"...A poor, confused hyena, who does not understand that defiance has consequences. Please...explain to him. Clearly."
~ Banagi

Banagi is both the leader of the hyenas (despite being male) and the main antagonist in both King of the Jungle and King of the Beasts, the two early versions of Disney's The Lion King. In both, he was the mastermind behind Scar's pursuit of the throne. His lieutenant is Baasho.

King of the Jungle

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King of the Beasts

He is first seen with Baasho debating as to whether or not to keep an insubordinate hyena in the pack, and then save Simba from a warthog. When Simba's father Mufasa arrives, Banagi demands the debt for saving the prince's life. The debt is paid by a Kudu carcass. Mufasa then fights a rogue lion named Scar, who tried to steal the carcass. Impressed by the rogue's strength, Banagi plots to use Scar to kill Mufasa. That night, when Scar comes into the hyena's teritorry, Banagi attempts to persuade him to become allies with the hyenas. At first, Scar is not interested, but when Banagi shows him how many hyenas he has, Scar changes his mind.

The next day, Baasho tricks Mufasa into fighting Scar by pretending that Scar has captured Banagi. After Scar kills Mufasa, Banagi orders some hyenas, including Baasho, to attack Simba and not to return without his tail, but Baasho fails to kill the prince. While Scar is the king, Banagi is not pleased that Scar is spending so much time with Nala and plots to kill her. But as Nala begins to run away, having been warned by Daabi, the Aardvark, the hyenas proceed to chase her, but she escapes. While Nala is telling Scar of another lion who wants to fight him, Scar tells Banagi not to interfere with the fight. After escorting Nala back to Pride Rock, he, the other hyenas, and Zazu watch the fight, defying Scar's orders. After Simba defeats Scar, Banagi fights Simba but is defeated. The other hyenas decide not to fight Simba and instead bow down to him.


  • It is possible that Banagi was the inspiration for Janja, an antagonist in The Lion Guard, who like Banagi is a male hyena who leads his clan.