- “I'm surrounded by idiots.”
- ―Scar; referring to Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed
Known for their sadism and haunting laughter, the hyenas dwell in the Elephant Graveyard. They are forbidden from ever entering the Pride Lands as their over-eating throws off the delicate balance of nature, leading to catastrophic consequences. Because of their destructive habits, the hyenas rank low on the food chain. By forming an alliance with Scar, they hope to usurp the lions and overrun the Pride Lands, thus allowing themselves and other hyenas the freedom to eat as much as they desire.
Scar has an extremely low opinion of them, considering them to be stupid and incompetent - but still cared for them by regularly providing food prior to allowing them and the rest of the hyenas into the Pride Lands to gain hunting rights and eventually more to scavenge.
The hyenas were featured in two spin-off books of The Lion King, set before the events of the original film.
In A Tale of Two Brothers, the young hyenas appear at the beginning where they surround a helpless Rafiki who had just arrived in the Pride Lands. King Ahadi comes to the rescue just in time, with his sons Mufasa and Taka (Scar) in tow, and demands that the hyenas leave. Later, Scar meets with the hyenas, the story revealing that he asked for their help. Shenzi advises Scar to make himself look good by making Mufasa look bad. Taka is intrigued by the suggestion and plans to incite a cape buffalo called Boma to fight Mufasa. His plan goes badly and his eye is wounded by the buffalo herd in the process, hence the nickname "Scar".
In Friends in Need, the teenage hyenas appear again at the beginning, where they are preparing to boil a teenage Zazu in the elephant graveyard, as in the first film. A teenage Mufasa passes by, scares the hyenas away and befriends Zazu.
Shenzi (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg in the 1994 film and by Florence Kasumba in the 2019 film) is the leader and sole female of the trio. According to Timon in The Lion King 1½, her full name is Shenzi Marie Predatora Veldetta Jacquelina Hyena. Her first name means "savage", "pagan", "uncouth", or "barbarous" in Swahili. Her distinguishing features are five prominent bangs hanging over her face and a mane that reaches all the way to her bangs. She also lacks the dark gray 'stubble' snout of the males, the dark patches around her eyes are shaped to resemble heavily applied eye-shadow, and she has thicker lips with what seems to be black lipstick.
Despite the common belief in the Pride Lands that hyenas are stupid, Shenzi's sense of humor hides a ruthless sense of cunning. She is not merely the leader of the trio, but the Matriarch of a Pack of over 200 hyenas, and her powerful leadership and diplomatic skills resulted in incredible gains for her Pack, regardless of the cataclysmic results to the Pride Lands. And at the climax of the movie, Shenzi informs the hyenas that Scar has betrayed them. Additionally, despite not appearing in the sequel, it seems that she has successfully hidden from Zira the fact that the hyenas, and not Simba, killed him, allowing her Pack to escape the Graveyard and leave the Pride Lands.
Despite her dislike of Mufasa, Shenzi clearly has a measure of respect and fear for him, as she gets the "shivers" when she hears his name and. Though she elbows Banzai before he can say the name in front of Scar, she clearly agrees with his opinion that they were better off when Mufasa was in charge (even if he didn't like them or permit them to live in the Pride Lands, he at least treated them better and didn't abuse or insult them for amusement like Scar). Despite this, she has shown cowardice, along with her partners, on several occasions: running away from Pumbaa in the final battle and Mufasa during their first encounter.
Shenzi can be just as ruthless as Scar, but unlike him, her first duty is to strengthening her clan rather than the pursuit of personal power. She allies the Clan with Scar even though the hyenas dislike the lions simply to provide for them, lies to Scar that Simba is dead to get them into the Pride Lands, and is even unafraid of informing him that there's no food or water left, meaning the Clan is starving and dehydrated. When Scar tries to pin Mufasa's death on the hyenas at the end, she doesn't hesitate to inform the Clan of his betrayal, resulting in his elimination. In Simba's Pride, Shenzi presumably has taken the Clan away from the Elephant Graveyard to find better hunting grounds.
