The pint-sized star told Kimmel he had seen the 1994 animated classic, The Lion King, which prompted Kimmel to lift him in the air – much like Mufasa – while the Elton John-penned soundtrack swelled in the theatre.
As the moment happened, more fun snacks rained down on the star-studded audience, and the 8-year-old yelled, “Lemonheads and Mike and Ikes!”
Some were put off by the bit, however, with one Twitter user writing, “He would NOT have held up a little white kid like Simba and played the song from Lion King–nope, not even for a film called ‘Lion.’ ”
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Pawar is a Mumbai native, who plays 5-year-old Saroo Brierley in Lion. The film tells the true story of Brierley, who got stuck on a train that took him hundreds of miles from home to Kolkata, where he lived on the streets before eventually being adopted by an Australian couple, played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham.
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As an adult, Brierley was able to find his family again with the help of Google Earth. Lion racked up seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.