Timon and Pumba

The Lion King’s Timon & Pumbaa Debuts in Syndication

The bug-chomping buddies Timon, the wise-cracking meerkat, and his good-natured pal Pumbaa, originally crawled into the hearts of audiences in The Lion King. On this day in 1995, the duo debuted in their own TV series, The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa, part of the syndicated package The Disney Afternoon, with new episodes airing Saturdays on CBS. Show writer Kevin D. Campbell told D23, “I worked on a couple seasons of it with Bobs Gannaway and Tony Craig, who had just joined Disney to produce the series. It was mostly made of Timon & Pumbaa 11-minute cartoons, but there were a couple of Rafiki’s Fables and Laughing Hyenas and a pair of Zazu cartoons as well. At the outset, the show was meant to be Around The World with Timon & Pumbaa, and so at the beginning of the series, Bobs and I made a giant list of groaner puns using country names, just to sort of open the doors on how many places we could go. We ended up getting almost all of our titles from that original list. After we’d figured out what funny animal/obstacle situation Timon & Pumbaa would face, we’d scour a handy “Which Animals Live Where” atlas reference book to find where in the world it could take place — then just check the list of country puns and pick accordingly. I’d say a standout piece from Timon & Pumbaa is the cartoon “Bumble In The Jungle”, a dialogue-free musical chase with Timon and Pumbaa pursuing a bumble bee. That short captured everyone’s attention and the whole crew was alive with ideas.”