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View topic - Is Zazu a completly worthless character? — My Lion King Forum

Is Zazu a completly worthless character?

Is Zazu a completly worthless character?

Postby EdtheHyena » February 4th, 2014, 5:45 pm

I personally feel he sort of is. He does little in any of the movies, even the original, and even less to help the stories along. The only real thing he is implied to have done to help is tell Mufasa where the cubs were...which not only did we not see, but the glare Mufasa gives Zazu afterwards suggests Zazu didn't relly help him at all. In addition to this, it's sort of implied earlier on that he may have been in the graveyard already, since there were hyenas in the pride lands that he needed to make sure stayed out; they could have simply used that as an excuse to have him close by.

Zazu does nothing to help Simba, Kiara, or Timon and Pumbaa. He isn't very likeable, in my opinion, but without even the excuse of being a bad guy. Really, all he does is provide comic relief, which we already have courtesy of Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiiki, and the hyenas.




To quote Ninaroja :"The series is called "The Lion King". Zazu is not a lion, and is only a minor character at best. Like the post above mine says, the sequels are told from the perspectives of characters who have little to do with Zazu, hence his lack of screen time...In any case, the simple answer to this question is that Zazu is hardly in the sequels because he just isn't. There was little to no development of him as a character in the first movie so there was no need for him to be of any importance in anything that followed"

Really, I could not agree more. But what do you think?
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Re: Is Zazu a completly worthless character?

Postby MooLion » February 5th, 2014, 2:47 pm

Zazu's colouring brightens up the cast, for one thing. :D You could argue he was possibly not altogether necessary; however I am glad of his inclusion. Without Zazu, how would they have worked the scene with Zazu watching over the cubs as they went to 'the waterhole'? They could have had the cubs plead with their mums to go off alone, but then we still needed a character to alert Mufasa quickly when they were stuck in the Elephant Graveyard, otherwise who'd have known they'd gone there?
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Re: Is Zazu a completly worthless character?

Postby juhouh » February 5th, 2014, 3:03 pm

I'm neither a big of non-lion characters (Rafiki is an exception). I dislike Timon, Pumbaa and Zazu but I don't hate them
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Re: Is Zazu a completly worthless character?

Postby MooLion » February 5th, 2014, 3:10 pm

I do tend to prefer the lion characters, but I do think it is good to have a mix of creatures in such a film!
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Re: Is Zazu a completly worthless character?

Postby EdtheHyena » February 5th, 2014, 7:20 pm

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Re: Is Zazu a completly worthless character?

Postby TheLionPrince » February 5th, 2014, 9:36 pm

Not exactly. If the filmmakers had kept "The Madness of King Scar" in the first film, you could give a partial credit to Zazu for Nala's exodus of the Pride Lands since he was the one who planted the idea to Scar about seeking Nala for his mate and queen. Even though it's no longer valid in the film version, the concept still works in the stage musical adaptation.

Also, Zazu plays a small, yet significant role in Simba's Pride where he reminds Simba of "royal protocol" which practically forces him to repay Kovu's debt for saving Kiara. Unknowingly, Zazu had just helped Zira to advance her plan for Kovu. And a little personal theory of mine is that Zazu helped guide Kovu and Kiara to the battle scene since they weren't aware it was occurring when they return back to the Pride Lands.
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Re: Is Zazu a completly worthless character?

Postby MooLion » February 5th, 2014, 11:38 pm

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Re: Is Zazu a completly worthless character?

Postby DGFone » February 6th, 2014, 12:28 am

Keep in mind that Zazu is a bird and therefore has no physical strength. At the same time, it is Rafiki who is supposed to really be the "brains" of the Pride. Like this, it's easy to label Zazu off as a rather useless character.

At the same time, I am surprised that no one mentioned this major contribution that Zazu made: During the stampede, it was Zazu who found Simba midst all the wildebeest and dust. By allowing Mufasa to find his son quickly, it is very to say that Zazu saved Simba's life, and by this extension, made a significant contribution to the plot.

After all, even with Zazu's help, Mufasa only arrived in time to save Simba with seconds to spare. If Mufasa had to take more time to search for his son, Simba would have almost certainly been trampled to death after the tree he relied on was smashed.
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Re: Is Zazu a completly worthless character?

Postby EdtheHyena » February 6th, 2014, 2:03 am

But Scar had already warned Mufasa in time. From what I recall, all Zazu did was tell Simba his father was coming.

And Zazu barely had anything to do in the second half. He didn't take part in the battle, he didn't help Simba regain the throne...really, the only purpose he served after the stampede scene was to annoy Scar with his songs.

Zazu may be a bird, but sure doesn't seem like one. All of the times he could escape by just flying he doesn't. If they're going to give the movie a bird character, at least make him one who can fly.

Zazu also seems to be something of a duplicate of Sebastian of "The Little Mermaid", both being the king's diminuitive servant and the protagonist's babysitter (although I don't think they used the term in either cases), but whereas Sebastian at least got to be a prominent character who even got back at his tormentor (the French cook) in the end, the last thing that happens to Zazu really is that he gets saved.

But really, he's such a dry, pointless character that it really shouldn't matter.
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Re: Is Zazu a completly worthless character?

Postby The Spirit of Life » February 6th, 2014, 4:22 am

I feel like Zazu is actually a sort of mechanism for explaining background information about the Lion King Universe that would otherwise be awkward (in a conversational sense, as in, it would feel forced) for other characters to mention. For instance, we learn that Simba and Nala are to be betrothed, and that royal protocol demand that all debts be paid. On top of that, Zazu is quite convenient to have around sometimes. For instance, he located Simba during the stampede by flying above, which made Mufasa's ( :( ) job "easier". He also was useful when Kiara sent him to get help for Simba after the Outsiders ambushed him. Basically he was a lot more "mobile", so to speak, could access areas that the lions couldn't, and did it faster than they could have. He also played a role in saving cubby Simba and Nala (with help from the birdie boiler) from the Hyenas in that he was quick to alert Mufasa to the danger. While I neither particularly like nor dislike Zazu, I can definitely see where he was an important little hornbill every once in a while.
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