8 Things I Actually Realized About The Lion King

If ever there were a blog post that aimed for absolute transparency, this would be it. Last week’s post on Disney’s 3-D re-release of The Lion King outlined 5 basic, unspecific things you probably didn’t realize about the film. That article, however, might as well have been a link to the film’s Wikipedia page (though I have a fantasy that the blog possesses a bit more gratuitous wit and ‘insight’ than Wiki’s sources). Anyway, I actually watched the movie last night, in 3-D, at Providence Place and amidst an audience that consisted of 33% Brown students, 33% students from other colleges and 33% people in fake Ed Hardy. Here are a few genuine observations about The Lion King in 3-D.

  1. Damn this movie’s sad: As in its other emotional powerhouses, such as Up and Toy Story 3, Disney wastes no time injecting highly dramatic and very emotional scenes early on. Simba in trouble. Mufasa’s death. Running away. #waytooreal
  2. “Be Prepared” for war imagery: In that scene where Scar sings about how he also just can’t wait to be king, the hyenas marching in perfect time looks a little too much like (insert horrible world power) troopers in formation.
  3. Efficient characterization is an understatement: This movie isn’t even 90 minutes long, yet we care about the characters immediately. Particularly shocking is how Timon, Pumba and Simba generate a life-defining rapport over the course of a four minute song.
  4. Nala got her cookies took: in the best jungle-set 3-D sex scene since Avatar, Nala becomes a woman (and, presumably, Simba becomes a man) to the soothing sounds of an Elton John song, with lyrics by Tim Rice.
  5. They call me Mr. Pig! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!Best scene in the movie? Perhaps.
  6. Matthew Broderick is not a voice actor: Closing your eyes and hearing Bueller talk about Pride Rock is creepy enough, but his whole performance seems off…
  7. It’s kinda violent: Between the death of Mufasa, the battle with Scar and Rafiki’s Yoda-like old-man-whooping-ass scene, The Lion King reaches levels of violence that 21st century Disney wouldn’t dare include in a film not called The Incredibles.
  8. 3-D still sucks: No matter how cool the free plastic glasses are (or not free, if you consider the 2 dollar surcharge), 3-D is the stupidest thing to happen to film since some producer thought Katherine Heigl possessed one iota of talent, then proceeded to cast her in at least one awful movie each year since 2007.

Lion King vacillates between being a tale aimed for children and one aimed for Shakespeare’s Hamlet’s target audience drama-hungry teenagers, complete with musical serenades, war, and (oddly enough) animal sex.

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