Banzai (voiced by Cheech Marin) is the second hyena of the trio. His name means "skulk" or "lurk" in Swahili. He is the most physically aggressive of the trio. He's short-tempered, violent, gluttonous, and impulsive, thinking with his teeth first. However he always submits to Shenzi, who is both smarter and more controlled than him. However multiple times in the movie we see Ed irritating him, and Banzai jumps into the fight every time.
His most distinguishing feature is his unusually heavy eyebrows. Apart from these, Banzai is the model for most generic hyenas. He 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 ("It's dinnertime, and we ain't got no stinkin' entrees!"). He even quietly remarks to his friends that Mufasa was a better king than Scar, showing his audacity. In addition, when about to commence the Wildebeest Stampede, he complained to Shenzi that he wanted to attack the wildebeest early, which would have thrown the whole plan off, but was stopped by Shenzi, reminding him to wait. He also unwittingly instigates Pumbaa's attack on them during the final battle, as when he notices Pumbaa behind them, he briefly asks Timon, his prey, who the "pig" was in reference to him, with the insult increasing Pumbaa's fury enough that he promptly charged that them and presumably managed to beat him and Shenzi severely enough to force them to retreat.
Otherwise, Banzai appears to be Shenzi's intellectual equal. He understands pig Latin, as Zazu tried to keep Simba from calling the hyenas stupid ("Who you calling upidstay?!"); Spanish, when he immediately refrained from saying "Mufasa" in front of Scar any further ("I said, uh, ¿Qué Pasa?"); and French, for which "entree" and "buffet" are associated with food. He learned that he and his two comrades couldn't defeat Mufasa on their own, let alone kill him, which he explained to Scar after the failed attempt on Simba and Nala's lives; this would eventually lead to the entire Clan overwhelming Simba and, at the battle's end, Scar.
Banzai seems to have bad luck, and tends to take the injuries; in "Be Prepared" he was fired out of a geyser and handled roughly by Scar, Banzai's buttocks were severely lacerated by Mufasa's sharp claws, causing him to be unable to sit down for a week, ("I won't be able to sit for a week!") he tells Shenzi and Ed; and later when he is knocked into a thorn patch while chasing Simba out of the Pride Lands.
Ed (voiced by Jim Cummings) is the only hyena not to have a Swahili name. However, there exists in English the word eddy meaning whirlpool.
Ed's distinguishing features are two round cuts on each ear, his tongue often lolls from his mouth and he has no eyebrows. He laughs rather than speaks, and also seems to have difficulty holding back his laughter. Jim Cummings recorded over four hours of various laughter clips for any situation Ed might be in; excited, amused, angry, etc.
Ed comes off as the 'idiot' of the trio, but Shenzi and Banzai never actually treat him as stupid. They treat him as an equal, despite the fact that he responds only by laughing, and his laughter to meaningful language. He repeatedly shows lucidity, being the first to notice Simba, Nala, and Zazu escaping while his two peers are busy cracking jokes about lions. When Shenzi comments that the hyenas would be running the show if the lions weren't around, he nods in agreement, listening to the conversation, and when Scar betrays the hyenas at the end, he understands that they have been betrayed just as well as Shenzi and Banzai, and is just as angry as they are. In addition, both Banzai and Shenzi have waited until Ed's reply before deciding on a response or a proper course of action at least twice: The first time when Shenzi and Banzai were rhetorically asking who was present in the elephant graveyard, and the second when noting that Scar had earlier called them their enemies before exacting revenge with the other Hyena Clan members.
Banzai seems to be the only one who can translate Ed's laughter to have meaning, suggesting they have known each other for a long time. However, Banzai and Ed seem to scuffle frequently, mostly down to a combination of Banzai's short temper and Ed's total lack of tact.
