Trying to address what I think is this fandom's basic problem.
I originally published this at Fanpop's TLK club as bendaimmortal. This is a slightly improved version.
I'm not denying the characters' existence in the general TLK universe. This speaks of the movie universe only.
There's a reason why there are the different terms; canon, semi-canon, fanfiction. Because there's a difference and the difference matters. I personally welcome fanfiction with open arms into my interests in fandoms - but I do find it also awfully important that the facts are kept straight in official/canon vs. fanfiction. And in this fandom the facts are so messed up.
"Scar killed Mheetu! It is true! Just search google!" Since when was random Google search results the Truth? I think you'll find the truth a whole lot less dranatic. And "Zira killed Kopa and that's why--" But wait! Then why doesn't the film refer to any cub or murder with so much as half a word? Perhaps because Zira DIDN'T kill a cub. "Why haven't they made a movie where they explain what happened to Kopa?!" Because nothing happened to Kopa for Kopa has never existed in the movie universe.
You know what I think is this fandom's problem?
"Mheetu,Sarafina's son by an unknown male is never mentioned in the movie. But he does exist! So what do you think is his story? Here is my opinion..."
As in that every character who has ever been mentioned in The Lion King universe in the slightest official shape or form--whether it was originally intented into a film or simply has Disney's stamp on it--has to have an official story for why they don't show up in the film(s). And then too many blindly believe any story they read online if it makes any sense at all at the first thought. (Like the most popular fan theory for Kopa, which in a little deeper look turns out to be horribly illogic. See my article "Kopa was killed/disappeared theories = impossible".)
In fact Mheetu doesn't exist and he doesn't have a story for not being in the movie(s) because he was cut out with no references. Hence, CUT out, not written out. And Kopa doesn't appear in the Simba's Pride film because he never existed in the first place as is evident by the commentary track and the first movie's content itself.
Boring? Yes, I agree. But that's the reality of film making; Mheetu is a victim of how lots of stuff is intented but then cut out as unfitting, unneeded, or just out of the way of better ideas, and thus not meant as part of the final outcome's universe in any way. Becomes non-existent without a story for it.
Kopa wasn't created by Disney but by an outsider comic writer after the film was released, and he was evidently never intented by the film makers. The general Disney gave its stamp on the books but so it did to many other books that contradict those books. As in the book universe is evidently a collection of profit fanfiction stories and nothing more. Disney has never taken into their movie universe, stories and characters created by fans even if they held the copyrights. Their movie production teams like to create their own original characters or base the characters on some epic, old fairytales. And thus Kopa got ignored and literally denied by all film makers and remains an official fanfiction character who never existed in the film universe, and so doesn't have a story for it.
Mheetu just isn't there and Kopa is a never-was.
It's cool and fine if you want to create and share fanfiction views for why they don't appear in the films--those made-up stories may be even interesting. But for heaven's sake, they don't REALLY have a story other than that they just aren't or never were there. So please stop spreading the stories as official because not one of them is, and please stop saying / giving the impression that the characters officially exist in the movie universe - because they don't.
There are many fans out here who actually care about the facts and discussing the true canon world - and even more importantly, when new people come asking questions they naturally want THE FACTS and not your personal believes, not your fantasy world and fan visions. And when they come and get your theories at their face, based on no real facts, they get confused.
CANON = the first film's content as in the authentic The Lion King.
- Does the first film's content show or mention Mheetu? No.
- The cub looks like Kopa but does the content actually say it's name is Kopa or that it's a male? No.
----> Mheetu and Kopa are not canon.
OFFICIAL SEQUEL = the only official movie sequel made by Disney, Simba's Pride.
- Does the sequel's content show or mention Mheetu? No.
- The cub and ceremony looks different from the first film's but does this film show or mention Kopa? No.
- Does the sequel's official trailer use the first film's cub for baby Kiara? Yes.
- Does the sequel's animator say that the cub at the end of the first film is a queen? Yes. (Here.)
-----> Mheetu and Kopa are not official movie characters. They don't exist in the movie universe.
They should first be mentioned in the movies in order to have any base for a story for their absence.
As in, boring but true - there are no official stories for Mheetu and Kopa, and there's no conspiracy.
They just aren't there.