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I can smell your fear. I can almost taste it!
~ Phango searching for Khumba.


Phango is the main antagonist of the 2013 South African computer-animated film Khumba. He is a vicious leopard who wishes to kill Khumba so he can become a more powerful hunter.

He was voiced by Liam Neeson, who also played Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins, Clinch Leatherwood in A Million Ways to Die in the West, Bad Cop in The Lego Movie, Raccoon in The Nut Job, High-T in Men In Black: International, and himself in Family Guy.

Personality

Phango is completely sadistic, cunning, cruel, violent,, vindictive, ruthless, predatory, aggressive, and treacherous, so he shows no mercy and remorse for the other animals. When he became a ferocious and intimidating hunter, he killed his own clan as revenge, but also to kill Khumba for himself.

He is a Socical Darwinist and abusive lone ranger with a dislike for just about everyone. He is very superstitious of ancient myths, particularly the one of the half-striped zebra. He is obsessed with being 'whole', as he has only half of his sight, and believes that eating the half-striped zebra will give him great powers and make him 'complete'. He routinely achieves his goals through intimidation and violence. He is a very ferocious animal and is aggressive, self-interested, malicious, and most of all, vindictive.

Biography

Backstory

Phango was born with one blind eye and was abandoned by his clan as the runt of the litter. He was thrown in the magical water pond in the clan's lair. This only made him stronger giving him an extra, almost mystical strong sense of smell. He rose back up and killed his clan in revenge. He is obsessed with being whole. Phango is also superstitious and believes by myth a half-striped zebra would make him the most powerful hunter who ever lived and would make him "complete".

Also, In the middle of the movie, The Black Eagle explains to Khumba about Phango's origins. Phango was born with one blind eye and was outcast by his clan as the runt of the litter. It is suggested he suffered much neglect and physical abuse. In one event as a cub, he was carelessly kicked into the water hole at the clan's cave and nearly drowned. Although half-blind, this deficit of good sight gave him instead a gifted sense of smell, which he began to use to his advantage to become a mighty hunter. He rose back up and killed his entire clan in revenge. However, Phango wasn't satisfied, and continued to kill without reason or need, causing the entire Karroo to live in fear of him.

Role

Phango is first seen roaming the desert sniffing out specific scents. Khumba the half striped zebra opened the zebras enclosed fence for security to let some Gemsboks in. The Zebra Clan were very disappointed and the Gemsbok Elder gave up. Outside the perimeter, Phango was attacking Gemsbok and was soon able to enter past those gates. The Zebra Clan freaked out when they found out that Phango was near the opened gate, but was unable to enter before it was closed again and more branches were added and then taunted the Zebra's.

Khumba later leaves to get to the magical waters in which he could gain his stripes. Outside the perimter he meets a quirky opportunistic African wild dog named Skalk. Skalk agreed to get him to assist him in getting to the final destination in exchange for some water for him and his buddies. Khumba explained to him he had no water. When he led Khumba to his pack they were only interested in eating him, even though Skalk tried to tell them that he's their ticket to water. Thought they don't listen and proceeded to attack him. But a motherly Wildebeest named Mama V interrupted and attacks the wild dogs and scares them off. Khumba then befriends her and her friend the paranoid eccentric ostrich, Bradley. Mama V and Bradley decide to help Khumba get to his destination after they hear his story. Soon after, Skalk leaves his pack.

Later, Phango encounters the wild dog Skalk in a junkyard, after the dog's encounter with Khumba. He paws Skalk down and menaces him with threats to eat him. Terrified, the wild dog reveals information about the half-striped zebra Khumba. Phango, maliciously intrigued because of his lifelong obsession with the legend, demanded to know where Khumba was last seen. Phango paws Skalk down and forces him to tell him where the zebra's going, so Skalk did.

Khumba, Mama V, and Bradley encountered rock rabbits who worshiped The Black Eagle. The Eagle told Khumba the story of Phango. The Eagle told Khumba the directions to Phango's cave.

Mama V tears up about her child, Elijah that Phango killed. Mama V and Bradley had a close confrontation with Phango when Bradley blurted out where he was going but he'll never find him.

He catches up with Mama V and Bradley in the Valley of Desolation, after they separate from Khumba. Phango chases them through the canyon, making a point of terrorizing and taunting them all the way, much to the horror of the traumatized Mama V. When he finally corners the two on a ledge, he demands information on the location of the half-striped zebra. Out of fear, Bradley accidentally reveals Khumba's intent to travel to Ngow Mountain-- Phango's Cave, the location of the magic water hole-- and Phango abandons the hunt.

Phango realizes that Khumba was heading for his cave and returned there. Mama V and Bradley realize he's heading towards Phango's cave. Discovering the map led to Phango's lair, the two fall out and decide Khumba should finish this solitary. Khumba is saved by the Gemsbok Elder. Mama V and Bradley become concerned and decide to turn back and warn Khumba.

Phango told Khumba that it was foretold that a half striped zebra would be born and would make him the most powerful leopard that ever lived. But he killed his clan so he could have him. As he charged, Khumba kicked some stones in his eyes, he yelled in pain and chased after him, he will savor slowly after the chase and once eaten, Khumba will complete him, Khumba said that Phango can't change what he is, he said there's only one way to find out.

During their epic underwater battle, Phango headlocked Khuma's body to a rock while a large chunk of rock splinters it and cracks the walls of the cave. As he tried to drown Khumba, he remembers the day he almost drown when he was a cub. He stepped on his eye with his hoof, he tried to pull Khumba down again. A waterfall emerges and eventually a watering hole at  the surface. The zebras, antelopes, and friends are gathered watching in suspense. Phango scratches his flank. Khumba pushes the loose rock that Phango is standing on, causing the evil leopard to plummet to his death into the gorge below, with two boulders crushing him.

Quotes

(Skalk: Half a zebra's better than nothing, right?) ""Better than nothing?!" You scavenge so low on the food chain, you couldn't possibly see his power!"
~ Phango intimidating Skalk after the latter failed to capture Khumba.
YOU are the half. The half the world that will complete me! (Khumba: You can’t change what you are, Phango!) There's only ONE WAY TO FIND OUT
~ Phango Before fighting Khumba in the water.
Surrender to your destiny.
~ Phango to Khumba.
(Khumba: Killing me won't make a difference, Phango.) But eating you will!
~ Phango in the final climax, also his last words.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Phango is the second villain by Triggerfish Animation Studios, the first is Budzo.
  • Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and William Shatner was considered for the role of Phango.
  • Phango shares similarities with Shere Khan and Dag.
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