Dandelion seeds are magic. No, really—they actually symbolize magic in The Lion King. The animators use them as a visual allegory for the way magic works in The Lion King's world.
Remember that scene where Simba flops down in the grass and sends a bunch of dandelion seeds and pollen flying off into the night sky? And remember how Rafiki manages to actually catch those very same dandelion seeds and divine from them that Simba is alive and well somewhere? Yeah … that's not exactly the way nature works. That's some pure hocus-pocus.
The interesting thing about The Lion King is that although it's an animated film, it's still a pretty true depiction of the way things are in nature. The lions walk on all four legs and move around like real lions. There are no spaceships or birds in business suits or waterfalls that fall upward.
But there is magic. The dandelion seeds are a subtle element that somehow manages to defy the way we know—or think we know—nature actually works.