The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (later retitled The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride) is a 1998 American animated direct-to-video romantic musical film and a sequel to Disney's 1994 animated feature film, The Lion King. The story takes place in a kingdom of lions in Africa and was influenced by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. According to co-director Darrell Rooney, the final draft gradually became a variation of Romeo and Juliet. Produced by Walt Disney Video Premiere and Walt Disney Animation Australia and released on October 27, 1998, the film centers on Simba and Nala's daughter Kiara, who falls in love with Kovu, a male rogue lion from a banished pride that was once loyal to Simba's evil uncle, Scar. Separated by Simba's prejudice against the banished pride and a vindictive plot planned by Kovu's mother Zira, Kiara and Kovu struggle to unite their estranged prides and be together. Most of the original cast returned to their roles from the first film with a few exceptions. Rowan Atkinson, who voiced Zazu in the first film, was replaced by Edward Hibbert for both this film and The Lion King 1½. Jeremy Irons, who voiced Scar in the first film, was replaced by Jim Cummings.
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