Lion King, The Original and Limited Edition Art (1994)

The film opens with a gathering of a large number of animals around Pride Rock in Africa, where a wise mandrill, Rafiki, presents Simba, the newborn son of the lion King and Queen, Mufasa and Sarabi. The only resident of the Pride Lands who is displeased with the birth of this heir is Mufasa's younger brother, Scar, who seeks the throne for himself. As Simba grows up, he is taught about the Pride Lands, including the neighboring Outlands, ruled by ruthless hyenas and off limits for residents of the Pride Lands. Simba, however, turns out to be a colorful prankster who would rather play with his best friend, Nala, than listen to the lessons Mufasa's hornbill majordomo, Zazu, attempts to teach him. When Scar tells Simba about an elephant graveyard in the Outlands, Simba and Nala outsmart Zazu and venture out into the Outlands where they come upon three hyenas, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, who try to kill them in the ensuing chase. Mufasa arrives to rescue the cubs in time, after being alerted by Zazu, and talks with Simba about how he shouldn't go looking for trouble just to show how brave he is. Mufasa then teaches Simba about the stars, saying that they represent all the great kings of the past that watch down on them. He tells Simba that whenever he feels alone, to remember that they are there to guide him.   Meanwhile, Scar plots with the hyenas to kill both Mufasa and Simba and to take over the Pride Lands. On Scar's orders, the hyenas trap Simba in a narrow gorge during a dangerous stampede of wildebeest. Scar informs Mufasa of Simba's predicament, and Mufasa successfully rescues Simba, throwing him clear of the gorge. However, as Mufasa attempts to exit the gorge himself by climbing its walls, Scar refuses his request for assistance, and throws him back into the gorge, resulting in his death. After finding his father's corpse, is tricked by Scar into believing that Mufasa's death resulted from Simba's carelessness. Ashamed, Simba flees the Pride Lands, intending never to return. Scar orders the hyenas to follow and kill Simba, but Simba escapes. In Simba's absence, Scar proclaims him dead, and declares himself as ruler of the Pride Lands.   Simba collapses in the wasteland after his escape, but is found by Timon, a meerkat, and Pumbaa, a warthog. The duo nurse him back to health and take him in, teaching him the ways of their motto, "Hakuna Matata" (interpreted in the film as "no worries"). Years later, once Simba is an adult, he encounters Nala, who is hunting Pumbaa. Nala expresses her delight at discovering Simba alive, and informs him of how Scar's irresponsibility as King of the Pride Lands is going to drive everyone into starvation and eventual death. Still wracked with guilt over supposedly causing his father's death, Simba refuses to return and overthrow Scar. The wise Rafiki tracks Simba down and summons Mufasa's ghost for him. Mufasa tells Simba to remember who he is and that he must return home to take his place as king.   Simba returns to Pride Rock with Nala, Timon and Pumbaa. While Timon and Pumbaa distract the hyena guardians, Simba finally confronts Scar on Pride Rock. Scar turns the tables by stating that Simba caused Mufasa's demise and forces Simba towards the edge of Pride Rock, where he holds on for dear life as lightning sets fire to Pride Rock. Just before Scar can throw Simba off, he quietly reveals that he killed Mufasa. Enraged, Simba leaps back up and pins Scar, forcing him to reveal his actions to the pride. The truth now revealed, a fight ensues between the hyenas and lionesses while Simba confronts Scar alone at the top of Pride Rock. Scar begs Simba for mercy, accusing the hyenas of planning the whole thing. Because Simba is not a killer like Scar, he prepares to show Scar mercy and exile him, but as soon as he gives in, Scar blindsides him with an attack by throwing burning embers in his face and pounces on Simba. The ensuing fight ends after Simba throws Scar off a cliff. Scar survives the fall, but is attacked and immediately killed by the hyenas, who overheard his attempt to betray them.   With Scar now gone and the hyenas banished, the fire goes out as it starts to rain. Simba comes down and is greeted by his mother and Nala. When Rafiki calls him over, he bows to Simba, who then pulls him into a hug and then walks up to the edge of Pride Rock as everyone watches in awe. Once at the edge, Simba looks up into the sky and hears Mufasa telling him again to remember. Knowing now that he has finally found his place in the circle of life, Simba lets out a powerful roar to which all the lionesses join in. In time, Pride Rock is restored to its former glory and Simba looks down happily at his kingdom with Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa by his side. The film ends as Rafiki presents Simba and Nala's newborn cub. 
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