Author's Note: I fixed the Wall of Text
. It should be easier to read now.
Hi. I'm Patworx, and I'm going to be taking a look at Confused Matthew's
three-part review of The Lion King
. Confused Matthew is not a horrible critic, but he's certainly made his share of stinkers and his Lion King review is especially bad. Admittedly, I am kind of biased since The Lion King is one of my favorite movies, but you can trust this won't be a lame fanboy rant. This review is terrible and someone needs to call it out. Let's get started.
So this review, like all of his others, starts out with his opening sequence, which is kind of cool in its own quirky way. Then, Confused Matthew gets into his opening rant. He sounds almost traumatized as he describes what it was like for him seeing The Lion King in theatres. He then says he predicted that The Lion King would be a flop which, of course, it wasn't. The Lion King's monumental success left Confused Matthew "dumbfounded", which was exactly how his staggering Opinion Myopia
left me. He then says that the only redeeming quality The Lion King
has is its animation, but as you'll see, he gives brief compliments to several other things throughout the movie.
Getting into the movie, he addresses "The Circle of Life", which he claims is . . . actually good. So already he has complimented something that isn't related to the animation. The criticism doesn't actually kick off until Simba's introduction. He criticizes the scene where Simba pesters Mufasa to wake up and show him the kingdom, calling Simba "an asshole.
" Simba is just being an impatient little kid, which is perfectly normal. Go out and ask random people on the street if they ever bugged their parents like this as children. I'm pretty sure that a lot, if not the majority, will say they did. Simba is NOT an asshole. As a child, he shows a lot of arrogance, but you know what? He's a kid! He hasn't been alive for very long and he thinks he is invincible. This is very commonplace, but Confused Matthew just doesn't seem to understand it. He expects Simba to behave like an adult, even though he isn't one. He then says that other Disney heroes were much more moral. Really? You mean like the Beast
, who was such a dick to everyone that a witch placed a curse on him to make him ugly? Or how about Aladdin
, who first entered the cave of wonders because he wanted to be filthy rich? Yeah, those guys are saints.
When Simba finds out about the elephant graveyard, he gets curious and decides to go check it out. Confused Matthew says this is "because he's an asshole." He actually goes so far as to chastise Simba for "defying his elders". Because good children never disobey adults. Ever.
He also takes Nala along "because he's an asshole". Simba just found out about what he thinks is this awesome place, so of course he'd want to take his best friend to see this place with him. But no, according to Confused Matthew, Simba intentionally put Nala in danger just to be "an asshole". The way he frames it makes it sound like Simba wakes up every day and asks himself, "How will I cause trouble for my family and friends today?" That makes no sense.
The next thing Confused Matthew rants about is the song, "I Just Can't Wait to Be King". Not that he actually has a problem with the song from a musical perspective, it's just that he thinks it's about "how much of an asshole [Simba] is". And, of course, he moans about Simba disrespecting his elders with the way he treats Zazu, but he takes it a step further by saying he "[left] Zazu for dead". When we get to the part where the hyena's show up, Confused Matthew takes the front of toughness Simba puts on as him be an asshole again. Sure, why not? Just ignore the fact that Simba was genuinely scared when he first heard the hyena’s laughter. He also seems to want the hyena's to eat Simba, but he's probably just joking on that.
He ends the first part of the review by listing all the things Simba has done that make him "an asshole" and asking Lion King fans to explain to him why he should like Simba. He addresses the argument that Simba is just a kid by saying that Simba is somehow worse than most kids. How is Simba worse? Hell if I know.
Confused Matthew picks up with Mufasa and Simba’s heart-to-heart in the aftermath of the hyena incident. This scene “confused” Confused Matthew
. He didn’t understand how Simba could love his father but still disobey him. Well, going by that logic, there must not be that many kids out there who love their parents. He also says that Mufasa can’t be that good of a parent if Simba turned out to be “an asshole”. Clearly, Confused Matthew doesn’t seem to understand that a kid can be mischievous without being a total bad seed. Then, we get to “Be Prepared”, which Confused Matthew argues is completely useless because apparently we already know that Scar and the hyena’s are teaming up to kill Mufasa and Simba. This is actually not true. We knew that Scar wanted to be the king of Pride Rock and that he probably tricked Simba into going to the elephant graveyard hoping that he died, but it wasn’t until this scene that we learn that Scar has a grand scheme to steal the thrown or that the hyena’s are actually in on it.
