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The Lion King

The Lion King

The Lion King is a well-loved and popular American musical released in 1994. It is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed animated movies from the house of Walt Disney. It is the 32nd animated film from Walt Disney and the fifth produced during a period known as the Disney Renaissance. The film was directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff with original songs written by Sir Elton John and composed by Hans Zimmer. The film features a voice cast which includes Matthew Brodrick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg and Jim Cummings. The movie takes place in a kingdom of lions in Africa and draws inspiration from stories of Joseph and Moses from the Bible along with William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, ‘Hamlet’.

The Lion King recounts the story of Simba, (Swahili for lion) a young lion who is to succeed his father, Mufasa as the King of Pride Lands. However, Mufasa and his mate, Queen Sarabi are threatened by Scar, Simba’s vengeful and cruel uncle who covets the throne for himself. He sets a trap for Simba, knowing that Mufasa would come to aid his son. When Mufasa reaches the gorge where Simba has been trapped, Mufasa rescues Simba. But Scar kills his brother and manipulates Simba into fleeing saying that he was responsible for his father’s death. He is rescued by carefree outcasts, Timon and Pumbaa who take him in. Years pass and he encounters Nala, the lioness he was betrothed to. She and Mufasa’s former advisor, Rafiki tell Simba that he can no longer run from his duties. They convince him to return to Pride Lands and reclaim his throne. He rescues his hurt mother Sarabi and fights Scar, ultimately reclaiming the throne and brings peace to the lands.

The Lion King remains to this day one of the most beloved tales of duty, responsibility, and revenge. It was praised universally for its story and animation. The songs ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘Lion sleeps tonight’ remain a cult classic even today. It won two Academy Awards for its achievements in music and won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Disney remade it into a live action movie which was a hit but not as appreciated and loved as the original movie was.

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