With the recent release of the teaser trailer for the live-action retelling of Disney's The Lion King, it seems like the ideal time to get into a personality assessment of the main characters. The characters in The Lion King are some of the most complex in all of the Disney vault. This may have something to do with the fact that they're (loosely) based on William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet. But it may also have to do with the themes of responsibility, lineage, jealousy, and anger that thread through the epic journey of Simba.
This list will delve into some of The Lion King's most famous characters by using the wonderful Myers-Briggs Personality Test. So, without further ado, here are 10 Lion King personality types.
10. Simba - ENFP
Simba is the character in The Lion King that goes through the most change. This means that he wasn't always an ENFP, otherwise known as a "Campaigner". But his entire journey led him to become who he was born to be.
Simba was always someone who felt deeply, and this is something that he doesn't lose by the end of the movie. In fact, his entire life he tended to be led by his feelings as opposed to his more logical mind. Generally, he is very enthusiastic, which is part of what makes him so likable. But once bad things happened to him, he let his emotions get the best of him. These are all traits of a "Campaigner".
9. Scar - INTJ
It should come as no surprise that Scar is an "Architect". After all, he does plan Mufasa's demise and the banishment of Simba from The Pride Lands. Those who are incredibly smart can often find themselves in this category, and although one could say that Scar was a lot of terrible things, they'd never say he was dumb. He is also incredibly self-confident, but this leads him to rebel against the power structures above him as he feels he is better than what he is experiencing. So, him taking the throne is about more than just ruling for the sake of it.
But like most "Architects", Scar is also very paranoid. This means he doesn't have a solid grasp on reality, and is connected to the way that he allowed the resources of the Pride Lands to run dry.
8. Rafiki - INFJ
The Myers-Briggs Personality Test would more than likely put Rafiki in the "Advocate" category. This is because he is a key mentor, confidant, and ally of Simba. Additionally, he is also very secretive about his intentions and actions, even if they are well-intentioned. Being private is usually one of the negative traits of an "Advocate", but in Rafiki's case it often comes across as somewhat inspiring.
At all times, Rafiki is insightful and convincing. On top of which, he is creative. We only need to look at his home to see that. This is what makes him such a likable character, as well as an "Advocate".
7. Zazu - ESTJ
Without a doubt, Zazu would be an "Executive". This is because he not only follows the rules himself, but he also wants others to as well. This is what makes him so annoying to Simba and Nala as kids. He always wants them to do what their parents tell them to. And, if they didn't, he would be the first to tell on them.
But with that trait comes honesty. One can always count on Zazu to be as direct and open about his feelings as possible. He is also an excellent organizer and is completely dedicated to those he loves. But, Zazu is also very judgemental and finds it exceedingly difficult to chill out.
6. Shenzi - ESTP
The hyenas are quite different from one another, which makes them (and their group dynamic) so interesting to watch. Without a doubt, Shenzi is the leader of the pack. And if she were to take a Myers-Briggs test, she would come out as an "Entrepreneur" or ESTP. This is because she is very bold, perceptive, and rational in comparison to Banzai and Ed who would both be "Virtuosos".
Unlike the other two, Shenzi knows how to make Scar happy. She knows what she and her hyena buddies need to do in order to climb the ranks and get what they desire, but she is also quite impatient and completely misses the bigger picture. This is why they all went hungry under Scar's leadership.
5. Timon - ESTP
Just like Shenzi, Timon would be classified as an ESTP or an"Entrepreneur". This is because he is basically the organizer of his life with Pumbaa. He is incredibly sociable, and has no problem making friends with absolutely anyone he needs (or wants) to be friends with. This sociability comes out in his sense of humor as well.
Like other "Entrepreneurs", Timon is also perceptive. This is how he is able to see the connection between Simba and Nala so easily. Timon also misses the bigger picture, though. Or, he does at first. Eventually, he realizes that he can't (or shouldn't) just sit around, eat, and sing all day long. He needs to help face down adversity with Simba.
4. Pumbaa - ESFP
Pumbaa is a very warm-hearted kind of guy. This is one of the reasons he would be an "Entertainer" if he took the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. He is always one to make others laugh, and is definitely an extrovert and very good with others. Not only does he pay attention to others, but he loves when people pay attention to him.
However, he can also be sensitive and averse to conflict. It's one of the reasons it takes him a while to come around to helping Simba out at the end of the film. Pumbaa also has no long-term plans, nor does he have the ability to really focus on any given task. These are all classic signs of an "Entertainer".
3. Sarabi - ISFJ
Given the limited role of women in the original Lion King, it shouldn't be surprising that Simba's mother, Sarabi, would be classified as a "Defender". That is the quintessential role of a mother, after all. Although her role is limited in the movie (as well as the play to some extent) we do get enough information to classify her this way.
Sarabi is very hard-working and loyal to her family. This makes her the stereotypical wife to the king. She is also reliable and patient, even when it comes to Simba acting out when he was younger. But being a "Defender" also means that people in this category have a tendency to be shy or repress their feelings. Sarabi certainly had to do the latter once Scar took over, and she did it well.
2. Nala - ESFJ
Nala has all the qualities of a "Consul". This is because she shows an incredible sense of duty to the Pride Lands even when Scar took over. Her loyalty to her pride is everything, and that's why she took the journey so far out in search of food.
But Nala's sense of duty also means that she is prone to being very rigid and inflexible. Simba even remarks that Nala sounds a lot like his father, who had a lot of the same traits. But Nala is also a very bubbly and competitive youngster. She knows how to have fun, and how to feel. This makes her a good match for Simba and also makes her one of the stronger characters in the film.
1. Mufasa - ENFJ
An ENFJ, otherwise known as a "Protagonist", would be the classification that this lion would fall under. This is because Mufasa is effortlessly charismatic. He knows how to charm everyone, and is a natural born leader. Mufasa is also very altruistic, as all "Protagonists" are.
But with these amazing traits come aspects that can leave people (or lions) open to make mistakes. For instance, Mufasa is easily one of the most idealistic characters in The Lion King. This allowed him to get caught off-guard by those seeking to switch things up... and this is exactly what happens with his brother, Scar. Regardless, the traits that make him a "Protagonist" are why we love Mufasa in The Lion King.
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019