Scar also has some notable parallels with Simba. Young Simba has a SONG dedicated to him proclaiming that when he's King he doesn't have to listen to anybody and "can do whatever I want". Later in the film Scar proclaims, "I'm the King! I can do whatever I want"
Mufasa. Noble, courageous king and loving father... or pompous Jerkass who threw his weight around to bully his little brother, was letting a bunch of hyenas starve for no reason, and who was raising his son to be as big a douche as he was?
The hyenas. Nazis, or the oppressed underdogs just looking for food? Their apparent poverty and Scar's manipulation of it is just another eerie parallel to the Third Reich and the duped German population. Also, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed - friends, or family?
Zazu. Mufasa's loyal advisor and careful supervisor of Simba during his childhood... or just the comical sidekick of both?
Timon and Pumbaa. Loveable slackers who save Simba's life and help him deal with his trauma, or two feckless wasters who encourage a vulnerable young boy to hide from his problems and responsibilities so he can stick around as their bodyguard?
Most of these aren't really alternate interpretations; the main cast of the film are just pretty well-rounded characters (for Disney). The heroes have some flaws, the villains some virtues. It is therefore unlikely that the writers didn't intend to say that Mufasa's a little arrogant, Scar's quite sympathetic at points, and Zazu has a little more to him than being a comedy Butt Monkey.
As for Timon and Pumbaa, they're just outcasts simply because they were a klutzy screwup and a guy with farting problems, respectively. Timon and Pumbaa go by the philosophy of "If your life used to suck, just move on and be merry". They probably thought Simba went through the same sort of thing. They had no idea he was a young prince with responsibilities. Simba, being mentally scarred by his father's death and having been manipulated by Scar took their philosophy, and abused it to the point of shirking his responsibilities. Plus, a little bit of what Timon and Pumbaa had to offer was probably good for Simba at the time, considering before they found him he was a little kid drowning in guilt to the point of nearly letting himself die.
It's not a good idea to mention you don't like Scar.
Speaking of Scar, it's generally not a good idea to ask whether or not his real name is "Taka" (like the tie-in books say) or if his name really is just "Scar".
Nala, just Nala. Especially on the subject of who her father is.
Kovu, for that matter. Is he Scar's son like the original plan was? Is he some random lion Scar adopted as his heir? Or was he just a cub Zira took in and brainwashed into thinking he was Scar's son for her own personal gain? No two fans will fully agree on the answer.
Timon and Pumbaa. Not just the characters, but the show itself. Funny comic relief characters or annoying jerks who nearly caused Simba to lose all sense of responsibility? A fun Saturday Morning Cartoon with its own charm or a poorly-made series created to cash in on a superior film?
The film itself. Especially if you mention that it's overhyped.
The sequels certainly fall under this. It's generally not a good idea to ask whether or not the sequels are any good. You might get a pass for liking Simba's Pride, but there will definitely be some backlash for mentioning The Lion King 1 1/2 at all.
Kopa. Simba's son from the tie-in stories. Is he canon to the films or not? Fans will never fully agree.
The books themselves. Some say they're canon to the films. Others claim that they are not connected in any way except with the names of the characters.
Narm Charm: Some viewers thought the images of Mufasa in the sky were just ridiculously cheesy and goofy, especially in the sequel; others got a bit choked up, considering what a Tear Jerker both his death in the first film and his benediction to Simba when he took the throne were.
Older Than They Think: There are two lion brothers. One's the king, and his brother, resentful of him, manages to get him out of the throne, so he can claim it himself. After he does, things go downhill, making everyone hate him. Sound familiar?
So Cool Its Awesome: The film is widely considered to be not only one of Disney's best animated features, but one of the greatest animated films ever made.
