The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa
The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa is a spin-off show based on Disney’s popular 1994 film; The Lion King, created for the Disney Afternoon in 1995. The show mainly focuses on the comedic duo; Timon and Pumbaa, as they travel around the world and meet some new characters on the way.
Why It Is "Hakuna Matata"
- The show manages to make Timon and Pumbaa much more funnier than they were in the original movie, as the show gives them various amounts slapstick utilization in full, unwavered manner, reminiscent of cartoons by Tex Avery and Chuck Jones.
- Both Timon and Pumbaa are very likable and enjoyable characters just as they were. They would banter time and time but remain very best of friends.
- Very clever use of slapstick and comedy that manages to take the animation to its limit, again in a style reminiscent of old animators.
- The concept with Timon and Pumbaa traveling around the world and making new friends and enemies along the way is very creative and unique and is a far cry from the provincial aesthetic of the films.
- The title cards for the first two seasons are creative and expresses what little of each episode's plot.
- Excellent animation for the mid-to-late-90s standards similar to Disney's other cartoons at the time.
- The theme song is a very jazzy and updated version of Hakuna Matata, sung by the titular duo.
- Surprisingly, some episodes feature music videos that cover a few acclaimed popular songs, performed by the meerkat and warthog duo, such as Ben E. King's "Stand by Me".
- A lot of the new memorable characters that debuted on this show are very funny and likable such as Quint, Speedy the Snail, Timon’s cousin Fred, Boss Beaver, Irwin the Penguin, Cheetata and Cheetato, Smolder the Bear, Little Jimmy, The Villagers and The Vulter Police.
- Phenomenal voice acting. Ernie Sabella reprises his role from the movies as Pumbaa, while Nathan Lane provide's Timon's voice from the show's early episodes, before being recasted to Quinton Flynn and Kevin Schon. Veterans like Corey Burton, Tress MacNellie, Jim Cummings, and Rob Paulsen also appear here. The late Robert Guillaume also returns as Rafiki from the movies.
- Not only do Timon and Pumbaa appear on this show, but many other characters from the movie appear here as well such as Zazu, Rafiki, the Hyenas, and even Simba.
- The show is a great throwback to cartoons of the 1940's and 50's such as Chuck Jones.
- This is one of the first instances where there are humans in the Lion King franchise.
- In addition to that, although it would seem out of place, due to its cartoonic nature, many animal characters, including Timon and Pumbaa, are seen using human conveniences such as technology, clothing and money, to enhance the slapstick being utilized.
- Made the major step-up improvement from the Shnookums & Meat's titular character's personalities with creating more interest & complex structure to their character development by a similar format, especially in a serviceable tradition from the same year after their decline.
- Funny gags, slapstick comedies and memorable episodes, and also educational misdaventures mainly in the season 3.
- In this show, Simba is more lovable, despite the actual hilarous flanderization of Timon.
- Doesn’t hold up somewhat well when compared to the other Disney Afternoon shows or more specifically; the three Lion King movies themselves.
- The series finale was actually a clip show.
- A couple of unnecessary uncanny and gross-out moments, especially from Pumbaa.
- Like many 90s shows at the time, the animation can be very choppy in some scenes, causing viewers to confuse a character's movements.
- Timon can be very unlikable at times in this show, doubling down on his selfish and ignorant side, akin to Daffy Duck. Since money exists in the series, Timon also develped a greedy disposition and is often involved in get-rich-quick schemes for personal gain; they of course backfire and he gets his comeuppance, learning a lesson often in the end.
- It ended up being aired on Disney Junior from 2012 to 2013, which is actually considered out of place because the show wasn't intended for preschoolers to begin with.
- The title cards are dropped for the third season.
- Although this is a cartoon, the presence of humans, and animal characters using human technology and/or knowing human culture may seem out-of-place for a piece of Lion King media, considering the franchise usually does not involve any humans nor their culture.
- Quinton Flynn's portrayal of Timon is not that convincing and barely only sounds like Nathan Lane's own portrayal. This was alleviated with Kevin Schon however, who does a decent impersonation of Lane's voice.