My 5 Thoughts After Watching The Lion King
The Broadway touring company of The Lion King just started it's two week run at the Plaza Theatre in El Paso. I took my daughters to see it and it was great! Top notch! Much better than Cats!
Here are the 5 thoughts I had after seeing Lion King
1.) Mufasa tells Simba, "We eat the gazelles and when we die our bodies turn into grass which the gazelles then eat." Uh....yeah, that seems fair. Not. "We run these guys down, rip them to shreds with our razor sharp claws and literally eat them alive while they're still feeling everything. Then, they get to eat some grass that grew over where we died. Or something. Who cares? We won't be around to feel it! It's awesome to be a lion!"
2.) Lion King is just a retelling of Hamlet
I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice this. For all I know Tim Rice acknowledges it. Here are the clear parallels:
King is murdered by conniving brother. The son is sent away and henchmen are ordered to kill him by the evil new king. The henchmen don't succeed, though (Rosencrantz and Gildestern are dead!). The new king marries/tries to marry his brother's widow. The son finally learns the truth of what really happened and seeks revenge. Also, there are fart jokes.
3.) I Kept Noticing Parallels with Black Panther
Lion King and Black Panther both were about big, predatory cat-themed royalty.
They both have a "ancestral plain". In facts the night sky in both of the movies has a mystically looking purplish glow to it. But, in Black Panther it doesn't spell out "sex"
The dead King "returns" with an uplifting message for his son.
An evil relative usurps the throne
Simba and T'Challa both question if they are fit to be king.
Simba and T'Challa are both convinced by their love interests that they are not responsible for their fathers' deaths.
Mufasa is thrown from a cliff by Scar. T'Challa is thrown from a cliff by Killmonger.
Angela Bassette played both T'Challa's mother AND Simba's mother. That's a lie! But I got you for a second, didn't I?? That's because the two characters are virtually identical as far as the roles the played in the plot.
4.) When Simba sing's "I Just Can't Wait to be King" he's really saying "I can't wait for my Dad to die". Yes, I know this has already been posted on Reddit about a billion times. But it's still true. I like to imagine that Prince Charles often gets this tune stuck in his head and it takes every bit of willpower to keep from singing or whistling it out loud.
5.) I Kind of Feel Bad for the Hyenas.
I mean, clearly, they're not meant to be sympathetic characters. They're ugly, abrasive and they play with their food. But, to be fair, it's mentioned a couple of times in the movie and the play: they have a valid reason for not liking Mufasa. That is, they are starving. When Scar enlists the Hyena's he does so by promising them, "You'll never go hungry again". So, starvation IS an understandable motivation.
By the way, where do the hyenas figure into Mufasa's glorious "circle of life"? They're clearly banished from the Pride Lands, but why? Because they're "mangy scavengers"? Hey, "Circle of Life", baby! Could it be the lions don't want any other carnivores around to compete for food? Hell, it seems like Mufasa doesn't even want the hyenas around to scavenge the scraps of the dead animals the lions leave behind. "Circle of life" my ass.