In June of 1994, Disney”s “The Lion King” was released in theaters. I was fourteen years old. Maybe I was a little too old to be seeing a cartoon in the theaters, but a few girlfriends and I decided to go anyways. From the opening notes of Circle of Life to the credits lining the screen we were enthralled but the story unfolding in front of us. It was an emotionally stirring, richly drawn, and beautifully animated movie that capture the hearts of children everywhere. In honor of its twenty-first anniversary, here are five important lessons I learned from “The Lion King”:
1.. The Circle of Life
We are born, we live, we die, it is the circle of life. From a young age, Simba is taught that death is a part of life. His dad tells him straight up: “Death happens. It’s okay, it’s a part of life“. To some children, even adults, death is a scary topic. One we would rather not think about, never mind experience first hand. This movie teaches you that even though it is sad to think of losing a loved one (human or animal), it happens for a reason and the world goes on. The trick is to learn how to see the beauty in it and understand its a part of life.
2.. Just because they are family doesn’t mean they are nice people
In the beginning of the movie, Simba is a carefree cub who loves everyone and sees the good in them (kinda like my DS9), this includes his Uncle Scar. Sadly, Scar is not a nice person. Although related by blood, he is jealous of his nephew’s right to the throne and would do anything, from murder to kidnapping to lying, to make it happen. The world is made up of many different people, some good and some bad (even in the same families). It’s important we remember this and realize that we don’t have the power to change it. We do have the ability to accept that we have tried everything we can do and the negative affects of that person are their own problem.
3.. “Hakuna-matata” IS a Wonderful Phrase!
Hakuna-Matata means no worries and my mother always told me ‘Worrying won’t solve your problems’. It’s true! A worry is your anticipation of a future event, it isn’t a prediction. Worrying places undo stress on your mind, body and soul and can affect relationships, your health and your decisions. Instead of worrying (although easier said then done), you need to accept what the future has in store for you and believe you have the tools to deal with the situation when it arises.
4.. Learn to Forgive (even if it is yourself)
Simba spent his entire life feeling guilty over the death of his father. Scar made him believe that it was his fault that his father was run over in the stampede because he was somewhere he shouldn’t have been . Simba let this guilt determine his fate and he ran away. The consequence of his actions left a kingdom without a king, letting Scar and the hyenas to step into the role. As a result, poverty and despair occurred. It was only when Simba forgave himself that he could see what was going on and was able to rectify the situation.
5.. You can do anything you set your mind to!
After the death of his father, Simba ran away to a life with no purpose. No rules, no responsibilities, no problems. When Simba returned to find his kingdom in shambles, he never thought he could be able to defeat his uncle Scar. With a little help from Rafiki and the realization of his true potential, he rises to his greatness and kills him in the end.
This year, one of the biggest animated films in history— “The Lion King”—joins the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection. It was one of my favourites as a child and I’m sure one of yours too! Bring this movie full circle with a chance to win a copy for your family!
WIN the Signature Lion Kin Bluray + DVD
Available on Digital Aug 15 and Blu-ray Aug 29
OPEN to Canada
Ends October 1, 2017