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Uploaded on Jun 21, 2008

Creative Similarities Between Disney's 'The Lion King' and Tezuka's 'Jungle Taitei' (Kimba the White Lion)

As mentioned in "The Animation Blog"

Yes, there are videos on YouTube that are like this one, but I hope that you will notice a few new items in my version.

The debate as to whether or not the Disney company knowingly infringed on the ideas of Osamu Tezuka's 'Jungle Taitei' has been discussed since 'The Lion King"'s 1994 theatrical release. Disney attempted to put the argument to rest by saying:
"No one associated with 'The Lion King' had even heard of Kimba or seen it..."
-USA TODAY 07/14/95

Osamu Tezuka's 'Jungle Taitei" was created in the 1950's and was later animated in the 1960's. Re-named "Kimba the White Lion", it aired on NBC beginning in 1966. A theatrical feature based on the series and manga won the St. Mark's Silver Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Lion) the award further confirmed the quality of work coming from Tezuka and his studio.

"The Lion King" shares several story and visual aspects with "Kimba the White Lion".

Animation fans were outraged by the fact that Disney made no reference to either Tezuka or Kimba the White Lion. Disney released a statement which denied any wrong-doing going so far as to say that no one on the Lion King team had ever heard of Kimba, however those statements were later refined by Disney--Disney later stated that while some people may have heard of Kimba that no one used Kimba as a reference.

Certainly any time you have a story about a lion there will be similarities: the cast of supporting characters will include other animals, the setting will be a safari or jungle, etc. However the extent to which "The Lion King" and "Kimba" are similar is striking.

Please, take a look at the clips and judge for yourself. For what it is worth, I adore "The Lion King", I just wish that Disney would take the time to credit their obvious influences.


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