Ed definitely seems to have difficulty with some things, though. When they were attacked by Mufasa and Shenzi and Banzai denied knowing that Simba was his son, Ed confirmed it with a rapid nod; during a scuffle with Banzai, he chews on his own leg obliviously; also, when Pumbaa saved Timon and Zazu from being ganged up upon by Shenzi and Banzai in the final battle, he had no idea what to do and ended up cowering with the rest of the hyenas after Pumbaa beat them up.
Whatever his shortcomings, Ed was smart enough to block the entrance to a meerkat tunnel, thus leaving Uncle Max briefly at the trio's mercy, and not only does Jim Cummings insist that Ed 'knows the score', we have no strong reasons to believe otherwise.
In The Lion King, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed are voiced by Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, and Jim Cummings, respectively. Shenzi was originally going to be male and played by Tommy Chong, reuniting him with his old comedy partner Cheech Marin, who was playing Banzai, but apparently, the two had had a falling out. As such, the filmmakers decided to go with "Cheech and Whoopi." Unlike Marin or Cummings, Goldberg never reprised her role as Shenzi outside of the movies. Instead, she was voiced by Tress MacNeille in Timon & Pumbaa and various video games, and by Jenifer Lewis in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. On the odd occasion that Marin was unavailable, Banzai, was voiced by Rob Paulsen in Timon & Pumbaa and Simba's Mighty Adventure.
The hyenas first appear in the Elephant Graveyard that 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. While in pursuit, Shenzi catches up with Nala and is about to savage her when she is struck by Simba, which results in three visible blood-like scratches on her cheek. The hyenas push Zazu into a 'birdie boiler' and corner the cubs but are thwarted by the arrival of Simba's father, Mufasa. They try to flee but Mufasa quickly subdued them and pinned them to the ground warning them not to come near his son again. The hyenas are then scared off by a frightening roar by Mufasa.
Later while the hyenas are talking, Scar arrives in the elephant graveyard, to tell off the hyenas for failing to kill Simba. However, after Banzai and Shenzi ask sardonically whether Scar should kill Mufasa to claim the throne while feasting on a zebra's leg that Scar supplied to them (Banzai: "Yeah. What are we supposed to do - kill Mufasa?"), they unwittingly gave him an idea: He then informs them of the newly-formed plan to kill both Mufasa and Simba during the song "Be Prepared" while promising them unlimited food. Afterward, they help Scar carry out his plan to kill Mufasa by triggering a wildebeest stampede. Immediately after Scar tells Simba to run away and never return, he commands the hyenas to kill Simba too, but Simba falls into thorny bushes that the hyenas won't follow him through. Shenzi decides that Simba is as good as dead out alone in the desert, that if he survives he probably won't come back (not unreasonable assumptions), and that if he comes back, they'll kill him then. The entire pack then enters the Pride Lands under Scar's reign.
About three years into Scar's reign, the hyenas' excessive presence in the Pride Lands has damaged the ecological balance. The trio, who appear to be the same age as they were, come to Scar's cave to inform him that there's no food or water and that the lionesses refuse to follow his orders, but Scar couldn't care less about their complaints. Banzai quietly remarks that things were much better under Mufasa, that they favor him over Scar, despite the prejudice he had against them. Scar is furious, but a nervous Shenzi elbows him and Banzai quickly "corrects" himself by saying that he simply said "¿Que Pasa?". Still touchy about Banzai's remark and angry at being compared unfavorably to his brother, Scar throws them out without listening to their complaints.
When the adult Simba returns to overthrow Scar, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed grew worried when Scar learned that Simba was alive and backed away (Scar glared at them, indicating that he found out that the hyenas had failed in their task and presumably lied to him about it), but then the hyenas demonstrate their continued loyalty to Scar by joining the fight on his side, but most are defeated or flee the Pride Lands, and Shenzi and Banzai are ruthlessly beaten up by Pumbaa for calling him a "pig" while Ed watches in horror. When Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed follow Scar and Simba at the top (presumably to back Scar up), they overhear Scar trying to claim to Simba that the hyena's were behind Mufasa's death. They then head down Pride Rock to chase after Timon and Pumbaa before being defeated, and corner Scar after he is defeated by Simba. Scar frantically tries to absolve himself, but the hyenas have had enough of his lies; as flames surround Pride Rock, the hyenas close in on Scar before mauling him to death, ending his tyranny, before running off as they are engulfed in flame.
