Weren’t they already prepared?

If Banzai, Shenzi & Ed are any indication of the mental faculties for the entire population of hyenas, then I guess my question could possibly have an obvious answer. But let’s look at it anyway, shall we? As Scar lays out his master plan to take over The Pride Lands, hundreds of hyenas sing in chorus how excited they are for the coming coup. All these minions are seen happily marching in formation as their leader looks down on them proudly from above. beprepared5

Did you catch that? There are hundreds of hyenas. So I ask you, why did they need Scar? As I said, simply thinking about it from an organizational perspective, if they were all just brainless savages, a leader with intelligence would be necessary to coordinate any collective action. Yet, that could only be the right answer if the odds were more or less equal…and they definitely aren’t. Mufasa and the 8 lionesses wouldn’t stand a chance against an unorganized onslaught of even 50 hyenas.  And it’s not like the beasts have to operate firearms or pilot aircrafts, they just have to scratch and bite and they seem to have that down already. There has to be another reason…maybe it was a personality thing? Sure, the hyenas always enjoyed a good laugh on their own, but it was only Scar’s dry wit that could truly make them roar.


More to come. Follow me here —> @DadsQuestions

Image Credit: lionking.org



  1. The parade formation is more symbolic, I think. It’s one thing to know you have power, but it’s quite another to show it off.

    The Nazi imagery is pretty obvious, but I think it’s worth drawing parallels between the hyena territory and post WWI Germany, which beaten and effectively emasculated by the Treaty of Versailles.

    The hyenas knew they had it in them to be a united force, but what they lacked was a power-hungry, charming lunatic with a vision to sell it to them en masse.

    Enter Scar.

  2. It might be his “imagination.” I agree with ‘The Offensive Playbook’ that it was more symbolic of power and that he does have followers, thought they may not be that many. He finds himself talking not only to his few, but to several others he might convince of coming to his side. The whole montage is fairly unrealistic (alas, Disney) with the ending being with him at the top of that stalagmite, also symbolic, so why not have an army?

    1. Thanks for the comment Isa. I do have to disagree though for a couple of reasons. For the purposes of this blog I take everything at face value unless otherwise stated in the movie. For instance, Olaf’s song in Frozen is purely his fantasy, however I believe Scar’s song is supposed to be accurate…what is my support? Check out this scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ7RvRPCSWM…when Scar takes over pride rock, we see at least 50-100 hyenas walking into the pride as well. Maybe he doesn’t have 100’s, but even if it was 100, I would have the same question. I do agree that it is meant to be symbolic though as well.

      1. Ah, yes. I see your point. That would be a pretty scary place to be in.
        The number is exaggerated in the song, but the hyenas do overtake the lions.

  3. I think it’s a Hoffa type thing; maybe the hyena needed to have a union before they would act. I know having a union when I worked at a hospital helped me to act when necessary. Otherwise, I would have just cowered in my workstation like a runaway slave. (It’s okay for me to make that reference; I’m Black American.)

  4. It’s simple – it’s disneyfication. Or more precisely, Hollywoodisation. (That’s a mouthful.) Scar is Hans Gruber. Sherriff of Nottingham or any movie bad guy you can name. Meanwhile, back in the real world, a 100 Hyenas would dominate even the largest pack of lions, or at least bother them out of a territory. That’s why Hyena packs never get that large – they would fight each other first.
    The Offensive Playbook got it right. It’s Nazi imagery… to teach our children to beware of parades. Especially the ones in Disneyland. 🙂

  5. Followup question– how did the hyenas loose the battle of Pride Rock? They had the lionesses outnumbered at least 10 to 1. Lionesses, I might add, that have been run ragged hunting for food. It couldn’t have been the loss of Scar’s great general-ing (that’s a word, right?) skills, because Scar spends the entire battle running away, duelling with Simba and getting eaten, in that order. It could be that the hyenas are just _that bad_ at fighting, so it’s no wonder they get pushed around by lions all the time, but that doesn’t make sense either.
    Scar pushed the lionesses to the brink of starvation (he isn’t very good a resource management), yet they never revolt. Why? I’d assume it’s that the hundreds of hyenas Scar keeps around as enforcers, so the lionesses must be at least a little afraid of them. Scar’s own actions hurt the “hyena’s are just that bad” theory. He clearly doesn’t like hyenas, yet after enacting his dastardly plot he choses not to backstab them (and if he can murder family, he can totally go back on his word with hyenas)– so, Scar himself thinks that the hyenas are competent enough to secure his power base.
    And no, the majority of the heyna pack (mob? murder? I don’t know the collective noun here) isn’t still chasing Timon and Pumba because they come back and join the fight.

    1. Great question! I actually had that in the post but edited it out. Seriously…why did they decide to eat one scrawny lion instead of 12, a warthog & meercat?? Hunger should overcome poor fighting skills. Thanks for the comment!

  6. It’s pretty much as simple as with Mufasa dead and Simba gone (Scar does say in the song, that he plans to kill Simba) he would legally be the next in line to be king. The hyenas may be hundreds, but in order to rule the Pridelands without Scar they would have to kill pretty much everyone.

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