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Nala is the deuteragonist of The Lion King (film). She is a secondary character in its sequel, and a minor character in its parallel, The Lion King 1½.
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Background

Nala's main animators were Bob Bryan and Gilda Palinginis and her supervising animators were Aaron Blaise (cub) and Anthony de Rosa (adult).

During early production, Nala was given a younger brother named Mheetu. He is mentioned in the book The Art of The Lion King where he is referred to as "Mee-Too". He was designed by Thom Enriquez.

In an earlier draft of the film, there was to be a scene where Scar felt that, to be a beloved ruler and continue his monarch legacy, he will need a queen. Just then, Nala arrived to complain about the Pride Land's wasteland appeal. Scar then demands Nala to be his queen, which she denies. He then summons the hyenas and banishes her as punishment. This leads to making the decision of finding her long lost assumed to be dead best friend and future mate, Simba.

Personality

As a cub, Nala is playful, spirited, and spunky. Although she and Simba were best friends, the two never admitted to being in love until they were reunited years later. She was shown to be a fierce fighter, and she was known for a special move, where she would flip an attacker onto his back and pin him to the ground. She is not afraid to push Simba's buttons, as when he tells her that she sounds like his father, she rather indignantly replies "Good. At least one of us does.", causing Simba to lose his temper.

Once Nala becomes a queen, she grows much more reserved and wise, no longer as spunky as she used to be. Unlike Simba, she is very relaxed in her dealings with Kiara, trusting her daughter to take care of herself. Her gentle words and sound advice serve as a softener to Simba's hard edge.

Nala is able to see past Kovu's rough exterior to the hero who is longing to claw out, and she is not one to judge him for his past. She supports Simba in his decisions, always standing by his side no matter what the consequences.

Nala is also supportive of Kion, as unlike Simba at first, Nala knew that her son was ready to take on responsibilities as leader of the Lion Guard.

Appearance

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Nala as a Child.

Nala appears as a slender cream colored lioness with teal eyes (though her eyes are a much bluer color in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and green in The Lion King 1 1/2). As a cub, she had a pink nose, however as an adult, her nose turns into brown or black. Both the inside of her ears and the small tuft of fur on her tail are tan.

Film Appearances

The Lion King (film)

Nala is first seen as a cub, sleeping with her mother. Later on she is shown being bathed by her mother Sarafina. Simba, who has been tricked by Scar into visiting the Elephant Graveyard, asks her to accompany him to a great place. Initially, told the trip was to the watering hole, she is allowed to go on the condition that Zazu accompanies them, after which Simba reveals the true destination. As they travel, it's revealed by Zazu that Nala and Simba are not only best friends, but were betrothed at a young age by their parents. As a result they're expected to marry in the future, a revelation which scares both of them. Simba and Nala come up with a plan to lose Zazu along the way by traveling through many different animal herds (the "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" sequence), which succeeds. Simba and Nala journey to the Elephant Graveyard where they encounter Scar's hyena minions Shenzi,Banzai and Ed. Nala attempts to escape alongside Simba, but the two are chased by the hyenas. After trapping the cubs, the three hyenas are attacked and scared off by Mufasa, who came to rescue the cubs. Afterwards, Zazu is tasked with taking Nala home, while Mufasa lectures Simba.

Later after Scar who has aged a bit, informs the pride of Mufasa's and Simba's deaths, she is seen mourning with the other lionesses. Along with to her horror that the hyenas are moving into the pride lands.

Nala is next seen as an adult, when she attempts to hunt Pumbaa. However, she becomes entangled in a fight with a young adult lion, actually the grown up Simba. She manages to pin the lion using a trademark move in which she flips the lion onto his back. But she doesn't recognize him as her friend Simba until he introduces himself; Simba recognized her by the flip move, which she had often performed on him as a cub. She is ecstatic to learn Simba is alive, as it means he is the rightful king of the Pride Lands. After being alone with Simba, she falls in love with him, but grows angry when Simba refuses to return to Pride Rock to put an end to Scar's reign. At this point, she reveals that she left Pride Rock in an attempt to find help, as Scar had become a tyrant and the pride was suffering due to both lack of food and water as well as from the hyenas overrunning the Pride Lands. The two argue, and storm off in separate directions.

