These two Disney beasts who were once proud fathers and leaders of animal groups until the villain killed them and the protagonist succeeded them are ready for quite a wild clash today. Who is worthy for the crown?
Hiro: The wild is a place where you are guaranteed to come across multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia, street name animals.
MBStarscream: There's millions of them all over the planet, and over the years, Disney decided to anthropomorphize lots of 'em for their animated features. Seriously, have ya ever noticed that?
Posters of various Disney movies that have animals as their main characters appear to prove MBStarscream's point.
Hiro: And today, we're taking two examples to answer the question of who would emerge victorious in a hypothetical battle to the death. Mufasa, the original Lion King and late father of King Simba.
MBStarscream: And Kerchak, the original leader of the gorillas and late adoptive father of Tarzan.
Hiro: I'm Hiro Hamada.
MBStarscream: I'm MBStarscream.
Hiro: And it's our job to examine both warriors' strength, abilities, weapons, and weaknesses to see who would win in a fight.
Hiro: In the Pride Lands of Africa, a lion rules over the animal kingdom from Pride Rock, taking their nickname of "King of the Beasts" to a whole new level. Pride Rock has had many kings over the years, with loads of successors rising to take their place.
MBStarscream: But one lion with the voice of Darth Vader stood out with the title of King Mufasa. Born to King Ahadi and Queen Uru, Mufasa was a courageous and powerful lion who ruled over the Pride Lands with his wife and queen, Sarabi.
Hiro: After the birth and presentation of his son, Mufasa began teaching Simba about the Circle of Life, training him to take his place as king when his time came. However, everyone was ecstatic at that presentation was somebody else wasn't.
MBStarscream: That somebody was Mufasa's little brother Scar, who was jealous of Mufasa's rule and the fact that Simba was to be Mufasa's heir instead of him. So he hatched a scheme to overthrow him and rule the kingdom for himself.
Hiro: Scar's first plan to get Simba out of the picture was to trick him and his best friend Nala into adventuring a dry, barren, rocky wasteland called the Elephant Graveyard, located beyond a rise that marks the northern border of the Pride Lands, and was supposedly discovered by the first king. And it just so happened to be the former homeland of Scar's hyena henchmen.
MBStarscream: A quite popular trio of hyenas named Shenzi, Banzai and Ed tried making snacks out of the two cubs, but Mufasa arrived to show him who was boss and just who they were messing with. So since that plan failed, Scar came up with another one while expressing his disappointment in the hyenas' failure.
Hiro: This second plan was to organize the death of both Simba and Mufasa by having the hyenas trigger a stampede of wildebeest to trample Simba in a gorge while Scar would alert Mufasa to Simba's life-threatening position so the heroic king would race to his son's rescue.
MBStarscream: Mufasa was able to save Simba from death, but he couldn't save himself when Scar betrayed him and threw him back into the stampede to his tragic demise. Scar then had the audacity to make Simba believe Mufasa's death was his fault and forced him into exile, even having the hyenas make another attempt to kill him just to ensure his chances of ever returning were nonexistent.
Hiro: With Simba and Mufasa out of the picture, Scar told the pride that the two lions had died in the stampede and stepped forward as the new king allowing a large pack of hyenas to live in the Pride Lands. But his tyranny would eventually come to an end.
MBStarscream: Ever since Simba was rescued by two fellow outcasts named Timon and Pumbaa, he grew up in the jungle with his two new friends, living a carefree life under the motto "Hakuna Matata", or "no worries" in Swahili.
Hiro: Now a young adult, Simba rescued Timon and Pumbaa from a hungry lioness who turns out to be Nala. She and Simba reunited and fell in love, and she urged him to return home, telling him the Pride Lands had become a drought-stricken wasteland under Scar's reign. Feeling guilty over his father's death, Simba stubbornly refused and stormed off.
MBStarscream: He encountered his old shaman Rafiki, who told him that Mufasa's spirit lived on in Simba. Simba was visited by the ghost of Mufasa in the night sky, who told him he must take his rightful place as king. And that's what motivated him to return and make Scar pay for what he had done. Bon appètit, hyenas!
