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Meet the voices behind The Lion King characters

Last updated on: July 26, 2011 16:18 IST

Meet the voices behind The Lion King characters

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The Lion King is back! Only this time around, we get to watch Simba and his gang in 3D.

As one of the highest grossing animated series gears up for release this Friday in a reinvented avatar, we decided to take a look at some of the significant characters in the film and the actors, who've lent their voices to them.

Take a look.

Matthew Broderick as adult Simba

Actor Matthew Broderick adds vitality to a grown up Simba with his genial manner and fiesty voice. He can be carefree and entertaining but he never loses that air of authority as well as his sense of responsibility.

Simba is the Lion King in the film, who we see grow from a playful and vivacious cub into a more responsible king of the jungle.


Image: Mathew Broderick and Simba

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James Earl Jones as Musafa

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Musafa is the mighty king of the jungle and Simba's autoritative yet loving dad. He's a composed figure and a voice of reason in the film. As a king, he's respected by his subjects and loved by his family.

And who'd be more suited for this role than James Earl Jones, the voice of one of Hollywood's greatest characters Darth Vader.


Image: James Earl Jones and musafa

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Jermy Irons as Scar

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British actor Jeremy Irons fits the bill as the voice of antagonist Scar.

As the jealous, vengeful tiger who unwillingly lives under his elder brother Musafa's shadow, Irons makes the character menacing and dark with his voice.

 


Image: Jermy Irons as Scar

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Nathan Lane as Timon

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Timon is a wise-cracking, self absorbed and a comic meerkat who's constantly stealing Pumba's ideas and calling them his own.

Actor Nathan Lane, who was brilliant in The Birdcage, brings credibility to the character with his own eccentric and rather quirky personality. There's no wonder that Timon, despite just being a sidekick, shines through in certain places.


Image: Nathan Lane and Timon

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Ernie Sabella as Pumba

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Pumba is a guileless simpleton who is the more reasonable one (well, sometimes). He's hefty but mild-mannered but for the times when he's 'insulted' when he's addressed as a pig.

He also charges like a fearless warrior in times of conflict. Ernie Sabella, who gained recognition as Pumba's voice, makes Pumba an endearing character with his croaky voice.


Image: Ernie Sabella and Pumba

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Rowan Atkinson as Zazu

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All of us remember British actor Rowan Atkinson as the unassuming and goofy Mr Bean from the popular television and film series. Like Zazu, the character he lends his voice to in the film, the actor comes across as extremely naive and sincere.

Zazu is a feisty Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill in the service of king Mufasa. He's extremely loyal and fiercely protective of Simba.


Image: Robert Guillaume and Rafiki

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Moira Kelly as adult Nala

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Actress Moira Kelly lends her voice to Nala, Simba's childhood friend, who later becomes his queen.

Nala is an adventuring lioness and is shown as an independent fun-loving cub and that's why she hits it off with Simba.


Image: Moira Kelly and adult Nala

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Whoopi Goldberg as Shenzi

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The multi-talented Whoopi Goldberg is Shenzi in the film, one of the three hyenas who start off as secondary antagonists and come to the forefrunt in the end.

Shenzi is the only female in the trio and is depicted as a scheming hyena. She's also the leader of the trio. She, along with her friends, is a follower of Scar and that keeps her at loggerheads with Simba's well wishers.


Image: Whoopi Goldberg and Shenzi

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Robert Guillaume as Rafiki

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The worldly-wise and shamanistic Rafiki, who's a close friend of the king Mufasa has been played by the elderly Robert Guillaume, who brings respectability and that balance that is required for such a character.

Rafiki is a mandrill-baboon hybrid and looks out for Simba after Mufasa is killed in a stampede.


Image: Robert Guillaume and Rafiki

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