Impact on popular culture
Because of its popularity, The Lion King has been referenced in various media. For instance, the animated TV series The Simpsons spoofed the film in the episode, "'Round Springfield". Towards the end of the episode, the ghost of Mufasa appears in the clouds with Bleeding Gums Murphy, Darth Vader, and James Earl Jones (who actually voiced both Mufasa and Darth Vader in their respective movie appearances), saying: "You must avenge my death, Kimba. dah, I mean Simba," a reference to the Lion King/Kimba the White Lion controversy. The scene is concluded with "this is CNN" (also voiced by James Earl Jones). A similar parody scene appeared in the film Kung Pow! Enter the Fist.
Disney has also referenced The Lion King in its own films. In the Disney-released, Pixar-produced 1995 computer animated film Toy Story, the song "Hakuna Matata" can be heard playing in Andy's car during the film's climax. Coincidentally, Tim Allen, who voiced Buzz Lightyear was in Home Improvement with Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who voiced Cub Simba.
In one scene in Episode 166 of Home Improvement, Tim Allen is seen playing with a stuffed Cub Simba toy. He says "Well, I've never played a lion before," just as Jonathan Taylor Thomas comes on screen and replies, "I have and it's a tough gig. Everybody expects you to be king."
Pumbaa made brief appearances in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Aladdin and the King of Thieves, both released in 1996.
The 1997 animated film Hercules paid homage to both The Lion King and the Nemean Lion: Scar's skin is worn by Hercules while he is posing for a painting on a Greek vase.
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