Inside The Lion King's wildly hilarious Beauty and the Beast reference
Warning: This article contains spoilers about The Lion King. If you haven’t seen the original Disney animated film or the 2019 remake, read on at your own risk!
The remake of The Lion King features plenty of jaw-dropping moments, but one sticks out in particular: that wild reference to Beauty and the Beast.
Disney has been known to drop little callbacks to its past work before (think Pumbaa appearing as a gargoyle in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, or Tangled‘s Rapunzel and Flynn Rider showing up at Elsa’s coronation in Frozen), but they’re usually more blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-type moments.
The scene in The Lion King, however, is almost impossible to miss. It comes near the end of the film, when Nala (voiced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter) and Simba (Donald Glover) need to distract the hyenas so they can get to Pride Rock and confront Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor).
In the original 1994 animated film, meerkat and warthog buddy duo Timon and Pumbaa pretend they’re at a luau, with Timon donning a hula skirt, offering up Pumbaa as a roasted pig for the hungry hyenas, and thus allowing Nala and Simba to sneak by undetected.
In the new version, however, there’s no luau. Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) is still the meal du jour, but instead of singing a song about the hula, Billy Eichner‘s Timon dons a French accent à la Lumière in Beauty and the Beast and says, “Ma chère mademoiselle, we are proud to present… your dinner. Be. Our. Gue — ahhhh!”
Sadly, before he can complete the line from the fan-favorite “Be Our Guest” number, the hyenas chase off Timon and Pumbaa. The scene-stealing moment provides a bit of comic relief before the epic showdown that ends the film, and is just one of many great scenes between the duo.
What did you think of the reference? Sound off in the comments below.