Hakuna Momtata! If ‘The Lion King’ were real, Simba’s mom would rule

Beyonce goes nose-to-nose with her "Lion King" character Nala. (Photo: WALT DISNEY STUDIOS)

More like Lion Queen.

Lion prides are matrilineal societies. That means if “The Lion King” were accurate, Simba’s mom, Sarabi, would rule.

Where’s Mufasa? Where’s Simba?


The male of the species is transitory, Craig Packer, director of The Lion Center at the University of Minnesota, explained to National Geographic.

“Females are the core. The heart and soul of the pride,” Packer said. “The males come and go.”

Disney’s fact-checking is woefully lacking. “If the ‘The Lion King’ were real, Nala would be the star,” tweeted Erin Biba, who interviewed Packer for her story debunking the movie. 

“Sarabi would be holding her up saying everything the light touches is our kingdom, Simba would have left and never come back, and when Nala got old enough Sarabi would have carved out a territory for her to rule.”

No helicopter parenting here

Female lion and her cup at the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. (Photo: Getty Images)

That’s right. Female lions are less helicopter pilot parents and more like real estate warriors demonstrating how to one-day run prides of their own. Biba wrote that 90% of the pride is related and if it gets too big, moms carve out new territory for their daughters next door.

As Biba writes, “a lion pride is all females, all the time.” 

Readers found the insight refreshing as the “The Lion King” remake premieres in theaters on July 18. 

“This story really truly made my day, maybe even my week!” tweeted @proftinkerbell “Thank you for writing it.”

Another reader said it was cringe-y to see female lions shrink from Scar and hyenas in the movie.

“It always galled me that the lionesses seemed to meekly submit to Scar when in fact they would have torn his hyenas to pieces then chased him into the ocean,” @snurri commented. 

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