Log Out | Member Center



Fun facts about the ‘Lion King’ stage production

  • Published Saturday, Sep. 1, 2012, at 3:35 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, Sep. 1, 2012, at 4:24 p.m.


•  Director and designer Julie Taymor, along with designer Michael Curry, hand-sculpted and painted every prototype mask that now appears in the “Circle of Life” opening of the show.

•  Their department of mask-makers, sculptors, puppeteers and artisans spent 17,000 hours to build the anthropomorphic animal characters for the original Broadway production.

•  Mufasa’s mask weighs 11 ounces. Scar’s mask weighs 7 ounces, and Sarabi’s mask is 4 ounces.

•  The masks, along with many others used in the show, are extremely lightweight (just under 1 pound) and are made of silicone rubber (to form the mask imprint) with carbon fiber overlay, the same durable material used to build airplanes.

•  More than 750 pounds of silicone rubber were used to make the masks.

•  The tallest animals in the show are the four 18-foot exotic giraffes from “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.” The two giraffes in “Circle of Life” are 14 feet high. Two actors, trained in stilt-walking, climb 6-foot ladders to fit inside the puppets, mount stilts and enter stage left to cross the stage.

•  The elephant is the largest and longest animal in the show. At 13 feet long and 9 feet wide, the puppet requires four actors to carefully walk her down the orchestra aisle. The puppet can collapse for storage.

•  The smallest animal is the 5-inch trick mouse at the end of Scar’s cane.

•  The Timon meerkat puppet weighs 15 pounds.


•  Pumbaa the Warthog is the heaviest costume at 45 pounds.

•  The yearly maintenance of the 20 Grasslands headdresses requires more than 3,000 stalks of grass.

•  Each ensemble member plays a hyena and a Grassland head.

By the numbers

•  Puppets: 200

•  Ants on the Ant-Hill Lady costume: 100

•  Wigs: 45

•  Types of animals, birds, fish and insects represented in the show: 25

•  Indigenous African languages spoken in the show: six (Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana and Congolese)

•  On tour, there are 134 people involved with the show’s daily production. Among them:

19 wardrobe staff

18 musicians

11 carpenters

10 electricians

Five hair/makeup artists

Four props people

Four stage managers

Three puppet craftspeople

Three sound people

Two creative associates

Two company managers

Two merchandise associates

One child guardian

One physical therapist

Source: Disney

Subscribe to our newsletters

The Wichita Eagle welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views. Please see our commenting policy for more information.

Have a news tip? You can send it to wenews@wichitaeagle.com.

Search for a job


Top jobs