Nala is the deuteragonist in Disney's 1994 film, The Lion King, a secondary character of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and The Lion Guard and a minor character in The Lion King 1 ½. Mainly, she is the childhood friend, love interest (and eventually wife) of Simba, the mother of Kiara and Kion and the mother-in-law of Kovu in the trilogy. As an adult, Moira Kelly did her voice, with Sally Dworsky singing her part, while as a cub, Niketa Calame and Laura Williams did her speaking and singing voices respectively in the first film.
The Lion KingEdit
Nala is first seen asleep in her mother Sarafina's arms inside Pride Rock with the rest of the pride when Simba comes to wake his father Mufasa. She is next seen later that day being bathed by Sarafina when Simba arrives, wanting her to come with him to a great place. When asked by his mother Sarabi what the place is, Simba says that it's around the water hole to which Nala asks what so good about the water hole and Simba says he'll show her when they get there. Nala asks Sarafina if she can go with Simba to which Sarafina asks Sarabi what she thinks. Sarabi allows the two cubs to go as long as Zazu goes with them, much to Nala and Simba's dismay.
As Zazu takes them to the water hole, Simba tells Nala that they're actually going to an Elephant Graveyard and plan to get away from Zazu which they succeed. After getting to the Elephant Graveyard, the two cubs begin to explore, but Zazu arrives and tries to get the two to leave as the place is dangerous. But just then, three hyenas named Shenzi, Banzai and Ed appear and try to kill the cubs, but luckily Mufasa arrives and fights and chases the hyenas away. After returning to The Pride Lands, Mufasa asks Zazu to Nala home whilst he has a word with Simba. The following night, Nala along with the rest of the pride are told by Simba's uncle Scar that he died along with Mufasa died in a stampede. After this, Scar becomes king and allows the hyenas to come into The Pride Lands.
Years later, Nala (now a young adult) leaves to find help as Scar due to allowing the hyenas into the Pride Lands, has caused food and water to stop. She sees a warthog named Pumbaa and tries to hunt him and gives chase into the jungle. Just when Nala is about to attack Pumbaa and his meerkat friend Timon, a young lion comes to Pumbaa's defence and fights her. Nala is able to pin down the lion, who says her name which causes Nala to get off him and asks who he is. The lion says he is Simba, which surprises Nala (as she had believed him to have died in the stampede) and is introduced to Timon and Pumbaa who are Simba's friends and believes that as Simba is alive, he is the king. The two go into the jungle and soon fall in love, but get into an argument as Simba does not wish to return to the Pride Lands (due to believing that he caused Mufasa's death).
The next day, Nala comes to Timon and Pumbaa asking if they've seen Simba just before Rafiki arrives and tells them that the king has returned, causing Nala to realize that Simba has gone to reclaim the throne from Scar. Nala along with Timon and Pumbaa follow Simba back to the Pride Lands and vow to help him defeat Scar. Whilst Timon and Pumbaa distract the hyenas, Simba asks Nala to rally the lionesses whilst he looks for Scar. After getting the lionesses, Nala along with Sarabi are shocked when Simba claims that he caused Mufasa's death, but afterwards, Scar admits that he not Simba killed Mufasa, causing a battle between the lionesses and hyenas to happen whilst Simba battles Scar.
After Scar's death, Simba becomes king and Nala becomes queen. Months later, the two watch as Rafiki presents their cub to the animals of the Pride Lands.
The Lion King II: Simba's PrideEdit
Months later, Nala and Simba (now fully-grown adults) have a daughter named Kiara whom Simba is very protective of. When Kiara grows into a young cub and goes off to explore the Pride Lands after being warned to stay away from the Outlands (home of the Outsiders, a pride of lions banished by Simba for being loyal to Scar). Nala assures Simba that she will be fine, but Simba goes against her advice and sends Timon and Pumbaa to keep an eye on Kiara.
