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Reviews Comments: The Lion King (and a bit of Kimba) The Lion King film/book review by Allspark Spin Out

This is it. This is the most financially successful entry in the Disney Animated Canon. Number one. The top of the heap. But does it deserve this honor? Read and find out. (Short answer: Hell yes it does.)

Let's start with the film itself. Cribbing from Hamlet, Bambi and, yes, Kimba, this is presented as Disney's first "original" film. While this isn't totally true, this doesn't demerit the film at all. Not at all.

From the opening of the film, the Circle of Life, you can tell this film is gonna be good. But even this Crowning Moment Of Awesome fails to illustrate just how good this film is. It's one of the most tightly plotted films in the Canon - there aren't any Big Lipped Alligator Moments, every song is an Establishing Character Moment for the singer, and, best of all, EVERY character - even the Plucky Comic Relief - are three-dimensional, and probably the most well-rounded characters in the Disney canon. The soundtrack is one of only four films in the Disney Renaissance to not involve Alan Menken, and while the other three films were quite good, this film is chock full of Awesome Music. All of these elements - a Crowning Soundtrack of Awesome, a great and truly evil villain, and three-dimensional protagonists, and the best usage of comic relief in the canon - make a film that, in This Troper's humble opinion, not only sits at the top of the Disney Renaissance, but would even make Walt Disney himself prouder than any other film in the canon.

As for the Kimba controversy, well... I've concluded that, yes, The Lion King does take a lot of inspiration from Kimba. However, it has enough differences - the lack of humans, the personality differences between Kimba and Simba and Caesar and Mufasa, and the entire narrative owing more to Hamlet than Kimba, which owed more to Animal Farm - make it more than able to stand on its own merits. Particularly, Scar is a far more effective villain than Claw was. However, I do think Disney should put an "inspired by Osamu Tezuka's Kimba The White Lion" in the credits. I highly recommend not only The Lion King, but all its stated inspirations. Oh, and catch the Broadway musical if you can - it's awesome.


  • sunshinegirl
  • 21st Nov 12
Definitely agreed. The Lion King has always been my favorite of the Renaissance films, and the fact that it can stand out among the other very excellent movies from the same period is a testament to how great of a movie it really is. Nice review.
  • Historian1912
  • 20th Jul 13
From everything I've read about Kimba there's very little real connection between the two franchises, so I respectfully have to disagree with you there. I think the rest of your review is spot-on though.
  • MHMhasf1998
  • 15th Jan 14
Number one. Hehehehe, Get off of Frozen's throne, Lion King!!!
  • fenrisulfur
  • 16th Jan 14
While the only similarities with Kimba and the lion king are similar shots and such,not a whole film inspiration, it would be fitting for disney's artists to re use Tezuka's images as he got his signature art style from stylizing Disney animation.
  • MHMhasf1998
  • 1st Sep 14
While I do like the Lion King, I have noticed that it's main moral-learn from your past mistakes- is sorta botched when Simba comes back to the Pridelands, and if you haven't noticed when, it's when nobody stands up for him until it's revealed that no, he didn't really do it.(Because honestly, you're going to believe the evil tyrant over the son of your beloved old ruler, even if you think he may have caused his father's murder by accident?) I still think it's a good movie, it just has some noticeable flaws.

And yes, the musical is indeed amazing. :) (And sorry if my previous comment was offending, man, I sounded like a jerk.)
  • Naiant
  • 1st Sep 14
I confess I didn't see the "Hamlet" thing until I read it somewhere. What I haven't seen noticed is the large number of Arthurian/Celtic sovereignty myth elements: the true king, the Wasteland, the fool, the redemption through the female.

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