Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh I Just Can't Wait To Be King! (Part 1)

From the day we arrive on the planet and blinking, step into the sun.
There's more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be
done. There's far too much to take in here, more to find than can ever be
found. But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky keeps great and
small on the endless round.
- The Circle of Life
“Oh I just canʼt wait to be King!” proclaims Simba, the young lion prince of the “Pride Lands” in Disneyʼs The Lion King.1 This Disney classic has captured the hearts and minds of millions of children and adults around the world. Yet at its core this film is filled with deep philosophical truths that everyone wrestles with in their daily lives. Issues such as pride, our relationship to the world, a sense of community and duty, vengeance, love, it even contains a philosophy of apathy. These ideas are conveyed through the dialogue, imagery, and especially the music of the film. The score is wonderful and adds such depth to the story and the ideas being expressed that not mentioning it first would be remiss.2

The story sightly resembles a tale we might hear of in Shakespearean theater, the greedy uncle kills the king, and appears to have killed the prince, blaming a disaster. Years after assuming the throne, the self-exiled prince returns with some encouragement of a mystical guide. After showing mercy to his uncle, the uncle turns once again on the prince only to be killed at the hands of his own minions. The prince reclaims the throne and reigns as a good king. Indeed the story is rather boring on its own merits, yet the movie grossed over seven hundred seventy-five million dollars worldwide3 and took home the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical.4

There must be something more to this story than the simple plot, and while it was well animated, the animation alone would not be enough to captivate the millions it has. The film does not fall into the what Film-Philosopher Slavoj Zizek would call “Pornography” therefore the question as to the captivation is of the utmost importance. This is where the philosophical resonance that other films seek to achieve comes in.

1.) The Lion King. Theater viewing. Directed by Rob Minkoff. Burbank: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, 1994.

2.) The Lion King won the Academy Award for best score in 1994 as well as the Golden Globe. See: http://awardsdatabase.oscars.org

3.) "The Lion King (1994)." The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110357/ (accessed May 10, 2011). It is also the highest grossing Animated Disney film world wide to this day.

4.) "HFPA - Awards Search." OFFICIAL WEBSITE of the HFPA and the GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS. http://www.goldenglobes.org/browse/film/25384 (accessed May 10, 2011)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This seems appropriate for this blog.

Is Grape Juice for Communion a Sin? from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. - The Apostle Paul