Cancelled Movies. Wiki

The title card for King of the Jungle. It was originally slated to be released sometime around November 1993. But people first came up with the idea in 1991.

King Of The Jungle is the former version of Disney's 1994 animated feature film, The Lion King. The former version was supposed to be more drama-oriented, violent, and less suitable for younger audiences. It would of been written by Linda Woolverton and Jenny Tripp, produced by Brenda Chapman, and had screenplays set by J.T Allen and Ron Bass. The identity of the original director, remains unknown.


The plot could've been somewhat different from the finalised product that was released in 1994.

Why It Was Cancelled[]

  1. The original script was too creepy for little kids.
  2. The title of the film was considered zoologically inaccurate: Lions don't actually live in jungles.
  3. The director did not like some of the original names for the characters ("Banagai", "Bangai", "Baasho", "Mheetu", "Diku", “Dwala", "Kwashi" "Papalio",), so he demanded the writers to change them.
  4. The director did not like the concept of Timon having a girlfriend.
  5. According to Brenda Chapman, screenwriter Linda Woolverton intended Simba to be a slovenly, lazy character who did not deserve the throne. Chapman believed that this made it hard for the audience to like Simba.


  • The script was reworked into a relevantly more kid-friendly and comedic, yet still very emotional film.
  • Certain elements of the original script plot remained, and were included in the finished project.
  • It was released under the title, "The Lion King", on June 24, 1994. It has received positive reviews, and became a cult classic.
  • The Lion King has received 2 Direct-To-Video sequels; The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and The Lion King 1½'.
  • The Lion King Made 2 Television Series; Timon and Pumbaa was released in 1995 and The Lion Guard was released in 2016.
  • The photorealistic "live-action" remake of The Lion King released on July 19, 2019 to theaters, and received negative reviews for being the soulless bastardization of the original.
  • The prequel to the live-action remake for The Lion King, titled Mufasa: The Lion King, will release theatrically on December 20, 2024.


