Disney’s Live-Action Simba Was Based on the Cutest Lion Cub Ever!

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The realistic approach towards the animated characters is one of Disney’s main selling points these days. One good thing about the reboots is that we get to see real actors and actresses trying their hardest to mimic their cartoon equivalents. Even I have to admit that Will Smith’s Genie was pretty amazing.

Anyway, back to the lions! Did you know that Disney animators used a real lion cub from the Dallas Zoo, as a model for Simba? Like it or not, these are straight facts!

Have you noticed how natural little Simba’s movements looked in the movie? That’s because the animators used a living, breathing lion cub Bahati as a reference!

 lion cub Bahati | Disney's Live-Action Simba Was Based on the Cutest Lion Cub Ever! | Brain berries

Bahati shares her birthday with St. Patrick’s Day – on March 17, 2017.

Bahati shares her birthday with St. Patrick's Day – on March 17, 2017 | Disney's Live-Action Simba Was Based on the Cutest Lion Cub Ever! | Brain berries

Naturally, she has parents. It’s not like the Dallas Zoo cloned her. So here’s her mommy Lina.

Bahati's mommy Lina | Disney's Live-Action Simba Was Based on the Cutest Lion Cub Ever! | Brain berries
Bahati's mommy | Disney's Live-Action Simba Was Based on the Cutest Lion Cub Ever! | Brain berries

And here’s her daddy – Kamau. Who’s also the pride’s leader.

Bahati's daddy – Kamau | Disney's Live-Action Simba Was Based on the Cutest Lion Cub Ever! | Brain berries

Bahati means “Lucky” in Swahili, so you know at least that one makes sense, because in the last 45 years, Bahati was the only cub to be born in the zoo.

Bahati means “Lucky” in Swahili | Disney's Live-Action Simba Was Based on the Cutest Lion Cub Ever! | Brain berries

The animation team received a video with the tiny lioness and almost every movement was transferred to the digital 3D medium. From licking her own face, to adorable paw action.

Lion King digital 3D medium | Disney's Live-Action Simba Was Based on the Cutest Lion Cub Ever! | Brain berries

A 3D lion won’t look real if hit movements are robotic and outright fake. That’s why a living lion was truly a godsend.

Even though Simba is a male and Bahati is a female, they do share a lot of similarities.

Simba is a male and Bahati is a female | Disney's Live-Action Simba Was Based on the Cutest Lion Cub Ever! | Brain berries

It takes a lot of time to make a 3D animated movie of the Disney caliber, so currently Bahati looks more like Nala, since she’s 2 years old.

Bahati is 2 years old | Disney's Live-Action Simba Was Based on the Cutest Lion Cub Ever! | Brain berries

But she will forever remain the inspiration behind Simba, the Lion King!

Bahati is inspiration behind Simba | Disney's Live-Action Simba Was Based on the Cutest Lion Cub Ever! | Brain berries
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