The Lion King
The Lion King is principally about culpability and liberation. Lion cub Simba is heir to his father’s throne and by way of deception believes he is the reason his father died. The distress this causes is so immense that Simba retreats into self imposed exile in order find equanimity. His only friends are a meerkat and a warthog. The comparables to “Hamlet” are there for all astute adults to see. The deceitful, underhanded brother Scar who murders Mufasa, Simba’s father in order to rule, the much loved son wracked by guilt and inability until his father’s ghost gives him direction on what course he should take. The forefront of this movie is death; Mufasa’s end is a chilling moment evocative of a certain scene in Bambi. Despite previous Disney films being fixed on love, the love that develops between Simba and Nala in the Lion King is a subplot; concerns within this movie are for our hero Simba, his coming of age and the responsibilities which arise from this – including the need to deal with guilt and its related fear. Disney places importance on not just the visual but the musical elements and the number which opens this film is a visual performance that may be the most amazing sequence in an animated film ever. A conscious effort has been made to please children and adults alike. The Lion king is a mature film which has succeeded in this effort.
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