The Lion King (1994) – The Circle of Life

Remember when Disney still had a magic touch and creativity? Remember the old days when animated featuring movies was everything? Are we still in that era? Is the animation era now dead? Could it be that Disney is no longer the first? We live in this era where remakes are everything, don’t really know what else to watch. Now, we just got “The Lion King” live-action movie and seeing futures Disney movies just makes me sick. Our generation witnessed many things through the magic of Disney, taught us about the meaning of love, about the meaning of loss, about honesty, and life lessons. Plus, we’ve got a lot of controversy and agenda in Disney now like one of “The Little Mermaid” live-action. Now, we won’t dig a rabbit hole here.

“The Lion King” is about the death of the king of the jungle, the rise of the scar, the father of the lion would be a king in the future. It seems like Disney knows what kind of dream they will give to their audience. They take a lot of ideas in this film, mythological and classic stories, one of which is William Shakespeare’s works. It teaches us about how we feel such as a dark moment, fear of loss, death, sadness, and love. Are there no more films that teach children about life like Disney’s old days? Are we only more concerned with the regime and agenda while Disney making a lot of money doing their live-action and intertextuality movies?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t really remember this movie as a kid because what I remember when I saw this film was “Kimba the White Lion”. I mean, we don’t want to really start this debate and controversy again, right? In addition, the inspiration of this movie came across in many of Walt Disney’s earliest films such as “Dumbo” and of course, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. Disney is trying to recreate a children’s movie that’s mostly enjoyed a lot by many adults. This movie entertains both of them, as a kid, as a teen, and as an adult.

“The Lion King” isn’t based on anything, unlike most Disney animated feature films. In addition to holding tightly to “Hamlet” as its inspiration, it tells about a birth, a coming-of-age, Simba as a lion cub. Just like the first opening scene of the movie, “The Circle of Life”, an innovation of diversity between animals of the African and classic tale. This little cub of Lion is a candidate from the Lion King, later replacing his father, Mufasa, as the ruler of the forest. Similar to forest law, combining an animal-style fantasy story with reality. We got the antagonist, Scar, one of my favorite antagonists from all Disney films. He wants to be a king as well, one day but he is vengeful and envious of his brother, Mufasa.

Scar is a great antagonist, with his terrifying designs of hyenas as his companion, they act behind the screen. He is so manipulative, very envious, but also the bearer of the death of a king of the forest. He manipulated Simba, as his responsibility if he had failed in the wasteland. Simba is very responsible for what happened to his father. However, all that has been planned by Scar. But, in the Disney universe, we got a lot of comic relief. There are Timon as a meerkat, Zazu as a hornbill, and Pumbaa as a warthog. There is also the antagonist, the three hyenas, is terrifying, so dirty, but also so evil.

Although the old classic Disney cartoons and the movie were animated by hand, “The Lion King” is a computerized animated. This movie has a lot of great design, but also we can easily distinguish these characters. There are many remarkable sequences, as well as Disney films, which include memorable songs. I mean, how can it not be if “The Circle of Life” alone can make our mind feel stuck with just the visual? How about “Hakuna Matata”, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, or “Stampede? The result, surprisingly, is just amazing. I can’t believe Hans Zimmer is the musician in this movie.

And beyond the monstrosity, pretentious, anxiety of Disney live-action remakes, I just want to say the original will always be the best. Yeah, there is a ton of good remakes but is this since Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”? Is it because the film started it? Well, there is ambiguity at this point but we cannot blame anyone. “The Lion King” deals with reality, the pain of life, but also teaches many positive things for both children and adults. I just miss how I watch “Pinocchio”, I’m afraid of being a liar again. Yet, the original always be better and better for then, now, and forever. Do I have to repeat it again? And by the way, I love “Taxi Driver” and “In the Heat of the Night” improvisation in this movie. Just so funny!

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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