Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Meet the new face of horror: The Lion King's Pumbaa

Screenshot: The Lion King

You probably never thought that Pumbaa—master of “Hakuna Matata” and lover of all things buggy—could manifest as anything short of precious or lovable. And that’s, perhaps, why so many are melting down over a new image of the lovable warthog as he’ll look in the “live action” version of The Lion King coming out in July. A whole slew of photos from the film just dropped, but all anyone’s talking about is Pumbaa’s resemblance to a certain satanic goat, one you might have seen in Robert Eggers’ The Witch. Dear reader, they might have a point.


It’s gotta be the slight smile and the dead-yet-knowing look in his eyes, right? And the close-up. And the horns. And, yeah.

While Pumbaa likely isn’t going to bust out a line as horrifyingly seductive as, “Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?” or go all Dark Lord a la Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, horned beasts are often depicted as evil. But put the stigma aside, people—the new Pumbaa might not be the nicest-smelling animal at the watering hole, but he’s still voiced by Seth Rogen. He’s also, ya know, just a warthog.


So you learned something new today: what real warthogs look like. No one is telling you not to be afraid of him, but if you still can’t get that satanic goat out of your head, imagine them singing a mean rendition of “The Hula Song” together. It might make you crack a smile.


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About the author

Alani Vargas

Alani Vargas is an entertainment writer and A.V. Club contributor. Her work also appears on Showbiz Cheat Sheet, INSIDER, Bustle, Refinery29, and Elite Daily.