IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT’S A MOVIE, ONE FROM MY CHILDHOOD AND IT’S A 1001 (A 1001).
(cough cough) Well, with that out of the way, The Lion King. It’s interesting to note that this is the only traditionally animated movie from the 90’s Disney Renaissance to make the 1001 so far as opposed to Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin or others. I’ll try to figure out why later on.
We begin with the “Circle of Life” as it moves us all through the opening number. Simba just can’t wait to be king and trespasses to where the light doesn’t touch. Scar tells his hyena horde to be prepared for the death of the king. During “Be Prepared,” it’s not that hard to replace the goose-stepping hyenas with the marching hammers from Pink Floyd’s The Wall; though once you see it, you can’t really not think of it. Mufasa dies in the stampede. Simba runs away to some oasis where he learns the meaning of “Hakuna Matata.” Eventually, his childhood friend comes along and they both feel the love that night. Fight, slash, burn, hula, all restored.
OK, so that description was brief but really, it’s The Lion King. It’s practically a free pass on the 1001 list along with Toy Story, especially if you were a 90’s kid. All kidding aside, why this one instead of the other films from the era?
In terms of stats, it’s the second highest grossing animated film of all time, with a worldwide total of $768.6 million. That’s pretty big for 1994. But money shouldn’t be the only reason why it’s a 1001. Story-wise, it’s pretty tight-knit. There is one detail that seems to slip by and that would be that we don’t know who Nala’s father is. Think about it (for a short time); we see her mother amongst the pride but there’s only one real father figure: Mufasa. So if he were to be Nala’s father, then… (which makes sense if you remember that one particular frame with the dust). Good character arcs and music, though I could do without the hula number.
In terms of my favorite Lion King movie, I can’t say as I haven’t seen the actual sequel. But as the 1001 status goes, it deserves to be on the list.
1001 MYMSBYD selection
IMDB Top 250
400 Nominations for AFI Top 100 for both years
Winner of Best Music Original Score and Best Music Original Song