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July 19, 2004


Who lives down in deepest darkest Africa?
Who's the one who brought the jungle fame?
Who's the king of Animals in Africa?
Kimba the white lion is his name!

Kimba The White Lion, first known as Jungle Emperor Leo, was a '60s Japanese animated film that some suggest inspired another well known production. It is not without reason Tezuka Osamu is called the Walt Disney of Japan. Perhaps it should be the other way around.

During planning sessions for The Lion King, Simba started out as a white lion until one of the animators spoke up: "Not even OUR lawyers are THAT good!" Maybe so, but notice how both characters have a tuft of hair in the middle of their foreheads, and the very unusual dark ear rim. That alone shows how Kimba is the direct predecessor of Simba.

It is my opinion that the creative people at Disney most definitely knew of Kimba as they were making The Lion King-- but somehow, before the movie could be released, it was decided that the tie must be denied. Even if that means a slap in the face for Osamu Tezuka, the "Walt Disney of Japan".

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 19, 2004 08:38 AM

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I was a major Kimba fan as a kid. Ah, the memories ...

Posted by: ***Dave at July 19, 2004 10:17 AM

Me too :)

I now have the theme song in my head...

Posted by: Ith at July 21, 2004 09:19 PM