Hiro: As a lion, Mufasa was an apex predator, stalking his prey through the use of stealth, developing a strategy to kill his enemies with the element of surprise. In live combat, Mufasa battled enemies with animalistic aggression, using his strength, size and speed to overwhelm his opponents.
MBStarscream: Mufasa possessed razor sharp claws which are strong enough to cut through flesh, and had incredibly sharp fangs in a pair of jaws that could bite with six hundred pounds per square inch of pressure.
Hiro: Mufasa's physical power is evident throughout the film, as he proves himself to be a skilled fighter and almost unnaturally strong. He was able to take down three hyenas single-handedly, walking away with no noticeable injury, and later managed to haul himself up the side of a vertical cliff, hanging precariously by merely his claws.
MBStarscream: He also showed high levels of durability, being able to shrug off a bites of Shenzi and Banzai while he was fighting them and Ed, as well as being rammed multiple times by numerous wildebeest while trying to rescue Simba.
Hiro: Mufasa was very agile and could run 80km/h maximum in short bursts of speed. He also had a thick mane to protect his neck if an opponent tried to kill him with an attack to that area. But sadly, even the mighty lion king had his fair share of faults to be taken advantage of.
MBStarscream: He never suspected that Scar was so jealous of him to wanna kill him without a moment's hesitation, and ultimately fell for his wildebeest scheme, culminating in his death as his brother's paw. And not to mention, while he was mostly a playful, dignified, loving and understanding guy, he... kinda had a temper on occasion.
We see Mufasa roaring in anger.
MBStarscream: Remind me to never piss off James Earl Jones.
Hiro: And certainly remind yourself that this was a powerful individual in his own right, and there was a reason while he was the Lion King a long time ago.
Mufasa: (Whispering to Simba) Try not to make a sound.
Zazu: What are you telling him, Mufasa? ...Mufasa? Simba?
Simba does a full pounce, leaving Zazu stunned on the ground as Mufasa laughs hard.
Mufasa: That's very good.
Hiro: Once a proud father and loving husband of Kala, Kerchak was the leader of a small troop of gorillas that lived in the uncharted rainforests off the Congolese coast of Africa. As a father, Kerchak spent most of his time bonding with his baby son, maintaining the happiness of his family.
MBStarscream: But one emotional night would change everything. Kerchak and Kala's son started wandering off in pursuit of a red frog while his parents were aslpeep, and ended up serving himself on a silver platter to a bloodthirsty leopardess named Sabor. Kerchak was not a happy gorilla then.
Hiro: The experience of losing his son to Sabor transformed Kerchak into a cold, bitter, sour and grumpy being in demeanor, and he began to view anything outside the gorilla group as a potential threat to the safety of his family. As he mourned the demise of his newborn, Kala heard the cries of an infant baby, and discovered him in an abandoned treehouse... where Sabor happened to have killed the baby's biological parents.
MBStarscream: She managed to escape the killer of her son with the baby in safe hands, and the gorillas got quite a surprise when they saw him. Kerchak was especially quick to voice his opinion on this.
Hiro: Despite Kerchak's disapproval, Kala raised the baby as her new son, and named him Tarzan. Throughout Tarzan's life, Kerchak treated him with disdain and refused to accept him as his son, even telling Kala at one point that he was never be one of them.
MBStarscream: But he finally grew to respect Tarzan somewhat after he protected the gorillas from Sabor and managed to kill the murderous leopard, unknowningly avenging both his parents and Kerchak and Kala's original son in the process. But not long after his heroic victory, he encountered a trio of explorers from England, consisting of Professor Porter, his daughter, Jane, and their hunter-guide Clayton, who were all looking to study-you guessed it-gorillas.
Hiro: After Tarzan managed to rescue Jane from a group of baboons, Jane led him back to the camp, where Porter and Clayton both took great interest in him; the former in terms of scientific progress while the latter hoped to have Tarzan lead him to the gorillas so that he can capture them and return with them to England.
