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The Lion King 2019 Cast & Character Guide: Who Voices Which Animal?

The Lion King Voice Cast & Character Guide

Who voices which animal in The Lion King remake? The Lion King is one of Disney's most beloved movies, and that adoration is only going to increase still further with the release of the new "live-action" version, directed by Jon Favreau, this summer.

Favreau scored a huge hit with his remake of The Jungle Book in 2016; a photorealistic computer animated version of the movie that refreshed the original animated version and made it more magical, exciting and entertaining than ever before. Favreau will no doubt be hoping for the same with The Lion King, which uses the same concepts as The Jungle Book did. That is to say, none of the animals in the movie are real, but they all look like the real deal.

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Related: Biggest Changes The Lion King Has Already Made To The Original

Trailers for The Lion King look promising, with stunning visuals, very realistic animals, and the same emotive story we all know and love. To truly do it all justice, Favreau has assembled an all-star voice cast for The Lion King, and we've got the full character details below.

Donald Glover is Simba

Donald Glover as Simba in The Lion King

The central lion of the movie, Donald Glover will voice adult Simba, who lives deep in the jungle with his friends Timon and Pumbaa, following the death of his father. He remains there, happy, until it becomes time for him to take his rightful place as king of Pride Rock and Nala finds him. Simba must overthrow Scar, his uncle, who had forced Simba into exile and now rules the pride lands with his pack of hyenas

Glover's career continues to rise at an astonishing rate. From starting out as a writer on 30 Rock, he created Atlanta and has turned alter-ego, Childish Gambino, into one of the biggest voices in music. As an actor, he's starred as Troy in Community, Miles Morales in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, Aaron Davis in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and played a young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

James Earl Jones is Mufasa

James Earl Jones as Mufasa in The Lion King

"Remember who you are," is one of Disney's most iconic lines, as a down and defeated Simba looks up to the stars in search of his father, Mufasa. Originally voiced by the incomparable James Earl Jones, Mufasa really couldn't be voiced by anyone else, and Jones is the only original cast member to reprise his Lion King role. Mufasa is a shining light for young Simba, delivering deep and meaningful life lessons before his own life is cruelly snatched from him by Scar. Even after his death, Mufasa continues to advise his son about his place in the circle of life.

Related: The Lion King Trailer Breakdown: Every Live-Action Shot Compared To Animation

Jones is a well-respected character actor but is, of course, best known as the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars, as well as Mufasa.

Beyoncé Carter-Knowles is Nala

Beyonce as Nala in The Lion King

Beyoncé was Jon Favreau's top pick for the role of Nala, the lioness who is Simba's best friend through childhood and later on becomes his love interest, and her involvement in The Lion King was confirmed in November 2017. While the role of adult Nala is not necessarily major, having Beyoncé voice her - as well as write songs for the movie - definitely is.

Undoubtedly one of the biggest musical superstars of all time, Beyoncé has sold over 100 million records as a solo artist, plus a further 60 million with Destiny's Child. Among her many accolades, Beyoncé has won 23 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated female artist in the award's history.

Chiwetel Ejiofor is Scar

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar in The Lion King

Scar is one of the evilest Disney villains of all time, which therefore makes him one of the best. There's not much that beats fratricide when it comes to evil deeds, and throwing Mufasa from the top of a cliff as he begs for help is right up there as one of the most traumatic scenes in the Disney canon. Not only that. but Scar then lays the blame on his young nephew, prompting him to flee, and sets a pack of hyenas after the cub. With no one left to stand in his way, Scar takes over as king, with the awful hyenas by his side.

Related: Why Scar's New Look In The Lion King Remake Is A Good Thing

Originally voiced by Jeremy Irons, Scar will this time be brought to life by Chiwetel Ejiofor, a British actor best known for his performance in 12 Years A Slave, and for playing Mordo in Doctor Strange. As well as an impressive filmography, Ejiofor is a highly respected theater actor, and has played Othello three times.

Alfre Woodard is Sarabi

Alfre Woodard as Sarabi in The Lion King

Simba's mother, Sarabi is so happy and proud of her young cub, and then she loses her mate and her son in one day. Under Scar's rule, she is treated badly and punished for not hunting enough, despite there being no animals left to hunt as he has destroyed the pride lands.

Sarabi is voiced by Alfre Woodard, who has appeared in (among others) Star Trek: First Contact, Desperate Housewives, 12 Years a Slave (with Chiwetel Ejiofor), A Series of Unfortunate Events, and Luke Cage.

JD McCray is Young Simba and Shahadi Wright Joseph is Young Nala

Young Simba and Nala in The Lion King

When The Lion King opens, both Simba and Nala are young cubs and therefore different actors are needed to voice them. JD McCray plays the young Simba. He is 11 years old, and currently stars in The Paynes on The Oprah Winfrey Network. Shahadi Wright Joseph voices Nala. She is 13 years old and best known for playing Zora Wilson/Umbrae in the Jordan Peele movie, Us.

Page 2 of 2: The Lion King 2019 Actors Playing Other Animals

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Key Release Dates
  • The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019
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