Creators of The Lion King Say Mufasa and Scar Aren't Related

Disney
Disney

Tensions run high between parents, children, and siblings throughout the Disney canon, but The Lion King (1994) may present the studio's most extreme example of a dysfunctional family. The plot is the same in the new live action remake coming out July 18, 2019 as it is in the original: Determined to rule the lions of Pride Rock, Scar mercilessly kills Mufasa by flinging him into a stampede and then leaves Simba, Mufasa's heir, for dead. The fact that Mufasa and Scar are presented as brothers makes the murder all the more gut-wrenching, and it mirrors the murder of Hamlet's father by his uncle Claudius in Hamlet, upon which The Lion King was based.

But in 2017, the makers of the animated film revealed that this dynamic isn't as straightforward as it seems. Speaking with HelloGiggles, The Lion King director Rob Minkoff and producer Don Hahn revealed that Mufasa and Scar likely wouldn't have been related by blood. In the real world, male lions rarely survive to adulthood. When the sole male in a pride of lions gets old, he's usually taken out by a younger rogue male, who then assumes his place as head of the pack. The new male in charge nearly always kills all the cubs in the pride, thus wiping out the gene pool of his successor. If males aren't killed as cubs, they're kicked out of prides when they reach adolescence and forced to wander the savanna looking for a new group to take over. Most of them will die or be killed before finding a new home.

It turns out the politics in The Lion King aren't too far off from the brutal reality actual lions face in the wild. While lions murdering each other to gain power may be true to life, Mufasa and Scar's status as siblings is less accurate. Situations like we see with those characters—a pride with two adult males—do exist, but they're rare. In prides with two to three males, the males are usually unrelated and were born in separate packs. (Not to mention the fact that in real life, Simba's mom would be the one in charge—lion prides are matriarchal societies.)

"We were trying to use those animal truths to underpin the story so we sort of figured Scar and Mufasa couldn't really be from the same gene pool," Hahn told HelloGiggles. "In fact, that's what [Scar] says. There's a line, he goes, 'I'm from the shallow end of the gene pool.'"

An early version of the script avoided this problem all together. Scar was originally meant to be a rogue lion with no relation to Simba or Mufasa, and he was in charge of a pack of baboons instead of hyenas. The version they went with may make the relationship between Scar and Mufasa slightly more confusing, but it does make for one of the more twisted family dynamics in animated film history.

[h/t HelloGiggles]

The 8 Best Horror Movies to Stream on Hulu Right Now

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Looking for a good scare this Halloween season? If you’re a Hulu subscriber, you’ll be able to get your fill of creepy content. Check out eight of the best horror movies currently streaming on the service.

1. Hellraiser (1987)

Horror author Clive Barker made the move to feature directing with this tale of a man (Sean Chapman) who makes the grievous error of opening a portal to hell and proceeds to make his brother’s family targets of the sadistic Cenobites, led by Pinhead (Doug Bradley). Don’t bother with the endless sequels; the original is the best (and goriest) of the lot.

2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Paranoia runs deep in this remake of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). In the ‘70s iteration, Donald Sutherland plays a health inspector who can’t shake the feeling that people around him seem a little off. He soon grows wise to the reality that aliens are walking among us as virtual human replicas. Naturally, they’re not keen on being discovered.

3. A Quiet Place (2018)

John Krasinski and Emily Blunt star as a couple living in a world terrorized by creatures that hunt by sound. Their largely-silent existence means every stray creak, cry, or noise threatens to expose them to the monsters—a danger that's only compounded when Blunt discovers she’s pregnant.

4. The Orphanage (2007)

A sense of dread looms over The Orphanage, a Spanish-language thriller with Belén Rueda as Laura, who returns to the child care facility that raised her so she can make a difference for a new generation of children. Strange things begin as soon as she arrives, with her son going missing and hints of unwelcome guests unraveling her nerves. It’s a film best not watched alone.

5. Event Horizon (1997)

If 1979’s Alien stirred your interest in space scares, Event Horizon might make for a worthwhile watch. After a spaceship presumed lost suddenly reappears, a crew of investigators (Sam Neill, Laurence Fishburne) board to find answers.

6. Children of the Corn (1984)

A couple (Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton) passing through a small rural town find a lack of adult supervision curious—until the kids reveal themselves to be homicidal cult members. Based on a Stephen King short story.

7. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)

Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi perfected “splatstick” horror in this cult classic about hapless boob Ash (Campbell) who escapes to a remote cabin retreat with girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) and unwittingly unleashes a cascade of evil. Though it’s more amusing than scary, Raimi’s inventive imagery is morbidly fascinating.

8. Child’s Play (1988)

Good mom Catherine Hicks buys a Good Guys doll for her son, Andy. Unfortunately, the doll—dubbed Chucky—has been possessed by the spirit of a serial killer (Brad Dourif) and proceeds to make young Andy’s life miserable, particularly after he discovers the kitchen cutlery.

Ruined By a Letter: TV Show Edition

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