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Rafiki, a mystical shaman from The Lion King, is one of Disney's more eccentric characters. He resembles a mandrill, but lacks the crest on his head. He is more often referred to as a baboon. He tends to speak in third person when speaking of himself. He makes his his home in a baobab tree in Africa.
Over the years, he's been close to the royal family of Pride Rock. He was friends with Mufasta, was present at the birth of Simba and Kaira(Simba's daughter), and helped Simba claim his throne from Scar. In fact, Rafiki means friend in Swahili.
His favorite phrase is "Asante sana, squash banana! Wewe nugu, mimi apana!" It translates to "Thank you very much, squash banana! You're a baboon, and I'm not!" Brenda Champman originally wrote down the "Asante sana..." phrase after hearing it from a guide during a trip she took to Eastern Africa.
Here are some of the people who helped create Rafiki:
Animator: James Baxter
Assistant Animators: Kris Heller and Susan Y. Sugita
Key Assistant: Terry Wosinak
Clean-up artist: Marshall Toomey
Break Down Clean-up artists: Miram McDonnel and Mary-Jean Repchuck
Voice: Robert Guillaume
Rafiki in many ways resembles a crazy wisdom Zen master: playing a fool on the surface but being deep and insightful underneath.