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I think it would be remiss of us to forget to post about some musical animated movies, especially as they have become so popular. Well, I say become, but I'm not sure if maybe that popularity is waning now. And what better one to dicuss than The Lion King, possibly the animated musical that started the resurgence (and also the one I've seen the most by a looooong way). It has everything, it's a coming of age story (Simba), a love story (Simba & Nala),  there's an evil villain (Scar) and even a comedy meerkat (Timon). Now meerkat's are ace at the best of times, but a comedy one? In a movie? Inspired. Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog are merely the icing on this celluloid cake. But as kitten points out and then forgets, we're a music blog, and this should be about relating the music to the film in some kind of meaningful way (as if!)

Much as the music fits the film perfectly, I'd be interested to know if people actually sit and listen to the soundtrack at home. While you might sing along during the film and even hum the songs while you're doing the dishes, do people actually think, "oh, I could really do with a blast of Hakuna Matata". Is it maybe just for the benefit of children that the soundtrack is bought? The two 'real' songs on this soundtrack -  the Academy Award winnning "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" you could imagine listening to if you like that sort of thing, but for me, the other songs would be best saved for children's parties. However, within the film they are fantastic. Scar (voiced by Jeremy Irons) sings 'Be Prepared' to a background of similarly evil (or just misunderstood) hyenas. Rowan Atkinson's character, Zazu, an avian advisor to Simba's dad, Mufasa, sings "The Morning Report" as he gives a report of the lion's territory. 

"The Circle of Life" which I maybe unfairly left off my real songs list seeing as it was Academy Award nominated, was written by Tim Rice & Elton John and pretty much provides the central theme for the whole film. That everything is there for a reason. The grass feeds the deer, the deer feed the lions and the lions, well, they laze about in the sun all day. But when the king is killed by his evil brother who then takes the throne (Hamlet anyone?) Simba (the king's son) then runs for his life, finds himself with the help of Timon and Pumbaa and then comes back to claim his throne (via a ghostly visitation from his father). Thankfully for the hearts and minds of millions of children across the world, it ends a bit better than Hamlet. But there again is the circle of life, the son succeeding his father.

I think the other trail that this film blazed was giving nods to past films in an attempt to appeal to adults. In fact the scenario painted at the inception of the film was 'Bambi in Africa meets Hamlet - Bamlet'. If you look at the IMDB entry there are  more than a few trivia entries, many of which refer to older films. Here's a few for those who can't be bothered to click on the link.....

The scar on Scar's face is in exactly the same place as it is on Al Pacino's character Tony Montana in the movie Scarface (1983).

Simba says to Scar (Jeremy Irons) You're so weird. Scar replies: You have no idea!, the same reply that Irons used in Reversal of Fortune (1990).

The scene of the hyenas goose-stepping in during the musical number Be Prepared is modeled directly from a scene in Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph des Willens (1935).

If you do have the urge to sit at your PC listening to some hardcore Elton John/Lion King then here are some mp3's for your enjoyment. Remember, if you like them, buy the CD/DVD, if only for your children.


mp3: Circle of Life - Elton John/Tim Rice

mp3: Hakuna Matata

mp3: Be Prepared



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Blogger Unknown said...

I came to this blog after clicking on the next blog tab of certain blog. Well..I like the theme and l;ook of your Blog. Keep it up guys...

1:54 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

I came to this blog after clicking on the next blog tab of certain blog. Well..I like the theme and l;ook of your Blog. Keep it up guys...

1:55 pm  
Blogger kitten said...

"But as kitten points out and then forgets"

I'd scowl but really it's fair enough.

I am stunned and amazed by the photograph by the way.

And thanks Praveen!

9:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the lion king soundtrack on my ipod.
song like hakkuna mattata are just novelties, but i actually listen to the instrumentals.and scars song XD

9:16 am  

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