - Rafiki
  • Pernille Højgaard - Nala
  • Lone Kellermann - Shenzi
  • Donald Andersen - Banzai
  • Mario Filio - Ib
  • Peter Zhelder - Zazu
  • Jens Jacob Tychsen - Krymper
  • Lukas Forchhammer - Unge Simba

Additional Voices[]

  • Søren Ulrichs
  • Vibeke Dueholm
  • Søren Sætter-Lassen
  • Timm Mehrens
  • Julian K.E. Baltzer
  • Rasmus Albeck
  • Puk Scharbau
  • Lena Brostrøm
  • Dorthe Hyldstrup
  • Peter Bom
  • Mads Lumholt
  • Trine Dansgaard
  • Johnny Jørgensen
  • Nicoline Møller
  • Lise Nees
  • Pia Scharling
  • Brian Grønbæk Jensen
  • Søren Launbjerg


The film received generally positive reviews from film critics. Based on 15 reviews from review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 73% approval rating, with an average rating of 6.3.[1]

Frank Lovece of TV Guide stated that "This retelling of THE LION KING (1994) from the point of view of comic sidekicks Timon (voice of Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella) is one of the rare Disney direct-to-video sequels worthy of the original." He went on to say that "The only aspect of the film that feels forced is the revisionist positioning of Timon as young Simba's step-dad, which has no emotional echo in the first film. The quality of the animation is surprisingly impressive; some static backgrounds are the primary concession to a small-screen budget and the fluid character movements and expressions are vastly superior to those of, say, the Timon and Pumbaa TV cartoon series," and gave the film 3½ stars out of 4.[2]


The film soundtrack, The Lion King 1½: Songs From Timon and Pumbaa's Hilarious Adventure, was released to CD by Disney Records on February 10, 2004. It includes two songs from the original film, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and "Hakuna Matata", re-performed by Nathan Lane who voiced the character Timon. The rest of the soundtrack includes various R&B tracks, including remakes of the Kool and the Gang classic "Jungle Boogie" by The French, and two instrumental pieces from film composer Don Harper. It features Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock's "Sunrise, Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof". Ennio Morricone was the original composer of "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly".[3]

  1. "Nants Ingonyama"
  2. "Grazing In The Grass" (Raven-Symoné)
  3. "Digga Tunnah Dance" (Lebo M and [[Vinx)
  4. "That's All I Need" (Nathan Lane) (based on unused song from original film called "Warthog Rhapsody")
  5. "Hakuna Matata" (Lane, and Ernie Sabella)
  6. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (Lebo M)
  7. "Jungle Boogie"
  8. "Timon's Traveling Theme"
  9. "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" Theme
  10. "Sunrise, Sunset" (from "Fiddler on the Roof")
  11. "Peter Gunn" Theme
  12. "Digga Tunnah Dance (reprise)" (Lebo M and Vinx)
  13. "The Big Wrap-Up Theme"


  • 2005 Annie Award for
    • "Best Home Entertainment Production" (Won)
    • "Music in an Animated Feature Production" (Nominated)
  • 2005 DVD Exclusive Awards in the following categories:
    • Best Animated Character Performance (Nathan Lane - voice, Alexis Stadermann - animator) for "Timon" (Won)
    • Best Animated DVD Premiere Movie (Won)
    • Best Director (of a DVD Premiere Movie) - Bradley Raymond (Won)
    • Best Editing (of a DVD Premiere Movie) - Joyce Arrastia (Won)
    • Best Screenplay (for a DVD Premiere Movie) - Tom Rogers (Won)
  • 2005 Saturn Award
    • "Best DVD Release" (Nominated)

See Also[]

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead


External links[]

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v · d · eDisney direct-to-video animated features
Sequels, and Prequels

The Return of Jafar (1994) • Gargoyles the Movie: The Heroes Awaken (1995) • Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996) • Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin (1996) • Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (1997) • Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Magical World (1998) • Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998) • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (1998) • Hercules: Zero to Hero (1999) • Belle's Tales of Friendship (1999) • Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving (1999) • Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas (1999) • An Extremely Goofy Movie (2000) • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins (2000) • The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000) • Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (2001) • Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse (2001) • Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street (2001) • Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (2002) • The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002) • Tarzan & Jane (2002) • Mickey's House of Villains (2002) • Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year (2002) • 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure (2003) • Atlantis: Milo's Return (2003) • Stitch! The Movie (2003) • Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time (2003) • Recess: All Growed Down (2003) • Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade (2003) • The Lion King 1½ (2004) • Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo (2003) • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2003) • Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas (2003) •