Kopa Real? (The Lion King Controversy )

So, after another immense and long discussion on the nature of Kopa, I decided I needed to say a few things about it. Kopa is a character who has become connect with Disney’s The Lion King.

Why? Well in November 1994 Grolier Enterprises, Inc. released a series of books which were a spin off from the original Lion King movie, called Six New Adventures. As you can probably gather, they were six picture/ story books which had new stories, taken from the Lion King universe. All sounds very happy. But these books conclude that the cub born at the end of the first movie, was a boy called Kopa. And Kopa is at the centre of many of the stories in the books. However, when the second movie (Simba’s Pride) kicks off, the cub born, Simba and Nala’s ONLY cub is a girl called Kiara.

These inconsistances has lead to some conspiracy theories that Kopa was killed or he went rogue and left the Pride. The inconsistances which occured with the crossover in animation between TLK and SP, has also broken any sense of continuance that was intended. For example, the end of TLK the cub is ‘shown’ at dusk, at the start of SP the cub is ‘shown’ at dawn. These inconsistances, are what have lead people to believe that there was a passing of considerable time between TLK and SP. So another cub could exist.

Why the controversy? Well a lot of Pride Landers (including myself) do not accept Kopa as part of TLK saga. Mostly because these additional characters (Kopa) were created by individual authors and were not actually produced by Walt Disney. Also, the Six New Adventures series WAS NOT sold outside of America. The reasoning behind this, is because the company that made the books were not believed to sell the trademarks outside the USA.

This is where it gets complicated.

The suspected process of the books were this, some stories were outlined by a group of authors. Grolier, the company making the books, contacted Disney to get permission to use a variety of trademarks, including characters, logos, etc. Disney would have green-lighted that Grolier could use so many trademarks. And because of this, and the rules, to get a character they could fully shape, Grolier and the authors decided to create an original character, called Kopa. They had more freedom of the stories including Kopa, and could get the storylines the wanted, whereas there would have been stricter regulations if it was cub Simba the stories where about. One of the rules on allowing a company to use some trademarks is that the agreement would be purely domestic, which means that the books could not be marketed anywhere outside the US.

This means that whilst Disney gave Grolier permission to use a number of trademarks, the actual stories were not authorised by Disney. It sounds strange, and more than a little muddy. But the stories themselves were not created by Disney, and have been denied as part of the saga by the makers of both TLK and SP movies. This leads you to believe that Kopa is not a recognised character, and therefore is non-canon, as he has no direct relation to the original material.

The inconsistency in animation are still there between TLK and SP, but this is more because of the change in budget and the people working on the films. To say that another cub had been born, had all these adventures, and just vanished makes no sense. So sorry. Kopa is a non-starter as far as I’m concerned.

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