Stranger Than Fiction: What Lion King Teaches The New Generation

     If you were like me or anyone else in the recent weeks Circle of Life has been belting out of your car, or own voice.

     The Lion King (2019) that has been buzzing in the minds of people everywhere premiered this weekend and has been killing the box office ever sense. Fans were able to rejoin their favorite characters on screen, while laughing, and (frankly) bawling again at Mufasa’s death, with some old and new voice actors bringing it alive on the silver screen. However, as to be expected, some critics and fans did not take well to the movie and a bit of a debate has sparked in terms of whether the movie has helped or harmed the Lion King legacy. Regardless of were you stand on the issue, lets delve into some stranger than fiction points of what the new Lion King has brought us!

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     To begin with the technology used to bring this film to life are so real that I had to blink constantly to make sure I wasn’t watching National Geographic. The visuals…are stunning, NO breathtaking,  (I think the woman next to me jumped in her seat when Mufasa roared), and can seriously rival that of the likes of Avatar. Disney (and Pixar) is one of the industry leaders with their cinema technology, as the company is consistently covered by tech and business companies every couple of years (Merida’s hair in Brave ring any bells?)

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    With characters from their successful franchises such as Thanos, Star Wars, to the new slated release of live action remakes, Disney has no choice but to ensure their technology can meet these standards and with The Lion King they have proven they got the tools in the bag! However, the richness in the details may have robbed viewers of the emotions they experienced in the animated version. In the animated original, every crease in the eyebrows, water collecting in the eyes, and the hilarious mouth drop moments of Timon and Pumba resonate in the emotional hemisphere.

     These expression still do come off in the live action but perhaps not as recognizable with a drawn face, BUT, the incredible voice actors deliver the lines with enough impact that it still hits home. We’ve seen technology morphed with fiction come into action before but Lion King has given this new generation a new form to take full force. The stranger than fiction here – some use forces for good, and some bad. While its, unlikely, whose to say what this technology could do for those with an uncle Scar heart on the market (Yikes!)

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(Note: This is a lion stock photo but at first glance could you tell the difference? My point exactly!!!)

     Another stranger than fiction tidbit – Scar’s alliance with the hyenas.

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     In the original film Scar has a sort of seductive quality to how he ropes the hyena’s into his murderous plot to kill Mufasa (it also helps that the wonderful Jeremy Irons was his voice actor), and that Be Prepared (one of the best musical songs – EVER) brings it all home. But, Scar in this remake of Lion King has taken from the Nazi militarism symbolism in the Be Prepared animated sequence to a whole new level. The 2019 version of Be Prepared had a new set of lyrics and a lot of less lyrical vocals as Scar barked orders at the Hyena’s to instill a sense of totalitarianism pride to encourage them to kill Mufasa’s pride.

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     It was sobering and for a moment again the viewers questioned if the delivery was ripped out from a dictator’s handbook. But, with the realities that are happening all over the world at any given time, it truly is realistic of how one can use rhetoric to rule over a group of individuals and militarize them to point of staging a coup. While Scar’s moment is set in a fictionalized world, its echo and likeness in the real world still rings true in past civilizations until today. 

See Also

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     While many thought The Lion King would be a live action carbon copy of the original movie the team behind it still made significant changes to the film in its characters, tone, humor, and locations. In its essence, The Lion King is a movie made for today, similar to the other films in the Disney catalogue that will be made into a live action film. It shows that even some of the most set in stone classics can be open to the social points of today. Pair that along with the idea of the cutting edge technology and Lion King has shown that its more than just an average kids movie. 

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     But, on the surface the film does an amazing job of giving us the same heart touching, gut busting moments as well as the amazing music (with an added song from the Queen herself) to sing along too. It is always amazing to be able to revisit your loved world and being able to discover something new.

The Lion King has been able to take us back to the Pride Lands and has caused a ripple effect in our real world that we’re still talking about today Get yourself to a theater today because the King has returned!

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