Confused Matthew breezes right through the stampede only to say that the death scene isn’t that sad. Are you kidding me? Then what is sad to him, a movie where two sibling watch their mother get raped
, shoot their rabies-infected dog in the head
, and then die a slow and painful death from starvation
? And of course, there’s his argument that Simba thinking Mufasa’s death was his fault doesn’t make any sense because he knows he didn’t actually kill him. Once again, Simba is a kid. He’s still traumatized from losing his father and then his uncle, who he trusts, tells him that it’s his fault. We’re adults who have seen what Scar had done, but Simba is young and naïve so of course he’s going to believe his uncle, especially in his panicked state. But that’s not all; he then has the nerve to say that it was good that Scar drove Simba out of pride rock because Simba would have been a bad leader. Ignoring the cynicism and callousness of this notion, Confused Matthew once again forgets that Simba is just a kid. Sure, he isn’t fit to rule now, but there’s no reason he can’t be fit to rule when he grows up. Do you think Barack Obama
was fit to run the USA when he was ten? Of course not! His Kenyan overlords probably put him through a shitload of rigorous training to prepare him.
The next point Confused Matthew tries to make is that the rest of the pride should not have taken Scar’s word that Simba was dead. Why not? They have no reason not to trust him. They’re not sitting around watching all these events unfold like us. Next comes the introduction scene of Timon and Pumbaa. Okay, now this is especially a stretch. He actually says that Timon and Pumbaa are villains. Even after they rescued Simba and gave him a safe haven for all those years. Sure, at first it was partially about having someone to protect them, but it is made explicitly clear that they care about Simba. Notice that they actually CRIED when they thought they were losing him to Nala, or that they left their ‘Hakuna Matata’ paradise behind to help him in the fight against Scar. Also, they were not laughing at Simba for telling them his theory about the stars; they were laughing at the theory, which Simba had just said “somebody told him”. If they were more knowledgeable about Simba’s past, they would not have laughed. What’s most ridiculous is when he says that Timon and Pumbaa are just as bad for teaching Simba about ‘Hakuna Matata’ as Scar his for killing his father, convincing him his father’s death was his fault, and driving him out of his home. He ends his little diatribe about Timon and Pumbaa by criticizing Disney for promoting their morals with the song, “Hakuna Matata”. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK!!!!! Is it really that hard to understand that Hakuna Matata is supposed to be an anti-moral?! They’re not actually advocating that kids be lazy and “turn their back on the world”. And the reason Hakuna Matata is “portrayed in a positive light” is because it’s being sung by two characters who believe in it.
Confused Matthew is really thrown for a loop by the Time Skip
. He claims that Simba has no personality as an adult and even goes so far as to say he may as well be a different character. Well, Simba may not have as much personality as he used to, but to call him “a vegetable” sound pretty ridiculous to me. It makes sense that he would lose most of his arrogance as he got older because that’s what happens as people age. They become more mature. Obviously, Confused Matthew doesn’t understand basic developmental psychology. And the reason we don’t see more of this development is because it happened during the Time Skip
. We “skipped” the events that happened during that “time”. Have I spelled it out enough? Because I sure as hell hope so.
He then wines about both Scar and “The Fellowship of the Three Assholes” lying around with nothing to do. Never mind that these scenes show that the pride has gone to shit and that Simba is still privately grieving over his father’s death. And then he asserts that Simba would have run the kingdom just as badly as Scar did because of the similarities between “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and the way Scar has been running things. He never seems to consider that maybe, just maybe, this irony could have been intentional, that perhaps Scar’s rule serves a Deconstruction
of Simba’s childlike perception of what being a king is like. No, to Confused Matthew, there is no way this movie could possibly be that clever. He’d be more likely to believe that the movie was made by Martians then that it has any kind of Fridge Brilliance
. However, his next criticism is something that I actually kind of understand; how was Rafiki supposed to know that Simba was alive by performing weird charms on the grass that Simba laid down on. Even so, he is a shaman, and he does seem to have a bizarre connection with the supernatural, so it isn’t that unbelievable.