In Kimba, Claw is a rogue lion who wants to be king with two hyena minions, but is continually beaten down by Kimba after he attempts to take over the jungle when Hamegg kills Caesar. In The Lion King, Scar is Mufasa's treacherous brother with three named hyena minions and hundreds more nameless ones, so he hatches a plan to become king by organizing the death of Mufasa and Simba. He succeeds at killing Mufasa and scaring Simba away, and is a far more effective villain than Claw was. In addition, the hyenas in The Lion King were originally planned as African Wild Dogs - they were presumably changed either because African wild dogs aren't as well known as hyenas, or simply because hyenas look more "evil".
In The Lion King, the circle of life is used to get around Carnivore Confusion. In Kimba, Kimba decrees that the animals should only eat insects and plants and live in peace with each other; however, this causes quite a few problems, and Kimba has to learn the hard way that Caesar was right about the animals.
The Lion King is about Simba accepting his responsibility as king in the archetypal Hero's Journey; Kimba deals with the titular character learning how to use his responsibility wisely after he's become a young king. Another key difference is that Simba is kind of a prick when he's a little kid, and Kimba is The Wise Prince.
In Kimba, both of Kimba's parents are dead and he more immediately becomes king. In The Lion King, only his father is killed, and he blames himself for it, running away from his responsibility. His mother, Sarabi, lives to see his coronation.
Oh, and despite being Dueling Shows, both are quite good on their own merits. It's best to think of the situation as being more like how The Magnificent Seven borrowed from The Seven Samurai, even though The Magnificent Seven was more of a direct lift of The Seven Samurai than The Lion King was of Kimba.
For what it's worth, the film may have originally been planned as a Kimba remake - however, because the rights to Kimba are entangled with multiple companies, including NBC (as with many anime that have been dubbed - that's why Jump Ultimate Stars can't make it to US shores, due to the dubbing rights being split among Viz, FUNimation and 4Kids, among others), it simply wasn't possible to get the rights. Regardless, production was far enough along that it was likely too late to change things aside from the names and Simba's fur color - in addition, the film's development had a lot of cut characters who didn't correspond to Kimba's cast. As a matter of fact, there are still two characters in The Lion King who bare no resemblance to anyone in Kimba - Timon and Pumbaa.
Woolseyism: In the Spanish release of the film. In the scene where Banzai is kicked in the ribcage by Shenzie before he pronounces the name of Mufasa again. In the original English dub, he says "¿Qué pasa?", a Spanish line that means "What's up?". In the Spanish dub, the line was dubbed as "¿Cón mostaza?" which means "With mustard?". This was likely done because of phonetic similarities.
Likewise in the German dub he says "Mit Wasser?" which sounds pretty similar to "Qué pasa".
Alas, Poor Villain: Doubles as a Tear Jerker, you can't help it when Nuka goes after Simba on the dam, whilst proclaiming "I'll do it for YOU MOTHER! -- I'll do it for you.. And I'll do it for me!", and he inadvertently gets dislodged, falls and manages to ask Zira "I'm sorry mother... I... tried..." causing Zira to go from What Have I Done to Never My Fault under three seconds flat.
Even more so in the deleted extended version where Nuka actually asks with his last breath if Zira is finally proud of him.
Broken Base: To some, The Lion King II is a great extension of the series. To others, it's clunky and plothole-ridden.
Canon Sue: Apparently, several years of more-or-less constant mental conditioning doesn't count for much when Kiara does her schpiel...
Darker and Edgier: Even in comparison to the first movie, the sequel is arguably much more intense. The villain of this one is motivated primarily by spitefulness, whereas at least Scar had the semi-pragmatic motive of greed. Zira's Villain Song is almost entirely about how much she Loves the Sound of Screaming, and said song is considerably more vicious than Scar's Villain Song. In general, the very style of this movie is arguably much darker than the first movie, like during the fire scene, wherein we see Kiara surrounded by flames, coughing from the smoke, and collapsing from exhaustion, or during Zira's first attack, when Simba is being mercilessly mauled by several other lions, and then there is "He Is Not One Of Us" where the pridelanders are all announcing their intense hatred for Kovu, who is not even guilty of what they are all accusing him of in the first place.
