Kimba the White Lion King?

14 Oct

If you’re old enough to have grown up watching Kimba the White Lion, you’ve probably noticed it bears some similarity to Disney’s The Lion King. And if you’re geeky enough to read this blog, you probably already know there’s some controversy over whether The Lion King is an unauthorized remake of Kimba . . . or perhaps a tribute, consciously or unconsciously. From Wikipedia:

In 1994, controversy arose over the possible connection of Disney‘s animated feature The Lion King with Kimba the White Lion. Fans in Japan and the U.S. called for the Disney company to acknowledge the use of characters and situations from the Japanese production in the Disney movie. The situation has remained a controversy due to the Disney Company’s statement that no one in the company had heard of Kimba until after The Lion King was released — in spite of the fact that people related to the production of The Lion King had referred to “Kimba” as the main character of The Lion King.

FlashFlood27 has posted a video to YouTube, so let’s review:

Kimba was my first cartoon love. When I was five years old, and we moved from New York to California, I comforted myself by drawing pictures of Kimba sleeping in my room, keeping me company in our new home. I loved loved loved his sweet girlfriend Kitty (whom I now find embarrassingly saccharine, but I digress) . For years, I wouldn’t watch The Lion King, on the general principle that it sounded like a Kimba rip-off, even before I heard others talking about the controversy.

If you’re feeling nostalgic for Kimba all of a sudden, you might find yourself tempted to pick up the feature film Jungle Emperor Leo. But if you do, be warned . . . it’s not a comforting movie for small kids. I learned that the hard way.

7 Responses to “Kimba the White Lion King?”

  1. BostonMouse (Chris Nolin) October 19, 2007 at 8:50 am #

    Wow, that’s pretty damning when put side by side like that. I hadn’t really heard about this before. It’s pretty ironic considering how strongly Disney protects its own characters and copyright.

    PS – Love the blog, I read it regularly, I try and check it every day.

  2. Kitty-chan October 19, 2007 at 5:01 pm #

    BostonMouse, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Yeah, the Kimba/Simba thing is pretty interesting, isn’t it?

    And hey, are you really in Boston? So am I. . . . maybe we’ll meet up one of these days at a DISMeet or something.

  3. BostonMouse October 19, 2007 at 8:45 pm #

    I’m not in Boston but not that far off, I’m in Beverly. I spend as much time is town as possible. I think I heard you on a That Darn Cats Segment saying you were meeting up with some Diz fans in Boston and it piked my attention. Are there any regular meets? I have two young kids so getting away can be tough sometimes, but if I have enough advanced notice I can usually work it out.

  4. Kitty-chan October 19, 2007 at 8:52 pm #

    The meets I’ve been to in the Boston area have all been organized on the DISBoards, on the DISMeets sub-board. We also went to Canobie Lake Park over the summer. Sometimes there’s just no substitute for face time with Disney geeks!

    For what it’s worth they’re always child-friendly events, though lord knows I’m aware it’s hard to get out of the house with small kids!

  5. BostonMouse October 19, 2007 at 9:31 pm #

    I’ll check it out, thanks.

    PS – I attended my first MG.com live chat this week and hope to attend more reguarly so maybe we will run in to each there.

  6. dora June 14, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    there was a sequel to Kimba called Leo the Lion
    http://www.japansugoi.com/wordpress/leo-the-lion-sequel-to-kimba-the-white-lion/

  7. Jennifer June 14, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Thanks to the link to info about the sequel. It’s an interesting film, and basically takes Kimba/Leo to the conclusion that Tesuka always intended but NBC wouldn’t allow. Not a particularly friendly movie for the little ones!

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