A former Disney animator, Blaise, worked on The Lion King as the supervising animator for the younger version of Nala, People reported. To show his profound respect for the species that comes through in digital art he made in tribute to Cecil, the Zimbabwean lion killed by an American hunter last month.
According to People, Blaise wrote on his website that he is a huge animal lover and it drives him “crazy” when he sees “these beautiful creatures destroyed for no good reason.” He continued by stating, “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.”
In the painting, Blaise portrays Cecil’s face as appearing in rolling clouds, similar to how Mufasa’s face appeared to Simba in The Lion King.