Confused Matthew also isn’t too crazy about the love story, claiming that Simba and Nala fell in love after “three seconds of screen time together”. It leads you to wonder if he even remembers that this Nala and the Nala that was his best friend as a kid are one in the same. Simba and Nala were merely best friends as children (they were even disgusted at the idea of being married to each other) but now as adults this attraction is starting to form. Nala thought Simba was dead and Simba thought he would never see Nala again, but now that Nala has reappeared in Simba’s life, he is actually starting to care for someone and it forces him to start to wonder if he should go back to Pride Rock and take his place as the king.
By the time the final part of this review starts up, confused Matthew is in the middle of the aftermath of Nala’s reappearance in Simba’s life. He doesn’t think that Simba and Nala’s love story deserves its own song and he says that Timon and Pumbaa are “assholes” for not wanting to lose Simba, totally glossing over this being evidence that they actually care about him. He also criticizes the character Nala by saying that she doesn’t do anything. As I have previously stated, Nala’s arrival is the turning point where Simba starts to think that maybe it’s time to go back. Confused Matthew does bring this point up, but he says that it’s actually “the monkey” that convinces Simba to go back. Why can’t it be a combination of both? There is no reason Simba’s return can’t be influenced first by Nala, then by Rafiki, and finally cemented by the ghost of Mufasa. He also belittles the fight that Simba and Nala have later, even though that scene was very natural when you consider that he was refusing to man up and fight for his people.
When Rafiki pops up, Confused Matthew complains that the Rafiki character serves no purpose in the movie, even though he just said a while ago that Rafiki serves the purpose of convincing Simba to go back to Pride Rock. He also complains that the viewer doesn’t know much about Rafiki. True, but isn’t that a part of his charm? His next big complaint is about the scene where Mufasa speaks to Simba from the clouds. He wonders why he didn’t appear to Simba before. Does he mean when Simba was a little cub who could easily be ripped apart by hyenas. Or how about when he was living the “Hakuna Matata” life and wasn’t thinking about his responsibilities? Really, this was actually the BEST time for Mufasa to talk to Simba, especially since the pride was on the verge of starving to death. This transitions into a big rant about Disney underestimating childrens’ intelligence, ending with him saying that Mufasa doesn’t say anything important to Simba. I disagree. After listening to Nala, and then Rafiki, it is Mufasa’s words that finally push him to the edge and drive him to challenge Scar for the throne. Next, he says that Timon and Pumbaa helping Simba fight Scar doesn’t make sense because they showed no signs of caring about Simba. Except that they clearly are shown to care about Simba when they CRIED OVER THE IDEA OF HIM LEAVING THEM! Oh, wait a minute; that was just because “they’re assholes”, right? On the plus side, he did admit the “hula-hula” scene was funny.
His next complaint is that the lions should have picked up on Scar being a liar after Simba turned out to be alive. Or maybe Scar fooled them into thinking he just made a mistake. He even says that he “didn’t expect to see [Simba] alive”. He also says that Zazu should have remembered that Scar flung him against the wall, but Zazu’s back was turned when that happened. Based on the fact that being knocked out leaves someone’s memory a bit fuzzy, it’s very realistic that he wouldn’t know what Scar did. For all he knows, he simply flew into the wall by accident. I will admit, however, that Scar trying to blame Simba for Mufasa’s death pokes a major hole in his lie. That’s probably the biggest point CM got right.
His next complaint is that Scar had no reason to tell Simba that he killed Mufasa. Scar told him about killing Mufasa because he is a sociopath
who wanted to see the look of realization on Simba’s face just before he falls to his doom. It’s just like when Light Yagami told Naomi that he was Kira just before her death.
And then he actually complains about the movie ending with a climactic fight between Simba and Scar instead of “some kind of moral or lesson”. And he says that the hyena’s just disappear after killing Scar because they’re never shown again. Let’s see; after Scar’s death, Simba stands on the top of Pride Rock and growls with the other lions and then the movie time skips
to when Pride Rock is back to normal and Kiara is born, giving the hyena’s plenty of time to leave Pride Rock. So what CM is saying is that the writers clearly must have forgotten about the hyena’s because their last scene is not the last scene in the movie. For his last complaint within the movie, he chooses to focus on Timon and Pumbaa standing on top of Pride Rock with Simba. He says that they don’t deserve it because they held Simba back from going back to Pride Rock as a kid and getting killed by the hyena’s. And let’s not forget that they didn’t even know he was a king.
He concludes his review by saying that The Lion King’s aesops
are that you SHOULD turn your back on the world and that you SHOULDN’T turn your back on the world. Once again, he doesn’t realize that Timon’s speech about turning your back on the world is an anti-moral.
