"Danger? Ha! I laugh in the face of danger. Ha, ha, ha, ha!"
Supportive Love Interest
Niketa Calame (cub) Moira Kelly (adult, films) Gabrielle Union (The Lion Guard) Shahadi Wright Joseph (cub, 2019 film) Beyoncé (adult, 2019 film)
Media of origin:
The Lion King (1994)
Nala is the tritagonist of Disney's The Lion King franchise, serving as the deuteragonist of the Disney animated film The Lion King, a minor character in both its 1998 sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and its 2004 prequel/parallel film The Lion King 1 1/2, and a supporting character in the animated television series The Lion Guard.
Why She Laughs in the Face of Danger
She is extremely similar to Simba, as both start off as mischievous children but become more mature in their adulthood.
Although she doesn't appear as much as Simba does, she is shown to be smarter than him. What's more, she has always been able to pin him, but he has never been able to pin her.
She and Simba were best friends throughout their childhood. However, when Scar lied to the pride that Simba was dead, she was depressed.
When she reunites with Simba as an adult she, along with Rafiki and the spirit of his father, Mufasa, convinces him to return to the Pride Lands and take his place as the rightful king.
In the second film, she is shown to not be so overprotective of Kiara like Simba is. She even tries to make him less protective of her. Additionally, she was more willing to accept Kovu into the Pride Lands than Simba was and even suggested that he get to know him and see. The look on her face when Simba banishes Kovu from the Pride Lands due to him thinking that Kovu led the ambush against him indicates that she doesn't support this decision.
In the Lion Guard episode "The Trail to Udugu", she teaches Kiara and Kion the importance of working together.
Niketa Calame (her cub voice) and Moira Kelly (her adult voice) both do a fantastic job voicing her.
Gabrielle Union also does a good job voicing her in The Lion Guard.
She doesn't get as much focus as she deserves when compared to other characters.
Beyonce does not do a very good performance as her in the 2019 film, some people found it passable, while other people found it nothing special.
Her characterization was derailed in the 2019 remake for various reasons:
In the original film, she's just as reckless and curious as Simba when they were cubs. In the remake, Nala is portrayed to be the more cautious and level-minded of the two, wanting to leave the Elephant Graveyard the moment they found it.
The remake did a rather sloppy job of showcasing the buildup to her reunion with Simba as Nala instantly tries to get Simba to come home rather than be joyful at seeing him alive, the two catching up via "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and then dropping the news of what's happening at home as what happened in the original.
Also, when she and Simba fight in the original, Nala tries to understand Simba and ask him what's going on. In the remake, she barely does so, quickly assuming him not wanting to go back has something to do with "the gorge", tells him off and leaves at the end.