The Lion King’s Inspiration?
In 1994, Walt Disney Pictures released the movie The Lion King. The movie became what could perhaps be the best-animated feature of all time. Disney Pictures has always stated that this was an original story and not based off of anything else. However, “Most of the critics whose reviews appear on one of the several Lion King Web pages… compare the movie to Hamlet…” (Schwalm). Likewise, many people cannot help but draw comparisons between The Lion King and certain elements in the Bible. Though there are many similarities between The Lion King and Hamlet and perhaps some over shadowing of The Bible, there are also many differences that make the stories their own. The young prince in The Lion King, Simba, is a precocious cub who finds himself in a good amount of precarious predicaments. His father, Mufasa, typically saves Simba and it is in one of these predicaments that cause Mufasa’s death. This is reported to be a hint of the Bible represented by “The king--Mufasa here, God in the Bible…” (Ward 174). This is also where it is argued that a reference to religion can be seen as Mufasa restricts Simba from going to certain places within the kingdom, which could be reflective of Adam and Eve in the Bible not being able to eat the forbidden fruit. Scar convinces Simba to visit a forbidden area in the kingdom much like the serpent in the Bible convinces Eve to eat the fruit. Simba is tricked into thinking his father’s death is really his fault by his Uncle Scar. After Scar convinces young Simba that it is his fault that Mufasa is now dead, Simba runs away from Pride Rock ashamed of what he thinks he has caused and grieving his father’s death. According to some critics this is a rough reference to religion and represents “…the fall into sin.” (Ward 173). Likewise in the Bible Adam and Eve are ashamed after they do the forbidden and they grieve their loss of ignorant bliss. Simba grows up hiding from his past and responsibilities....
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The Lion King. Dir. Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff. By Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton, Tim Rice, Elton John, Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, and Jeremy Irons. Perf. Jonathan Taylor Thomas, James Earl Jones, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Whoopi Goldburg, Jeremy Iron, and Moria Kelly. Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc., 1994. DVD.
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Schwalm, Karen. "Patriarchy in the Pride Lands: A Cultural Analysis of The Lion King." Welcome to Web.gccaz.edu. 26 Apr. 1995. Web. 17 Aug. 2011. <http://web.gccaz.edu/~kschwalm/lionking.html>.
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