So that, my friends, is why Confused Matthew’s Lion King review is a load of bullshit. Almost every point he makes has at least one valid counterargument. He only made one or two good points and those don’t even come close to ruining the movie. I hope you enjoyed this liveblog and I would love to make more in the future. Patworx, out!
19th May 12
Also, Live-blogs are supposed to be broken up into installments. That's why we have an "add installment" button. Oh, and a link to what you're reviewing (since it's publicly available and all) would be good.
19th May 12
19th May 12
20th May 12
20th May 12
21st May 12
Hey, China called. They want their wall back!
22nd May 12
I've never seen any of Confused Matthew's work before, and if such diatribe is common in all of his reviews, I doubt I'll ever want to again. Your points, on the other hand, are logical and understandable, written in a comedic tone that made this liveblog enjoyable to read (despite that one flaw that everyone else has already pointed out). Overall, I think that you did an excellent job with this, and I would certainly enjoy reading more of your work in days to come.
22nd May 12
I really liked Matthew's Lion King review. Many of the things he said are things I thought when I was a child myself. (And the Nostalgia Critic's actor thinks The Lion King is overrated and mentions flaws he spotted in it as a child, too. As Roger Ebert noted in his review of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, children notice small things/details more than adults do.)
The only thing Matthew actually complimented in his review was the scene with Timon dancing the hula. (He complimented Simba and Mufasa's father/son scene in/of itself, but disliked it for ruining the characterization in the overall film. And he complimented Timon and Pumbaa for being great villains before he realized they were not meant to be ones.)
In a response video, Matthew addresses the response that Simba was just being a little kid, and compares the scene negatively to a similar one in Finding Nemo where Nemo is happy and excited, whereas Simba is consistently annoyed and aggravated even when Mufasa gets up. Matthew has said that he was rebellious as a child, but never "as much of an asshole" as Simba, and his main complaint is that we're supposed to like Simba despite the way he acts. My opinion is Simba was just intended to be a mischievous kid, but it was taken too far.
And the Beast is intended to be a jerk. The whole point is that he becomes a better person over the film as a result of Belle. We were not meant to like the Beast in the beginning. And Aladdin didn't want the treasure just to be rich. He wanted it so he could impress Jasmine so she would marry him because he was in love with Jasmine.
Simba's behavior goes far beyond simply disobeying adults. Look at the way he treats Zazu during the "I Just Can't Wait to be King" number.
No, Matthew doesn't think Simba brought Nala along "to be an asshole". In a response video, Matthew shows what Simba's real reason for bringing Nala along was, in Simba's own words: "I just wanted to be brave like you." And what's the point in being brave if there's no one there to see you being brave? So it was for a selfish reason that he endangered Nala.
Do most children conspire to endanger their friends and directly disobey 4 of their elders? Do most children cause their guardians to be trampled more than once by a stampede of wild animals?
What Matthew didn't understand was how Simba could have the deep respect displayed for his father in the scene and still CONSPIRE to directly disobey him.
"Clearly, Confused Matthew doesn’t seem to understand that a kid can be mischievous without being a total bad seed."
No, that's what the filmmakers failed to understand.
Before "Be Prepared" begins, Banzai asks "What did you want us to do, kill Mufasa?" and Scar replies, "Precisely." Thus we already knew he had a scheme to kill Mufasa before the song.
I've never found Mufasa's death sad, either, but this is a criticism I might have left out, because it has made a lot of people cry and we did get to know Mufasa pretty well when you look over his scenes.
When I was a child I was baffled by how it could have been Simba's fault. I decided that it did make sense for Simba to be convinced he was responsible for Mufasa's death then, but I remember watching the ending when I was 7 or 8 thinking that it was ridiculous for Simba to still believe he caused Mufasa's death after all those years.
I agree that it was a weak criticism to say Simba as a child would have been a bad King. He said later that Simba would be just as bad a King as Scar.
I agree that the pride had no real reason to doubt Scar's word, but they should have at least been suspicious that his body was missing. But Scar could have explained that as it being carried away and eaten by vultures by then, and they did have no reason to doubt him.
