That Scene You Don’t Wanna Talk About in ‘The Lion King’: Let’s Talk About It
1994 was a good year. It was the year one of my favorite Disney movies came to theaters. I saw The Lion King for the first time on a humid night in June. I don't remember what I was wearing, but I am sure it was something along the lines of overalls and hair scrunchies.
I remember being amazed by "Circle of Life" and "I Just Can't Wait To Be King". My childhood was at its height when I saw Simba and Nala running through those zebras. And then...and T H E N
I don't know exactly why I wasn't moved to tears by Mufasa's cartoon death. I was seven years old, so I had some concept of emotional intelligence, right? Well, I must not have. The older woman sitting next to me was crying- no -SOBBING! Full on shaking and sobbing out loud in this theater. 7-year-old Quinzel was confused. Mufasa's not really dead. He's in the sky, see! He wasn't going anywhere!
Well, I definitely grew up and wasn't able to ignore the implications of death any longer. This time, not only would I see this movie as an adult, but as an adult who also has a child.
Because of this, I didn't stand a chance, I full on boo hoo-ed through this scene yall.
The thing about this being live action, you see everything. You see and can feel every little detail,
Imagine watching a tiny Simba trying to avoid the stampede of animals.
When he falls from the limb, Mufasa grabs him by the nape of his neck and lovingly places him on the rock. He breathes for one second. One small second of relief before being carried away by the gazelles again.
Simba searches for him. But this time, you don't see the panic in his eyes like in the animated version. It seems like his fur sticks straight up in a panic. His body stiffens.
Mufasa emerges, using all of his strength to climb up the rock wall. He is not visibly bloody or injured, but you can tell that he climbs in pain. That it takes strength to scale this wall that he doesn't have. And then...
Betrayal, pain, and a fatal fall to the bottom. You don't need to hear him hit the ground. You don't need to find him in a pool of blood. The eery silence aside from a single gazelle leaping, you just know.
Simba nudging Mufasa's lifeless body to wake up is enough to start the first steam of tears. But after he cries for help and nothing happens, he decides to cuddle under his dad's lifeless paw.
Say what you want about live-action, I might be inclined to agree with you. But seeing this scene for R E A L about killed me.
Dooooonnnn't even get me started on "Remember who you are".