She is seen the next morning with Timon and Pumbaa looking for Simba, and they discover from Rafiki that Simba has returned to the Pride Lands. She, along with Timon and Pumbaa, follow Simba, and offer to help him reclaim his kingdom. While Timon and Pumbaa distract the hyenas, Simba sends Nala to look for his mother and rally the rest of the pride. She does so and later appears with them, as Simba confronts Scar. Like the other lionesses, she is shocked when Scar forces Simba to admit his guilt in Mufasa's death. But she is one of the first lionesses to join in the battle after Scar reveals his identity as the true murderer of Mufasa. After the battle, She is seen looking on as Simba reclaims his throne, and at the end of the film is shown to have become Simba's wife and had a cub with him.

The Lion King 2 Simba's Pride

In this film, Nala is both Simba's wife and Kiara's mother. Her eyes also appear to be more blue in color. She is first seen at Kiara's presentation, looking on proudly. She later appears as Kiara is going out to play, reminding Kiara to mind her father, and reassuring Simba that she will be fine. She accompanies Simba as he goes to retrieve Kiara when she wanders off, and confronts Zira when the exiled lioness is discovered in the Pride Lands.

Nala next appears as Kiara is planning her first hunt, and Nala subtly encourages Simba to allow Kiara to hunt on her own. She later argues on Kovu's behalf to allow him in the Pride Lands. Since Kovu saved Kiara's life, Simba owes him a debt and so must grant Kovu's request to join the pride. She later encourages Simba to give Kovu a chance, pointing out that Kovu may not want to follow the path expected of him.

During the battle between the Pride Landers and the outsiders, she is seen leading the lionesses, and briefly fights Vitani. She later directs Simba as he attempts to rescue Kiara, warning him about the river dam breaking up. Finally, she is seen roaring with Simba after Kiara and Kovu are united in marriage.

The Lion King 1 1/2

Nala plays a minor role in this midquel. Unlike the previous movies, she has green eyes in the film instead of blue. She is seen during the Can You Feel The Love Tonight sequence and in an extension of the scene in the original film where she explains to Timon and Pumbaa about Simba's whereabouts. After several failed attempts she rushes off to help Simba. 

TV Show Appearances

House of Mouse

Nala makes cameo appearances usually as a cub in the series. She was always seen with the cub Simba. She also makes an appearance in the opening of Mickey's House of Villains, where she and Simba's dinner was stolen by Ed. She was seen as an adult in the episode "Timon and Pumbaa" and Mickey's Magical Christmas.

The Lion Guard

Nala appears in the 2015 TV movie The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar, and the subsequent series The Lion Guard that follows. In this storyline (set in the middle of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride), she and Simba have a second cub, a son, named Kion, who serves as the protagonist

In the film, Nala is present when Kion's "Roar of the Elders" ability has been revealed, indicating that it is his time to become the new leader of a group known as the Lion Guard. Though Simba feels Kion is not yet ready for such responsibility and requests more time to prepare him, Nala shows confidence in Kion's newfound role within the Circle of Life and advises Simba to listen to Rafiki and immediately teach Kion the ways of the Lion Guard. During the climax, Nala returns and witnesses Kion's unconventional team save the Pride Lands from Janja's pack of hyenas. She is also present when Kiara becomes endangered due to a gazelle stampede (caused by Janja and his clan), though she is rescued by the Lion Guard; much to Nala's relief. In the end, after Kion has successfully proved his worth, both Nala and Rafiki show unsurprised pride, while a developed Simba follows suit. In the series, she is shown to be a wise and good mother to both her cubs.

