In the First Version of the Lion King, Scar Must Have Been Totally Different and Mufasa’s Death Much More Violent.


Preparing an animated feature film takes a lot of time, with scenarios constantly being questioned and modified and preparatory sketches in tens of thousands. Before arriving in its final version, the animated film will often have gone through many, many versions and characters will be totally modified or even deleted. 

The Lion King , the classic Disney icon of the 1990s, is no exception to this rule. Indeed, the story has been manipulated and modified many times, as have its characters. Among them, the most impressive transformation is that of Scar, which had only the colour of his coat in common with his old version. 

A much scarier Scar

The Scar we know in the final version of the Lion King has not much to do with its early versions. Indeed, at first, Scar was not even to be Mufasa’s brother, , but a lone lion banished from his clan and roaming the Land of Lions. And instead of being the deceitful manipulator who compensated for his weak physique with a well-developed mind, Scar was a thick brute twice the size of Mufasa.  

In fact, the emblematic scene with the wildebeest race and the famous fall of Mufasa, which traumatised a whole generation of children, was not even to see the light of day. Scar simply had to kill Mufasa in single combat in front of everyone. 

In fact, had to have his neck broken by a powerful bite from his rival. As evidenced by this passage from the first script of the feature film on the illustration : 

SCAR, just as before, charges, but as Mufasa rushes towards him, Scar leaps at him, and before Mufasa can get up, Scar, on his back, knocks his jaws down on him and… 

THE LIONNES, petrified with horror, hear the cracking of bones, a roar of agony and… 

Scar gives a roar of victory 

A death that is clearly cold in the back and one can easily understand the change of mind, not forgetting that this is a cartoon for children! 

Scar had to die laughing

Remember, in the original version Simba brings Scar down and he ends up being devoured by his hyenas, whom he betrayed a few minutes before. 


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But in an earlier version, it was Scar who had to bring down Simba, exactly the same way he had done it with his father (with the difference that he will survive it). As seen in this scene reconstructed with sketches, Scar laughs, triumphant as the flames devour him.


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An end that might have left you a little puzzled:why does Simba fall, but doesn’t die? Why does Scar keep laughing when he’s burning alive?  

Zira’s suicide

zira

What a friendly face!  

The sequel to Lion King, Lion King 2, has also undergone changes. Notably on the death of his antagonist, Zira. Zira, she’s Scar’s widow and she blames Simba for killing her husband. All the more so as the latter will not only steal his son, Kovou, , who will himself lead to the death of his other son Nuka through a series of unfortunate events.

In short, Zira has reason to be angry and in the final fight, as the lionesses of her clan end up siding with Simba, she tries a last attack that will end in her fall and that of Kiara, Simba’s daughter. Finally, as Kiara tries to help him out, Zira falls into river


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However, in the old version, Zira had to refuse Kiara’s help and fall into the water with a blissful smile and satisfied (decidedly the Scar/Zira couple is not very sane). 


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This change of mind on the part of the writers would explain the smile Zira displays in the final version, which can be confused with an expression of terror, you’ll tell me (but it still looks like a smile, doesn’t it?). 

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