In the direct-to-video sequel The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, the hyenas are only briefly mentioned by Nuka as he and his grown sister Vitani arrive at the elephant graveyard. He says simply, "This place is even creepier since the hyenas ran off." Originally, Zira was going to be accompanied by the hyenas but it was changed to being only Outsider Lions after the developers remembered that the Hyenas were the reason why Scar died. However Zira consistently places all blame on Simba, likely because Simba was the one who overthrew Scar, and that most of the hyenas never survived the fire.
However, the three hyenas are never directly referred to by name, and as such, the fate of Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed remains unknown.
In the direct-to-video midquel The Lion King 1½, the hyenas have a fairly major role in setting the story rolling and serve as the film's main antagonists (seeing as Scar has no lines and makes only very brief appearances). Despite being the main antagonists, they only appear twice in the film (for obvious reasons).
In their first appearance, they attack a meerkat colony when Timon, who is the sentry on duty for the colony, is daydreaming. They fail to catch any meerkats, but this incident drives Timon to leave the colony to find where he truly belongs. This scene occurs shortly before Simba is born.
The hyenas make an appearance again during the film's climax at Pride Rock. Some anonymous hyenas are seen chasing Timon and Pumbaa into a cave (after the Hula song in the first film) and are driven away by Pumbaa's flatulence. Timon and Pumbaa insult the hyenas to get them away from Simba so that he has a better chance against Scar - Ed as usual laughs at the joke, and Banzai hits him, while Shenzi tells them, "For your last meal, you're gonna eat those words." Eventually, Timon and Pumbaa are cornered by the hyenas.
Timon first balances plates then performs the can-can, which stalls the hyenas briefly, then break dances with Pumbaa, which Shenzi applauds to before simply agreeing with Banzai to eat them. Finally, he proposes to Shenzi as a desperate move to buy time for his mother and Uncle Max as they dig a tunnel, which she turns down, becoming more and more disgusted at his proposal. Banzai seems to realize Timon is trying to buy time for something, and says, "I say we skip the wedding and get straight to the buffet!" However, this has bought just enough time and the hyenas then fall into the tunnel. This is allegedly how they reached the base of Pride Rock to meet Scar, but still doesn't count for the presence of Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed being at the top of Pride Rock to hear Scar lying about them.
The three hyenas made occasional appearances in the TV series The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa. While Jim Cummings reprised his role as Ed, Tress MacNeille and Rob Paulsen replaced Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin as Shenzi and Banzai. The hyenas are also more noticeably dim-witted in the series in comparison to the movies, in that they are often unable to catch their prey. In addition, for unexplained reasons, they somehow managed to learn how to stand on their hind legs and are able to talk to humans, though one reason may be because it was to appeal to the audiences.
The hyenas have four episodes in which they star, trying to get food. These were called "The Laughing Hyenas".
TV Dinner: The hyenas observe a nature documentary made about an armadillo in the Serengeti. This is pretty impressive for a start, as armadillos are not native to ANY part of Africa, only the Americas. The three of them decide that they too can be stars and get great meals. For the host Martin Partin, Shenzi demonstrates ballet dancing, Banzai performs a singing act and Ed attempts slapstick comedy, but they are turned down abruptly. When the armadillo gets a movie deal, they are offered jobs but decide that they'd rather be directors and have Martin Partin for lunch.
