The Lion King: How Mufasa’s famous death scene was almost different

Scar’s betrayal, which destroys Simba’s life, promised to be more inspired by Hamlet.

In the world of cinema, there are some spoilers that are already common knowledge of the nation … Bruce Willis was dead in The Sixth Sense. Darth Vader is Luke’s father in Star Wars. And, of course, Mufasa dies in The Lion King. This tragic moment has marked ( and traumatized ) generations around the world, while animation has become one of the most iconic films in Disney history. However, a special aspect of this scene was almost quite different.


Everyone already knows this scene well, don’t they? In a plan to conquer the kingdom of nature, Scar orchestrates the death of Mufasa, who is holding on to a canyon to keep from falling. However, the villain loosens his brother’s claws, throwing him to be trampled by a herd that passed by. On top of that, he places the blame on little Simba, who runs away desperate and shaken by the loss of his father, moving away from the family. Not to mention that there is a theory that Scar ate Mufasa’s body, but that is another story …

But do you remember what Scar says when she cheats on her own brother? The villain declares “Long Live the King” (or “Long Live the King” in the dubbed version), before throwing it to its tragic end, showing all its ambition and cruelty. Soon, such speech became one of Disney’s most iconic moments. But it was almost completely different.


In the first version of The Lion King, Scar did not say “Long Live the King”. Instead, he released the phrase “Good Night Sweet Prince” (or “Boa Noite Amado Princípe” in the national version). For those who do not know, this is one of the iconic lines of the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. (Yes, there are other iconic lines, in addition to “To be or not to be, that is the question”!). This phrase happens at the end of the praised work when the protagonist is dying in the arms of his great friend, Horácio – who says the poetics speak.

But why did this change happen? Like many other Hollywood films, The Lion King script has gone through several versions, trying to find the ideal format to win over audiences. In the process, Disney called on producer Don Hahn to take over the project. In turn, the young man did not approve the first results and asked for several revisions to the script.

Part of them meant reducing direct references to Hamlet, bringing more originality to the film. Well, The Lion King was a worldwide success ( including in its recent version ), but many accuse the film of being “very influenced” by Kimba, The White Lion, a highly acclaimed anime in Japan, created by Osamu Tezuka. Anyway, Mufasa’s death scene continues as one of the most remarkable moments in cinema.

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