Kimba the White Lion-My First Favorite Cartoon

Everyone has a first favorite cartoon and for me it is Kimba the White Lion. I was 3 or 4 (I think) when I first saw this cartoon. I loved animals, all animals, but cats hold a special place in my heart. They always have and always will. Anyway, Kimba was a white lion cub with black ears who was set on making a better life for animals. He thought that a better life could be had through understanding and communication.

Kimba is one of my earliest memories. Growing up, I sometimes wondered if I had dreamed up this cartoon. Not one of my friends remembered it, thank God for the internet or I may still think it was a dream. Now I own the original movie, Jungle Emperor. What a wonderful thing to be able to share with my children!

Kimba the White Lion was originally a manga that was featured in "Shonen" magazine in the 1950s. Written by Osamu Tezuka (who also created Astro Boy), Kimba the White Lion was one of the first anime released in the United States. This series was a mix of Bambi and The Lion King all in one.

Kimba was the new King of the Jungle. His father, the old King, had been killed by human hunters. Kimba was being sent with his mother to live in a zoo, when he escaped. They had been on a boat and he swam with the help of some fish, guided by butterflies, to land. There he lived for a while with Roger Ranger. Roger Ranger later decides to go with Kimba to live amongst the animals.

Kimba wants to see peace and prosperity for all animals. His adventures focus on this task. He believes that the larger animals should eat vegetables, so that the smaller animals can also live in peace. He gets the animals to plant a farm and they start a restaurant. Dan'l Baboon, Pauley Cracker and Bucky are most often featured.

Dan'l Baboon is a wise old baboon who becomes Kimba's mentor. Pauley Cracker is a parrot who had lived with humans and was wise in their ways. He helps Kimba and the other animals understand how the humans do things. Bucky is a mischievous antelope who is Kimba's friend. There are also many other animals to meet in this series.

Kimba and Claw
Kimba and Claw

There are bad guys galore, but the main one is Claw. He is cruel and a bully. He has been ruling the jungle in Kimba's father's absence. His rule was a dictatorship in which he enjoyed absolute power. Kimba overthrows him, but Claw is always there seeking a way back to power.

Other bad guys are Viper Snakely, the famous and dastardly trapper/poacher who killed Kimba's father. He repeatedly tries to capture Kimba. There are also various bad animals such as Cassius, the black panther who hangs out with Claw, various hyenas who are friends with Claw, and the Black Four, four deadly black panthers who are ninja like assassins.

If your children liked The Lion King, I can almost guarantee they will like this cartoon. It is a wonderful cartoon that teaches children how to get along with others. It stresses using communication and understanding, not fighting, as a way of solving conflict.

Kimba Returns to the Jungle

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Comments 27 comments

Queen of the Lint profile image

Queen of the Lint 7 years ago from The Laundry Room

I LOVED Kimba! My cousin and I used to act out the stories, and we'd never miss an episode. Imagine my joy when I found a DVD of a couple of episodes! I told my children about it - okay, one of them, the teenager - and we sat down to watch it. And, it wasn't quite what I remembered.And my teen's reaction was less than enthusiastic.

I'd say that the preschool and early elementary set would enjoy this the most. I'd highly recommend it for them.

But I loved loved loved Kimba!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Queen of the Lint, I'm glad to know you loved Kimba, too. I still don't know anyone else who remembers the cartoon, and now I do :D I agree, it is more for the preschool and early elementary ages.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 7 years ago from West Virginia

Yes, I loved that cartoon too! Thank you for the reminder!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Lady, Yaahh, another person! Thanks for letting me know. :D


ralwus 7 years ago

Boy does that take me back to my days as a new daddy! LOL My first wo grew up on that one. thanks


SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America

Thank you so much for sharing this k@ri! I haven't ever heard of it but even as an adult, I love the Lion King LOL As parents we can get hooked on a few of the movies our kids watch over and over to see how things work. You are a great parent to get them movies with such powerful and profound messages as "using communication and understanding, not fighting, as a way of solving conflict."

One of my current "kid" favorites is "Fern Gully" - although it's been around for about 18 years, it's message of saving the environment is universal and timeless. Have you seen it? With Robin Williams as "Batty", escaping the humans lab for peace in the forest? Ahh, I could go on - it's great. As is yours and I may not wait for the grandkids to watch your Kimba series :)


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

ralwus, I loved this cartoon! Glad to hear your's did too!