  • Characters that were scrapped from the final The Lion King film:
    • Nala had a younger brother named Mheetu who played an important role. He was created as a character for Nala to protect from the hyenas and Scar. Mheetu was the one Scar lured into the gorge, not Simba. Simba tried to save him but failed, so Mufasa saved them. Contary to popular belief, Mheetu was tan like most cubs rather than white (he only looks white because the concept art is uncoloured). He was scrapped for being seen as an unneeded character in a film with an already large cast.
    • Simba's mother Sarabi had three sisters: Naanda (who was also Nala’s mother in these early drafts), Diku, and Dwala. They were all scrapped. Some semi-canon comics and magazines have shown that Sarabi has sisters, but they are never named.
    • Nala's father was once a character but was scrapped. An earlier idea involved having Mufasa being her father like in real lion prides, however this would have made her relationship with Simba Brother–Sister Incest. So in the final film, Nala’s father was briefly seen in Cave Paintings by Rafiki.
    • There was a scrapped rock python who would have acted as Scar's Dragon and would have been voiced by Tim Curry. This would be reflected in The Lion Guard where Scar's spirit would have a snake as his Dragon, albeit a cobra called Ushari rather than a python.
    • Herr Rhino was a scrapped male rhino that would’ve attacked Baasho while he was strolling through the jungle.
    • Banagi was the male leader of the hyenas in King of the Jungle. The Lion Guard later introduced a male hyena leader, despite hyenas being notoriously matriarchal.
    • Another scrapped hyena was Baasho, who was Banagi's lackey. Banagi refers to his clan as a "brotherhood", implying that they were entirely male.
    • In one script Simba was taken in not by Timon and Pumbaa, but by a group of (realistic looking) meerkats called the Komboli Rangers. Timon and his mate Tesma were a part of this group. Simba would have parted with them on his own. In a later script, Tesma was retooled as Simba and Nala's (mostly Nala's) childhood friend while Timon was Simba's childhood friend. Pumbaa (then called "Harold") was also a childhood friend of Simba's.
    • One of Simba's childhood friends was a female bat-eared fox named Bhati.
    • Kobi and her son Prita were two unused vulture characters.
    • Mufasa’s grandfather, Mohatu, was planned for a actual appearance in the film as a spirit in the sky.
    • One of Simba and Nala's childhood friends was Daabi, an aardvark who spoke as though she had a permanent case of nasal congestion (justified in that she spoke out of an elongated snout).
    • A pair of female honey badgers named Rina and Rada were supposed to appear.
    • A male black-backed jackal called Ndogo was originally supposed to be a minor antagonist in the film who would try to eat Simba while he was stuck in his slumber at the desert, but Simba managed to survive.
    • Screenwriter Jenny Tripp planned on adding two characters, a mongoose called Mabu, and a chacma baboon called Kwashi, in the 1989 King of the Jungle draft. She wanted to provide them the role of finding Simba stranded in the desert.
    • In one incarnation of the King of the Jungle script, Simba had a zebra friend named Lemuta. Lemuta and Simba were playing with an aardvark friend of theirs when Lemuta spots the Ndona pride hunting his herd. Simba's mother Sarabi tries to kill Lemuta's mother, but she manages to escape. Lemuta freaks out at the realization that he's Simba's food and runs away. They don't meet again until they're adults.
    • A gorilla called Habawa was supposed to appear in the film at one point in the King of the Kalahari script as a minor antagonist; but was quickly scrapped. He did appear however in the video game for The Lion King as one of the levels’ bosses a couple years later.
    • In the 1988 King of the Kalahari script written by Tom Disch, the main character was a male lion named Rego. He would be the son of male lion Brond (who was killed in a flood) and the lioness Sheena.
    • Mruki, in the King of the Kalahari script, was a early version of Scar. He would be described as the lowest-ranked member in Brond’s clan, with him being the lion who eats a carcass last and going on hunts last. He would also be an orphan, and would’ve formed extreme distaste towards Rego when he was a teen through adult, with them getting into fights and one time Mruki wanted to even end his life by sending hyenas to kill young Rego.
    • Weena was another scrapped lion character from the King of the Kalahari script. She would’ve served as Sheena’s older sister, and has a role in monitoring/alerting others.
    • Bobo, in the King of the Kalahari script, was a early version of Rafiki. He would’ve been the court jester of Brond’s pride. And, unlike Rafiki, he actually had a appearance that was faithful to real life mandrills. He was also pretty sympathetic, with almost killing Rego by charismatically convincing the female lions to save Rego from the hyenas that Mruki planned a rogue upon, which leader Rego to be stuck up a tree; as the hyenas chased him there.
    • Jambo was a early version of Pumbaa from the King of the Kalahari script. He is the king of the elephants. Since Mruki led Rego into the midst of a clan of hungry spotted hyenas, who began to chase him. At the last second, Jambo interfered and saved Rego's life. He can be considered affiliated with Brond’s clan and is authoritative enough to be considered Brond’s equal.
    • Lisaba was a planned King of the Kalahari character. She was a member of Brond’s pride, and has some authority and uses it to enforce the traditions of her pride, even for her aged appearance. She was also one of the lionesses who helped save Rego from the hyena troop.
    • Nanda was a early version of Nala in the King of the Kalahari script. One day, when Rego got chased up a tree by hyenas, his friend Bobo found Nanda's pride and convinced them to save him. After the rescue, Rego and Nanda began to feel romantically toward one another. Eventually, after Rego won back his father’s pride from Mruki, Nanda bore and nursed his cubs.
    • Skobi was a scrapped vulture character in King of the Kalahari that would often violently tease Mruki.
  • Elements that were scrapped for the final The Lion King film:
    • Scar originally killed Mufasa by snapping his neck.
    • Originally the movie was actually going to end with Simba being the one thrown off the cliff during the final battle against Scar, who then starts laughing maniacally as the fire gradually burns him to death. Fortunately, it then turns out that Simba actually survived the fall.
    • Scar lures Mheetu into a stampede, and Simba tries to save him. Mufasa ends up saving both young lions.
    • Mufasa at one point was supposed to save Simba from a flood rather than a stampede.
    • Scar was a rogue in league with the hyenas.
    • One day, Simba refuses to go on patrol with Mufasa. Alone, Mufasa gets attacked and killed by Scar. With Mufasa dead, Scar becomes the king, and Simba will assume the throne once he is old enough. However, when the time comes, Scar denounces Simba as unfit to rule.
    • Rafiki accuses Scar of murder, and Scar orders his hyenas to chase Simba and Rafiki out of the kingdom. The two take refuge with Timon and his family, and Rafiki trains Simba to take back his kingdom.
    • The Lion in the Moon was the God of the lions that was ultimately scrapped between King of the Jungle. He created lions (and possibly all of the animals). Sarabi had a Cut Song where she sang a lullaby to Simba about Him after Simba had his encounter with the hyenas. The comics make reference to a different god, the Great Spirit.
    • In one concept for the beginning of 'Be Prepared', we could have seen Scar initially meeting the leader of the hyenas alone, which would have shown him charming her. It was cut for being much too unsettling, and of course, there were more awesome ways to show he was evil than molesting Shenzi.
    • Geysers we’re supposed to appear in the film at on point. With Simba facing them as obstacles.
    • Scar was originally going to raise Simba following Mufasa's death in the King of the Kalahari script. He would’ve been trying to kill Simba, but when spotted by others, he would’ve made it look like he saved Simba and taken him in.
    • After Nala, Timon and Pumbaa learn that Simba has gone back to the Pridelands, the scene originally went on longer, with Timon refusing to join Nala and Pumbaa when they resolved to go too.
    • The final scene with Simba and Nala's newborn cub (no name or gender specified) was originally going to be longer, with some comedic business in which Timon presented a bug as a gift to the cub, only for the bug to fly away, and Rafiki anointed the cub with gourd juice and dust just like he anointed baby Simba, the dust making both the cub and adult Simba sneeze. This was ultimately pared down to just show the cub's presentation at the edge of Pride Rock.
  • The film went through a few working titles: King of the Beasts, King of the Animals, King of the Jungle, and King of the Kalahari.




Note: Please do not add descriptions to these pictures! We don't want the images to be vandalized in random links. Also, do not mention "Mel Shaw drew these in the 90's and he passed away in 2012" because this was way before his death.

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Concept Art[]

More art/concepts can be found on the Disney Second Screen: Lion King Edition website.