10+ Hidden Details About 'The Lion King' Fans Didn't Notice

Few animated features have had the kind of cultural significance and impact as The Lion King.

It's one of Disney's crowning achievements and it helped redefine the standards for animated storytelling.

Below are 10+ hidden details about The Lion King that fans didn't notice. They help give some much-needed context to certain scenes and provide us with an even greater overall appreciation of the film.

*The Lion King* is one of the most famous movies in existence, whether you like Disney or not.

Even people who haven't seen the movie at least know what it is! It's just that known.

People love the story, the music, and the animation.

However, just because it is beloved by all, that doesn't mean that people know everything about it.

Between facts and behind the scenes secrets, there are tons of things about this movie that fans didn't bother to learn for themselves.

Luckily, you have us to help you.

So we're here to point out all the hidden details that you might have missed during your many viewings of the film.

There are tons of little details that completely escape viewers!

From Mickey Mouse heads, to subliminal messaging, there are tons of things to see!

So let's jump in.

1. Imagery from the National Socialist Party.

Walt Disney Pictures

If you're a student of history then you likely have noticed this right away. It's an unmistakable allusion to Adolf Hitler and the German Nazi army.

The imagery is both powerful and unsettling.

2. The infamous S-E-X scene.

Walt Disney Pictures

It's been all over the internet for decades: claims that the dust from the flowers spelled out "SEX."

Disney claims that there are in fact letters in the sky, but that audiences got the word wrong.

Apparently, this was all a big misunderstanding. The dust was supposedly spelling S-F-X.

That seems like the lamest of cover-up excuses. Kind of like saying, "It was like that when I found it!"

I'm not buying it, Disney.

3. Pumba's flatulence makes history!

Walt Disney Pictures

Remember Pumba's lament? You know, how he used to "get downhearted every time that he..." well, you know what I mean.

Pumba holds a very special record for being the first Disney character to fart on-screen!

4. Scar is green with envy.

If you want a really easy way to spot the bad guy in the majority of Disney films, look for the color green.

Disney has historically associated lime green with evil characters: Everyone from Maleficent and Ursula to, of course, Scar, share this trait.

5. "Hakuna Matata" is a real phrase.

Walt Disney Pictures

What's even better is that it actually means "no worries." The word comes from the Swahili language, which is mainly spoken in countries like Tanzania and Kenya.

Who knew? I certainly didn't!

6. None of the lionesses have whiskers.

Walt Disney Pictures

As I'm sure the majority of people are already aware, whiskers are a physical trait shared by both male and female lions.

However, in an effort to save time, animators only drew whiskers on the male lions in the film.

7. Simba and Nala's familial ties.

So for this one, we need to take a close look at how lion prides work. There's only ever one male in the group and the rest are female lionesses.

This means that, while Simba and Nala have different mothers, Mufasa is their father, making them half-siblings.

8. Jock from *Lady And The Tramp* has a cameo appearance.

Walt Disney Pictures

If you notice the scene where Scar points up toward the hyenas, you'll see the silhouette of someone (or something) that is definitely NOT a hyena.

It turns out this is actually the lovable terrier Jock from Lady and the Tramp.

9. There's a reason why the animation looks so realistic.

Walt Disney Pictures

Animators did everything in their power to recreate the Pride Lands as true to form as they could.

Not only did they spend time studying the behaviors and habits of real lions, they even took a trip to Africa!

10. A reference to one of Disney's most beloved theme park rides.

If you've visited either Disneyland or Disneyworld theme parks, then you're likely already well-versed with this incredibly annoying song.

It's an allusion to the "It's a Small World" ride, one of the oldest and most revered rides in the park.

11. The wildebeest stampede scene took three years to animate.

Walt Disney Pictures

Don Hahn, a producer who worked on the original film, offered this explanation:

"Yeah because it was early days of computer animation and so the wildebeests themselves were computer generated and so that was one wrinkle into it."

12. Rafiki truly is a master Yogi.

Walt Disney Pictures

His hands are posed in a position known as Gyan Mudra. This is a Sanskrit word that translates to knowledge or wisdom.

It's a subtle and minor detail that really amplifies Rafiki's entire persona.

13. The hidden Mickeys on the beetles' backs.

Walt Disney Pictures

The next time you're watching The Lion King, try to take note of all of the bugs that emerge from the log during the "Hakuna Matata" scene.

There are at least five hidden Mickey Mouse heads on the insects' backs.

14. Scar references *Hamlet*.

Walt Disney Pictures

It's no secret that The Lion King is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet. What you might not have known is that Scar playing with the skull is a reference to one of the most famous scenes in the play.

It's a call to when Hamlet discovers the skull of Yorick, the court jester.

15. Is Ed faking the entire time?


Throughout the entire movie, Ed is seen as the dumb one of the hyenas, as he is simply always giggling, cross-eyed, and never in tune with what is going on around him.

But when it is time for Scar to meet his demise, suddenly Ed's eyes uncross and his laugh becomes very sinister. Does he fake his personality?

16. The movie poster is just a lion...right?


There are so many theories about the subliminal messages in Disney movies.

But for The Lion King, it extends even to their poster. I'm sure you can see exactly what I'm talking about here.

17. Some more *Hamlet* references.

Everyone mostly knows that The Lion King is loosely based on Hamlet, as we previously pointed out.

Besides the obvious moments that people call out, even the exile is part of the play!

After Simba is convinced by Scar that he killed his father, Scar also convinces him to flee the Pride Lands and go into exile.

In Hamlet, Claudius convinces Hamlet to travel to England, where he narrowly escapes an attack by pirates (as Simba escapes the hyenas).

Did you notice any other details about the classic Disney movie that we didn't call out?

Or, were you in here because you had no idea about any of these? Which ones surprised you the most?

Let us know down below in the comments!