According to Kimba W.Lion's latest discovery, while The Lion King was in early production stage and while it was intended to be Disney's remake of Kimba, Rob Disney (nephew of Walt Disney) on one Internet forum in the answer to one question about current production stage of TLK mentioned "Kimba's mother". This is a definitive proof that Disney was remaking Kimba, but things went in the wrong direction when the Disney's executives decided to turn a tribute to Kimba into a Kimba ripoff. However, this also just shows how unique and how immortal the Jungle Emperor aka Kimba The White Lion (along with other masterworks of Mr. Osamu Tezuka) is, and that there were people in the Walt Disney Company that cherished and honored Kimba (primarily the animators).
Back in 1996, when I tried to find out more about Kimba after watching the 1993 version of Kimba for the first time, there were already pages with comparisons of Kimba and Lion King. They disappeared in the meantime (if you're not familiar, you can find them on the Lost Pages page), but fortunately their task has been continued by Kimba W. Lion (mainly) and some others, and I'm glad that this matter has come to this stage and that the things are much clearer now.
Both the Lion King and (especially) the Kimba fans, however, should not be disappointed. After all, if the production of TLK went the way it was in the early production stage, the Lion King fans would be looking at Disney's Kimba instead of Simba by now.
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(written on 6th September 2003, uploaded on 12th October 2003)