Rewatching: The Lion King
The Lion King, along with all of the other Disney classics, was one of my favorite movies growing up, and its appeal is so solid that it’s held up every time I’ve watched it as I’ve grown older. So, starting with The Lion King, I’m going back and watching all my favorite Disney movies, while keeping a running diary of my thoughts. I encourage you to watch along.
12:17 – From IMDB.com: “The original opening to the film was supposed to have been a quiet dialogue-heavy sequence. When composer Hans Zimmer prepared his interpretation of Circle of Life, he made an extended version so he would have some flexibility as to what to cut for the film. The animators were so impressed with the work that they decided to change the beginning into the currently seen sequence so they could use the entire work that Zimmer prepared.” Wow, MUCH better choice going with the Circle of Life. I will now take this opportunity to rank the top songs from The Lion King.
- I Just Can’t Wait To Be King
- Can You Feel The Love Tonight
- Circle Of Life
- Be Prepared
- Hakuna Matata
- Morning Report – Does this song really even count? Fuck this song.
12:19 – Now, if I were a gazelle, and a lion was the ruler of my kingdom, I’d be like “fuuuck that”.
12:22 – People say Scar is such a bad guy, but where were the parents at?
12:23 – Okay, Scar just straight up threatened to murder Mufasa, telling him to his face, “Better not turn your back on me…” and Mufasa just sighs to Zazu, “I don’t know what I’m going to do with him.” Probably lock him up, CAUSE HE’S GOING TO KILL YOU.
Mufasa: “Look Simba, everything the light touches is your kingdom”
Simba: “Everything the light touches? What about that shadowy place?”
CLEARLY THE LIGHT DOESN’T TOUCH IT YOU FUCKING DUMB LION
12:26 – Mufasa explaining the circle of life to Simba, how everyone’s involved and Simba asks “Dad, don’t we eat the antelope?” Mufasa: “Uhhh, fuck.”
12:31 – Did you remember Simba and Nala were to be an arranged marriage? I sure didn’t, but in retrospect, I’m pretty sure Scar, Mufasa, and Simba are the only male lions in this whole goddamn kingdom, so I guess they really don’t have much of a choice.
12:31 – I’M BRUSHING UP ON LOOKING DOWN, I’M WORKING ON MY ROOOOOOOARRR. It’s worth mentioning twice, but “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” is definitely my favorite song in The Lion King. It’s in my MP3 player.
12:39 – So after a bit of hanging around in the Pridelands, Mufasa just had to save Simba’s ass from the coyotes in the elephant graveyard, and gets to give him the “I’m very disappointed in you” speech. In the gritty reboot version Simba dies. Cause Mufasa’s a lion, and doesn’t have human emotions.
12:44 – “Be Prepared” is definitely the Disney song that sticks out in my head as one of the scariest Disney moments of 8 year old me’s life. When the hyenas start marching around, saluting Scar, it really, really looks like a Nazi rally. (Editor’s Note: From IMDB: “During “Be Prepared”, the hyenas’ marching past Scar on the elevated rock was inspired by footage of Nazis marching by Adolf Hitler on a podium.” So, well, there ya go.) Then there’s lava and scary animals, and this is still pretty scary.
12:47 – So Scar plots to kill his brother and his nephew by using the hyenas to scare a herd of wildebeasts into a stampede, hopefully trampling both of them in the process. To be honest, that’s leaving a whole lot to chance, but I suppose a lion that’s smart enough to have learned English in the middle of Africa probably knows what he’s doing.
12:51 – Mufasa was voiced by James Earl Jones. James Earl Jones is black. Mufasa died first. Is Disney racist? Probably.
12:52 – Well, to be fair, all the wildebeasts Mufasa’s eaten in his lifetime have certainly been avenged. CIRCLE OF LIFE BITCH.
