Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, are major antagonists in Disney's The Lion King franchise.
Why They Are Amazing Trios
- They are three of the most iconic villain henchmen (or animals) ever created by Disney.
- Shenzi's the leader of the hyena clan, Banzai's the big strong member of the trio, and Ed's crazy awesome.
- Each of the three have their own traits which makes them fun and likable villains:
- Shenzi is the only female member of the trio. She is very confident, intelligent, manipulative and constantly scheming. This makes her the matriarch of the trio (and probably the entire clan), former second-in-command of Scar.
- Banzai is the greediest of the three, frequently making references to hunger, and asking for food. He also speaks and acts without thinking, complaining when the Pride Lands lacks food under Scar's rule. He even quietly remarks to his friends that Mufasa was a better king than Scar, showing his audacity.
- Ed is the comedic member of the trio; he hardly speaks and converses entirely through obnoxious chuckling and sports a permanently foolish grin. His laugh is just hysterical.
- The hyenas first appear in the Elephant Graveyard which Simba and Nala venture into. The hyenas, secretly under the orders of Simba's uncle Scar, chase the cubs in an attempt to kill them, but fail and they get their butts kicked by Mufasa.
- They help Scar carry out his plan to kill Mufasa by triggering a wildebeest stampede.
- They have couple funny moments, like when Banzai, Shenzi and Ed are trying to stop themselves from landing into thorny bushes, Banzai ends up falling into it and Shenzi and Ed laugh at him while he's covered in thorns.
- These guys have had a rough life, considering they have to deal with starvation, and didn't realize Scar was actually using them for his plan.
- They may look silly on the outside, but on the inside, they're capable of being independent. After Scar tried to sell them out to Simba, the Hyena Clan, including these three, gets back at him for all the years of torture, and devour him alive.
- Their voice actors/actresses give amazing performances as the hyenas, especially Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin.
- The three hyenas made occasional appearances in the TV series The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa. While still as vicious and threatening as they are in the movie, the hyenas become more neutral as the show progresses.
- They didn't get too much personality depth.
- They were absent in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.
- They have very few screen time in The Lion King 1 1/2 despite being the main antagonists.
- They lose most of their charms in the 2019 remake, as they changed from being comedic villainous sidekicks to mostly serious, dark, and more threatening figures. Ed is renamed “Azizi” while Banzai is renamed “Kamari”.
- Kamari and Azizi are nowhere near as expressive and have less personality than Banzai and Ed did, while Shenzi is portrayed as a serious leader and doesn't have any trace of the comical side of her original.
- Shenzi, Banzai and Ed are the movie's equivalent of Fortinbras.
- Being the leader of the trio and entire clan, Shenzi is realistically portrayed as a female; in real life, hyena clans are lead by the females.
- Ed is shown to have notches in his ears; it is actually common for hyenas to receive notches in their ears due to frequent fighting.
- Originally, Shenzi would be a male hyena and not a female hyena, and his voice actor would be Tommy Chong, a voice actor that is friend of Banzai's voice actor, Cheech Marin. Ernie Sabella, Pumbaa's voice actor, auditioned for Shenzi before he was given the role of Pumbaa.
- In some ways, just like Zazu pointed out, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed were on their own right when they threatened Simba, Nala and Zazu in the Elephant Graveyard for trespassing their territory much like how they were prohibited from entering into the Pride Lands, not to say that Simba worsened the situation by insulting them thanks to Zazu's previous comments.
- Ed is the only non-speaking hyena. Curiously, Jim Cummings, his voice actor, voiced Scar in the final moments of Be Prepared and in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.