November 24, 2017

‘Lion King’ Most Impressionable Movie of His Young Life

The Lion King goes down in history at our house as the most watched movie of all time.

The 1994 classic tells the tale of lion cub, Simba, who is heir to the kingdom, but must grow up to claim his role as King more quickly than he is prepared. With original music written by Elton John, the movie soundtrack to the film ranks as one of the best of all time.


My family grew to love The Lion King upon its first DVD release in 2002. Just as Cinderella and Ariel are coming of age classics for little girls, The Lion King was a staple for my two older kids, both boys, especially for my oldest who is now in 4th grade, but was 3 when he watched The Lion King every single day for about 6 months.  No movie since has had the same power over him.


Growing up with all sisters, I remember asking a friend with older boys if it was normal my son loved the movie so much.  He was particularly fascinated by the part when Simba’s father, the original Lion King, Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones) dies; it’s a real tearjerker for a little kid’s film.  It was my little boy’s first introduction to plot, conflict and to themes like pride and family loyalty.lion king


The Lion King is a deep movie, but moments of lightness come to the rescue when needed, especially through the characters. Scar, Simba’s uncle, is one of the worst movie villains ever, yet the tone surrounding his presence is softened and not too scary for little kids because of his hyena cohorts (one voiced by Whoopi Goldberg) and Simba’s allies, Pumba and Timon.  These characters are the perfect comedic foils to Scar, and they also allow Simba (voiced once grown by Matthew Broderick) to shine as the leading man (er lion).


The Lion King was also my son’s first real introduction to music; when I first noticed he has a beautiful singing voice, too. We got him a soundtrack CD that Christmas and he listened to it as much as he watched the film, maybe even more.  He’d bop around with his little headphones, drumming, singing, and dancing to our delight.


I also appreciate The Lion King even more now since so many sub-par children’s movies have come out in the years since.


So I definitely took notice when I heard the movie would be re-released in 3D.  And I also just read it’s doing better than expected, so its time in theatres will be extended beyond the original 2-weeks.


I have been tempted to take the kids to it, but we have seen it so many times we know the lines by heart.  Plus, I’m boycotting movies that are only offered in 3D.  They are so expensive!


From what I’ve read and heard from friends, the 3D doesn’t add much to the original anyways (it just adds a heftier price tag for us, the consumers).


So, I will always have our Lion King memories, but if you have a 3-year-old boy or older child who hasn’t yet seen The Lion King, I urge you to do so. (Or come on over and we’ll watch our well worn DVD together; just don’t be annoyed if my boys and I say and sing all the lines.)


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