Lion King animator Aaron Blaise creates moving tribute to Cecil the Lion


The world is still in mourning over the murder of Cecil the Lion – the beloved creature whose brutal death at the hands of a trophy hunter last month sparked outrage and grief everywhere.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 14.34.46While many celebrities and companies have paid tribute to this majestic animal, none are quite as understated and moving as this portrait by Disney animator Aaron Blaise.

Blaise was as an animator for Disney for 21 years and worked on such iconic films as Beauty & The BeastMulan​, and The Lion King. It’s fitting, then, that the visual artist’s touching tribute to the slain king would be a reimagining of that tear-jerking scene, in which the late Mufasa appears to Simba as a cloud in the sky.

The portrait also holds a poignant quote from the 1994 film: “Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down upon us from those stars.”

Take a look at the speed painting video that Blaise posted showing how he created this incredible tribute below.


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BA English student at University of Southampton and Editor for The Edge (2015-16). A deep love of reading, theatre and all things entertainment.

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