MBStarscream: Despite Kerchak's warnings to be wary of the humans, Tarzan continued to return to the camp, where Porter, Clayton, and Jane educated him on the subject of other humans and society in exchange for access to the gorilla troop.
Hiro: Infuriated by the appearance of humans, Kerchak unleashed a violent attack on the explorers, but Tarzan kept him at bay, giving them time to escape. All of Kerchak's respect for Tarzan went down the drain as he accused him of betraying the gorillas and banished him from the troop.
MBStarscream: After Tarzan departed Africa to live among humanity, Clayton betrayed his trust and had his men imprison him with Jane, Porter and the other captives, leaving for Africa to capture the gorillas afterward.
Hiro: Despite his efforts, the poacher failed to succeed when Kerchak and Tarzan managed to free their family from captivity. When Clayton fired a shot from his gun at Tarzan, Kerchak charged in a fury, but received a fatal shot to the chest, prompting Tarzan to fight Clayton in the trees. After the defeat and death of Clayton, Kerchak apologized to Tarzan for his judgmental and disapproving behavior towards him, and finally accepted him as his son just before he passed away from his injury, leaving Tarzan the new leader of the gorillas.
MBStarscream: Much like a wrestler in his prime, Kerchak heavily relied on brute force, using his strength and size to overpower his enemies, and pulling a series of grapples, tosses and body slams, in addition to strangle holds, choking opponents into submission.
Hiro: Although he possessed an overwhelming offense, Kerchak's defenses left little to be desired. In combat, Kerchak lacked any melee weapons and relied on powerful fists and fanged teeth in violent battles. His huge frame gave him incredible levels of physical strength and endurance.
MBStarscream: While fighting Sabor to defend Tarzan, the troop leader was able to take attacks from Sabor's teeth and claws that cut his flesh and it was clear that it took more than that to permanently put him down. Only Clayton's shotgun has successfully proven to kill Kerchak's kind, but it wasn't until after Tarzan defeated Clayton did Kerchak succumb to his wound. Even damage from other gorillas like Tublat only made him more angry than injured.
Hiro: Kerchak could run at speeds of 25 miles per hour and was able to lift full grown men. Throwing Tarzan aside was no problem, and neither was pinning Clayton to the ground. He also had the skill to outwrestle another gorilla named Tublat. But he does not show particularly high levels in agility in fights. His size and weight prohibit him from battling smaller and more agile foes, which gave Sabor the advantage when he fought her to protect Tarzan.
MBStarscream: But lack of speed and agility was not his only problem. He often appeared to be cold, judgmental, aggressive, stubborn and always jumped to conclusions. Tarzan even noted that he felt threatened by anybody that was different from him.
Hiro: And as we have already established, the bullets of Clayton's shotgun proved deadly enough to take down even the mighty troop leader. But there was still more than reason why everybody didn't call him their leader for nothing.
Tarzan: Kerchak, forgive me.
Kerchak: No. Forgive me, for not understanding that you have always been one of us. Our family will look to you now.
Tarzan: No. Kerchak.
Kerchak: Take care of them, my son. Take care of them.
Mario flips a coin.
Hiro: Well, Kerchak certainly possesses the edge in territory. Can he walk away from the battlefield with the crown of all beasts on his head?
MBStarscream: You know, this entire thing has made me felt as if we just hosted an Animal Face-Off episode. Not that I'm comparing this show to that one or anything. L-Let's just see how this goes and how badly my childhood's gonna be ruined.
An African rainforest
All was tranquil in the African wild. The sun peeked its light through the cloudy sky, beating upon the backs of anybody that was exposed to it. One of these individuals included a large and muscular lion with yellow-gold fur, a beige underbelly, nose and paws, a red mane and red eyes. This powerful carnivore was the King of Pride Rock, Mufasa.
