The Lion King Turns Twenty!

It’s the Circle of Life

And it moves us all

Through despair and hope

Through faith and love

Till we find our place

On the path unwinding

In the Circle

The Circle of Life

 People have often asked me about my favourite movie, and although my choices sometimes seem to be as fickle as the UK weather, my favourite movie hasn’t changed since a long, long time and for as long as I can anticipate, I do not see it changing. The movie which has left me besotted since forever: The Lion King. If my heart were a kingdom, Simba would be king!

Yes, my friends, this is a Disney animated movie which released back in 1994, and the beauty of this production is that it has as much to offer to 75-year olds as it has to offer to 10-year olds. It is not often you come across a movie like that. If you ask me which genre this masterpiece belongs to, I’d be torn between Adventure, Humour, Philosophy (no genre like that, is there) and yes, Romance too. I’m just trying to say how one simple animated movie can stretch across so many essential themes and portray each one of them in exemplified brilliance.

The transformation of Simba from a blithe and frivolous cub to a righteous king, involving a journey which runs not only throughout his entire kingdom but also through the chambers of his unexplored conscience, is a heart-wrenching, glorious tale which will render you speechless and make you question the meaning and purpose of your life.

For me, The Lion King is an all-encompassing movie; a movie which reinstates hope in a hopeless world, faith in a faithless soul and love where there seems to be an abundance of hatred. I remember dancing along as Timon and Pumbaa sang Hakuna Matata as vividly as I remember learning the alphabet. In those days, singing the line “It means no worries for the rest of your days” seemed meaningless to me, a naïve child impressed more by colour and melody than profound meaning. Today, when I listen to Hakuna Matata, I not only enjoy the lively tune and lovely jigs, but also appreciate the subtle philosophical innuendo which runs lucidly through the song – and the movie as well, for that matter.

The Lion King is no complex Science or Math, but the message it sends across is perhaps something Science or Math will never be able to elucidate. We listen to philosophers, watch inspirational videos and television shows, seeking to somehow will our souls and minds to develop a spiritual connect with the universe, a reflective connect which not only links us to the larger picture in life, but also to people and things, virtues and principles. I’ll tell you this straight: Simba and Rafiki (and their cheerful friends) will tell you far more, and take you far beyond in your journey, outwardly as well as inwardly. All you have to do is watch and listen.

The Lion King teaches you not to run away from your past, but to face it with as much courage as you can summon from the domains of your spirit. The Lion King teaches you to laugh in the face of adversity, while also dwelling on the beautiful nuances of intricate relationships with family and friends. The Lion King reminds you of the presence of a greater spirit in your life; a spirit which ensures that you are never alone. It teaches you stand up and do whatever it takes to protect the people you love and respect. It acquaints you with the grave dangers of misplaced trust. And oh yes, it also teaches you how to kick ass Pumbaa-style. Plus, the movie has some groovy music with great meaning, right from Hakuna Matata and The Circle Of Life to Can You Feel The Love Tonight (Yeah, baby, yeah!).

To conclude, I’ll just share with you my favourite conversation from the Lion King:

Adult Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back means I’ll have to face my past. I’ve been running from it for so long.

[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick]

Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for?

Rafiki: It doesn’t matter. It’s in the past.


Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.

Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.






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