It’s hard to imagine our fave meerkat and warthog duo, Timon and Pumbaa, played by any other actors other than Nathan Lane (Timon) and Ernie Sabella (Pumbaa) in The Lion King. But thanks to this video, we’re learning that these two actors were first considered to play very different roles! Be prepared to hear sensational behind-the-scenes information in this video featuring Nathan Lane and the voice of Simba, Matthew Broderick:
Before he voiced everyone's favorite hula-dancing meerkat, Nathan Lane almost took on a very different character from The Lion King:
Posted by Disney D23 on Thursday, August 3, 2017
Amazing, right? Nathan Lane was first considered to play Zazu! The majordomo hornbill would have been a very different character. And who would have thought that Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella would have auditioned to voice the hyenas?! As Lane states in the video, he was the one who asked if he and Sabella could read as hyenas together. Once this dynamic pair read together (and improvised a bit!), it became clear that they were not destined to play laughing hyenas dwelling in an elephant graveyard, but they were Timon and Pumbaa. What a story!
This information is a lot to take in, and we’re feeling the need to rewatch this epic movie and to appreciate even more our favorite “Hakuna Matata” singing characters. (And now we’ll be singing “Hakuna Matata” for the rest of our day.)