Deliberate mistake: At the elephant graveyard, little Simba claws Shenzi in the face. When Mufasa saves Simba from the hyenas, the cuts are gone, a few seconds later. [This was done intentionally, I'm sure, for two reasons. The first being, Disney doesn't let fresh scars linger on the screen too long. Secondly, during that same scene when Mufasa rescues Simba & Nala, he claws Banzai in the rear. To stress the point later in the movie, that severe scar is shown too, but only briefly, it too disappears because of reason 1. Still a "mistake", but there's why.]
Continuity mistake: The whites of Simba's eyes change frequently through the movie, from yellow to white. They're yellow up until the scene where Pumbaa, Timon, and Simba are stargazing; after that they change back and forth frequently. During the Mufasa-in-the-sky scene, when Simba asks, "How can I go back? I'm not who I used to be," they change from yellow to white and back within three frames.
Other mistake: (May only apply to the original VHS release.) When Scar has Zazu locked up in a cage, Zazu mentions Mufasa's name and Scar yells at him, "What did you say?" Right before Scar's actual line, whilst Zazu is talking, you hear Scar's "What did you say?" line very faintly in the background, even though Zazu has not even mentioned Mufasa yet.
Factual error: When Mufasa is showing Simba the kingdom from Pride Rock they are facing the sun, yet Pride Rock's shadow is visible below them. Also in the same position, you see that they have shadows behind them. Then a few seconds later when Simba sees the shadow area the shadows are in front of them while you can see part of the sun to their left side. They would be facing south when the sun is east. How are their shadows in front of them?
Continuity mistake: When Rafiki is showing Simba where his father is, Simba is following Rafiki through the trees and they arrive at a river/lake. Rafiki says 'shh' and pulls the grass apart. In the shot facing him and Simba, Rafiki is only holding the grass on the left back, but the grass on the right is bent back the exact same way, without anyone holding it back.
Deliberate mistake: Rafiki is supposed to be a mandrill, but mandrills do not have tails. In the recently released extended version DVD, there is a commentary by an animator who specifically admits that he knew that mandrills don't have tails (at least not like the length that Rafiki sports throughout the movie), but he put one on him anyway to make him more monkey-like.
Continuity mistake: When Rafiki dips his fingers in the orange paint to put a mane on Simba's picture, the paint is not on his thumb. He raises his hand up close to the picture, then, a split second later in the next shot, the paint is on his thumb with which he starts to paint the mane. He did not have time to dip his hand in again.
Continuity mistake: Throughout the movie, every hyena is drawn with three toes on each paw. But in one shot when an off-screen hyena grabs Zazu in mid-flight to place him in the "birdie boiler", it has four toes instead. Also when the hyenas chase Simba out of the Pride Lands, Banzai has four toes when he tries to grab Simba with his claws.
Continuity mistake: When Simba and the animals begin to tower up on each other towards the end of the song "I Just Can't Wait To Be King", a shot shows that the red elephants are close to the bottom of the tower. The camera begins to scan upwards and the antelope are towards the top where Simba and Nala show up. When the animals all fall and quick shots show how jumbled they get, a red elephant somehow ends up falling on top of an antelope's antlers which shouldn't be possible.
Revealing mistake: When Nala tells Simba that she is taking her bath, Sarabi (Simba's mother) tells him "And it's time for yours," and picks him up in her mouth. Her head was animated but not her body (which remains in a sitting position) so her neck appears to stretch a few feet to reach Simba.
Revealing mistake: In the scene where Mufasa and Simba are at the very top of Pride Rock and Mufasa is explaining the kingdom to Simba, one of the hand written sequence markers on the gel print is not removed. In the shot that zooms in on Simba just after the camera pans around them, there are two frames where the number 45 appear just to the left of Simba's tail.
Continuity mistake: During the scene where little Simba and Scar are talking about how Simba is "gonna rule it all" and Scar explains about the elephant graveyard, the pads of Scar's paws change shape several times. Sometimes the pads are as they should be, other times its covered with color.
Continuity mistake: During the opening sequence, a group of elephants are marching towards the camera, along with a flock of blue birds. Once all of the birds have run offscreen, another suddenly runs out from behind the lead elephant's foot, even though we saw that there was no bird there a few seconds before.
Continuity mistake: When Simba is running from the trio of hyenas that Scar sent out to kill him, he's forced to stop in his tracks at the foot of a steep cliff. Down at the bottom are thorn patches, and the sun casts a shadow on their right sides. Obviously this implies that it's setting on the left hand side of the cliff - and it's visible on that horizon moments later as he tumbles down the face. Once Simba clears the bushes and heads off into exile, Banzai shouts "If you ever come back, we'll kill you!" At this point notice how Simba is chasing the sunset, but now it's in an entirely different location - opposite the cliff face.
Continuity mistake: When Mufasa is showing Simba how to pounce, Zazu is facing backwards when Simba pounces on him, but when Simba has Zazu pinned to the ground, his paws are on Zazu's front. Simba would hardly have released Zazu to let him turn round. In the recent release of an Extended-Version DVD, Zazu sings a song called "Morning Report" which was written for the stage show and added to the extended version DVD. Zazu's change in position comes from the material that was cut. Still a mistake, but there's the explanation.
