It is the first movie I remember seeing in theatres. We were there for a birthday party. I don’t recall much from the party, or even who it was for, but I do vividly remember the red title card suddenly appearing on screen to a loud, percussive boom: The Lion King. We revelers were in for a real treat.
It’s a story of pride and identity, betrayal and jealousy, destiny and responsibility. Simba will be king one day, but when his jealous uncle tricks Simba into thinking he killed his own father, the young cub runs away, abandoning his royal destiny and everything he knew about himself. The Lion King was nicknamed “Bambi in Africa,” and, if you can recall all the way back to our February post about that film, it’s not hard to figure out why. Animators travelled to Kenya to study animal interaction and behaviour in the wild to help with accuracy. Lions were brought into the studio as live subjects for the animators. Performances by African choirs were infused into Elton John and Tim Rice’s original songs and Hans Zimmer’s score — most notably in opening number “The Circle of Life.” This film succeeded in bringing some of the most magical elements of Africa and its wildlife to the big screen.