Later that day, Nala along with Timon, Pumbaa and some of the pride's lionesses, join Simba when he goes to find Kiara after she wondered off and finds her at the border between the Pride Lands and Outlands with a cub named Kovu and watches Simba face off with Kovu's mother Zira (who is the leader of the Outsiders). After telling Zira to take Kovu and leave, Simba picks up Kiara and leaves with Nala, Timon, Pumbaa and the lionesses. After returning to the Pride Lands, Nala goes with the others back to Pride Rock after noticing that Simba wishes to stay behind to have a word with Kiara.
A few years later, Nala along with Simba, see Kiara (now an adolescent) off on her first hunt. But like before, Simba sends Timon and Pumbaa to watch her (despite promising Kiara to let her hunt alone). Later, Nala along with Simba go and look for Kiara after Simba saw a fire near where Kiara was hunting (which was started by Zira's other children Nuka and Vitani). They find her alive and well with another lion whom Kiara reveals to be Kovu who asks to join the Pridelander pride, claiming that he left the Outsiders and is now a rogue (when in fact, he is following Zira's plan to earn Simba's trust, so Kovu can kill him and take over as king to avenge Scar's death). Simba is at first reluctant, but Nala reminds him that he owes Kovu Kiara's life and Zazu confirms this, saying depts must be paid. Simba allows Kovu into the pride, but has him sleep outside Pride Rock.
The following night, Nala finds Simba watching Kiara and Kovu stargazing and says to him that he wants so much to walk the path expected of him and perhaps Kovu does not and encourages Simba to give Kovu a chance, before the two leave together to leave their daughter and her friend be.
The next day, Nala is seen at Pride Rock with Kiara and an injured Simba after he was ambushed by Zira and the Outsiders. She and Kiara then witness Simba confront Kovu, after believing he was part of the ambush and then banishes him from the Pride Lands. Whilst Nala looks on shocked at Simba's decision, Kiara runs forward and tries to put a stop to the exile, but is stopped by some of the lionesses (who unlike Kiara and Nala, have taken Simba's side and believe Kovu to be evil). Nala is not present with the other lionesses when Kiara confronts Simba before going into Pride Rock in tears, after telling Simba that he will never be Mufasa, before leaving to find Kovu (perhaps going to another part of Pride Rock to leave them be, believing that it was not her place to interfere).
Later that night, Nala joins Simba, Timon, Pumbaa and the rest of the pride when they battle Zira and the Outsiders, where Nala battles and easily defeats Vitani. Just then, Kiara and Kovu arrive and put a stop to the fight and Kiara convinces Vitani and the other Outsiders to rejoin the Pridelanders. However, Zira (still wishing to avenge Scar) attempts to attack Simba, but is knock off the cliff they are on by Kiara and the two lionesses fall down the cliff. Nala watches on as Simba climbs down the cliff to reach Kiara and warns him of the fast flowing river below them. After Simba manages to get Kiara (who tried and failed to save Zira) back up the cliff, a relieved Nala hugs her daughter.
Upon returning to Pride Rock, the reunited pride watch, Nala, Simba and the now married Kiara and Kovu roar in triumph.
The Lion GuardEdit
Nala appears in the 2015 TV film The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar and it's 2016 follow up TV series The Lion Guard, both of which serve as midquels to The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (taking place after Nala and Simba retrieve Kiara from the Pride Lands-Outlands border and before sending her out on her first hunt). The series sees Nala and Simba having another child together: a son named Kion who as second born, becomes leader of The Lion Guard who protect The Circle of Life.
The Lion King (musical)Edit
In the musical, Nala's role remains the same as it was in the film, though in one scene during the song "The Madness of King Scar", Scar tries to seduce a young adult Nala and make her his Queen, but she rejects him and leaves.
- Nala is the third Disney love interest to have known the main character in childhood, separated, and reunited in adulthood, the first two being Faline and Maid Marian, and yet, the second to actually be seen with him in childhood (once again, the first being Faline).
- In the Broadway musical of The Lion King, the evil Scar tries to make Nala his mate, which makes Nala decide to leave Pride Rock to find help.
- She is very loosely based off of Ophelia from Hamlet.
- She is similar to Kitty from Kimba the White Lion.