A collaborative piece between myself and
i drew the picture and she wrote the description.
How many of us (myself included) grew up with – and loved -- The Lion King? The beautiful African rhythms. The awesome scenery. THE WONDERFUL ARRAY OF CHARACTERS – HEROES, VILLAINS AND SIDEKICKS (BOTH GOOD AND BAD)!! Whether we were four or 40 (during 1994, when the first movie was released); we’ve all come to know the story. And, God knows; many of us have been inspired enough by its majesty; to create EPIC works of art!!
Then, we were gifted a return trip to Disney’s Africa; with the release of The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride. Sure, the movie still isn’t considered ‘canon’ by many loyal fans. And yes; the animation (the colour-scheme seemed rather faded/diluted, to me – also, many characters seemed to be out of sync, compared to their original selves); but it was still passable, as a Disney sequel. As controversial as it was, Simba’s Pride was still heaps better, than the rather eccentric (and to some, childish) The Lion King 1 1/2 [or 3, depending on where you live] could ever hope to be!
The issue is not with Timon’s family (his mother and Uncle Max – also, the family’s meerkat colony). That really wouldn’t have bugged too many people! For one thing; it allowed viewers to see how the little meerkat came to accept the ‘Hakuna Matata’ philosophy that we were introduced to, during the first movie. (He was lonely – even in the company of others. And, being all alone, in the world, he needed something to believe in! So he adopted the carefree, ‘who gives a hoot’ philosophy – with mixed results!)
The problem doesn’t even really lie in how he met his warthog companion, Pumbaa! (God knows, both Timon and Pumbaa were outcasts – love them or hate them!) For better or for worse, they were added – much like the hyena trio – for some much-needed ‘comedy relief’! This is OK, by many die-hard fans, today.
No. The issues lie with the ridiculous story-line – supposedly told from Timon and Pumbaa’s rather off-the-wall point of view. For many loyal LK fans, it just didn’t make any sense!
For one thing; Timon meets a laughing Rafiki, while on his travels – who tells him about ‘Hakuna Matata’ (a philosophy the wizened mandrill-shaman wouldn’t even think of adopting – as it preaches a life of ease and carelessness. And Rafiki would never condone such things!)
Then too, the guys seem to have followed a young, pre-exiled Simba through his presentation (during which Mufasa’s subjects were brought to their knees by an attack of flatulence, courtesy of Pumbaa – and not by their respect for the royal family); then high-tailed it, when Simba – then a power-hungry Scar -- sang about what it would be like, to be king!
Moreover, as Simba kept Mum about how he came to be exiled; how would his jungle-companions know that he had been involved in that awful wildebeest stampede that killed his father – then sent him into a self-imposed exile, courtesy of his scheming uncle? Impossible!
But the things that really bug many loyal fans are:
That disgusting snail-slurping contest, between Timon and an adolescent Simba. What was that all about? It was definitely inspired by Fear Factor and some of the Survivor series, that’s for sure! (It was the grossest gross-out I’d seen in a LONG time!! Also, Mufasa had the ‘honour’ of having a ringside seat [albeit, in the heavens], while his son and some guy the old king wouldn’t hesitate to believe was ‘beneath himself and his heir’, made absolute fools of themselves – while also making one of them terribly sick?! To quote a young Simba, from the first movie (while first being introduced to eating bugs), “Eww! Gross!” We feel his pain!!
Then came the ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ scene – during which all three jungle-buddies seem to be swinging and jumping around all over the place – much like kids on a trampoline! (Take us all back to the diving-into-a-pool scene, during which Simba messed up his mane; before the three pals boogied off into more jungle, to the beat of ‘Hakuna Matata’! At least they didn’t look stoned, in that scene!!)
Oh, but now we’re revisiting the famous ‘Simba Confronts Scar’ scene. Very little is seen of this ‘fight to the death’, between lions, of course! Instead, we’re confronted with a performing Timon and Pumbaa – yes, they’re dancing up a storm, during the epic battle! But when dancing doesn’t seem to distract the hyenas enough, a desperate Timon actually gets down on one knee, to make a marriage proposal to Shenzi -- who ultimately refuses! Like, what? Where did that come from?? (Let’s not go there. The idea of it all, is enough to make one very ill!)
In short: The Lion King 1 ½ (or 3) is a bizarre little ‘feature’, with very little in common with the first (and/or even the second) Lion King movie/s franchise.
So, will the REAL Lion King cast stand up, please?
That's it. Tell us what you think!
Thanks in advance
Tracey & Ebony!