11 Phrases from The Lion King to Teach Values to Children

Did you know that there are phrases from The Lion King that can be a fantastic tool to teach values to children? Here, we'll share some.
11 Phrases from The Lion King to Teach Values to Children
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 08 February, 2024

Who hasn’t enjoyed the epic and endearing movie The Lion King? Without a doubt, you saw it during your childhood and now with your children, and it’s still one of your favorites. Well, besides being very entertaining, it can also help us to educate children in values. Let’s take a look at some of the phrases from The Lion King that can help us in this task.

If we look closely, we can find some phrases that can help us to think about and learn important values. They help us to reflect and pass on teachings to our children. As Timon and Pumba’s song says, “Hakuna matata!” Let’s take a look at some of these phrases that inspire and help our kids to grow and mature. Don’t miss out!

Write down these phrases from The Lion King to teach values to your little ones

I have to admit that The Lion King is one of my all-time favorite movies, and now it’s also my son’s favorite. Sharing that moment with him while we enjoy quality time together is priceless. And, if he also learns values at the same time, what could be better?

The Lion King tells the story of Simba, who, after the death of his father at the hands of his uncle Scar, decides to run away because he feels responsible for the loss. Simba runs away and leaves behind his mother, Nala, his best friend, and a hornbill named Zazu, his father Mufasa’s majordomo and royal advisor.

After escaping, Simba arrives in a desert area, where he’s found by Timon and Pumba. They protect him and take care of him until he becomes an adult. Later, Nala finds him by chance and tries to convince him to dethrone Scar. After much thought, Simba finds the courage to do so and returns to claim his rightful throne. Throughout the story, there are many phrases that are fantastic tools for educating our children on important values.

1. “It’s important to always look where you’re headed rather than where you were.” -Timon-

This phrase refers to the fact that we must move forward to achieve what we set out to do and always look where we want to go. Keep in mind that we start from the past and that it has given us experiences. However, we must always look forward. Children may not understand this at first, but we can explain it with everyday examples.

2. “You know, kid, in times like this my buddy Timon here says: You got to put your behind in your past. -Pumba-

Of course, in this case, Pumba is misquoting his best pal. What he actually meant to say was, “You got to put your past behind you.”

There are times in life when things don’t go our way. It’s then when we think about the past and how we should have done things differently. However, there’s no point in having regrets. We have to learn from our mistakes instead of focusing on them. Good things will come.

Mufasa and Simba talking in the grass under the night sky.
It’s very important to talk to our children about our fears so that we can analyze them, share them, and, little by little, leave them behind. © Walt Disney Pictures.

3. “You must be mature enough to understand your fears and overcome them.” -Mufasa-

This is a phrase that Mufasa says to his son and heir to the throne, Simba. And although it’s not an easy thing to do, nor can it be achieved overnight, it’s important to be mature enough to understand our fears and face them. We have to teach that to our children. But in what way?

4 “Oh yes, the past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” -Rafiki-

It’s always better to learn from our past rather than run away from it. In this way, it’ll help us grow as people and overcome our mistakes or fears. This phrase from the wise mandrill Rafiki gives us a life lesson that we should always keep in mind to pass on to our children.

5. “Simba, being brave doesn’t mean you go looking for trouble.” -Mufasa-

Mufasa said this phrase to Simba when he was getting into trouble to show his boasting. What he wants to teach the future king is that in order to be brave, you need to know how to act correctly and responsibly at every moment and to face problems in the best possible way without taking unnecessary risks. We must teach our children to be humble, no matter what their circumstances, and that they don’t have to prove themselves to others by doing foolish things.

6. “Friends stick together to the end.” -Timon-

That’s right, friendship is a precious treasure, and we must take care of it. We must tell those dear people how important they are to us and stand by them through thick and thin.

More phrases from The Lion King to teach children about values

7. “Hakuna Matata! It means no worries for the rest of your days.” -Pumba and Timon-

“It’s our problem free philosophy… Hakuna Matata” Who doesn’t remember the lyrics of Timon and Pumba’s song? This catchy tune helps us to reflect on how important it is to live life and enjoy it without letting our worries get the best of us.

Simba, Pumba, and Timon walking across a log in the jungle while singing Hakuna Matata.
When we’re feeling sad, worried, or overwhelmed, we can sing Hakuna Matata with our children. Walt Disney Pictures.

8. “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.” -Mufasa-

We can use this phrase to teach our children several important values. On a practical level, we can address the importance of recycling and not wasting or polluting the resources that nature provides us with. The whole planet coexists in a balance that must be respected in order to live in a healthy environment.

At the same time, we can use this scene to talk to our kids about the importance of respecting and appreciating the differences in others, no matter their color, ethnicity, abilities, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.

9. “Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become.” -Mufasa-

This phrase helps us to look into ourselves and to remember our strengths and potential. In this scene, Mufasa appears to Simba, who has been spending the last years of his life running from his past and from his rightful place on the throne. Mufasa reminds Simba that he is his son and is the king. As parents, we must also remind our children of who they are and all they can become; to move beyond the past and overcome their fears.

10. “Remember who you are…” -Mufasa-

This phrase is said by Mufasa to his son Simba when he’s disoriented and doesn’t know which direction to take. We can say it when our children are in a similar situation so that they realize who they are and how much we love them.

11. “So, when you feel bad, just remember that kings will always be there to guide you, and so will I.” -Mufasa-

This is one of the phrases we can use often with our children. Tell them and show them with your actions that you and your extended family will always be there to guide them, listen to them, and love them, and that in your family, you all take care of one another.

A black family sitting down with a bowl of popcorn to watch a movie.
Plan an afternoon or evening to watch The Lion King as a family and remember all of its valuable life lessons.

Phrases from The Lion King teach important values

As you’ve seen, there are a number of phrases from The Lion King that serve as a fantastic resource to teach our children values. Not only will this movie bring you good times with your family thanks to its beauty and entertainment, but it’ll also teach us to reflect on life and its importance.

Don’t forget to share these phrases with your children to teach them these values and help them to believe in them. Also, teach them to contemplate the past as a learning experience that allows us to be able to act accordingly in the present.

Were you already familiar with these incredible phrases from The Lion King? Which one is your favorite? Perhaps you have another meaningful quote from the movie that’s guided you in your life. Tell us more in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Jordán, M. E. L., & Medina, M. F. G. (2006). Disciplinar con inteligencia emocional: técnicas para enseñar hábitos y valores en los niños. Ediciones Gamma SA.Ayuso García, N. (2013). Literatura Infantil como medio para enseñar valores.
  • Gómez Jaramillo, F. (2007). Creciendo en valores. Editorial San Pablo.
  • Zamora, O. L., Villegas Requena, S. L., Vargas Amézquita, S. L., & Sanguino Gutiérrez, O. (2015). Estrategias didácticas para enseñar valores en el preescolar, para una mejor convivencia (Doctoral dissertation).

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.