The rumor that the ‘Lion King’ was not an original material has begun even during the first-ever screening of ‘The Lion King’ in 1994. YouTuber Alli Kat helped those who are curious by comparing scenes from ‘The Lion King’ to ‘Kimba the White Lion’ that looks so similar.
‘Kimba the White Lion’ is an original animation by Osamu Tezuka, a man known as ‘Japan’s Walt Disney’. It was first created in 1950 and was animated in 1965. Almost 30 years later in 1994, Disney released ‘The Lion King’.
And they were shockingly the same down to frame-to-frame while Disney continuously refuses the fact.
Osamu Tezuka worked on an original storyline in 1950 titles ‘Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Emperor)’ which serialized in Manga Shōnen from November 1950 to April 1954. An anime was made and broadcasted from 1965 to 1967.
Disney continues to deny any infringement of copyright or creative material from the movie.
Even when several scenes and characters are seen to clearly have similar designs and characteristics.
Tom Sito, an animator from the show denied the resemblance when talking to HuffPost Entertainment, “I can say there is absolutely no inspiration from Kimba. I mean, the artists working on the film, if they grew up in the ’60s, they probably saw Kimba. I mean, I watched Kimba when I was a kid in the ’60s, and I think in the recesses of my memory, we’re aware of it but I don’t think anybody consciously thought, ‘Let’s rip off Kimba.”
Co-director Rob Minkoff also denied any association between the two shows and claimed to have only heard of the issue during his and Roger Allers trip to Japan to promote ‘Lion King’ remake.
Yet, Allers who have lived and worked on animations in Japan during the 80s should have known about the primetime show of Kimba. Osamu Tezuka was already known as ‘Japan’s Walt Disney’ by then and had even visited Walt Disney in America a few times due to his love for the company.
But Tezuka never really had the chance to fight back as he died in 1989 and the show began pre-production just a few years after.
It is an irony, considering Tezuka’s love towards Disney was reciprocated with his works seem to have been copied. Disney has even denied inspirational source when characters and even the thematic storyline was so similar.
Disney may have only re-colored the main characters and upgraded the animation quality. But the idea and storyboard were not theirs and this has flamed the anger of fans of both Disney and Osamu Tezuka.
‘The Lion King’ was one of many people’s favorite show. But Disney may have done better to just be more frank about what actually happened here.
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