In the episode Can't Wait to be Queen, Nala accompanies Simba and Zazu in attending Amanifu's funeral, leaving Kiara in charge of the Pride Lands. Simba expresses concern about Kiara, but Nala believes that he is actually worried about his tribute to Amanifu, as he has to say a line in elephantese. Upon arriving at the funeral, Nala and Zazu express worry when Simba accidentally says "he had poop on him" instead of "he had good on him" in elephantese, luckily Amanifu's daughter Ma Tembo the other elephants see the funny side. Afterward, Nala, Simba, and Zazu return to Pride Rock.

In Fuli's New Family, Nala teaches Kiara, Tiifu, and Zuri how to track gazelles.

In Paintings and Predictions, it is revealed that Nala's father as a cub fell from a tree branch, but was saved by The Lion Guard of his day.

In Bunga and the King, Nala, Simba, Kiara, and Kion prepare to go to Mizimu Grove to attend a concert performed by Ma Tembo's herd. However, Kion has to leave after been informed by Ono of antelope being stuck in the mud. Kiara runs on ahead but a sinkhole appears, but Simba is able to throw her over to Nala, before falling into the sinkhole. Kion and the Lion Guard arrive at the scene and try to help Simba, who sends Nala and Kiara to go to the concert as it is traditional for the royal family to attend.

Nala and Kiara watch the concert, just before Simba, Kion, Bunga, the Guard, Timon, and Pumbaa arrive. Nala joins in with her family, Timon, Pumbaa and the Guard in singing "Hakuna Matata".

Songs sung by Nala

Video Games

Kingdom Of Hearts II

After years went by, Nala grew up to be a fine lioness. When Sora, Don and Goofy first visit their world, they saved her from a bunch of heartless that were chasing her. She then asked them to help defeat Scar. In return, she taught Sora the Dash command. But after asking advice from Rafiki, they were cut out of the job.

When Nala tells Sora about Simba's existence, Sora tells her that he is well and alive. Together, they go off to find him. They reunite with Simba at the oasis and go back to the Pride Lands to face his uncle. Simba fights Scar and wins, and becomes the new king of the Pride Lands.

Upon Sora's second visit, Nala has become Simba's wife and is carrying their child Kiara. When Scar's ghost terrorizes the Pride Lands, everyone runs away in fear, except Nala, who stays behind protected by Pumbaa until Simba comes back to meet his fear.

During the end credits, she is seen with Simba while Rafiki holds their newborn child, Kiara, high above the now restored Pride Rock for all animals to observe the birth of their princess.

Quotes

Relationships

Knowable Relatives

Trivia

  • Her name is of Tanzanian origin and means 'luck' and in African, means 'successful'.
  • Despite being Simba's bride and later his queen, she is not considered a disney Princess. Instead, she is an Unofficial Princess. This is most likely because she is an animal, while all of the other Disney Princesses are human. Of course, it could also be because her love interest was a King, making her a Queen.
  • Nala is the third Disney Heroine to have first known the main protagonist in childhood, separated for long, and reunited and married to the protagonist in adulthood, the first two being Faline from Bambi and Maid Marian from Robin Hood.
  • It is greatly debated as to who Nala's father is. Many fans say her father is Scar, although such a relation would mean that Nala is also Simba's paternal cousin.
  • Plus, a forgotten concept was that Scar tries to seduce Nala to be his queen, and if she was his daughter this idea would be impossible.
  • In an earlier draft, Nala was supposed to be banished from Pride Rock after she rejected Scar's proposal to be his queen. However this is incorporated into the Broadway play "The Lion King" instead.
  • Originally, Nala had a younger brother named Mheetu, but his character was dropped because of time constraints.
  • Nala's fur seems to be brighter in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride than it was in the previous film.
  • Although she is the deuteragonist, Nala has little screen time, as a majority of the film focuses on Simba's scenes with either Mufasa, Timon or Pumbaa.

Voice Actresses

  • Japanese : Riko-Hanamura (adult), Masako Yamamoto (cub)
  • English : Moira Kelly (adult; in all 3 films), Sally Dworsky (Adult singing voice), Niketa Calame (Cub speaking voice), Laura Williams (Cub singing voice), Vanessa Marshall (Video Games), Gabrielle Union (The Lion Guard)

all information on Nala came from http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Nala

Gallery

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