I just got done arguing this point with particularly rabid anime fanbrats, so this is going to be a bit of a rant.
Now, I'm not one to fan hate, but by damn, sometimes certain fanbases it make it easy to. VERY easy, and very tempting. Look, particularly obsessed anime fanbrats, slinging mud in The Lion King's direction over the whole Lion King vs. Kimba nonsense has accomplished the grand total of one thing over the years: you've made people like me dislike Kimba and even bristle at the very mention of the show's name. Look, I'm not going to to argue Lion King's case. I've done that millions of times over and never once received an acceptable counter argument.
I might have liked Kimba: The White Lion. I really might have, but all the slander directed at one of my all-time favorite Disney movies have convinced me not to touch this show with a twenty foot pole. Well, that's not entirely tue, I did try to watch the show and found it to be a subpar opus, at best. Seriously, THIS is the work that has you all up in arms?! Give me a break. Granted, I went into it with a less than positive attitude, but still... Okay, so they have lions. Okay, so the father dies. The latter is typical of many "coming of age" stories and Disney cites Hamlet, among other things, as source for Lion King. Everything IN The Lion King is very general to most stories of that kind, and the similarities between the two are very superficial.
Seriously, we may as well complain about Superman's backstory being Moses with aliens.
My point: give it rest. You're not doing Kimba any favors by introducing people to the show in the worst way you possibly could. Look at it from a Disney fan's point of view. Let's pick a show, shall me? Ghost in the Shell. Alright, you're enjoying yourself on a GitS board one day when suddenly some prat shows up with righteous indignation and starts slinging insults and claims that Ghost ripped off another work (let's just pick Blade Runner or The Princess of Mars hypothetically). Now tell me, would you view what he's claiming is the "superior original" very kindly? No, you wouldn't. And that's how it is for us. I cannot stress enough that you're not doing Kimba any favors by dombarding Disney fans with all this ire. You're making us groan at the very mention of your beloved show's name. I can't imagine you want that to be our reaction anytime Kimba's brought up.
And another thing. Let's say Disney comes out and admits it, and I'm proven wrong. Alright, what do you want me to do about it? The film is going on 20 years old in a few years. So what exactly are we supposed to do about Lion King and Kimba's similarities, I wonder. It's too late to boycott the movie (too late five or six times over now, in fact), and I've already bought the dang thing on home video twice (VHS and DVD).
Now let's look at the things that are different
-Simba knew his father, Kimba didn't.
-Mufasa was killed by his brother, Ceaser was killed by a hunter.
-Simba grew up with Nala, Kimba met Kitty later.
-Simba grew up, Kimba didn't.
-LK's plot is Similar to Hamlet, whereas Kimba seems to have just about everything short of alien invasion.
-Scar is a constant antagonist, Claw isn't.
-LK has set characters, Kimba has a lot of one-offs.
Also for plot points:
Kimba's father is the king of a jungle
Simba's father is the king of a big patch of savannah
Kimba's father is killed by a hunter (apparently) for stealing domestic cattle off human villages.
Simba's father is killed by his brother out of greed.
Kimba is shipped off with him mother to a zoo while still in her womb, but escapes when the ship founders in a storm.
Simba is chased off alone by hyenas (after birth, obviously), but escapes when he falls into a field of thorn-bushes.
Kimba nearly drowns at sea, but is taught to swim by fishes and guided to land by butterflies.
Simba nearly dies in the desert, but is rescued at the last by Timon and Pumbaa and manages his way home without asking for directions.
Kimba is raised by two humans somewhere in the Middle-East.
Simba is raised by Timon and Pumbaa in an African Jungle.
Kimba is eager to get home.
Simba is not eager to go home, and is only shamed into it eventually by Rafiki.
Kimba brings the wonders of human civilisation to his jungle home.
Simba overthrows his tyrannical uncle to allow his land to regenerate.
Do any of those actually sound similar to you? They certainly don't to me. It would be like claiming that The Lord of the Rings is a ripoff of Babylon 5.
Next, you DON'T have to validate your love of anime at all, and picking fights with fans of other works isn't how to do it. Stop getting so desperate to be accepted and proven acceptable for liking anime by targetting and tearing apart as a "ripoff" anything Western that remotely resembles an anime. I also love anime, but I also love opuses that are made in the Western part of the world.
I don't need to point at Treasure Planet and call it a rip off of Outlaw Star to prove that what I like is acceptable (for one thing, I'd have to completely ignore the existance of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island). At the end of the day, nobody cares. Or the only people who do will be the fans of the work that's being accused and slandered, and the only thing they'll be feeling is anger and annoyance right back at anime fans. Stuff like this and the Atlantis vs. Nadia thing doesn't reflect well on anime fans as a whole.
One thing I would like to remind anyone to prescribes by the "Lion King rips off Kimba" mindset: Both Europe and China have their own version of the Cinderella tale, and both were developed independently. So yes, different parts of the world CAN create two very similar stories purely by chance.
Also, the only difference between a movie not based on anything particular and a remake is that the remake is just more blatant about being an old idea.
Now, I'm not saying all or even most anime fans are like this. I'm just talking about the prats that do act like this.
Anyway, sorry, I just HAD to get this off my chest. Seeya all later.