THE LION KING (1994)

Man, was this heavy. With echoes of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Pride Rock, Simba witnesses the murder of his father, Mufasa, only he thinks it was an accident that he caused himself. The imagery of Mufasa falling through the air, helpless, on his back, cutting to Simba who has a front row seat is unforgettable. Jeremy Irons, who voices Scar, creates, in my opinion, the greatest Disney villain ever, which is saying something when considering the wealth of great villains the company has amassed. With one sardonic line, “long live the king,” he became my first impression of evil as a boy. Then the melodramatic follow up of Simba finding his father’s dead body, and attempting to will him back to life, or perhaps he’s too young to understand death, really brings the scene home.

-Walter Howard-

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