A lot of people really liked adolescent Simba, especially in the Furry Fandom. (Not the way you're thinking. Most of them.)
Fanon: Many speculate that Sarafina is the lioness who tells Kiara, "My, how you've grown!" at one point in the movie. This is otherwise unconfirmed, however.
There's an extremely common fan theory that Zira's banishment was due to murdering Simba and Nala's firstborn cub, Kopa, who appeared in the Six New Adventures books (whose canon is disputed rather heavily). While this has never been confirmed, it would explain Simba being so (over)protective of Kiara...
Fridge Logic: Practically the entire premise of Simba’s Pride.
Where was Zira during the first movie? Or all the other lionesses that would become Outlanders?
For that matter would any lioness (let alone roughly half of them) approve of Scar, who forced them to hunt for his hyena buddies, rendered the Pride Lands barren, and had doomed them to all die of starvation?
Why doesn’t anyone bring up the fact that it was Scar who killed Mufasa and started the whole mess? Or the fact that it was actually the hyenas who killed Scar after he tried to sell them out?
If Zira loved Scar so much, why did she have her first two children with him but mated with another lion that resulted in Kovu?
Why would Scar approve of Kovu, an unrelated cub, to be his successor? If Nuka wasn't good enough, why not try having another male cub of his own?
Kovu is the same age as Kiara, who was born awhile after Simba became king. Yet Zira talks about how Scar had specifically selected Kovu to be his successor.
With how much Zira wanted Kovu to be like Scar, one would think she would approve of Kovu committing fratricide.
Hilarious in Hindsight: Simba's Pride and Mulan came out the same year (1998) and in each there's a moment where Kiara and Mulan are not being listened to:
Kiara: Will someone just listen to me?
Timon: I'm sorry, I wasn't listening. Did you say something, princess?
Mulan: (to Mushu) No one will listen.
Mushu: I'm sorry, did you say something?
LiquidSnake is the one singing about how family is awesome in "We Are One".
Ho Yay: The aforementioned Timon and Pumbaa, perhaps even more so with the knowledge that "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" was originally supposed to be a duet between them. They particularly stand out because, despite being very popular characters that have shown up in a variety of situations, they've been uniquely spared of any last-minute Distaff Counterpart hook-up in traditional Disney fashion to dispute these claims.
Iron Woobie: Both Timon and Pumbaa. In Pumbaa's case, we already know he wasn't well-liked by the other animals because of his "problems" but he still looks on the world in an optimistic way and is usually cheerful and kind-hearted, up until someone calls him a "pig", which will make him cut loose. In Timon's case, we didn't really see him as a woobie until 1½, there it shows he wasn't really popular either in his former colony. Still, his desire to find a place where he's accepted for who he is makes him the Determinator.
Jerkass Woobie: Timon. If there was any doubt about his Jerk with a Heart of Gold status in the first film, his heartwarming-yet-grumpy efforts at parenting in this sequel cement it. And although Timon causes all of his own problems via his complete lack of meerkat instincts coupled with his ego, his desperation to find a dream home where he can be himself and be liked for it slides him into Woobieville.
In the same vein as Demona, Zira COULD be this, if you believe her Freudian Excuse and pity her enough for it.
Nuka. Just as cruel and remorseless as his mother? Yes. An attention-starved Momma's Boy? Also yes.
From the growing-up montage in 1 1/2, once you realize it must have been referring to the stampede sequence and Mufasa's death:
Simba: I...I had a bad dream.
The Woobie: Kovu, particularly after his Heel Face Turn, when both the Pridelanders and Outlanders distrust and exile him. Kiara and Kovu both arguably qualify as this, what with their respective parents' resentment towards their respective lovers, but Kovu especially. At least Kiara was a bit more respected within her own family, even if it didn't show.
That One Level: The console game features a waterfall in the 'Hakuna Matata' level that is a real pain in the butt to climb. There's also the very annoying puzzles with the monkeys in level 2 and the tricky ostrich rides between them.