This is an alternate ending of the movie The Lion King. Indeed, this was the ending in the earlier production of the movie; however, producers alternated this ending as this first one was too horrific for a Disney Film and letting Scar be mauled by his hyena henchmen was more interesting to Scar's death than simply having him burn to death as he did in this version. Ironically, the final scene was in fact based on an alternate ending of Beauty and the Beast where Gaston was killed by Wolves, which was cut for the same reasons this ending was cut (i.e. it was too graphic for a Disney film).
In this early storyboard scene, while Pride Rock is surrounded by flames and the hyenas are battling the lionesses, Simba battles Scar atop Pride Rock. During their battle, Scar viciously claws Simba in the face, and the impact is so great, that Simba falls backward, dangerously close to the ledge. Then, while Simba is on his back, Scar walks towards Simba and says, "This is too easy; why, this is almost as easy as killing your father," indicating that Scar killed Mufasa and also that he is about to kill Simba as well. Scar acts as if revealing the fact that he killed his brother and Simba's father Mufasa, was something he said by mistake, as indicated when he claimed "the cat's out of the bag". Simba reacts in shock, before angrily glaring at Scar. Before his attempt to off Simba, Scar says, "Goodnight sweet prince." referencing the Shakespearean play 'Hamlet' (to which the film is based on). Scar leaps toward Simba preparing to murder him but just as Simba is about to die, he uses his hind legs to shove Scar off of him causing Scar to fall off the edge of Pride Rock.
Suddenly Simba hears a cry for help from below.
He sees Scar clinging onto the edge of Pride Rock who is hanging above the fire below, dodging death. It is confirmed that it was indeed Scar who was calling for help as he does so once again. Although Simba is willing to let Scar fall to his death, he decides to help him after Scar tells Simba that if he lets him die he is then a murderer and that he will be no better than Scar, something Scar knows Simba is not. To make his security that much better, Scar even adds that Simba has won, and is now king (which is obviously a lie).
Simba grabs Scar by the mane and pulls his uncle up to safety. But once Scar is in the clear, he grabs Simba's mane, dashes him by the neck, and throws him off Pride Rock into the burning flames below. Simba falls, screaming for help, but just before he is about to land in the sea of fire, he lands on a burning tree, breaking his fall, and shielding him from the flames. As Simba falls onto safe ground, the fire surrounds him, so the young lion runs for his life, narrowly avoiding the fire. Meanwhile, on top of Pride Rock, Scar believes that Simba has fallen to his death, and that he has won, and begins laughing in victory he is engulfed by the flames surrounding Pride Rock and burned to death.
It begins to rain and the rain puts the fire out. After Simba's near death, he awakens and mourns the death of his uncle. Nala then walks up to Simba and nuzzles him. Simba goes to see if an unconscious Sarabi is okay. Sarabi wakes up and smiles at Simba. Afterward, Simba takes over the kingship as rain falls. He also makes Nala his queen. Later, with Pride Rock restored to its usual state, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, and Sarabi visit Simba and Nala’s new cub. Rafiki presents it and the movie ends
(Scar and Simba battle.)
(Scar claws Simba in the face)
(Simba falls backward)
Scar: This is too easy. Why it's almost as easy as killing your father.
Scar: Oops. The cat's out of the bag. Oh well, it'll be our little secret.
(Simba is furious)
Scar: Goodnight sweet prince.
(Scar leaps on Simba)
(Simba flips Scar over him)
(Scar hangs onto Pride Rock's edge)
Scar: Help me Simba! Please, help me!
Simba: Why should I?!
Scar: Are you no better than I? You're no murderer Simba. Please! I beg your forgiveness! You won, you're king!
(Simba helps Scar by pulling him to safety)
(Scar grabs Simba by his mane and throws him off Pride Rock)
(Simba nearly falls to his death but smashes into a tree and lands safely. The flames are about to engulf Simba so he runs away to escape them, something he barely accomplishes)
(Scar thinks Simba is dead)
(Flames begin to engulf Pride Rock)
Scar: Hahahaha, Ahhahaha!!!!!!! Ahhahahahaaaa!!!!!!!!
(Flames engulf Scar and burns him to death)
(A rainstorm emerges, putting out the flames. Simba, covered in ashes, emerges from the smoke to see Sarabi, untouched by the fire, but still unconscious. Sarabi wakes up and smiles at Simba, before embracing with him)
- Although the ending itself was cut, Scar being burned alive was nonetheless implied in the sequel, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, in a conversation between Simba and Kovu. In The Lion Guard, it is stated by Janja, a descendant of the hyena clan who betrayed Scar states that Scar was burned alive in the flames following his defeat at the claws of Simba. This could imply that the fire killed Scar when the hyenas mauled him.
- Many fans find it somewhat ironic that Scar burning alive was deemed too graphic when other villain deaths, such as Clayton being hanged, Frollo falling into molten copper, and Ursula being impaled and electrocuted before exploding, were deemed acceptable (not to mention Scar's canonical death of being eaten by the Hyenas as well as burned alive).
- In the 1993 script of the film, Scar's death is similar to that of the abovementioned scene. The main differences are that Scar admits his crimes to Simba before that battle, as opposed to during the battle, as well as during the battle, Scar doesn't gloat about his victory, but rather Simba speaking poorly of Scar, calling him a "coward" before he throws Scar off Pride Rock. In addition, the unconscious lioness in that scene is noted to be Sarabi, whilst in the 1992 draft, the lioness' identity is never known.