Continuity mistake: When Simba is lying on a rock awaiting Scar's surprise at the base of the gorge, he tries to intimidate a nearby chameleon with his (weak) roar. The shot changes and Simba finally scares it away, but notice how the rock has disappeared. Now all we can see is a blurry background of the gorge's edge.
Factual error: When Mufasa is initially showing Simba the pridelands they are facing the rising sun - in other words east. Simba asks about "that shadowy place" which is off to the right, and is told he must never go there. When Simba is later telling Scar about seeing the whole kingdom, Scar says "He didn't tell you what's beyond that rise on the northern border." It's the same place that Mufasa was talking about, as Simba says he's not allowed to go there, but if it was to the right as they faced east it would have been the southern border of the pridelands.
Other mistake: On the old Blu-ray cover of The Lion King, there are several mistakes. In the old version, Nala's face was different, as she had brown eyes instead of blue ones and had whiskers. Her head structure was also different and her eyebrows were larger. Rafiki's face is also different as well, his eyes are wide apart from each other and part of his nose is miscolored. While Simba's face is given a few addition in the new Blu-ray cover, Pumbaa had white eyes and Timon's head isn't facing to the front and didn't have dark eyelids. However, all of these mistakes were changed for the new Blu-ray cover.
Continuity mistake: At one point during "Hakuna Matata" Timon raises Pumbaa high into the air with a vine. As Simba watches from below, the sun casts a long shadow behind him. In the following shot, however, a shadow appears beneath him - as if the sun were located directly above.
Revealing mistake: One shot before Simba and Nala exchange lines on either side of Zazu during "I Just Can't Wait to Be King", Simba leaps to the opposite edge of a small pool of water. But notice how Zazu has been animated with a completely translucent reflection and, here, we can see the image of Simba right through him, which shouldn't happen.
Continuity mistake: After reuniting with Simba, one of Nala's paws changes its place on the ground between shots. When Simba denies being the king, he begins to walk off screen to the left. Here, Nala stands several feet away from Timon. But by the next shot one of her paws is suddenly inches behind Timon instead.
Deliberate mistake: When Rafiki comes to the pride rock for Simba's anointing, one minute he is walking through the assembled animals, the next he climbs onto the top of the rock from the front. Physically, even for an ape, it's impossible. It's a deliberate mistake, obviously his arrival would have been much less impressive if he had had to climb the mountain from the side in a slow but realistic way.
Continuity mistake: Right after Simba grows into an adult during "Hakuna Matata", Timon walks onto Pumbaa's head and stands directly above his eyes. But once everybody starts singing together in the following shot, Timon has changed position and is now standing behind Pumbaa's black mane instead.
Continuity mistake: During Pumbaa's flashback scene in "Hakuna Matata" where he joins several other animals by the waterhole for a drink, an elephant with notches on its right ear gets a whiff of him and dashes away. But just before the elephant runs off screen its ear suddenly has no notches, but smooth edges instead.
Continuity mistake: In one shot during "Hakuna Matata" Timon bites through half of a red and black bug, calling it piquant and pleasantly crunchy. He holds the other half in his left hand, and at first one of its hind legs is noticeably intact. But this hind leg suddenly vanishes as Timon is enjoying the flavor (it doesn't visibly fall off for instance - it simply disappears into thin air).
Continuity mistake: When the three hyenas (Ed, Shenzi and Banzai) have Simba and Nala trapped in a dark corner of the elephant graveyard, Mufasa suddenly jumps in to save them. After he wrangles the hyenas to the ground, look at how Mufasa's left paw is placed right beside Ed's ear. But in the next shot where they're begging for mercy, Mufasa's paw is all of a sudden positioned further down by Ed's feet.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Pumbaa gets jammed beneath a large tree root while trying to avoid being eaten by Nala, Timon runs over and tries to dislodge him from behind. Before Simba appears out of nowhere to pounce on Nala, notice how there's a large weed growing near the root on Pumbaa's left side. But just several shots later when Timon starts cheering Simba on, the weed vanishes.
Continuity mistake: In the open field where Simba gets scolded by Mufasa, he happens upon a large paw print in the dirt. An overhead view reveals several blades of grass near the impression (on the lower left hand side in particular), but as Simba begins walking once again in the following shot, no blades of grass can be seen anywhere in the vicinity.
Continuity mistake: As Simba walks along a fallen tree by the waterfalls, Nala pleads with him to overthrow Scar and take his place as the rightful king of Pride Rock. But notice how his posture changes dramatically between shots. Right before Simba snaps back at Nala, his head is hung low enough to the ground so that his entire backbone is visible, but then it's suddenly lifted to an alert position in the following shot.
Continuity mistake: When Zazu is flying overhead leading Simba and Nala to the water hole, he swoops down and begins talking about their future as a married pair. Initially Zazu's tail is resting near the ground. But from one frame to the next, it's suddenly perched straight up in the air.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Simba tries convincing Scar that Mufasa's death was an accident, Simba stands an inch or two apart from Mufasa's left paw. Once the angle changes, Scar reaches out to comfort Simba, but now Simba is positioned closer to Mufasa's face instead.
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