'Lion King' Animator Draws Cecil Tribute

Screengrab/The Art of Aaron Blaise
Cecil the lion by Aaron Blaise

"As you may be able to tell I am a HUGE animal lover and it drives me crazy when I see these beautiful creatures destroyed for no good reason."

Aaron Blaise, animator of classic Disney characters from films including Lion King, Aladdin, Pocahontas and Beauty and the Beast has created a tribute image of Cecil the lion, who was shot and killed in Zimbabwe this month by an American hunter.

In honor of Cecil, Blaise posted the digital rendering and also a time-lapse video that reveals the making of it. He writes in a statement on the site: "As you may be able to tell I am a HUGE animal lover and it drives me crazy when I see these beautiful creatures destroyed for no good reason. In fact, I’ve decided to get personally involved and hopefully our efforts can help educate people and prevent these horrible things from happening in the future."

The image of Cecil looming large in the sky above three other lions is accompanied by a quote from the Lion King in which Simba's father, Mufasa, tells him: "Look at the stars. The great kings from the past look down upon us from those stars."

"It's not much," writes Blaise, "but hopefully it will make people think."

Watch the time-lapse video of the making of the image below.

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