Not As Good As You Remember: 7 Historical Inaccuracies From The Lion King: 1 ½

We all remember Disney’s classic demi-sequel to the Lion King, one of the greatest animated movies of all time. But what you may not know is that, although it seems like an honest glimpse into the past, it’s positively riddled with historical mistakes. Here’s just a few.

  1. When the hyenas are chasing Timon’s tribe of meerkats who are running amok, one of them says, “That’s just how I like them: scrambled, and a little runny.” The hyena here is clearly talking about scrambled eggs, but the earliest known record of scrambled eggs are from the Roman Empire! Whoops!
  2. In one beloved scene, Rafiki tells Timon “Hakuna Matata,” but Timon thinks he says “Harpoon a tomato.” Harpoons were first used about 90,000 years ago, but they were designed to be held and thrown with human hands. There’s no way Timon could know what that is! Talk about lazy writing.
  3. In another scene, Timon says “Get a load of the monkey getting all existential on me.” If the boneheads writing this were worth their salt, they’d know that the birth of existentialism is commonly attributed to Søren Kierkegaard, who wasn’t born until 1813. Am I to believe Timon had read his works before then?
  4. In one of the songs, Timon and Pumbaa distract some Hyenas by performing a Luau dance. This is absolutely preposterous considering that the Luau was invented in Hawaii, over 11,000 miles away. Are we to assume a lowly meerkat had the technology and lifespan to travel all the way there? Yeah, right.
  5. Here’s a twofer: Timon asks, “Pumbaa, are you sitting on the remote?” to which Pumbaa replies, “I thought it was a brownie.” Everyone knows that the first person to put a recipe for “brownies” in a cookbook was Fanny Farmer, who adapted her cookie recipe to be baked in a rectangular pan, in the 1896 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, and the first TV remote didn’t exist until 1950. Talk about anachronisms!
  6. Early in the movie, Timon’s mom notices that he’s wearing a dress. Dresses are for humans, silly!
  7. This whole exchange. Need we say more?

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