Hello & welcome back to Pride Rock. Today, we are heading to the bookshelves to take a look at the tale, A Tale of Two Brothers is a prequel story about Mufasa and Scar in their youth. Now technically, this story is non-canon when it comes to The Lion King but I had been interested in it enough to review for this year’s event.
Now, what’s interesting is that Simmons had written some stories for Disney and this story that he wrote was part of a boxset that contained Six New Adventures and “A Tale of Two Brothers” was the only one that he contributed to. Also, another interesting point of note is that he created the character of Kopa, who was portrayed as Simba’s son in the books but again with these books being non-canon that has erased Kopa from existence.
Yes, Kopa was my creation all the way. If I remember correctly, the language is Swahili. I had spent some time in Kenya and still had my words and phrase dictionary.”
And I’ve discovered from my research, Lion King fans are very protective of this character and some were heartbroken and angry when he was not in The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride. However, there is a reason for that. You see, Phil Weinstein, the storyboard director for The Lion King II had no knowledge of this character’s existence.
The storyboard director of The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, Weinstein admits that he’d had no knowledge of Kopa during production of the film. Since Weinstein was among the production crew of Simba’s Pride and assumingly all crew members had no knowledge of Kopa, this would explain why Kopa was never included in Simba’s Pride.
Even with all of this, it appears that Kopa has remained a fan favorite in The Lion King fan community.
Raymond Zibach & Denise Shimabukuro
The illustrations in this book are okay. They do capture the looks of the characters rather well and they are warm and inviting. But other than that, it’s nothing to special.
Again, the cover is alright. Just showing us a young Mufasa and young Scar and you know if I didn’t know that was supposed to be Mufasa, I would have thought that was Simba. Seriously, Mufasa there looks like Simba as a young adult.
The main plot of this story deals with broken promises and how they can scorn a young son, when a father breaks a promise to him. We open the story on Kopa, the son of Simba and Nala, who was to neglect his promise to his son because of some kingly business and this leads Rafiki to tell the king and the young prince, a story of Mufasa, Scar and their father. We learn that Rafiki was a wanderer who had traveled to The Pride Lands and well his first meeting could have gone better because the hyenas were about to attack him.
He was saved by the Lion King, Ahadi, who came across the Hyenas with his two young sons, Mufasa and Taka. You’ll soon figure out who the latter son is. It is quite interesting in seeing how young Mufasa learns from Rafiki such as how he charms a snake out of attacking him by reminding the snake that they are all brothers in the great Circle of Life.
We learn from this story that Scar was a bit of a wimp in his younger days and he asked the Hyenas to join their gang for protection but he won’t admit it as he is too proud. But he is already resentful of his older brother. As he views Mufasa as Daddy’s favorite. We learn later on that the hyenas are planning something and this leads Rafiki to tell the king and this leads Taka to be angry and resentful as his father was supposed to take him and Mufasa hunting but kingly business got in the way.
We soon learn in the book that Taka is telling the hyenas to lay low as his father is looking for them. It’s here where the Hyenas plant a seed to get even and get revenge on Mufasa. He wants to do something to him that would tarnish his image and revoke his right to be king. This is where he gets the idea that if one of the animals began fighting because of something Mufasa did, that would do the trick. Later, the following day, Rafiki discovers young Mufasa at a watering hole talking to a buffalo named Boma trying to get him to share the watering hole with the other animals. This was Taka’s idea but well, let’s just say that the buffalo wasn’t up for it. As it leads the buffalo to chasing Mufasa.
This is where Taka earns his Scar and henceforth becomes Scar. He made the buffalo angry to try and embarrass his brother but well, it backfired. And according to this book, this is what led him down the path of anger and hatred of his brother.
All in all, this story was okay. Nothing special but it was okay
It’s strange that even though, this story was called, A Tale of Two Brothers. Rafiki was actually the main character and I didn’t expect that going into the story but it was interesting as the baboon served the eyes for the readers to observe young Mufasa and Scar in youth. And in that regard, they worked rather well.
Now, I didn’t bring this character up in the plot because well, she didn’t bring much to the story. All I can really say about her is that she was the mother of Zazu and the first steward to the king.
Young Mufasa wasn’t too different from his adult counterpart. You could clearly see that he was growing into the lion that he would be as the father to Simba. A very wise, brave and noble king.
Sure, he was the villain but I didn’t really feel like putting him in a villain category because he wasn’t quite there yet and if you can’t tell, Taka is Scar. And just like his older brother, you get glimpses of the monster that he would become in the movie. Oh, and I just want to bring up that apparently the name that he is is given in this book means dirt or trash. Look, Scar may be a villain but I can’t bring myself to refer to him as trash. And really, if you named that kid that, is it any wonder that he ended up hating you?
The father of Scar and Mufasa was alright but he felt like nothing more than a Mufasa stand-in. It really doesn’t seem like that anything was made with this character to make him stand out.
My Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, this story is okay but not really worth checking out. If you are interested in checking it out, you can find scans of it online but I’d say that only die hard Lion King fans should track this down because otherwise, I’d skip it. Join me tomorrow as we head to the parks to take a look at…
The Lion King In The Parks