Pridelanders are first seen during the "Circle of Life" sequence at the start of the film. As Mufasa and Sarabi nuzzle each other, lionesses watch from the shadows of Pride Rock, delighted that their new prince Simba is about to be anointed. A few of them are seen sleeping in the background when Simba prepares to wake up Mufasa when sunrise arrives, asking his father to explore the world around them to which he successfully wakes him up.
They are later seen resting near Pride Rock as young Simba comes racing to get his friend Nala and appear again during Scar's eulogy, during which they grieve the double losses of their king and prince. Their mourning is soon shattered when Scar welcomes his hyena minions into the Pride Lands, and the lionesses are helpless to watch as their kingdom is swarmed by scavengers.
Years later, the pride has noticeably dwindled, with only a few members remaining, and prey is scarce, prompting the exhausted lionesses to cease hunting for Scar. Angered at their lack of activity, Scar challenges Sarabi, who rebukes him, as King, and he strikes her, prompting a young adult Simba, who has been watching from the shadows, to run to his mother's aid and roars thunderously at Scar.
With Simba at their head, the small band of Pridelanders returns, showing their disloyalty to Scar. A battle for Pride Rock soon begins, and the lionesses fight in favor of Simba. They also realize it was Scar who actually really did kill Mufasa and Simba was being framed by Scar. Following the defeat of Scar, avenging Mufasa, the lionesses watch joyfully as Simba ascends Pride Rock, and every lioness roars her approval as he takes back his father's throne.
Pridelanders make their first appearance when Simba challenges Zira, whose son Kovu has encountered the princess of the Pride Lands and Simba's daughter, Kiara. Two Pridelanders join Simba and Nala in challenging Zira, who attempts to win her way back into the Pride Lands, but Simba stands firm, and the added bulk of the Pridelanders convinces Zira to walk away peacefully. These two lionesses then return to Pride Rock with Nala, Timon and Pumbaa whilst Simba stays behind to talk with Kiara.
Pridelanders are later seen at the onset of Kiara's first hunt, during which they express confidence in their future queen. They follow Simba when he sees smoke rising from where Kiara is hunting and can be seen later that night, entering the royal den while Kovu is intimidated away from the entrance. Not long after this, Simba believes Kovu to have betrayed him, and the Pridelanders assist their king in exiling him from the Pridelands and preventing Kiara from interfering. When Kiara tells Simba that he will never be Mufasa suggesting that Mufasa would have forgiven Kovu and the ambush is not his fault, they are shocked and saddened at this comment meaning that Simba has completely defied his father's paw prints and watch a heartbroken Kiara running inside the den weeping and not knowing she managed to sneak out through a hole in the den.
During the film's climax, the Pridelanders follow Simba into battle against the Outsiders. The pride is seen fighting fiercely against their foes, holding their own despite the obvious strength among the Outsiders. They then see Kiara and Kovu jump between Simba and Zira to stop them from fighting. Toward the end of the battle, they realize the error of their ways and welcome the Outsiders back into the pride.
At the very end of the film, they gather at Pride Rock for the union of Kovu and Kiara. Once the two are married, they bow their heads in respect as their monarchs stride past and roar out over their kingdom.
The only lioness with a role is Nala, with Sarabi also making a faraway cameo. However, after the death and defeat of Scar, as Simba roars and Timon, Pumbaa, Ma and Uncle Max watch on, their roars can be heard alongside Simba's.
Originally, Nala was the only adult Pridelander lioness to appear in the series until the 10th episode of Season II, The Ukumbusho Tradition, which featured the unspoken appearance of five unnamed Pridelander lionesses.
The series also features two Pridelander lioness cubs named Tiifu and Zuri who serve as friends of Kiara and have been part of the series since it's beginning. Their parents have yet to make an appearance, though it can be assumed that two of the unnamed Pridelander lionesses are their mothers. It is also unknown if Tiifu and Zuri are related or not.
Pridelanders have been featured in the 2019 reimagining of the classic film. A few Pridelanders are first seen bathing some cubs during Simba's conversation with Scar. They appear again when Simba meets Nala for the first time relaxing with Sarafina and Sarabi who give both Simba and Nala a bath. They are later seen present during Scar's plan on taking over the Pride Lands after explaining that Mufasa and Simba are both killed during the stampede, allowing hyenas to occupy the Pride Lands much to Zazu and Rafiki's worry about what is going on.
Years later, a large famine occurs across the Pride Lands where the Pridelanders are not used to having Scar as their new king due to the large famine in the Pride Lands. When Sarabi talks to Scar about his disastrous plan for overhunting and breaking the Circle of Life, he gives out a new rule that the hyenas eat first before the lionesses. Nala then manages to leave the Pride Lands quietly with help from Zazu, much to the other Pridelanders' worry. This was not in the original film, as in the final version of the original film, there were no other lions/lionesses present there aside from Scar. However, the scene where the Pridelanders are seen during the famine is likely inspired by a deleted scene of the original version, especially during the second act of the musical.
When Simba returns to his home to take place as king of Pride Rock, Nala and the other Pridelanders lionesses join battle and confess with Scar about Simba being the rightful king just as Nala commands them to prepare to fight against Scar. Later when Simba realizes what Scar has done to his father, Scar denies and tells the other Pridelanders that Simba is planning to kill his own uncle after killing his own father to which Simba denies. Sarabi, Nala, and all the other Pridelanders turn against Scar for betraying them just as Simba calls his uncle a murderer. With his true actions revealed, Scar sends the hyenas to kill everyone in Pride Lands. Just as the hyenas attack Simba, Nala commands the other Pridelanders to fight back just as the hyenas and lionesses charge into each other during a massive battle while a fire rages across the Pride Lands. Just as the Pridelanders fight against the hyenas, Simba manages to confront his uncle and defeat him to save the Pride Lands. After Scar gets eaten by the hyenas for his betrayal to them, all the Pridelanders praise Simba for saving the Pride Lands. When Simba takes his place as the new king, the other Pridelanders roar together with Simba as the new king. Sometime later, the Pridelander lionesses, along with Timon, Pumbaa, and the neighboring animals, attend the birth of Simba and Nala's newborn cub.
- As said by Scar, the lionesses are responsible for providing the pride with prey.
- In some concepts, the Pridelanders believe in a deity called the Great Spirit.
- In King of the Jungle, the Pridelanders are called the Ndona Pride.