Can't Take A Yolk: Shenzi wakes up and wakes up Banzai, who wakes up Ed. While Banzai and Ed fight, Shenzi spots a mother ostrich nursing an egg and persuades Banzai that the egg would make an excellent breakfast. First, they attempt to creep up on the egg but find it's heavily alarmed. Then they try to crush the mother ostrich with a large rock but get crushed themselves. Then they try to tunnel up under the egg, but end up tunneling to China, and get crushed by a cart. Then they redirect an elephant to crush both mother and egg but get crushed by the elephant. Finally, Shenzi has them disguise themselves as ostriches and persuades the mother to put her head in the sand, while they steal the egg and substitute a rock. However, as they argue over who gets to eat the egg, it hatches into a huge ostrich, and they are knocked into a canyon and squashed by a large rock.
Cooked Goose: Two snooty Cheetahs have found that the hyena trio is disturbing their hunts, so they decide to send them on wild goose chases to get them out of the way. First, they try giving them a treasure map where X marks the spot, but the hyenas don't know how you spell 'X'. Then they try catapulting the hyenas via Serengeti Shuttle into a volcano, but the hyenas just come back, suspicious about the lack of seatbelts, airbags, and lack of peanuts. Finally, they decide that if they split the hyenas up, telling each one that they are the brains of the bunch and giving them directions to the North Pole. Unfortunately, the hyenas meet up there and realize they've been conned. Back in the Serengeti, they find the Cheetahs again, who are so stuffed from eating that they cannot outrun the hyenas. Just as the hyenas are about to eat them, a wild goose arrives and asks them which way is south, as he's headed for a wild goose convention. The five of them direct him, then chase him.
Big Top Breakfast: The hyenas are walking along, complaining about how hungry they are. Banzai comments that he's so hungry he could eat a circus monkey, and a crate with Simon the circus monkey on it lands on the three of them. They promptly start arguing about who gets to eat him, allowing him to escape. Shenzi suggests that they pretend to be monkeys and hide in a barrel, and Banzai suggests that "Hey, we can build an environment suitable and comfortable for all species in the class known as Chimpanzee." Ed, however, discovers that the crate the monkey landed with is full of circus stuff. Shenzi promptly constructs an elaborate circus, and posing as ringmaster, gets Simon to dive into their cooking pot. He breaks out and hides in a circus cannon, which Banzai fires. The cannon explodes and the hyenas are left charred and monkey-less. Banzai complains that he is so hungry that he could eat a blue whale, and one promptly lands on the three of them.
They appear in the 2019 live action remake. In this film, Ed can talk and Shenzi holds a grudge against Mufasa. In addition, Banzai and Ed are renamed Kamari and Azizi, respectively. Also instead of not wanting to dive into a thorn bush and ending up covered with thorns, Simba falls of a cliff, Shenzi orders the boys to go down and make sure he's dead then she wanders off, but the two are lazy and decide to tell Shenzi and Scar that they did kill Simba.
The hyenas made cameo appearances in several House of Mouse episodes. They're notably seen near the beginning of the premiere episode "The Stolen Cartoons".
In "House of Turkey", the hyenas are anxiously waiting to eat Mr. Turkey, but when they learn that he's a guest performer and not an entrée, they briefly try to eat Pumbaa.
In "Donald's Pumbaa Prank", they were seen at their table about to eat Zazu.
In "House of Crime", Shenzi can be seen in a cage along with other villains before they all disappear.
Shenzi and Ed appear in the animated blooper reel featured in the Diamond Edition release of The Lion King. In the special feature, Shenzi is shown showcasing her hyena laugh for a take, while a seemingly annoyed Ed stands by.
In the episode "Scar and Lion King Friends" of Disney Crossy Road: The Animated Series, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed are ordered by Scar to capture Simba; they are met with unsuccessful results in their attempts.
In the fifth installment of the saga, Shell Game, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed appear as henchmen to the Overtakers. They are usually guarding important places or objects.
Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed are among the villains imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost. They are the parents of young hyenas given to the children of the villains (however, it's unclear if the trio fathered the cubs, if just Banzai or Ed fathered the cubs with Shenzi or if they individually mated with other hyenas).
