Phango es un leopardo ficticio y medio ciego con un sentido del olfato casi sobrenatural que aterroriza a otros animales en el desierto de Karroo y es el principal antagonista de la película, Khumba .
In the middle of the movie, The Black Eagle explains to Khumba Phango's origins. Phango was born with one blind eye and was outcast by his clan as the runt of the litter. It is suggested he suffered much neglect and physical abuse. In one event as a cub, he was carelessly kicked into the water hole at the clan's cave and nearly drowned. Although half-blind, this deficit of good sight gave him instead a gifted sense of smell, which he began to use to his advantage to become a mighty hunter. He rose back up and killed his entire clan in revenge. However, Phango wasn't satisfied, and continued to kill without reason or need, causing the entire Karroo to live in fear of him.
Phango is first seen roaming the desert sniffing out specific scents. Later, Khumba, opens the zebra's enclosed fence to let some Gemsboks in for water. Outside the perimeter, Phango, who was stalking the Gemsboks, attempted to breach the enclosure, but was unable to enter before the zebras closed it in a mad panic. He taunts the zebras from outside the fence, addressing the zebra clan leader and further aggravating the herd's fears about the drought.
Later, Phango encounters the wild dog Skalk in a junkyard, after the dog's encounter with Khumba. He paws Skalk down and menaces him with threats to eat him. Terrified, the wild dog reveals information about the half-striped zebra Khumba. Phango, maliciously intrigued because of his lifelong obsession with the legend, demanded to know where Khumba was last seen.
Phango continues to follow close behind Khumba and his new friends, Mama V and Bradley, on their journey across the Karroo. The pursuit takes him through Ying's Animal Sanctuary after all the animals there have left, where he encounters and deliberately ignores a terrified pangolin.
He catches up with Mama V and Bradley in the Valley of Desolation, after they separate from Khumba. Phango chases them through the canyon, making a point of terrorizing and taunting them all the way, much to the horror of the traumatized Mama V. When he finally corners the two on a ledge, he demands information on the location of the half-striped zebra. Out of fear, Bradley accidentally reveals Khumba's intent to travel to Ngow Mountain-- Phango's Cave, the location of the magic water hole-- and Phango abandons the hunt.
When Khumba finally arrives to the water hole alone, Phango is already waiting for him. As Khumba has a moment of hesitation, the leopard reveals himself. Phango, while regarding drawings and stone etchings on the cavern walls of the prophecies, tells Khumba of the prophecy that a half striped zebra would be born and grant the leopard that killed it great power. He explains that he killed his entire clan to have Khumba to himself. He charges at Khumba and chases him through the cavern, trying to terrorize the zebra just as he threatens everyone he encounters. In his reckless, desperate attempts to catch the elusive zebra, he knocks over several columns, causing the cave to begin to collapse.
Phango manages to drag Khumba into the water. While trying to drown Khumba, Phango has a traumatic flashback to the day as a cub where he almost drowned in the same waters. Khumba uses this moment of distraction to escape for a few moments before the leopard drags him back into the water and pins the zebra’s body to a rock. Above them, a large stalactite splinters and forces them apart. It cracks the walls of the cave open, causing a waterfall to emerge and a watering hole to form at the base of the mountain. The two go spilling out onto the cliffside as the zebras, antelopes, and assorted animals watch in suspense. Phango stalks Khumba across the ledge as the zebra struggles to keep his footing, still trying to reason with the feline. He follows Khumba onto a loose rock and scratches his flank, but the rock tilts backward and Khumba kicks him in the face, jumping to safety. The rock teeters on the edge of the cliff, and Khumba, in an altruistic attempt to save his foe, tries to apply counterpressure to the rock. Phango attempts again to attack the zebra, and Khumba flinches and lets go, sending Phango falling to his death, crushed beneath the flat rock. A second rock falls as well, confirming the great cat’s death.
Phango is a ruthless, sadistic, and cruel lone ranger with a dislike for just about everyone. He is very superstitious of ancient myths, particularly the one of the half-striped zebra. He is obsessed with being 'whole', as he has only half of his sight, and believes that eating the half-striped zebra will give him great powers and make him 'complete'. He routinely achieves his goals through intimidation and violence. He is a very ferocious animal and is aggressive, self-interested, malicious, and most of all, vindictive.
Phango is a large orange leopard with brown spots and green eyes. He has twisted whiskers, a long tail, and is completely blind in his right eye. He makes up for this minor disability with fearsome hunting skills and an extraordinary sense of smell.
Relationships and EncountersEdit
Phango is obsessed with killing Khumba throughout the movie, although they only meet face-to-face at his cave. Although it is said that eating Khumba would give him great power, he shows no absolutely reverence or compassion for Khumba, and is happy to play dirty in order to kill the zebra.
Mama V and Bradley
Although it is not seen in the film, it is implied that Phango and Mama V had previously met at some point in the past when Phango hunted and killed her young calf. He does not appear to recognize Mama V from this implied encounter when they meet in the film.
When he encounters Mama V and Bradley in the canyon, he takes some unusual joy in terrorizing the two for information, but does not take enough interest to actually kill them.
Phango was much of an outcast among his litter as a cub because of his blindness. Because of this, his clan often neglected him and even physically abused him. As he grew, he used his strong sense of smell to his advantage and became a mighty warrior and later killed his entire clan. He claims that he murdered his clan not necessarily out of vengeance, but so that he could have Khumba to himself.
Phango coerces Skalk into revealing information about Khumba, threatening to eat the dog for fun until he realized that Skalk had valuable information. He shows special dislike for wild dogs in general, considering them beneath mighty hunters such as himself, even to eat.
Phango addresses the zebra clan leader Mkhulu by name while he is roaming outside the zebra enclosure, and further stirs up the zebras' fears concerning the drought.
- "But you're not the same, are you? They hardly get my pulse rate up. You are the one I've been waiting for. It was foretold that a half-striped zebra would be born and make one of us the most powerful leopard that ever lived. But I killed my own clan, so that I could have you!" [to Khumba during their final battle]
- "I can smell your fear. I can almost taste it!" [to Mkhulu from outside the fence]
- "You scavenge so low on the food chain, you couldn't possibly understand his power!" [to Skalk, about Khumba]
- "YOU ARE the savour slowly, One stripe at a time"
- "YOU are the half, when the half the world complete me"
- "There’s only one way to find out".