12:54 – I don’t really remember how Mufasa’s death affected me when I was a kid (it’s healthy to repress feelings) but man, ballsy move by Disney there. I can’t imagine taking a kid to go see The Lion King, and having a major death HALFWAY through the movie. Can you imagine having to deal with a crying kid with almost an hour left in the movie?
12:56 – Scar takes over.
12:57 – Oh yeah, let the hyenas into the Pridelands, that’ll do wonders for the property value.
INTERMISSION CAUSE SIMBA ALMOST DIED, MUFASA DID DIE, AND I NEED A MOMENT
12:58 – Simba wakes up after running away from home and meets a warthog and meerkat. Two things: 1) I keep thinking Billy Crystal is the voice of Timon (Nathan Lane). 2) I typed in “Timon and Pumbaa voices” into Google, and the second option was “Timon and Pumbaa gay”, so, thanks internet.
1:02 – I haven’t seen the Lion King 1 ½, but I’m assuming it’s just a 77 minute extended cut of Hakuna Matata.
1:05 – Back to the Pridelands, and Scar has just completed his tenth year of the worst kingship in history. He somehow even changed the weather from bright and cheery to dark and gray and scary. Misuse of greenhouse gasses and aerosol cans no doubt.
1:09 – HOW DOES RAFIKI KNOW SIMBA’S ALIVE? Rafiki is the fucking man. When Rafiki realizes Simba is alive is already my favorite part of this movie. There’s just something about the uplifting score and Rafiki’s infectious happiness. “Simba? He’s alive. HE’S ALIVE!” (This clip is in Finnish, but close enough)
1:11 – Nala found Simba! And that brings us to “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” I started to watch the “Making Of” feature after the movie, and they mentioned that they had originally inserted this song as more of a goofy song primarily sung by Timon and Pumbaa, instead of the sweeping Disney love song Elton John wanted, and he flipped out. He told them it ruined the movie, and well, he was right. They changed it back to the way it is now, and it’s one of the most iconic Disney songs ever created.
1:18 – Simba: “Now you’re starting to sound like my father.” Nala: “Good, at least one of us does.” BURN.
1:20 – Rafiki to the rescue! God, why isn’t he king? Nothing he does makes any sense, and then, BAM, everything makes sense and you’re talking to your dead father in the clouds.
Rafiki: “Look down there.”
Adult Simba: [looks into a pool of water] “That’s not my father. That’s just my reflection. “
Rafiki: “No, look harder.”
[touches the water, as it ripples Simba’s reflection changes to that of his father]
Rafiki: “You see? He lives in you.”
Such an incredible exchange involving Rafiki, leading to Simba talking to his father, and realizing what he must do. And yet another opportunity for a soaring musical score set to Simba taking off to redeem himself. Goosebumps friends, goosebumps.
1:27 – Simba runs back to the Pridelands, and okay, literally everything is dead, gray, and barren. I really think Mufasa just had the luckiest streak of weather in Africa’s history, and Scar the unluckiest.
1:29 – I don’t like how Scar treats women. He’s very rude.
1:33 – As Scar continues his wonderful reelection campaign, Simba appears and it’s time for his redemption and Scar’s comeuppance. However, Scar has an ace up his sleeve as he guilts Simba into once again believing and admitting his guilt for causing his father’s death, breaking down his defenses and backing him into a corner. But, like an idiot, Scar tells Simba that he actually killed Mufasa, giving Simba the motivation to fight back. Then, when Simba backs Scar into a corner, he desperately tries to blame it on the hyenas, and hits Simba with a cheap shot as he’s walking away. Scar is such a dick.
1:37 – No matter, Simba takes it in stride and throws Scar of off Pride Rock like a baller. And sure, it happens off camera, but this movie really does end with a major character getting eaten alive by hyenas, doesn’t it? Also, according to IMDB there’s a deleted scene where you actually get to see Scar getting torn apart in vulgar, grisly, bloody fashion. Only, it happens in my mind. Cause fuck Scar.
1:40 – A new child is born, but with only one male lion left, the pride dies off in a short amount of years thereafter. The End.