The Lion King features no human characters. Robin Hood featured only anthropomorphized animals, while Bambi featured only unseen human characters; whether this makes The Lion King Walt Disney's first "animals-only" or "non-human" film is open to interpretation.
Computer animation was used extensively in the creation of the movie, especially during the "Circle of Life" and stampede sequences.
During production, this film was considered a secondary project compared to the next film scheduled, Pocahontas. However, as the film was being marketed, the studio noticed that the released teaser which consisted of the entire opening sequence featuring the song, Circle of Life, was getting a strongly enthusiastic reaction from audiences. Furthermore, when the film was in limited release in two major theatres, the film did very impressive business which suggested that this "secondary project" promised to be popular. Upon general release, the film more than confirmed that suspicion by becoming the most successful film of the year and the most successful animated feature film of all time.
After wandering in the desert, the young cub befriends a meerkat named Timon and a warthog named Pumbaa. After growing up with Timon and Pumbaa, Simba's friend Nala eventually finds him. She urges Simba to return to Pride Rock and to retake his rightful throne, but he refuses. After Rafiki the baboon shows Simba that Mufasa's spirit lives inside him Simba goes back to Pride Rock to defeat his uncle Scar and the hyenas so he can reclaim his kingdom.
In one scene of the movie it appears as if animators had embedded the word "sex" into several frames of animation -- the intention, however, was the letter combination "SFX" (for "special effects").
There was a dispute over the origin of the story, as it bears a striking resemblance to a Japanese animated television show Kimba the White Lion, so much so that apparently even some animators thought they were doing a remake.
In the musical remake there was a scene removed from the American version when Mufasa dies where the lionesses cry over his dead body but had appeared to be more comical as it had looked like they were crying out toilet paper, which had caused the audience to laugh at the inappropriate moment. Actually, they were re-enacting a Japanese puppet mourning ceremony where ribbons would flow out of the eyes to symbolize tears; this is also a convention of Japanese anime. The section is still in the Australian version and receives the same amount of laughter as in the original. This convention is used to greater effectiveness in the stage musical directed by Julie Taymor.
Also there was controversy in the Australian version when the two child leads of Simba and Nala were fired due to bad acting, lack of singing talent and inconsistent American accent.