10 Things You Didn’t Know About Rafiki From The Lion King

Mandrill Rafiki is one of Disney’s most recognizable characters Lion KingAlthough the shaman may seem like an eccentric character, he was a wise sage and royal advisor who provided moral lessons to Mufasa and his son, Simba. He also highlights the concept of the “circle of life” in the place of pride, and how to maintain the balance of this life cycle at all times.

as seen The Lion King 2: Simba’s PrideAfter that, Rafiki also seems to have the ability to communicate with the dead. In addition to the first two films, Rafiki has appeared in a number of spin-off series, often comedy films.

Changing roles in musicals

at that time Lion King The musical’s director Julie Taymor wanted a stronger female character in the overall story. For this reason, Rafiki was played by a woman in the Broadway musical.

The actress is Tsidii Le Loka. By the third stage, her role is increased a bit and Rafiki also participates in hand-to-hand combat with the hyenas. In the end, she made Simba king while dedicating Simba’s cubs to the rest of the kingdom. Tsidii Le Loka’s performance was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award.

the meaning of his name

Rafiki and Makini chat in Disney's The Lion Guard

Most of the characters come from Lion King The name is of Swahili origin and Rafiki’s name is no exception. In Swahili, the word “rafiki” means “you”.

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Considering that the mandrill is one of the closest confidants of the titular king of the Pridelands, this connotation seems very fitting. Likewise, Simba’s name translates as “brave warrior”, while his father’s name, Mufasa, can be interpreted as “king”.

Geographical and biological inaccuracies

Rafiki in The Lion King

Although Rafiki is a mandrill, he is referred to as a baboon by other characters. Interestingly, some of his physical features are similar to those of a baboon, including his long tail. In contrast, the mandrill’s tail is very short and tapered, 5 to 10 centimeters long.

The geographical inaccuracy surrounding the character is his presence. Mandrills are not endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, where the film was filmed, and are mainly found in the equatorial rainforests of Africa.

draft version

Concept art for Rafiki from The Lion King

original title king of beastsFirstly Lion King The film went through several rewrites, initially envisioning Rafiki as a leopard. One version also labels the hostile Scar as a baboon!

Then the story introduces a wise old baboon named Kwashi. Kwashi was the one who helped the lion prince Simba escape the hyenas after his father was murdered. As Simba becomes a stronger lion, Quasi guides him to reclaim the throne. Of course, Kwashi was replaced by Rafiki in the final.

Inspiration behind the sound

Rafiki's gourd scene in The Lion King

Rafiki’s original voice actor, Robert Guillaume, voiced Rafiki based on what he describes as a “Jamaican accent”. As he revealed in an interview, “I was happy trying to be Jamaican or something like that. I was just having fun with it, and then I realized it was a really bad attempt to speak with a Jamaican accent.”

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In the same interview, Guillaume also talked about how he played with Rafiki’s voice at parties, even before his character was finalized.

The meaning behind Rafiki .’s song

Rafiki bumped into Simba's head and stood beside him

Although the iconic opening track is in Zulu, many others are in Swahili. During an interaction with an adult Simba, Rafiki, hanging from a tree branch, merrily sang in Swahili, “”Asante sana, pumpkin banana, we we nugu, mi mi apana. “

This roughly translates to “Thank you very much, Pumpkin Banana, you’re a baboon and I’m not.” While that may sound like a silly lyric, given the way Rafiki often puts it metaphorically, it might just be. philosophy.

three voice actors

Voice Actor for Rafiki (The Lion King)

As mentioned earlier, Robert Guillaume voiced Rafiki in the first film. He continued to reprise his role in all subsequent films as well as the animated series Timon and PembaIn 2014, he finally retired and Khary Payton took over his role in Rafiki. protect lions.

although guillaume is best known for playing the character benson dubois in comedy series SoapPayton is a famous voice actor for Cyborg teen giant with Aqualad at Young Justice. For the 2019 remake, black PantherRafiki is voiced by John Kani of .

Equivalent of Hamlet’s Horatio

Rafiki meditation and a painting depicting Horatio in Hamlet

no secret Lion KingThe premise of revenge is uncanny like Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, village. So if Simba is considered villageRafiki then easily doubles with Horatio.

In the play, Horatio is the friend and mentor of the protagonist, whom he has known since his time at the University of Wittenberg. Horatio was also a close assistant to Hamlet’s father, with him in defeating the king of Norway.

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fake scar life cycle

Concept art for Rafiki from The Lion King

inside mouse house In the episode Ask Von Drake, Rafiki makes a brief appearance, hugging Scar in the same way he hugs a young Simba in the Circle of Life series.

This episode features a scene where Mickey Mouse tests Ludwig von Drake’s memory. The restaurant was filled with Disney characters, and Mickey challenged Van Derek to name each guest in the neighborhood. This causes the latter to sing a song introducing each character. As he sings “Simba with Mufasa and Scar’s Rafiki”, you can catch a glimpse of the hostile lion growing up atop the mountain.

Original voice actor wins Grammy Award

Robert Guillaume

Robert Guillaume Wins Primetime Emmy Award For Best Supporting Actor For His Role In The Movie Soap Back in 1979. After a string of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations (for her role in Soapspin-off benson), he even won a Grammy for Rafiki’s vocals.

As the voice actor for the reading portion of The Lion King, the actor won a Grammy Award for World’s Best Speech Album for Children. The 1994 audiobook was released as a companion to the year the film was released.

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