The Lion King

Animated Film
The Lion King
Animated (or Children’s) Films
Animated Films are ones in which individual
drawings are photographed frame by frame.
Usually, each frame differs slightly from
the one preceding it, giving the illusion of
movement when frames are projected in
rapid succession.
 Animated films are often directed to, or
appeal most to children, but can be enjoyed
by all. Animation, fairy tales, stop-motion
films, and adventures that appeal to
children are included in this genre category.
The earliest animated films that most
people remember seeing are Disney
films which contain exquisite
[ 'ekskwizit ] 精致的,细腻的,敏锐的
details, flowing movements, gorgeous
and rich color, enchanting characters,
lovely musical songs and tunes, and
stories drawn with magical or
mythological plots.
Classic Animated Films
The Lion King《狮子王》(1994)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs《白雪公
Sleeping Beauty《睡美人》(1938)
Toy Story《玩具总动员》(1995)
Beauty and the Beast《美女与野兽》(1991)
Tom and Jerry《汤姆与杰瑞》(1991)
Steamboat Willie《“威利”号轮船》(1928)
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame《钟楼怪客》
Cultural Background of The Lion King
released by Walt Disney Picture in 1994
 one of the top blockbusters
[ 'blɔk.bʌstə ]
轰动,巨型炸弹in the past
ten years in the US
 Shakespeare’s theme: Hamlet,
 the attraction of African scenery
won the Oscar for the Best Music
 the Oscar for the Best Song: Can You Feel
the Love Tonight
 song “Hakuna Matata” was nominated Oscar
Best Music.
Q: Why Lion king is so popular in
The African setting: the plot, the names,
the music, the philosophies all have an
African flavor and Americans like things
that are new and different.
 The Broadway style music and songs: done
by some famous pop singers.
 The voices: played by some actors whose
voices are familiar and distinctive to
American ears.
 The animation: new, special and excellent.
In what way is the film itself circular?
The film begins and ends at the same place
and with the same title screen words;
Simba is King after Mufasa and the son of
Simba is held up high at the end and will
assume the position of king after Simba.
What does the interviewee say about the
American cultural identity? What’s the new
Culturally, America doesn’t have its own
identity. America is made up of many
different identities. A great majority of
American culture is still European culture,
but more and more America is picking up,
assimilating other cultures.
In what way is The Lion King similar to and at
the same time different from other Disney
animated movies — The Little Mermaid,
Beauty and The Beast and Aladdin?
Similarities: They are all true “family films”
because they entertain adults as well as
children. Difference: The Lion King is a
little more subdued and its theme is
What is the central theme of the movie?
What can children learn from this movie?
The central theme is guilt and redemption.
Children can learn how to prepare
themselves for more difficult lessons later
Reflection of the Movie
It has an African plot, and the names are
African, even some of the philosophy, some
of the religious philosophy is sort of
African, sort of having spirituality
[ .spiritju'æliti ] 精神性,灵性, come from
nature, and looking at nature — the Circle
of Life.
What makes The Lion King different or
maybe just special?
We all understand revenge, we all
understand the family members are dying
at least, maybe not so much as children,
but some of us do. But certainly by the
time we have matured, we understand, the
grief of family members dying.
Q:What are the themes
of the movie?
The Circle of Life
 the identity of the self
The theme ---The Circle of Life
It’s very interesting that the sort of film
begins and ends at the same place. So
almost the film is a circle. It’s circular
because at the end, Simba is King, and Nala
is Queen and there is a new lion king who is
held up at the end and so will then assume
the position of king after Simba even. So
this is very new, modern way of thinking
especially in America.
Life is circular, life shall continue and move
forward. That’s very typical philosophy in
America and increasingly in other countries.
Life shall progress, life shall move forward
and that man himself is at the heart of
that moving forward, that man is sort of in
charge of his own destiny. That’s probably
a very strong philosophy in America.
Another theme in the movie is the
identity of the self
This is also very new to Americans who
have a somewhat different religious
background ,it worked in the movie and it
definitely appealed to the American sense
of something new and different.
And some have said it’s similar to
Shakespeare’s Hamlet where Hamlet in his
monologues独白 strives to understand
himself, strives to understand what it’s to
be or not to be. He struggles with that.
That’s similar.
But again, what’s most struck about the
theme of the monkey probably is the
natural spiritualism of ancestors and of
mythical experience that is tied in with
nature. This is mot normally brought out in
American literature and American thinking
or at least not in children’s movies or
children’s philosophy.
Q:To what extent, The Lion King
reflects American culture?
The Lion King is very African in its music,
in its origin. The Lion King, originally is an
African legend, old African legend. And
there many African Americans in this
country in America. So this film really
appealed to many of them.
And again, America as before America
likes things different. America is very
fascinated with being on the edge and new
and different things. The American spirit
is of course very proud.
Culturally, America has made up of many
different identities, since it was a country
that was founded to be open and to allow
all sorts of people to stay and live there.
So there are many different types of
cultures in America. So it is very common
for an American to want to know more
about these cultures.
The movie tried to make African culture a
little bit more accessible to the person who
wants to watch films. So that’s a
summarization ------one aspect of the
American culture, that being its diversity,
America has a great diversity of cultures
that combine to be, the American people.
Now even though a great majority of that
culture is still, European culture, the first
settlers in America were, Spanish, and
English. So there’s still strong if not very,
very, very strong in European history in
America, But more and more America is
picking up and assimilating同化,同化作用,消
化, assimilating means absorbed,
assimilating other cultures which is very
And it’s not something perhaps that the
original Founding Fathers of America would
have foreseen — this is absorbing of other
cultures, and this combining of other
It’s useful to watch The Lion King as a
cross-section of American culture, though
it is important to realize that many people
in America do not necessarily abide or
agree with all the philosophy in it.