The Hyena Clan are supporting antagonists of Disney's 32nd full-length animated feature film The Lion King, and its 2019 CGI remake of the same name. They are led by Scar until the end of the film. They also appeared as secondary antagonists in The Lion King 1 ½. The clan consists of well over 200 hyenas.
The hyenas were mainly perceived as being crazy, greedy and dimwitted, as they resent the lions for being "at the top of the food chain," and are willing to work for Scar to gain hunting rights in the Pride Lands. However, they can be quite aggressive and vengeful when Scar puts the blame of his evil plot of them, which led to his demise at their jaws.
The Lion King (1994)
The hyenas first appeared in the Elephant Graveyard during the song "Be Prepared" when Scar, along with Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, plan to dispose his brother Mufasa and his nephew Simba to become the new King of the Pride Lands. Following Mufasa's death at the paws of Scar and Simba's self-exile, the hyenas enter the Pride Lands as Scar takes the throne in Pride Rock, as he allows them hunt down as much as they want, much to their delight.
Even though it would have seemed the hyenas have finally achieved what they came for, the Pride Lands start to dry out of food and water, and hyenas start to complain due to their hunger. Unconcerned by the hyenas' hunger, Scar rebukes them sharply and does not allow them to complain nor compare him to Mufasa. When a young adult Simba returns to overthrow Scar, the hyenas join in the fight against Simba and the other lions, Timon, Pumbaa and Rafiki. When Simba confronts Scar on the top of Pride Rock, the helpless king turns on his minions, telling his nephew that Mufasa's death was their idea, without knowing that Shenzi, Banzai and Ed came to help their king overheard, but Simba refuses to believe him. After Simba defeats Scar by throwing him off Pride Roar, Shenzi Banzai and Ed along with the other hyenas appear to the scene, having previously overheard Scar's treachery against them. A terrified Scar tries to explain himself, but the hyenas refuse to listen to him as they are fed up with his broken promises of never going hungry again. Giving into their hunger, the angry hyenas devour Scar alive as the fire sweeps over them. It is unknown if some or all of the hyenas perished in the fire or escaped.
The Lion King 1 1/2
The hyenas briefly reappeared in the film, where they tried to aid Scar in taking down Simba and the Pridelanders. Fortunately, Timon and Pumbaa managed to formulate a successful plan to dispose of the hyenas by making them fall into a hole. Scar would later fall into the same hole after Simba defeats him, where he would meet his fate at the jaws of the hyenas.
The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride
The hyenas don't appear in the sequel, but are mentioned by Nuka, who was visiting the abandoned elephant graveyard with his sister Vitani, as their mother Zira (the leader of the Outsiders) plans to overthrow Simba to have her son Kovu become the new King in order to avenge Scar's death. Nuka commented that the elephant graveyard has become more creepier ever since the hyenas ran off, implying that some of them may have survived the battle of Pride Rock and fled the Pride Lands.
It was also told that Zira believed that Simba was responsible for Scar's death, unaware of the fact that the hyenas were the ones responsible for Scar's death due to his treachery against them in the first place. However, Kovu soon learned the truth from Simba after having a change of heart and successfully convinced the Outsiders to make peace with the Pridelanders, though Zira ends up falling to her death in a gorge after refusing to give up her rage against Simba, for Scar and Nuka's deaths, much to Kovu's dismay.
The Lion Guard
The clan are absent from this series (which takes place some years after the first film), but it is shown that they have descendants led by a young hyena named Janja and live in the Outlands. They are the main enemies of The Lion Guard (which is led by Simba's son Kion). This clan later join forces with Reirei's pack, Kiburi's float and Ushari to serve the spirit of Scar to help him destroy The Lion Guard and Simba. Finally, Scar is destroyed for good, Ushari is killed and Jasiri becomes the new leader of the Outlanders.
The Lion King (2019)
The clan first appear when Shenzi orders them (along with Kamari and Azizi) to kill a young Simba and Nala in the elephant graveyard. However, the arriving Mufasa comes to the rescue by fighting them off before issuing a warning against them if they threaten the cubs again.
Eventually, Scar visits the graveyard and manages to convince the hyenas to help him dispose of Mufasa and Simba so that he could be the new king in echange for the hyenas getting free hunting reign in the Pride Lands. After killing Mufasa and exiling Simba, Scar takes over as the king and personally oversees hunts for the hyenas, putting the Pride Lands in losses of food and resources. Despite this, the hyenas became loyal to Scar due to him making good on his promise to satisfy their hunger; they even became delighted when Scar condemns the lionesses to starve in response to Sarabi's refusal to mate with him.
However, a fully-grown Simba returns and challenges Scar for the fate of the Pride Lands, and the hyena clan fights against the lion pride. While many of the hyenas are killed, the survivors are beaten and forced to retreat from Pride Rock. However, Shenzi, Kamari and Azizi overhear Scar calling them 'revolting scavengers' that he was planning to kill, making them realize that they were being fooled by Scar. After Simba defeats Scar, the remaining hyenas surround Scar and, at Shenzi's command, attack him for his betrayal. Despite Scar's pleas for mercy and attempts to fight back, the hyenas quickly overpower and devour him alive. Afterwards, the clan leaves the Pride Lands.
Scar: The former leader of the clan.
Shenzi: The second-in command.
Banzai: The friend of Shenzi and Ed.
Ed: The friend of Shenzi and Banzai.
Banzai's Father: He was a former member of the clan, before was eaten by Nala's mother Sarafina. He is mentioned in the musical.
Deceased Hyena: This hyena was a former member of the clan. He died during Scar's song "Be Prepared".
Scar: The former leader of the clan. Deceased
Shenzi: Leader turned second-in command and Leader again.
Kamari: Third in command of the clan.
Azizi: Fourth in command of the clan.
Deceased Hyena: This hyena was a former member of the clan. He died during Simba's chase.
They were voiced by Philip Proctor, Jack Angel, Michael Bell, Bob Bergen, Rodger Bumpass, the late Tony Jay (who later voiced Judge Claude Frollo), Brian Tochi, and David McCharen.
Many fans confuse all of the members of the Hyena Clan as the main antagonists of The Lion King 1 ½. However, it is not true, because Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed (members of the clan) are the true main antagonists of the midquel, making the other members of the Hyena Clan secondary antagonists, because they are the archenemies of Timon and Pumbaa.
The clan was originally going to appear in The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, having become Zira's minions. But they were scrapped because the Hyenas are the real ones who murdered Scar, and if Zira knew that, she wouldn't have worked with them.