He had been prowling this rainforest for quite some time now, having deciding to choose it as a location to search for his young son Simba, who was, in his majordomo's words, "Up to some of that immaturity of his with his best friend." But that wasn't the reason he was the search for the lion prince. Just over an hour ago, he was still waiting for Simba to return home from his shenanigans with Nala, but with no word from the cub, his concerns increased to the point where he just to personally see for himself why his son was so tardy. He was mentally preparing some words he would saying to his son when he had found him on why he was gone for so long.
The majestic king had also gotten ready for anybody that would undoubtedly seek a confrontation in these wilds, and he was quite right when he was confronted by a certain leopardess, only for Sabor to learn just who he was messing with when a roar that twice as intimidating that anything the leopardess could've done to him made her run like the wind.
But that leopardess wouldn't be the only one to dare confront Mufasa, and nothing would make this guy back down so easily.
Mufasa had just stopped to take a brief breather from all the walking he had done today when he heard the sound of a roar that was just as mighty as his own only a few meters from his right. He turned to that direction just in time to see a gigantic, slender and muscular silverback gorilla smashing a bush into the ground with the incredible strength of his fists, and moving closer to the lion king, his face a mask of pure fury.
The gorilla's mouth was filled with fanged teeth and his fur was black in color. He had a round gray stomach and yellow eyes with mahogany red irises. Mufasa stared with astonishment as Kerchak glared into the lion's widened eyes while breathing in and out threateningly and baring those fangs. Mufasa's composure was then regained when his face hardened and his own teeth were bared.
A sign that the challenge had been accepted, and a fight between two formidable animals would commence on these African lands. And only one of them would get out of it alive.
With another roar, Kerchak tried breaking Mufasa's skull to pieces by bringing his fist down on the lion's cranium, but Mufasa used his superior speed to dodge the attack. Kerchak repeated this offense twice, ending with Mufasa evading certain death each time. Mufasa then surprised Kerchak by lunging himself at his larger opponent. The troop leader had no time to react before Mufasa's paws scratched his face with such speed; Kerchak was blinded by the lion's blurred paws.
Kerchak managed to knock Mufasa away from him with a fist to the chest. Mufasa pounced to repeat his earlier assault, but was knocked to the ground by Kerchak's fists. Flat on his back, Mufasa brought his paws up desperately as Kerchak started pummeling him without mercy while letting out more roars.
Mufasa's claws eventually found Kerchak's chest and drew blood, causing the pained gorilla to back away from his brief victim. He placed his hand on his wound, and when he looked at his palm, he could see red decorated all over it. Kerchak became confused when he saw Mufasa was nowhere to be seen once he was able to focus.
But he wasn't quite focused enough.
More roars of pains tore Kerchak's throat when Mufasa's claws dug into his back while the lion sank his fangs into the back of the gorilla's neck. In rage, Kerchak reached up and managed to grab Mufasa. Swinging both arms, Kerchak was able to throw Mufasa off of him and slam the lion into the ground again. Kerchak grabbed the end of Mufasa's tail before the feline could make his next move, and used his more impressive physical strength to throw his smaller and weaker opponent aside.
Mufasa roared out as Kerchak pounded his chest with a bellow of his own. The furious ape charged, but Mufasa managed to tackle Kerchak to the ground on his back and pin him there underneath his paws. When Mufasa pulled his head upward, a piece of Kerchak's chest dangled from his teeth while the gorilla roared painfully. A desperate punch to the shoulder knocked Mufasa off of Kerchak, giving him the opportunity to get to his feet by the time Mufasa managed to recover from the blow.
Two pairs of eyes burned with hate as the animals that possessed them began circling one another while uttering low snarls. This lasted about four seconds before Mufasa pounced again. But Kerchak had been expecting this attack from his opponent by now, and was able to counter Mufasa's offense with a punch to the nose. Mufasa had no time to unleash another attack before another strike sent the lion's head swaying to the side.
Then another punch was thrown.
And another one.
And another one.
Lifting Mufasa's battered body by both ends, Kerchak opened his wide and his fangs buried themselves into the lion's shoulder. The agonized roar that followed was deafening and echoed through the rainforest. Releasing Mufasa from his jaws, Kerchak then spun around twice before letting go from Mufasa, allowing the lion to roll across the ground.
