Lion King

The Lion King and the Heroic Journey

The Lion King is the most famous cartoon show that has resonated with most children in the twenty-first century. While the Lion King draws inspiration from the animal world, the overall focus of the story is based on heroism.

The Plot and Themes

As the ruling wilderness boss, Lion King assumes the literal Lion Kingdom. The script adheres to the monomyth model, which consists of a sequence of steps typical in heroic films. As Joseph explains, the plot has many main themes. Hero tales are invariably based on a story of bravery.

Saga of Simba

Simba, the young heir, is an outspoken character who is eager to step into forbidden territory. He believes that he will take up leadership from his father, Mufasa, who is his father and the king of the animal kingdom.

The Betrayal

The story borrows from Joseph's model by highlighting Simba as the king. At birth, Simba encounters a rather rude welcome from her uncle who snubs his welcome and irks at the announcement that he would take over from Mufasa as the King of the animal kingdom. Consequently, Scar, Simba's uncle, colludes with the rulers of the dark region - the hyenas - to have Simba killed. Even as their plans fall short, they stage another murder in which Mufasa falls prey and is killed by Scar. Simba is forced to take the blame and eventually is forced to run away from the kingdom for his own safety following Scar's directive to vanish from the area.

Life in Exile

What follows is an extended period of loss of self-consciousness in which Simba meets Pumba and Timone who are not lion cubs. Simba gains friendship and eventually loses his carnivore characteristics. He embraces herbivores diet and mingles with the two as a way of forgetting the past. Timone and Pumba are somewhat musical, and they use the tactic to sing away their problems. The duo seems to be outcasts from their kind and their unity allows them to help Simba overcome his weariness in the wilderness by singing "Hakuna Matata."

Reunion with Nala

Over the period of years, Nala finds it difficult to stay amidst the challenges of the gorge and runs to the wilderness to find food and help. She, however, meets her childhood friend, Simba. Upon realizing their relationship, Simba and Nala relive memories of the past. Nala revisits Simba's sudden departure from the gorge and informs Simba that the pack needs him to take his rightful position on the throne as king since Scar had taken over. Nala constantly reminds Simba that he is the only hope left for the family. He explains how their uncle Scar allowed the hyena group to take over the gorge and the hunger that had struck the gorge due to animal migration. The story follows the monomyth by showing Simba's denial and self-insufficiency.

Simba's Inner Journey

Simba is not willing to head back to the gorge since he believes that he was responsible for the death of his father. His soliloquy suggests that he has no power to help his family. Simba is aware that Scar is stronger than he is and that his father's death would bring anger to the household. Amidst the confusion and denial of destiny, Simba meets the village's "chief." He had been following Simba through his magical knowledge. He helps Simba realize that his father is always within him and that he would guide him into reclaiming his rightful place. The talisman in this story is the wise man who helps Simba discover his inner strength. The word that rings in Simba's mind is the term "remember, Simba." Simba charges at the realization that his father has been living within him. Simba discards his vain living in the wilderness and the ideology of putting his past behind him. He believes that he has what it takes to take on Scar and reclaim his position as King.

The Return and the Final Battle

The previous occurrences highlight Campbell's fabric that uses a call to adventure and a refusal of a mission. Simba finally accepts the call and heads back to the gorge without mentioning a word to Nala, Timone, and Pumba. On his way back, Simba walks through the thicket and for a moment relives the moment he escaped from the gorge. The hyenas had pursued him as a directive from his uncle. Simba arrives at a safe distance and evaluates the dilapidated state of the kingdom. He again meets with Timone, Pumba, and Nala who assure him of their support in his quest for leadership. The ally narrative fits well with the assistance of his "team."

The Final Showdown

The last fight is meant to appear as the supreme ordeal for Simba. He takes on the difficulty of disposing the hyenas from the colony and throwing Scar off his balance and becoming the King. Simba arrives at the gorge as the hero, but Scar immediately uses the opportunity to lie to the family that he was responsible for the death of his father. After a short dialogue, Scar and Simba enter into a fight. The fight leaves Simba hanging for his life in a way that is similar to his late father. As Scar confesses his involvement in Mufasa's death, Simba rejuvenates his strength and jumps over to a safe zone. The final contest between Scar and Simba ensues. Simba's training comes into play, and his last kick lands Scar out of the royal throne where the hyenas take him on. The story ends with Simba gaining the final reward. The Kingdom crowns Simba as the rightful king and through a magical sequence, vegetation grows back, and Nala becomes the queen. As a tradition, the prince's childhood female friend becomes the rightful queen, after all, she had been Simba's source of strength, and they shared a special bond from birth. The story ends with the King's aid lifting Simba and Nala's child to the masses as a testimony that a prince is born.

Reflection on the Human Journey

The Lion King and the pattern of the monomyth contain some elements which are identical to the struggles of our human lives. There are moments when we take responsibility for what is not truly our fault and are forced to run away for fear of rejection. Some people push us into extinction and take up our positions, just like Scar took over Simba's heirship. However, there are people who we meet along our path to self-discovery who help us forget our mistakes. However, there comes a moment where we will face reality. Our past will haunt us to make peace with it. In this event, supernatural beings will help us gather the strength and courage to fight and persevere in our quest to settle the past.

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