Real Name: Taka
Premiered in: The Lion King (1994)
Voiced By: Jeremy Irons
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear about Scar, formerly Taka, of The Lion King. He is one of, if not the only, Disney Villain to succeed at their goal. While it can be argued that many a villain had succeeded in their endeavors, one cannot deny that those successes were mere minutes at best. Scar had years to rule over the Pride Lands but just as any other villain would in his place, he never saw the long term results of his actions and thus nearly drove the Pride Lands to destruction under his callous rule.
Now, as I’m many of you have noted, Scar’s name was originally “Taka” and like many of the cast, it is a Swahili word with an alternative meaning reflecting the character. In Scar’s case, his mother and father both agreed on naming him “Taka”, which is the Swahili word for “dirt” or “trash.”
Yeah… I would have gone evil too if I had been named that, especially given that, though he joked about it, Scar is technically a “runt” as far as lion’s go and would easily lose to Mufasa in a fight regardless if he cheated during it like he had later on with Simba. Ironically though, Scar would be something of a hot bachelor amongst lionesses with the coloration of his mane but due to the fact that his mane is rather ragged… well, there was a reason why none of the lionesses, particularly Nala, ever gave him the time of day, particularly in the musical.
On the note of music, I would like to mention that Scar has the best villain songs of the Disney Renaissance. “Be Prepared” is not only a visually stunning sight to behold, with a dark acknowledgment to Hitler and his Nazi army, but it’s the kind of song that one can’t help but sing along, especially if one’s feeling a bit villainous themselves.
As I said, Scar’s goal was to become king and he succeeded in that endeavor with astonishing ease. Of course, it took some years of planning to kill Mufasa for he had tried to do so once before when he was younger. That attempt ended up with Mufasa gaining a friend in the mandrill shaman Rafiki and Scar his titular wound and a change of name. Ironically enough, even back then he had… friends I suppose you could call them, in the hyenas. In point of fact, it was they whom suggested to Scar, then Taka, to try and make a fool of his brother so that he could become king instead. Of course, Scar took that one step further and chose to try and murder his brother rather than humiliate him.
Speaking of the hyenas, they are the very epitome of comedy as far as minions are concerned, at least in my opinion. True, there are some whose quirks and actions earn a good laugh but rare is the day where one sees not a pair of a single minion, but a trio of them that are just as hilarious apart as they are together. Shenzi, whose name translates to “savage,” is the matriarch of their pack and easily the brains behind the operation. Banzai, or “skulk” in English, is the angry one always biting at the bit for action rather than thinking. As for Ed… oh boy… He is the deranged one of the trio, always grinning, oftentimes seen with his tongue lolling out of his mouth, and communicates primarily by way of maniacal laughter.
Ultimately, it is the hyenas themselves who end up doing Scar in at the end of the film. True, it was Simba who confronted his uncle about the truth of Mufasa’s death and ended up beating him rather soundly in their fight, but it was Scar’s words against the hyenas that did him in. Whether he meant it or not, he called them the enemy and trying to lay the blame of the plot entirely upon them. Needless to say, that combined with his treatment of them and the broken promises of equality between them and the lions, the hyenas rebelled and ate Scar alive.
One of, if not the most, graphic of Disney Villain deaths to date bar none I think.