• May 29, 2024

The Lion King

Most modern people’s understanding of “Hamlet” is also “The Lion King”, right?The decade from 1989 to 1999, known as Disney’s “Renaissance” period, this period of Disney not only out of the previous box office gloom, but more importantly, revived Disney’s own understanding of animated feature films: animated films are not just works for children, but should also be suitable for adults to enjoy. The Lion King, released in 1994, is arguably the most serious work in Disney’s history. Stripped of its light-hearted comedic elements and the hilarious trappings of its musical, The Lion King is at its core an old and serious main story. Critic Roger Ebert even called it “too cruel for young children to watch”.

Although “The Lion King” is called Disney’s first original screenplay, the story of “Hamlet” is obvious, the creative team also confessed that the life adventures of young lion King Samba is inspired by Shakespearean drama, ancient Greek mythology and even biblical stories. The three main characters in the film: the old lion king Mafias, the young lion king Samba, the old lion king’s brother Scar, are direct replacements for the characters in “Hamlet”. Samba and Hamlet, as well as “delayed” their revenge, On why Hamlet is hesitant and hesitant to take revenge, Western scholars have for centuries given explanations from literature, philosophy, psychology and other aspects. Especially in the twentieth century, deeply influenced by the Freudian school of psychology, special attention was paid to interpreting the psychological motivation behind the behavior, which deeply influenced the creation of literature and film in later generations. In Shakespeare’s time, plays emphasized more on the behavior of characters than on characterization; Shakespeare’s genius beyond his time is also reflected in the fact that his plays, through a large number of monologues, enable the audience to see not only the behavior of the characters, but also their psychological activities and motives. This is very much in line with the principles of modern film and television creation. For Hamlet’s revenge procrastination, “The Lion King” for Samba’s behavior gives a simple and clear but very reasonable psychological interpretation: Scar designed the death of Mafias, but let Samba mistakenly believe that his own fault killed his father, and then due to the sense of guilt and self-exile, in the evasion of responsibility to grow up. Such an adaptation makes “The Lion King” story more reasonable and smooth than the original Shakespeare.

In 1942, Bambi’s mother was killed by a hunter in the scene of Disney’s animation “Bambi”, which was rated as the saddest movie moment in the American memory; and in this film, the old Lion King Mafias was killed by Scar’s design, which undoubtedly became the “childhood shadow” of a new generation of Americans. Although the second half of the film in the form of the reappearance of Mafias “ghost” (a clear adaptation of the ghost of Hamlet in “Hamlet”) weakens the tragic effect of death, but can still be seen “The Lion King” theme of unexpectedly serious. The film carefully presents such complex adult concepts as “regicide,” “death,” and “deception” in as innocuous a manner as possible. The screenplay accurately weaves Disney’s clear-cut view of right and wrong into the complex human story of Hamlet. Samba’s story focuses not on “revenge” but on “responsibility” and “growth”. In the end, although Samba defeats Scar, he does not kill his usurping uncle with his own hands, as Hamlet did – which would have turned Samba into a murderer – and Scar is eventually killed by a pack of hyenas under his command because of his own injustice. Unlike Snow White and Cinderella, which are destined to end in comedy, the story of the Lion King is still based on the heavy and age-old theme of “revenge”. Even if Samba finally defeated Scar to take back the throne, still cannot hide the cruel fact that the flesh and blood, Pride Rock’s renewed prosperity, is based on the killing and anti-killing. This makes the film’s ending different from the rest of the Disney classic happy ending: the end of the film, Samba in the sad music, with heavy steps up to the rain in the glory stone, inherited a devastated country, is the expression of this lack of happy ending.

On top of the main line of this ancient Greek tragedy, the film is also interwoven with many subtle themes. By the opening music of the film’s “life” on the philosophy of the reincarnation of life, through the mouth of the old lion king Mafias spoke to the young Samba, but also to the small audience in front of the screen. The title of the film, “The Lion King” is just a title, can refer to Mafias, can also refer to Samba, and can even refer to Scar; they are all once the lion king of the African grasslands. History moves forward in this change of kings from generation to generation, just as history reinterprets Hamlet from generation to generation. In fact, the Lion King’s retelling of the story of Hamlet itself reflects the reincarnation of life.

The reason why the classics have become classics stems to a large extent from the fact that the story patterns of these classics are in line with the historical development of human beings, and also in line with human nature. In turn, these classics shape people’s psychological expectations through word of mouth: people are accustomed to stories that end with good triumphing over evil, the princess meeting the prince, and the prince taking back the throne …… History has become a classic in this countless retelling and adaptation, exaggeration and imagination. In fact, throughout the history of cinema, those most popular movies often have a well-known classic story model to do the bottom.

Although the box office myth created by “The Lion King” was later the rise of 3D animation such as “Frozen” refresh, but “The Lion King” perfect and not lose the authenticity of the animation style, emotionally rich music and Broadway style big scene song and dance, serious topics and the balance of light-hearted bridge, the most critical, its majestic epic temperament and about the eternal topic of human narrative, have made it become the history of Western animation It is also the absolute No.1 Disney animation in my heart.



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