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Scar (The Lion King) facts for kids

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The Lion King character
Scar lion king.png
First appearance The Lion King (1994)
Created by Irene Mecchi
Jonathan Roberts
Linda Woolverton
Voiced by Jeremy Irons
(The Lion King)
Jim Cummings
(The Lion King, singing; and The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, speaking, 1998-present)
James Horan
(Kingdom Hearts II, Disney Dreamlight Valley; and Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom)
David Oyelowo
(The Lion Guard)
Chiwetel Ejiofor
(2019 film)
Kelvin Harrison Jr.
(Mufasa: The Lion King)
Inspired by
Species Lion
Gender Male
Occupation King of Pride Rock (formerly)
Heir to the Throne of Pride Rock (formerly)
Leader of the Lion Guard (formerly)
Family Mufasa (older brother)
Ahadi (father; in Six New Adventures)
Uru (mother; in Six New Adventures)
Mohatu (grandfather; in The Brightest Star)
Relatives Simba (nephew)
Nala (niece-in-law)
Kiara (great-niece)
Kion (great-nephew)
Sarabi (sister-in-law)

Scar is a fictional character in Disney's The Lion King franchise.

Scar is the ruthless, power-hungry younger brother of Mufasa, ruler of the Pride Lands. Originally first in line to Mufasa's throne until he is suddenly replaced by Mufasa's son Simba, Scar decides to lead an army of hyenas in his plot to take the throne by killing Mufasa and exiling Simba, ultimately blaming his brother's death on his nephew.

The character was created by screenwriters Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, and Linda Woolverton, and animated by Andreas Deja.

Scar is considered as one of Disney's greatest villains by various media publications, topping The Huffington Post's list and ranking within the top ten of similar lists published by Yahoo! Movies, the Orlando Sentinel, E! and CNN. He has also been ranked among the greatest villains in film history by Digital Spy and Entertainment Weekly.


1994 incarnation

Tim Curry, Malcolm McDowell, Alan Rickman, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen were all originally considered for the role of Scar. However, the role was ultimately won by British actor Jeremy Irons because of his classical theater training; the directors had deliberately wanted Scar "to come across as a Shakespearean character." Successfully recruiting Irons for the film was considered an unprecedented achievement for the studio because, at the time, it was rare for a dramatic actor of Irons's caliber to agree to voice an animated character, especially immediately after winning an Academy Award.

Actors Tim Curry (left) and Malcolm McDowell (right) were both considered for the role of Scar. Ultimately, the role went to then-recent Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons.

While recording Scar's song, "Be Prepared," Irons encountered challenges with his singing voice. The actor reportedly "blew out his voice" upon belting the line "you won't get a sniff without me," rendering him incapable of completing the musical number. Consequently, Disney was forced to recruit American voice actor Jim Cummings, who had also been providing the voice of The Lion King's laughing hyena Ed at the time, to impersonate Irons and record the rest of the song. Jim Cummings told The Huffington Post that "[s]tunt singing" is actually something the actor continues to do regularly, having done the same for American actor Russell Means, voice of Chief Powhatan in Disney's Pocahontas (1995).

2019 incarnation

Chiwetel Ejiofor was officially chosen on November 1, 2017 for the role of Scar in the CGI live-action remake, The Lion King (2019) directed by Jon Favreau, as he had impressed Favreau after watching his antagonistic performance as Baron Mordo in the Marvel film Doctor Strange (2016). Favreau said of casting Ejiofor, "[He] is just a fantastic actor, who brings us a bit of the mid-Atlantic cadence and a new take on the character. He brings that feeling of a Shakespearean villain to bear because of his background as an actor. It's wonderful when you have somebody as experienced and seasoned as Chiwetel; he just breathes such wonderful life into this character." When Jeremy Irons was interviewed on Larry King Now on November 30, 2016, he expressed interest in reprising the role.

In August 2021, it was announced that Kelvin Harrison Jr. would voice Young Scar in Barry Jenkins' follow-up to the 2019 film.

Design and characterization

The studio originally dismissed The Lion King as a risk because, at the time, it was believed that the greatest films starred people. Concerned about the novelty of the film, Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg decided to divide the studio into two separate animated films, The Lion King and Pocahontas, the latter of which was dubbed "the home run" because it was expected to be the more successful of the two projects. Disney's more seasoned and experienced animators gravitated towards Pocahontas, while the studio's newer animators were relegated to working on The Lion King, dubbing themselves the "B-team". However, Allers received Katzenberg's decision positively as an opportunity for "newer animators ... to step up to leadership roles", among them Andreas Deja, who became Scar's supervising animator. Well known for animating several Disney villains, Deja summarized the experience as "more fun than drawing heroes" because "You have so much more to work with in terms of expressions and acting and drawing-wise than you would have with a nice princess or a prince ... where you have to be ever so careful with the draftsmanship."

"[A]t Disney ... the people responsible for each movie see that you are good at animating a specific type of character, they will keep giving similar characters to you. Also, I animated a couple of those villains because I asked to. I told the studio that I could do something good with these characters, since they really spoke to me. I showed that I had a passion for it, which I believe to be very important. Villains are very interesting characters, they have the most 'juice' in them, and they invite you to explore them. So, if something fascinates you, then you should probably explore it."
— Supervising animator Andreas Deja on animating Disney villains

Before becoming involved with The Lion King, Deja had already developed a reputation for animating Disney villains. Prior to animating Scar, Deja had just recently served as the supervising animator of Gaston and Jafar, the villains in Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, respectively. Initially, Deja had been considering the idea of animating a hero as opposed to a villain for a change, contemplating taking on the task of animating Simba instead. However, Deja soon relented upon learning that Scar would be voiced by Irons, feeling that it would be "fun" to animate a character voiced by such a prestigious actor.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Scar (El rey león) para niños

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