The Lion King: Nature Fun And Learn Series
In this official magazine, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed's ages are revealed in a puzzle. At the beginning of the movie, Shenzi is 2 years old while Banzai and Ed are 3. Following Hyena social and biological habits, females become pregnant with one or two cubs every other year, and males migrate from their birth clans at maturity and spend several months wandering to find a new clan, while the females remain. This means Shenzi is not related to Banzai or Ed, and they must have only recently joined the hyena clan. Additionally, Shenzi could only very recently have become the Matriarch, having only just reached sexual maturity herself.
In one story it is told that the hyenas guard the borders of the Pride Lands, and they are diverted by monkeys throwing rotten fruit so that Nala can escape finding help. In another, it is said that there was a flash flood during Scar's reign that briefly trapped Shenzi.
While hyenas were a common enemy in the Lion King SNES release, none of the hyenas fought were Shenzi, Banzai or Ed. Even the end-of-level boss hyena on the first level was not one of them. Once defeated, each hyena performed Ed's drooling 'salute' briefly before collapsing, but these hyenas lacked Ed's bitten ears.
Banzai appears at the end of the "Simba's Exile" level, but only to deliver his line "If you ever come back, we'll kill ya!"
The hyenas first appear in the "Graveyard" level, chasing Simba as he tries to escape the elephant graveyard. At the end of the level, all three must be defeated before the player can win. The hyenas later appear in the "Return of the King" level, trying to prevent Simba from reaching Scar.
In this video game, Kingdom Hearts II, the trio play a relatively minor role in their homeworld "The Pride Lands", where it largely follows the story of the film.
In the game, the trio and the Clan are desperate for food and try to eat Sora, Donald, and Goofy. Banzai almost killed Sora but were stopped when Scar roared. The hyena trio ran off to Scar to see what he wanted along with the other hyenas.
The hyena trio is seen once again at Pride Rock and was about to attack them, but Scar roared then the hyena trio looked up and saw Scar and Pete. When Nala knocked down Scar and told Sora, Donald, and Goofy to run, the three heroes ran with Shenzi, Banzai, Ed, and the other hyenas in pursuit. Sora, Donald, Goofy, and Nala managed to get away from the hyenas. The hyena trio is later seen again at Pride Rock preventing Simba from getting to Scar. Sora then told Simba to go after Scar while his friends handle the hyenas. Timon and Pumbaa knocked the hyenas into the air but they were chased into Pride Rock by the hyena trio and the other hyenas. Sora, Donald, and Goofy battled the hyena trio inside Pride Rock. The trio was easily defeated and ran out of Pride Rock.
Later on in the game, the trio of hyenas have fought again for information on the source of Scar's ghost. They know nothing of the ghost and taunt Simba about it. They also seem to have somewhat of a grudge against Sora, Donald, and Goofy, as it was thanks to their part in overthrowing Scar that they were sent back to the elephant graveyard to only eat scraps.
The hyenas have also made prominent appearances in the musical, having been given more dialogue and a much more expanded role than in the movie. They even appear during the first part of The Madness of King Scar in which Shenzi and Banzai give their complaints to Scar over a shortage of food and water and tell Scar that he is adored. They also have their own song, Chow Down when Simba and Nala enter the Elephant Graveyard.
Appearances by the hyenas at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are extremely rare. In the parks, they walk upright instead of on all four legs. All three have a very awkward-looking hunchback posture.
To date, their most reliable presence has been as part of the Walt Disney World Resort's annual Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party event. They also made appearances during Unleash the Villains in 2014.
The hyenas appear alongside Scar in Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Here, Hades revives Scar from the dead and recruits him in a take-over plot. Scar, needing henchmen to assist him, convinces the hyenas that he is invincible through magic and must obey his commands. They reluctantly agree to do so and are ordered to start an elephant stampede to crush anyone who interferes. Banzai notices the park guests and battles them, but he is quickly defeated. Soon after, the park guests must reveal Scar's lies by injuring him in front of the hyenas. Once Scar's lies are revealed, Shenzi gathers the clan and departs, leaving Scar without aid.
Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed's likenesses are also featured in Disney's Art of Animation Resort.
In 2004, they were featured in The Lion King Carnival event.
They would also appear in Disneyland Paris for the 2013 event Disney Dreamers Everywhere!.
- Although they are officially spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), they have less spots, bigger ears and a streak of mane on their back, like striped hyenas (Hyaena hyaena).
- Ernie Sabella, who voiced Pumbaa in the film, originally auditioned for the role of Shenzi. But after Nathan Lane, who previously worked with Sabella on Guys and Dolls and were already good friends, auditioned for the role of Zazu, Lane and Sabella were instead cast as Timon and Pumbaa, respectively.
- Ed is the only character not to have a Swahilian name.
- During the villain song "Be Prepared", Shenzi starts laughing maniacally, and is the first to scream out to the pack, "Long live the king!". The pack then follows her command, proving that she is the Matriarch of the entire pack, not just the primary trio.
- Shenzi's position as leader of the hyenas is very like that of real life - real spotted hyenas are matriarchal, and females dominate the males. For male hyenas to have any real power within a clan, they have usually performed long-time services for high-ranking females.
- Shenzi was originally going to be male and voiced by Tommy Chong, who is best known for his collaborations with Cheech Marin, who voices Banzai. However, Chong was unavailable when Cheech Marin chose to voice Banzai. Chong later voiced Yax the Yak in Disney's later success, Zootopia.
- In early production of The Lion King, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed were originally supposed to be cape dogs but were later changed to spotted hyenas.
- Ed's behavior seems to suggest that he is either mentally challenged or has some sort of brain damage. However, Ed's voice actor Jim Cummings implied that Ed is more coherent than he looks. This is shown at the end of the film during Scar's death; Ed is staring straight at Scar and doesn't start laughing until Shenzi and Banzai ask him for his opinion on Scar's fate. He also shows to be aware of what's going on around him, but still not very bright, when Shenzi and Banzai pretend they didn't know Simba was Mufasa's son they ask Ed if he knew and he nods.
- The way Shenzi, Banzai, Ed, and the rest of the hyenas surround Scar is similar to what the wolves from Beauty and the Beast were originally supposed to do to Gaston at the end of the film.
- In the Kingdom Hearts series, Banzai came the closest to killing Sora out of any villains in the series, due to the hero becoming a lion cub and being unfamiliar with his new anatomy, and was only unable to since Scar called for him and the others.
- According to The Lion King: The Junior Novelization, when Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed finally kill Scar out of revenge for betraying them and the other hyenas, they describe his death as being "a king fit for a meal."
- In an early script for the climax of The Lion King, Banzai was originally going to be flung onto the ribcage imprisoning Zazu, thus freeing him and allowing him to peck Banzai on the head, then Ed comes to help. The two come close to killing Zazu when Timon and Pumbaa ram them from behind and send them flying to a burning tree, likely to their deaths. Also, it was originally going to be just Shenzi who follows Scar up Pride Rock and hears him lying about the hyenas, though choosing to abandon him to Simba's will and departing from the Pride Rock rather than mauling him.
- It has been revealed that Janja (the main antagonist of The Lion King's spin-off series The Lion Guard) and his clan are descendants of Shenzi, Banzai and Ed's clan, but it's still never revealed what happened to the previous clan and to Shenzi, Banzai and Ed themselves.
- Just after Shenzi and Banzai are beaten up and tossed out by Pumbaa in response to the latter being called a pig, the three hyenas make whimpering sounds while scrambling to flee in a similar manner to dogs. In actuality, hyenas are not related to dogs despite their canid-like appearances, belonging to the feliform family.
- Banzai's looks appear to be the base for the generic hyenas of the rest of the clan.
- The only line pronounced by Ed which is not a laughter is in the song Be prepared, when he recites the verse "Our teeth and ambitions are bared" with the other two.
- Coincidentally, Ed's voice actor, Jim Cummings, had to replace Jeremy Irons when recording part of that song.