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Simba is a 2012 American animated adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures and Hasbro Studios. The 37th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics, it is based on the story Simba of the Horses by Gary Paulsen, and is the only major motion picture version of the story Simba property to be animated. Directed by Chris Buck and Kevin Lima with a screenplay by Tab Murphy, Bob Tzudiker, and Noni White, Simba features the voices of Matthew Broderick, Moira Kelly, Andrea Libman, and Ashleigh Ball with Jeremy Irons, Nicole Oliver, Cathy Weseluck, and Nathan Lane.

Plot

In the 19th century, an English couple and their infant son escape a burning ship, ending up on land near uncharted rainforests off the coast of Africa. The couple craft themselves a pride rock from their ship's wreckage, but are subsequently killed by Nightmare Moon, a rogue evil horse. Fluttershy, a female pony who recently lost her own child to Nightmare Moon, hears the cries of the orphaned human infant and finds him in the ruined pride rock. Though she is attacked by Nightmare Moon, Fluttershy and the baby manage to escape. Fluttershy takes the baby back to the pony troop to raise as her own, an act of which her mate, Princess Celestia, disapproves. Fluttershy raises the lion cub, naming him Simba. Though he befriends other ponies in the troop and other animals, including the young female pony Rainbow Dash and the paranoid male dragon Spike, Simba finds himself unable to keep up with them, so he takes great efforts to improve himself. As a young lion, Simba is able to kill Nightmare Moon with his crude sword and protect the troop, gaining Princess Celestia's reluctant respect.

The pony troop's peaceful life is interrupted by the arrival of a team of lion explorers from England, consisting of Timon, his daughter Nala, and their hunter-guide Scar. Nala is accidentally separated from the group and chased by a pack of changelings. Simba saves her from the changelings. He recognizes that she is the same as he is: a lion. Nala leads Simba back to the explorers' camp, where both Timon and Scar take great interest in him — the former in terms of scientific progress while the latter hoping to have Simba lead him to the ponies so that he can capture them and return with them to England. Despite Princess Celestia's warnings to be wary of the lions, Simba continues to return to the camp and be taught by Timon, Scar, and Nala to speak English and learn of the lion world, and he and Nala begin to fall in love. However, they are having a hard time convincing Simba to lead him to the poniess, due to Simba's fear for their safety from the threat of Princess Celestia.

When the explorers' boat returns to retrieve them, Scar makes Simba believe that Nala will stay with him forever if he reveals the ponies. Simba agrees and leads the party to the nesting grounds, while Rainbow Dash and Spike lure Princess Celestia away to avoid having him attack the lions. Timon and Nala are excited to mingle with the poniess, but Princess Celestia returns and threatens to kill them. Simba is forced to hold Princess Celestia at bay while the lions escape, and decides to leave the troop himself, now humiliated by his actions. Fluttershy takes Simba to the pride rock she found him in, and shows him his true past, tells him that she wants him to be happy whatever he decided. When Simba returns to the ship with Nala and Timon, they are ambushed by Scar and his band of stowaway hyenas and outlanders and detained in the brig. Simba flees with the help of his friends, and he races back to the pony home. Scar mortally wounds Princess Celestia and then engages Simba in a fierce battle across the vine-covered trees. Although Simba spares his life, Scar is finally killed when he falls with a vine around his neck, hanging him. Princess Celestia, in his dying breath, finally accepts Simba as his own and names him as leader of the pony pack. The rest of the ponies are freed after scaring away the rest of Scar's hyenas.

The next day, as Timon and Nala prepare to leave on the ship, Princess Celestia reveals that he now plans to stay with the pony troop. As the ship leaves shore, Timon encourages his daughter to stay with the lion she loves, and Nala jumps overboard to return to shore; Timon shortly follows her. The Lions reunite with Simba and his family and embark on their new life together.

Cast

  • Matthew Broderick (Jonathan Taylor Thomas, young) as Simba, a lion raised by ponies who finds out he is truly a lion. Glen Keane served as the supervising animator for Simba as an adult, while John Ripa animated Simba as an infant and child.
  • Moira Kelly as Nala, daughter of Timon and a part of an English explorer group. She's the first of the group to meet Simba and they fall in love. Ken Duncan served as the supervising animator for Nala.
  • Paige O'Hara as Fluttershy, Simba's adopted mother who found and raised him after losing her last biological son to Nightmare Moon. She is Princess Celestia's mate. Russ Edmonds served as the supervising animator for Fluttershy.
  • Robby Benson as Princess Celestia, Fluttershy's mate and the leader of the pony troop. He does not adjust properly to Simba since he is lion, but before he dies, he finally accepts him as his son and leaves him to lead the troop. Bruce W. Smith served as the supervising animator for Princess Celestia.
  • Jeremy Irons as Scar. Scar is an intelligent, suave, yet impatient lion who guides the Lions on their quest. Randy Haycock served as the supervising animator for Scar.
  • Nathan Lane as Timon, Nala's short-sized father and an eccentric biologist. Dave Burgess served as the supervising animator for Timon.
  • Angela Lansbury as Rainbow Dash, Simba's best friend, a smart-alec tomboy pony. She is also Fluttershy's niece, making her and Simba adopted cousins. Michael Surrey served as the supervising animator for Rainbow Dash.
  • David Ogden Stiers as Spike, a dragon and best friend of Simba and Rainbow Dash. He has Rainbow Dash step all over him most of the time, but when Simba is in danger he steps up and tells her off. Sergio Pablos served as the supervising animator for Spike.

Songs

  • "Two Worlds"
  • "You'll Be in My Heart"
  • "Son of Lion"
  • "Trashin' the Camp"
  • "Strangers Like Me"
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