Listen Live

At one point, a well-known Japanese animator, Machiko Satonaka, sent an open letter to Disney, accompanied by a petition signed by 82 other artists and hundreds of Tezuka fans. They simply asked that Disney recognize Tezuka’s impact:

“To Japanese, Mr. Tezuka’s works are a national legacy. Therefore, the respect and admiration we Japanese felt for Disney Co. is severely diminished. It is not possible to explain the damage inflicted upon our love of this aspect of Japanese culture.” Satonaka ends her letter by requesting “a few lines paying respect to the origin of the story” be featured in the beginning of The Lion King.

Disney didn’t oblige, however, and a lot of the public didn’t support Satonaka’s cause because according to Yasue Kuwahara, who wrote a 1997 essay on the debate, “As much as Tezuka is considered important, the Japanese love Disney. They recognized Lion King was a copy of Jungle Emperor, but it was OK with them.”

Even Takayuki Matsutani, the president of Tezuka Productions, said that despite similarities between Disney’s work and Tezuka’s, Lion King is absolutely different from Jungle Emperor and is Disney’s original work. If Disney took hints from the Jungle Emperor, our founder, the late Osamu Tezuka, would be very pleased by it.”

I meeean…okay.

If You Don’t Think ‘The Lion King’ Took Elements From The Japanese Series ‘Kimba,’ These Behind The Scenes Incidents Might Change Your Mind  was originally published on

« Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next page »