British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Lion King, The

Synopsis
Feature animation film. At Pride Rock in Africa, a young lion prince, Simba, is born to Mufasa, king of the lions thus making his embittered and politically ambitious uncle, Scar, the second in line to the throne. Scar plots with the hyenas to kill King Mufasa and Prince Simba, thus making himself King. The King is killed and Simba is led to believe by Scar that it was his fault, and so flees the kingdom in shame. After years of exile he is persuaded to return home to do battle with Scar. He learns about his father’s death and in anger allows Scar to be torn apart by hyenas. A year later order is restored as Rafiki, the mandrill presents Simba’s new-born son - the future lion king. Some critics and scholars have found parallels in the plot with Hamlet; others have argued that Henry IV and Macbeth have informed the film.
Language
English
Country
United States
Medium
Film
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
1994
Duration
88 mins; 7,936 feet

Credits

Director
Rob Minkoff; Roger Allers
Producer
Don Hahn
Screenplay
Irene Mecchi; Jonathan Roberts; Linda Woolverton
Music
Elton John; Hans Zimmer
Art Direction
Andy Gaskill
Cast
James Earl JonesMufasa (voice)
Jeremy IronsScar (voice)
Matthew BroderickSimba (voice)
Moira KellyNala (voice)
Rowan AtkinsonZazu (voice)

Additional Details

Production type
Fiction Films
Plays
Hamlet
Keywords
animals; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

Notes
The audio commentary on the DVD includes Rob Minkoff acknowledging that the story did borrow from Hamlet.
Reviews
D. Stenberg. ‘The Circle of Life and the Chain of Being: Shakespearean Motifs in THE LION KING’ in Shakespeare Bulletin 14.2 (1996), p36-37. Richard Finkelstein, ‘Disney Cites Shakespeare: the Limits of Appropriation’ in Desmet, Christy and Robert Sawyer (ed), Shakespeare and Appropriation. London: Routledge, 1999. pp179-196 (A discussion of THE LION KING and THE LITTLE MERMAID).

Production Company

Name

Walt Disney Pictures

Distributor (Sale)

Name

Retail outlets

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