Scar is the main antagonist of Disney's 2019 photorealistic computer-animated film The Lion King, a remake of Disney's 1994 traditionally animated classic film of the same name, and will return in some capacity in its upcoming 2024 prequel/sequel Mufasa: The Lion King. He is based off his original incarnation of the same name.
While his original incarnation is one of Disney's most well-received villains, he was sadly ruined in the 2019 remake.
Why This Version of Him Is (Intentionally?) Not Leaping for Joy
- He is stripped of his sarcastic and sly attitude he had in the 1994 film, and thus he is now miserable and gloomy, as well as blatantly bitter and dismissive towards everyone around him; as a result, he now comes off as unlikable and boring from the start.
- He suffers the most from the realistic animation approach which completely removes the ability to squash and stretches his facial proportions to convey his sinister nature. Thus, he ends up looking like just an ordinary lion with brown fur and a slight scar that isn't intimidating at all.
- Chiwetel Ejiofor's voice for Scar is shockingly very atrocious to hear, as he does not sound at the very slightest on how passable Jeremy Irons's voice performance in the original movie was. Some also enjoy the film's more twisted and impulsive take, while others missed the more witty and sarcastic smooth operator from the original film. What's also worse is that he expressed interest in reprising his role, but was seemingly never contacted by Disney to reprise his role.
- His delivery of the famous line "Long live the king!" when he says it out loud instead of whispering it to Mufasa is rather angry, over-the-top, and bland compared to in the original, where it is actually menacing and scary.
- Not only that, but his famous line "it's to die for" has been changed to "it's a gift [Mufasa will] never forget" line. The replacement line is practically nonsensical, how is Mufasa supposed to "never forget" the "gift" if Scar was going to kill him for Pride Rock?
- His song "Be Prepared" is visually inferior to the original, as it is simply just him climbing to the top of a cliff, especially with the realistic animation that is photo-realistic.
- The way that he killed Mufasa is not only shockingly worse than the original but also one of the most shockingly laughable moments. It looks like he slaps Mufasa on the face with his paw, leaving a gash over his eye, instead of brutally tossing him off the cliff.
- The scene where he wants Sarabi to be his queen is also weak and inferior to the deleted scene in the original not to mention that Sarabi is his sister-in-law.
- For some reason, he sends Zazu to get the pride after convincing him that Zazu will help Simba and Mufasa, yet he later convinces the pride that Zazu didn't reach the gorge in time to help Simba and Mufasa. Given that Zazu still visited the pride at Pride Rock to relay information, it is unclear why Zazu didn't realize this and revealed to the pride that he was lying.
- He made Zazu a punching-bag by having the hyenas try to eat him the longer he stays at Pride Rock after he fired him which makes him mean-spirited. While his original counterpart did made Zazu his prisoner, he doesn't get repetitive with tormenting Zazu that much just to eat him alive.
- His relationship with Simba has been changed, and most agree it's for the worst. It makes the betrayal lose its impact, due to the playful relationship being completely removed.
- One of his first lines, "As you know..." is quite clitćhed and generic. It can also be seen as a bad fourth-wall joke.
- He can be considered a plot device due to all of the reasons mentioned above.
(Intentional?) Redeeming Qualities
- He was a much better character in the original film and most of its subsequent installments.
- His death manages to not only be very faithful to the original but also manages to be much more terrifying than the original version since he fights the hyenas back before being slaughtered and delivers a terrifying scream before dying.
- Despite being different from his animated version, he still has many of the same traits.
- He's much more of a fighter here in this remake:
- Unlike his original counterpart, Scar did physically challenge Mufasa for the throne and it's heavily implied that his iconic scar is the result of their last conflict.
- Though still a horrible ruler, he is not as lazy as before, personally hunting alongside the hyenas. A new moment in the story has him almost foiling Nala's attempt to sneak out of the Pride Lands to find Simba.
- Also, unlike his original counterpart, Scar goes down with a fight against the hyenas as opposed to begging them for mercy.
- It is possible that this version of Scar is made to be hated.