I think calling Timon and Pumbaa evil is going too far. When I was 7, while I realized what a bad influence Timon and Pumbaa were, I thought that they were good people because they sincerely believed their philosophy was good. But someone should have talked it out of them or they shouldn't be portrayed as good guys. And they did selfishly use Simba, and when I was 7 I was surprised by Timon approving of Simba going back and didn't think it was in character.
Timon and Pumbaa cried at Simba leaving them for Nala because it meant they would no longer have their lion for protection. As Matthew pointed out it never seemed like they actually cared about him.
Many people say in responses to Matthew Hakuna Matata's purpose in the movie, and they're right, but they ignore the question of why Timon and Pumbaa should be good friends to Simba without being taught that Hakuna Matata is a bad philosophy.
Simba has no personality at all as an adult. I have heard fans of The Lion King on the IM Db
board say the one thing they would change about the movie is to make the adult Simba less of "a Disney prince".
His main criticism is that Simba being a jerk had no relevancy to Simba as an adult and that Simba was completely bland as an adult.
It clearly was intended to show that Simba was still mourning Mufasa's death. But if Simba still remembers his father and mourns him and regrets turning back on the kingdom, why not have Mufasa's ghost show up now? He's full grown. This would seem to be the perfect time. The film would work better without this scene because it would make it seem like Nala, Rafiki, and Mufasa's ghost make Simba remember his past.
Matthew loves Moulin Rouge!, in which the couple fall in love without knowing each other for very long, and has stated this is not unrealistic. And in addressing this apparent hypocrisy in his Moulin Rouge! review, he explains that his main argument is that The Lion King is not a romance, so the romance between Simba and Nala being emphasized strongly was wrong for the film.
Simba was already shown to be mourning Mufasa and thinking about his past. It would only have taken Mufasa's ghost to convince him to go back. Rafiki himself was unnecessary, as was Nala.
Simba didn't become full grown and able to take care of himself the day Nala arrived. As I said before, Mufasa's ghost could have shown up when Simba was thinking about his past on his cliff side and Timon and Pumbaa left. Given the fact that he's thinking about his past regretfully, he probably could have been persuaded by Mufasa's ghost then. And the pride was already on the brink of starvation then.
Matthew said the lions should have been asked questions after Simba turned up alive. They should have asked Scar how he could have made a mistake, how Simba could have survived and asked Simba how he survived. (A good point would have been during the pause when Sarabi goes up to Simba.)
I agree with you about why Scar told Simba he killed Mufasa and Simba. This part was a place I really disagreed with Matthew on. It was for the same reason he grabbed Mufasa by his paws and said "Long live the King" before dropping him. He wanted Mufasa to know it wasn't an accident, so he would die knowing that he was being murdered by his brother. Scar is sadistic and wanted to see the look in Simba's eyes as he died realizing this and that he would die unable to tell anyone.
And you are right about the time skip, but it wouldn't have hurt to see the lionesses driving them out and the hyenas fleeing after Simba's roar and the lionesses driving them out. This would have made it more clear.
24th Jun 12
24th Jun 12
And it was completely unnecessary to mention Death Note. That's a major spoiler for people who are watching the show and haven't gotten there yet or have decided to watch the show.
24th Jun 12
So that, my friends, is why Patworx’s review of Matthew's The Lion King review is a load of bullshit. Almost every point he makes has at least one valid counterargument. He only made one or two good points and those don’t even come close to making the movie good. I hope you enjoyed this liveblog and I would love to make more in the future. Munchable, out!
24th Jun 12
24th Jul 12
25th Jul 12
I remember when people used to think critically instead of just leaving the work to someone else.
20th Oct 12
I can agree with you in this case, but I did think critically in my realization that Water for Elephants is an utter piece of crap.
31st Oct 12
10th Nov 12
There was nothing out of left field about my comment. You criticized how I didn't think critically but let someone else do it and I told you, "I did this time, but I don't always." That seems perfectly on point.
7th Dec 12
Ok let me just say, there is nothing valid about Confused Matthew's "review". He didn't give the movie solid criticizim, he nitpicked it to death and ranted on how because he didn't like it, that makes it bad. And another thing Confused Matthew and his supporters may not want to believe but we DID like Simba, why? Because we got that he was supposed to be an adventurous kid and really Matthew is being WAY too hard on Simba, he may have disobeyed his father ONCE but that was because he was manipulated by Scar.
19th Oct 13
Also he's so hard on Simba and yet so leniant towerds Ariel who is FAR more disobedient than Simba.
19th Oct 13