Artist Aaron Blaise has created a beautiful tribute to Cecil the lion, who was horribly slain in an illegal hunt on July 1st. Aaron, who worked as an animator for Walt Disney Feature Animation for 21 years, has taken his inspiration from one of the films he worked on, The Lion King, depicting Cecil in the iconic scene where Mufasa appears in the stars.

“Like many people around the world, I was extremely moved by the recent tragedy surrounding the hunting and killing of the beloved lion know as Cecil” Aaron wrote on his website. “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.

As some of you may also know I was one of the animators on “The Lion King” – When I heard the news about Cecil I got inspired to create a tribute image. It’s not much but hopefully it will make people think.”


Aaron has been inundated with requests for prints and is now offering two versions of the image as museum quality poster prints. 100% of the profits from the sale of these images will be donated to WildCRU, the organization that was studying and protecting Cecil and his pride. Prints can be purchased directly from Aaron’s website.

Aaron worked as an animator or supervising animator on The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan and co-directed Brother Bear, which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. Aaron is retired and concentrating on his painting career.

Watch a time-lapse video showing the creation of the image below.

Speed Paint – Photoshop Cecil the Lion

About The Author

Olga Hughes is currently pre-occupied with fairy tales, fantasy, misanthropy, medieval history and the long eighteenth century. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts and is currently majoring in Literature and History at Deakin. She has contributed to websites such as History behind Game of Thrones, The Anne Boleyn Files and The Tudor Society.

2 Responses

  1. Underdogge

    Lovely picture – poor lion. When I read the original news item I thought there was something obscene about a world where somebody can pay a King’s ransom of a sum to pay to go and slay a lion illegally while there are people in the third world who hardly have enough to eat daily. Not that I can wave a magic wand and put things right. Hopefully Mr Blaise will raise a decent amount of money to help wildCRU.

    • Olga Hughes

      It makes you think doesn’t it? Some of these hunters try claiming that the hunts are good for the ‘local economy’ but that’s rubbish. They don’t see a cent of the money. And that sort of money could do so much good in those poverty-stricken areas.

      I think Aaron has done very well so far. It is such a lovely gesture.