Making a quality movie is a tough job and making a kids special film which is entertaining as well as meaningful is tougher. The Lion King is one such fantastic movie which is loved not only by kids but adults as well. It is one of the benchmark movie which set new standard and quality for animation movies.
32nd in the Walt Disney Animation Classics series, The Lion King takes place in the Jungle of Africa. Literary lovers may find the reference/influence of Hamlet by Shakespeare in the story. The story is simple yet effective. Actually the fantastic treatment makes it a fantastic film experience. First released on 15 June 1994 this movie was re-released in 2011 in 3D format, and again it was a blockbuster.
The story is something like this:
In the Jungle of Africa there was a kingdom of animals which was ruled by a lion king named Mufasa. Mufasa and his wife Sarabi were blessed with a baby boy, who later on named as Simba. All the animals celebrate the birth of their future king – Simba ; with one exception! Scar, the younger brother of Mufasa, have hidden rivalry with his brother, didn’t like it at all! As now there is no chance that he could ever be the king of the Jungle.
If you look at the characterization it also remind you some of the leads to the famous Indian saga of – the Mahabharat – as well. If you look at the colors of the animated characters you got to see more of the darkness in the characters like – Scar.
Over the period of time Mufasa teaches some valuable lessons of life to his young cub Simba, who might not be that much mature to understand them all. The conversation between the father-son is first rate. The dialogs are fantastic here.
Scar played tricks with vulnerable, or rather immature, kid Simba several times to get him out of his way, without success. But one day he got succeed in killing Mufasa and getting Simba out of the pride! How? It is better to be seen in movie. Heartbroken Simba was feared and run away. He was about to be eaten by killer birds before saved by Pumbaa and Timon. They became friends and live a life full of joy and no goal ahead.
Here, the kingdom, now ruled by Oscar and the group of Hynas, is all different than it was in the time of Mufasa. Once the natural beauty and balance of the Jungle and life there was to envy for, it was an ideal kingdom. Now it is a place which is totally opposite to what it was!
Simba got into his youth and he is still living aimless life in happy-go-lucky manner.
Will his fate bring him back to the Jungle? Will he take place of his father? Will he be the king his father wants him to be? Will he be out of the guilt he is dropped into? What would be the fate of Scar and his team?
All these questions are answered in the rest of the story.
There are several famous actors dubbed for the major roles and we must say the voice, the sound quality, the dialog, the dubbing – all is simply superb. In animation movies, it is a challenge to bring characters live, which is done nicely here. The background music is fantastic and the music of the movie is praised overall. The song – Hakuna Matata – is a must to mention.
The scatch-artists and the graphic experts are the real heroes of the film, who brought the Jungle, the animals and the surrounding in a very lovable manner. The body language of the characters, the expression of the animals, all is very tough to portray. It also require to study in details, the behavior of specific species in various situations. Which is done nicely. In the screenplay the scenes are written and integrated pretty well. In addition to the emotional bond, rivalry, friendship; there is the innocent love story of Simba and Nala also moves ahead.
In the less known facts, the movie also led to some controversies as well:
- There was a popular Japanese anime television show titled as – Kimba the White Lion – in 1960s. There are quite a lot similarities between characters having analogues, and various individual scenes being nearly identical in composition and camera angle – between the show and the movie – The Lion King.
- There was a scene in which SEX word is shown in the movie made from dust, however the movie making team claimed that it is the word SFX (popular small version for – Special Effects).
- Some groups have protested against the portrayal of Hynas in the film.
- The song – The Lion Sleeps Tonight – in a scene with Timon and Pumbaa has led to disputes between Disney and the family of South African Solomon Linda, who composed the song (originally titled “Mbube”) in 1939. The family filed a legal suit against the producers and later settled via undisclosed amount.
The movie is dubbed into several languages around the world – including Hindi.
Overall a nice movie to watch. Not only the kids, but the adults can also enjoy the movie.