From a global perspective, the Epic of Sundiata and the Mali Empire is taught in many schools, colleges and universities, not just in West Africa but in many parts of the World. Some scholars such as Ellen Snodgrass, and others have observed similarities with the 13th-century Epic of Sundiata to Walt Disney's 1994 animated film, "The Lion King" (the inspiration behind The Lion King's franchises such as Lion King, the musical, etc.). Disney has maintained that the film was inspired by william Shakespeare's Hamlet.
1995 Burkinabe movie Keïta! l'Héritage du griot tells the legend of Sundiata Keita.
A strong army was a major contributor to the success of Imperial Mali during the reign of Mansa Sundiata Keita. Credit to Mali's conquests cannot all be attributed to Sundiata Keita but equally shared among his generals, and in this, Tiramakhan Traore stood out as one of the elite generals and Warlords of Sundiata's Imperial Mali. However, in a wider perspective of 13th century West African military history, Sundiata stood out as a great leader who was able to command the loyalties of his generals and army.
In the epic of Sundiata, Sundiata claims "an ancestral origin among the companions of Muhammad in Mecca" (namely, Bilal Ibn Rabah) and speaks of himself as a successor to Dhu al-Qarnayn, a conqueror and king mentioned in the Quran, commonly regarded as a reference to Alexander the Great. In exile, Sundiata learns about Islam when he travels to the city of the Cissés, and returns wearing Muslim robes. It is mentioned that there was "only one mosque" in Niani, Sundiata’s hometown, but we can also see the invocation of "Allah Almighty" by Sundiata’s mother, indicating that Islamic terms, at least, were known. Although it is unknown whether Sundiata was actually Muslim, it is clear that the epic of Sundiata was affected by what Ralph Austen calls "Islamicate" culture—that is, the integration of Islamic and Arab culture by inhabitants of the region, whether they are Muslim or not.