Mufasa, also known as King Mufasa, is a lion in the 1994 animated feature film The Lion King. He is Simba's father, Sarabi's husband, and Scar's older brother. He is also the grandfather of Kiara and the father-in-law of Nala. After his death, he currently serves as a member of the High Council.
Mufasa was the first son and heir of King Ahadi and Queen Uru, as evidenced in a set of prequel books released after the success of The Lion King.
In A Tale of Two Brothers, Scar tried to make a fool out of Mufasa when he was young (see more at Scar's Backstory). The storybook Friends in Need reveals how he met Zazu, his trusted hornbill "majordomo": he saved the bird when he was caught by none other than the three hyenas Shenzi, Banzai and Ed in the elephant graveyard. However, this conflicts with another book How True, Zazu?, in which Zazu becomes steward to the king after Zazu's mother, Zuzu, retires.
A huge, powerful male lion, Mufasa is the King of the Pride Lands at the start of the The Lion King, father of Simba, and mate of Sarabi. He is shown to be a wise and fair ruler, who follows the "Circle of Life". However, his brother Scar is jealous of Mufasa's position as king and forms a plan to kill Mufasa and Simba, who is Mufasa's heir, so he can be king. Mufasa is ultimately portrayed as an "ideal king", strong, powerful, and kind-hearted, which is contrasted to the deceitfulness and lust for power of Scar.
Later, Mufasa takes Simba through the kingdom, teaching Simba about the responsibilities that Simba will have as King. He notes that everything they see is part of the kingdom, with the exception of the Elephant Graveyard, which Mufasa explicitly forbids Simba from going to. However, during their talk, Mufasa is called away to deal with hyenas in the Pride Lands.
Meanwhile, Simba travels to the Elephant Graveyard, after being manipulated by Scar, not knowing it's a plot by Scar to kill him. Scar's first attempt to kill Simba through the hyenas is foiled when Mufasa, who had summoned by Zazu, rescues him. Afterward, Mufasa scolds his son for disobeying him. He then takes time to teach Simba about the Great Kings, who will guide him. Meanwhile, Scar, angered by the failure of his plot, makes a plan to kill both Simba and Mufasa with the help of the hyenas.
Mufasa is seen the next day, pointing out to Zazu a migration of a wildebeest herd that is said to be unusual. Scar appears and reveals that Simba is trapped in a gorge with the wildebeest, and Mufasa rushes to rescue Simba, not knowing it's part of Scar's plot. Mufasa successfully saves Simba, but struggles to climb up a cliff to safety. Scar, waiting for him at the top, pierces Mufasa's paws with his claws, pretending to help Mufasa. But Scar lets go after saying, "Long live the king". Mufasa falls off the cliff, and dies as a result. Simba is manipulated by Scar into believing that he caused Mufasa's death, and runs away from the Pride Lands.
Several years later, Mufasa appears as a ghost. Rafiki, having discovered Simba's survival, finds Simba in an attempt to convince the now adult lion to return to the Pride Lands. Rafiki takes Simba to a small, magical pool which brings upon Mufasa's ghost, up in the sky. Mufusa tells Simba that as his son and rightful heir, Simba must remember who he is and return to the Pride Lands. This encourages Simba to return to his homeland, where he defeats Scar and takes his rightful place as king. In the final scene of the film, Mufasa (again in the clouds) says, "Remember" as Simba stands triumphantly on Pride Rock to claim the throne.
Mufasa has a few brief appearances like a spirit in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. He's also alluded to throughout the film, as many of Simba's actions through the film revolve around trying to live up to Mufasa's legacy.
Mufasa first appears as an image in the sky again overlooking the presentation ceremony of his granddaughter Kiara.
He later makes an indirect appearance, communicating with Rafiki. Mufasa reveals his plan to bring the Outsiders and Pride Landers back together through Kiara and Kovu, an Outsider who is Scar's chosen heir, by having them fall in love with each other.
His next appearance is in Simba's nightmare, where he is seen again clinging to the cliff right before his death. Simba tries to save him but is stopped by Scar, who morphs into Kovu.
Once this plan has been achieved, he congratulates Simba as he, Nala, Kovu, and Kiara stand on Pride Rock ("Well done, my son. We are one!").
In the 2004 direct-to-video interquel The Lion King 1½, Mufasa is seen in three scenes: At the presentation of Simba, in the Elephant's graveyard on the way to save his son and Nala from the hyenas, and when his ghost is forming from the clouds above the grasslands at night. Unlike the first two films, he doesn't speak any lines, instead, he just roars.
Role in the series
Mufasa reprises his role from the series, and is now a member of the High Council of Heroes, and also now a giant cloud ghost.