When Mufasa managed to weakly lift his bruised and bloodied head, he took in the sight of Kerchak marching in his direction. He then faltered and collapsed again. Kerchak was eventually standing right beside his injured and dominated opponent, his dark shadow falling over the tortured lion. Glaring down at Mufasa, Kerchak spoke out. "I will give you one chance and one chance only to say out loud that you will give up trying to fight me. Failure to admit your defeat will make your fate less than pleasant for you. What is it going to be, a surrender, or a death?"
Mufasa's face went hard. Who did this guy think he was trying to make his king submit to him?! This would not be tolerated, and Mufasa wouldn't stand for it. With a growl of anger, Mufasa managed to pounce again. This certainly caught Kerchak by surprise; there was just no way he could still stand on his four paws, let alone fight, after that thrashing he just suffered at the troop leader's hand.
But it didn't stop Mufasa's teeth from biting into Kerchak's face. Both the shock and the force of Mufasa's pounce knocked Kerchak down again. Releasing Kerchak's face, Mufasa started raking his claws on the pinned gorilla's already injured chest, causing even worse bloodshed. Kerchak had just lifted his fist to strike Mufasa when the lion sunk into his teeth into the same area he had just assaulted with as much force as his jaws could muster.
Ribs broke to pieces. Pained roars rang in Mufasa's ears. The lion continued torturing the gorilla with his teeth and claws, all without a midget of mercy. The torture went on for a few more seconds that felt like all eternity before Mufasa finally leaped off the now dead troop leader. All of that blood loss was simple too much for Kerchak's life to battle, and it had no choice but to stop its long journey.
Mufasa continued to look at the motionless corpse until he realized the amount of time he had wasted with this fight. With another obstacle out of his way, Mufasa left Kerchak's bloodied and dead body alone as his search for the lion prince continued.
By this point, he had forgotten his mental script of what to say to his son once he had him in his sights, so he had to come up with another one. Thanks for wasting my time with this fight that I never wanted in the first place... the lion thought with irritation written all over his facial features.
MBStarscream: Now aren't those hyenas the luckiest guys in the world?
Hiro: Both Mufasa and Kerchak have edges of their own in this epic clash of wild beasts. Kerchak is one of the strongest animals in the Disney universe and his physical strength far exceeds that of Mufasa's, giving him plenty of advantages in this battle. But that's where his greatest weakness kicks in.
MBStarscream: As we've already mentioned, Kerchak's lack of mobility limits his combat effectiveness, giving the advantage to enemies that are smaller in size and possess better agility, which was perhaps the biggest edge Mufasa held over his opponent.
Hiro: Mufasa's claws combined with his fangs not only made his weapons more lethal and dangerous than those of Kerchak's, but gave him a larger amount of options to keep the fight going and eventually bring Kerchak down. His kind is naturally more aggressive than Kerchak's, and his pain tolerance allowed him to stay in the game, even against Kerchak's own brute strength.
MBStarscream: He's also shown to be more skilled in combat, since he managed to dominate three hyenas at the same time, while Kerchak was brought down and nearly killed by Sabor until Tarzan intervened. He also had that big mane of his to provide protection against any offense that Kerchak would throw at him.
Hiro: And even then, Kerchak's better strength couldn't really come into use that much. Sure it allowed him to gain the upper hand at first, but Mufasa has shown just as much durability as shown with his rescue of Simba from the wildebeest stampede, where he was struck at least three times and still managed to leap at that cliff and literally scale it. So if attacks of that power only made Mufasa keep going, why should Kerchak's offense by any different from that?
MBStarscream: You could say Kerchak really messed with the wrong Mufasa. Get it? Cuz Mufasa's name means--
Hiro: Mufasa wins.
- Naturally more aggressive
- More lethal weapons and options to eliminate Kerchak
- Smaller and therefore has better speed and agility
- Has shown more impressive combat skills
- Pain tolerance exceeds Kerchak's physical limitations
- Mane could protect his neck from Kerchak's attacks
- Could overall take more punishment and stand up afterwards