|“||Oh, who cares? I should've been the chosen one. I'm the oldest, I'm the strongest, I'm the smartest-- Ooohh! These termites!||„|
|“||This is my moment of glory!||„|
|~ Nuka monologing to himself as he chases after Simba, only instead leading up to his death.|
|“||We told you to stay out of here, hyena!||„|
|~ Nuka voicing his hatred of hyenas towards Jasiri.|
Nuka is the secondary antagonist of Disney's 1998 animated film, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, and a guest character in its 2016 midquel series, The Lion Guard. He is Zira's first son and eldest child, Vitani and Kovu's older brother, and Kiara's brother-in-law.
In a similar manner to Scar and Mufasa, Nuka was jealous, resentful, and acquisitive of his younger brother and his position as heir. He constantly tried to please his mother and carried out what she commanded, along with his sister Vitani. When Nuka snaps the branch Vitani was fighting with, making her fall backwards, Nuka is shown to be laughing, proving him to be extremely cruel, sadistic, unforgiving, and merciless, like his mother, but to a much lesser degree. His egotism could be a defense mechanism to hide his insecurities.
Nuka is a malnourished lion, like the rest of the Outsiders, but appeared to be even more worse for wear than they. He has dusky brown fur and a scraggly black mane as well as an equally scraggly goatee. His eyes are yellow with red irises (like his mother's) and his claws were always present. The borders around his eyes were dark and heart shaped. His whiskers are twisted.
As a teenager, Nuka was regularly plagued by termites.
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride
The film suggests (but does not explicitly state) that Nuka is Scar's son by how resentful he is of Kovu's position as Scar's heir, despite not being related. According to a deleted scene, it was revealed that it Scar's dying wish for Kovu to be the next king, although Nuka believes that as the eldest, he should be king. Conflictingly however, after his death, Zira asks Scar to watch over her Nuka - if he was the son of Scar, it is likely she would have said our Nuka (though when Kovu rescues Kiara, Nala says "your" and not "our").
Nuka served primarily as a comic relief character. An example was when he and Vitani were supposed to light a fire in Kiara's hunting area, he accidentally surrounded himself with fire.
In the middle of the film, Nuka died when a bunch of logs crushed him to death as he tried to climb up on them to go after King Simba to kill him and make Zira proud. After a ceremony in honor of the now-deceased Nuka, Zira turned her attention to Kovu and slashed his eye (thus making him a scar just like Scar) in anger since she blames him for Nuka getting killed. Devastated that his brother is dead, Kovu says he wants nothing more to do with Scar and denies being responsible for Nuka's death and runs away, but Zira just lets him go and tells Vitani and the other Outsiders that Simba has corrupted Kovu and they will attack by force.
The Lion Guard
Nuka along with Zira, Kovu and Vitani, guest stars in the Disney Junior series, The Lion Guard (which takes place in the middle of the second film) in the episode "Lions of the Outlands".
He is first seen pouncing on Jasiri the hyena, telling her to stay away from the watering hole only to bested by Jasiri's friend and Simba's son Kion, implying that he shares his mother's hatred of hyenas. When Zira makes Kion use the Roar of the Elders to create rain, he watches in slight awe and fear. Later Nuka tries to "hunt" Jasiri, only to be humiliated as she easily avoids him. Nuka only shows the confidence to attack Kion again, when he's surrounded by the others in his pride and told Kion can't use the Roar on fellow lions. Once again, Kion easily beats him. He is last scene being blasted out of the Outlands to the termite mounds by Kion's Roar.
- He is the equivalent of both, Banzai and Ed from the first film.
- In Swahili, his name means "smell" or "stink".
- When he dies, Nuka's last words to Zira are "I tried", however there is a deleted scene after that line, where he says "Well, I finally got your attention, didn't I?" whereupon Zira gives a heartwarming smile. This scene was deleted because it would give younger viewers the impression to commit dangerous acts upon themselves to get attention, which would give them wrong ideas to please their parents.
- Nuka's voice actor, Andy Dick later voiced another villain: Boingo in the Hoodwinked! franchise.
- Nuka and Zira were the only two villains who died and were not redeemed.
- In the early stages of The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Nuka was originally going to be a serious villain rather than the comic relief one in the final film.
- It is unclear whether the working name "Nunka" was Nuka's original name. Nunka was supposed to be Scar and Zira's son and was to be voiced by Andy Dick, who ended up voicing Nuka, but it was also a working name for Kovu, as Nunka was supposed to be Kiara's love interest, a role which went to Kovu in the final film. One possibility is that Nunka was split into two characters: Nuka and Kovu.