Sem Pro, I loved The Lion King, also! I also love "Fern Gully". It is definitely timeless! You may enjoy the movie better than the series. The series is pretty simplistic, LOL, but I still love it! :D


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

Sadly, I never new Kimba, but clearly the white lion's priorities are good!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Kimba is probably too modern for me to remember. Thanks for introducing Kimba to me.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 7 years ago from West Virginia

Who says us adults can't watch these just because we like them! I think we should not be penalized because we like children's shows and movies. My kids are having kids of heir own and I still watch them. They do have many important themes running through them no matter how old they are. I love Bambi and have a tear in my eye everytime I see it and his mommy gets killed. Sorry, I have a soft heart for animals. I just wrote a hub about Clarence and Judy you may want to go see. I watched that when I was in 3rd grade and would love for that to come back!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Tom, Maybe this show is why I prefer understanding to fighting :D

ethel, Kimba is a great show! Thanks for reading!

Lady, My kids and I are probably all too old for cartoons, but we still love them and watch them. Don't be sorry about crying for Bambi's mom, I do also! We watch all types of cartoons as a family...it's very much fun!


SEM Pro profile image

SEM Pro 7 years ago from North America

I too cry for Bambi but was totally amazed when I heard the statistics on how drastically it reduced the amount of deer hunting! Bambi's Mom was a martyr who changed millions in the cause for animal awareness :)


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 7 years ago from West Virginia

Sempro, I didn't know that. Thanks for sharing.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

SEM Pro, I had heard something similar, I guess kids all over rebelled against dads killing Bambi's mom. I guess that does make her a martyr!


Lee 6 years ago

Loved, Loved, loved, Kimba the white lion!My favorite show as a kid


k@ri profile image

k@ri 6 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Lee, I couldn't agree more! :D


Sandee 6 years ago

OMG I loved this cartoon as a kid, even named our all white cat after this BUT no one seems to remember it but me! And my 78 year old Mom as she was sick of it as that's all I would ask for to watch.


Susie 6 years ago

I loved Kimba!! I used to walk home from elementary school for lunch and watch Kimba while I ate a grilled cheese. Great memory.


treeratt 5 years ago

I remember watching this show and when I tell people about it they think Im nuts or am I just to old


Scott 5 years ago

Kimba was my favorite cartoon of all time! I'm from Boston & around here it was on just before Speed Racer (my 2nd fav). No one but my sister remembers it but they remember Speed. Guess I just got home from school before the other kids! Way too cool to find some other people that remember it too.


Lise cloutier 5 years ago

It was sooo cool to find this article. It was also my first favorite cartoon and I also wondered, cause no one seemed to remember it.


Shari 5 years ago

Chiming in a little late, but I couldn't resist the chance to share my love for Kimba too! I've asked friends if they remember it and they look at me like I'm having a flashback or something. So happy to hear so many people loved it! I still hum the chorus sometimes... to myself.


Jeffrey F 5 years ago

Thank you so much for this article. I too thought that I dreamed up kimba. No one could remember this cartoon when I mention it. I used to love watching it as a kid and I know it influenced me to be the man I have become. I'm 45 yrs old and I think it was either the late 60's or early 70's when I first saw this cartoon but I cannot really remember. Thank you again for your article it brought back some great memories for me.


NellBell 4 years ago

Kimba was great! When I was 5..... lol I literally just got done watching Jungle Emperor Leo for the first time, I wouldn't let a younger kid watch it. It has an astonishing amount of death lol, and when Leo tells Dr. Moustache to "Eat my flesh and use my skin to keep you warm" (yeah, not verbatum but whatev.)umm.....yeah, a little much, still a pretty good, if odd, movie though.


Neddy 4 years ago

I watched Kimba too, I grew up in Michigan and it was on daily. It was my favorite cartoon. I told everyone about it and nobody seems to remember it, but my sister and I. It's too bad they missed it. I often wonder if the Lion King is a copy???


Trent 4 years ago

Oh My! Kimba was my favorite too. I remember getting up on Saturday mornings at 6:00 by myself and turning the TV on to watch. I was 5 or 6 and no one ever seems to remember the show but me. I thought I was alone until I saw this. Thanks for the memories!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 2 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

You must be pretty wonderful to have been influenced by Kimba...I'm pretty sure love was the theme. :)

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