Also posting early due to being out of town tomorrow morning through Sunday night with no guarantee of internet while I'm gone. I would have run myself out of town in shame if I missed Lion King week! (This is actually a bit shorter than I was planning, but it's already 1 am and we leave in a few hours to catch our flight. If I'm not dead from travel when I get back on Sunday, I'll add in more questions.) 1. As you could probably guess by my username and avatar image (and my quite unwieldy pin collection), I have somewhat of a passing fondness for the Lion King. This is my favorite movie. Not just Disney movie, or animated movie, but favorite movie of any movie that I have ever seen. I saw it when it first came out in theaters, and fell in love. I was already a Disney fan, but this was the first movie where I was really ENAMORED. The animation is spectacular, the voice cast is top notch, the computer animation is a marvel for its time, and the songs are just the right combination of catchy and sing-along-able. I am generally more of a fan of animal movies than people movies, and this is one of the few Disney movies with 100% animal characters. It stands up over time, unlike some of the earlier films. And Timon was the first character that I can distinctly remember watching and seeing myself reflected in him. This is the first film to really cram itself full of recognizable Hollywood and Broadway talent versus primarily voice actors. Beauty and the Beast did have some big names, and of course Aladdin had Robin Williams (and Steve from Full House!) but The Lion King tops them all. (It doesn't hurt that this came out while I was in middle school during the height of JTT fever. ) Disney movies are known for their songs, and many of their films have one or two really memorable ones throughout. With the Lion King, though, almost every single song in the film has reached the level of zeitgeist. Circle of Life, Just Can't Wait To Be King, Be Prepared, Can You Feel The Love Tonight, Hakuna Matata...you'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't know at least one of these songs by heart (except maybe unibear ), even if they don't know the movie that well. The film has very few references to popular culture, and no man-made structures or anything that would root it in one specific time. (One of my peeves about the sequel is Timon's line of needing to get a beeper for Kiara. It dates the film and also - how do wild animals with no human contact know about beepers?) This shields the film from feeling stale or dated, as it really could take place at almost any time in history. It was pointed out that The Lion King is a takeoff of Macbeth (with Lion King 2 a takeoff of Romeo and Juliet and Lion King 1 1/2 a takeoff of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern). But, as someone who has the most awful time grasping any kind of meaning with Shakespeare, adaptations like this are wonderful. It lets me understand the spirit of the story without getting brainfoggy trying to work out what the Shakespearean prose means. Now, I do recognize that it has problems, and is not a perfect movie. It does have a level of cultural appropriation. As unibear pointed out, the main characters are primarily voiced by a white cast, with the voice actors of color relegated to the sidelines. I also found it interesting how many characters had British accents, considering the history of British colonization in Africa. (And all were characters in or related to the royal family, who had the power within the story.) Also, as much as I love Hula Timon, the scene is ultimately a white actor voicing a character who wears a grass skirt and lei and singing/dancing a white people's depiction of the hula for laughs. 2. I had to go with my buddy, my bae, my favorite fictional character of all time - the small but mighty Timon. (OH HO HO HO, you can bet I'm looking forward to Lion King 1 1/2 week for The Timon Show!) (As if I would choose anyone else!) On the surface he can seem...surface. He is very sarcastic and hyper, and can be dismissive of Pumbaa's suggestions (or takes them as his own). He lives his life by Hakuna Matata, and doesn't put too much thought behind what he does on a day-to-day basis. However, there is a lot more beneath the surface. He is exceptionally brave. He is the smallest main character in the film (even Zazu is bigger), and a prey species. By all accounts, he should be hyper vigilant and freaking out all the damn time. Especially since meerkats usually have the rest of their mob to look out them. But for the most part, dude's chill. After his initial freakouts, he accepts Simba as a friend, and accepts Nala as Simba's friend. He willingly goes in front of scores of hyenas and uses himself as a diversion and live bait. He is willing to do almost anything to help his friends. He tries to free Pumbaa from under the tree roots, then stands in front of him, as Nala charges towards them. After Simba goes back home, he travels across the desert to a place he's never been to help take back the throne. Again, he willingly goes in front of scores of hyenas and uses himself as a diversion and live bait. And all of this he does just because Simba is his friend and he knows how important this is to him, no questions asked (well, one question asked, but it was a rhetorical question). He is a great example of the family spirit that meerkats have. Once more - he willingly goes in front of scores of hyenas and uses himself as a diversion and live bait. HYENAS - one of the main predators of meerkats, and who vastly outnumber him. LOOK AT HIM, HE'S STANDING LIKE A PEOPLE! I can really see myself reflected in him, both physically (I'm the shortest in my family aside from my mom, and usually one of the shortest and smallest amongst my friends) and personality wise. Here is a character who, like me, uses humor and sarcasm in much of their conversation, and loves their family and friends so much that they would do almost anything for them. 5. Light versus dark, and shadow versus light, plays a large (albeit nail on the head) part in this film in order to visually delineate good from evil. All of the good characters (non-Scar lions, Zazu, Timon, Pumbaa, etc.) are very bright - light yellows, blue, tan, warm reds and chocolate browns. Scar, on the other hand, has much darker fur than the other lions with a black mane, and the hyenas are a dark brownish-grey. The names of the places also convey this - the good guys inhabit the Pride Lands/Pride Rock, the jungle, etc. which are all happily named and brightly lit. (Even at night, the colors are warm blues and pinkish purples.) The evil characters inhabit the spooky-sounding Shadowy Place, Elephant Graveyard, etc. which are always either in darkness/shadow or lit up with really garish lime greens and oranges. After Scar has taken over as ruler of the Pride Lands, the area dies off, and everything becomes a muted grey, even the sky. Only when Simba comes back and overthrows him does the rain come and brings everything back to life and back to color. 9. There are a couple really amazing and iconic shots in this film. Second runner up goes to this impressively massive, majestic tower of animals because THIS IS FREAKING AMAZING. First runner up goes to this, for the beautiful framing and color composition, and magical time lapse: But I ultimately chose this, as it is during the climax of the song with the message of the film, has an instantly recognizable icon (Pride Rock) and action (Rafiki holding up Simba), and introduces us to the spectacle and grandeur of the movie: 10. I have to go with this. This is one of the most impressive pins of anything Disney has ever produced. I don't have it in my possession yet, but it is one of my holiest grails and someday it shall be mine. Pin# 30830 - WDW -AK - Adventures in Pin Trading - Jumbo Pin - Nala & Simba Random Thoughts ~ How WEIRD must it be for the prey animals in this world? The zebras, giraffes, etc. The lions hunt them and eat them - Scar has a Zebra leg, the wildebeest run from the hyenas out of fear, ect. - and yet they all come and celebrate the birth of Simba (and Kiara at the end), another lion who will grow up to hunt them. Yes, the main message of the film is the Circle of Life, but do they have to actively celebrate that they are going to be eaten? ~ How has the jungle not completely run out of bugs, devastating the ecosystem? Simba live exclusively on bugs the entire time he lived there, from cub to adult. The amount of protein he would need on a daily basis would mean hundred or thousands of bugs every day. Are there really that many bugs in the jungle to sustain him, and Timon and Pumbaa (and whatever other insectivore may live there as well)? And how is Simba not massively malnourished? Are bugs an acceptable source of taurine? THESE ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS I WORRY ABOUT. ~ Effemination aside, Scar is legitimately one of the most terrifying villains to me, because he is willing to murder his own family for power. Holy crapballs, this line: LONG LIVE THE KING. Scar holds Mufasa's life literally in his paws, and he wants Mufasa to KNOW that he is deliberately murdering him.