This is perhaps the most recognizable movie intro of all time, beloved by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
The new live-action Lion King remake is coming out in just a few days… & the whole world is hoping it’s not a let down. If it is, millions of 30-some year old’s will storm the streets of Disney World with torches & pitchforks. Lol
I remember seeing the Lion King in theatres. My grandma took me & my cousin Kristin to see it. I don’t think I will ever forget that.
WHY does The Lion King resonate so much to us???? – WHAT IS IT about Hamlet with cats that reaches down & touches our soul so deeply?
It was the first time many of us as children were faced with the reality of death.
Now I was a bit odd. I grew up going to hospice houses, saw people dying in their homes, & playing in the caskets in funeral homes (lol), BUT STILL – something about the Lion King bothered me, & it was the fact that Simba’s dad died. I was bothered by that GREATLY as a child, even though I knew the reality of death & dying… I knew other people died, but it’s like I never put two & two together & figured out that someday my own dad would die too… It made me cry when Mufasa died every time & the sadness I felt was overwhelming (I was 6). It was a shock to reality, even if it did use animated lions. It made me realize everyone dies – even me someday. The emotional roller coaster it put you on was intense. As a kid, most of us saw our fathers as our ultimate hero, so to watch Simba see his Dad LOSE that badly was something you just werent able to shake off growing up… and because of Scar, Simba spent his life blaming himself for it.
Remember who you are, The circle of life, You can either run from it, or learn from it – Coming of Age Lessons
That moment when Mufasa appears to Simba in the field… you just don’t forget it. & of course, no one could EVER forget the iconic opening with the Circle of Life… These 2 scenes in particular are key to this movie – they are universal truths that kids mostly are never faced with. They aren’t really childish topics, but yet they are still simple enough for a kid to take in & understand. We all are born, we make decisions that impact ourselves & others, & then we die. What are we going to do with the time we have here? At the end of the day, remember who you are. You are the son/daughter/grandchild/cousin of whoever/God, who was a great influence in your life. It will help you go farther in life when you are down if you can hold on to that remembrance. You cant run from your past, but you CAN learn from it & move forward.
Scar took us down a very dramatic path as far as Disney villans go. He was a murderer that actually accomplished his mission. Seriously. Do you recall a Disney film prior to this where the villan killed the hero? I dont either! No doubt the greatest Disney villan of all time. He showed kids that a brother could kill his brother. No one is safe!
Then to make matters worse, Scar tried to kill his own nephew! (Like some sort of King Richard III & the princes in the tower jacked up mess!) Jealousy can makes people do all kinds of very bad things. That was a BIG emotion to try to process as a kid.
Let’s not even get started on the ‘near’ genius of his whole plan! That guy was seriously a mastermind… Mufasa’s cry of anguish as he fell into the stampede below came from the knowledge that with his death, Simba would now be unprotected, which in the scene just before, he revealed was his ultimate fear… -and Scar could’ve just stood off & ‘let it happen,’ but instead, he made A POINT to directly betray him & let him fall on purpose.
Dawg. That just ain’t right.
The Lion King transported you to Africa – a land many associate with the birth of everything. & it took you there with ethnic music & tribal chants (so beautiful). It brought a new culture to America many kids weren’t exposed to at that age yet. The score is extremely soul-reaching, (of course its Hans Zimmer!) & the lyrics to the songs are unforgettable. I am going to be 31 years old & I still find myself saying Hakuna Matata whenever I am having a rough day, & I feel better.
A Cultural Icon
In many ways the Lion King has become a cultural icon for people of my generation. It was the movie that had no doubt the highest influence in our lives – & we carried the ideas from it forward. Finding your place in this world can be difficult, but we had the Lion King to encourage us to do so as we grew up.
Mufasa was the mose awesome thing about the Lion King in my opinion. He was wise, controlled, honest, loving, strong – and of course, he had that awesome, booming voice that commanded your utmost attention. Mufasa was a symbol of strength for everyone, but to the kiddos who were influenced by Judeo-Christian values at home, he was a depiction of God that they were able to understand at that age. Even for kids not raised under these principles, I think Mufasa’s character still presented the essence of a God-like structure due to his characteristics, & the fact that he mentions things like the afterlife, etc. (Great kings of the past).
Lets face it: Our first love was an animated, old lion. LOL
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the remake is as good as the first one, just in a different way. We all hold the first one dear to our hearts, but let’s give this new one a chance. 😉 We shall all find out 7/19.