The movie starts on a happy note, with ‘Rafiki’ the old, stripy-zebra-cheeked mandrill pronouncing, the little, new born cub ‘Simba’, the future king of Pride Land. While the entire kingdom celebrates the royal ceremony, with their mighty lion king ‘Mufasa’ and his queen ‘Sarabi’, Mufasa’s jealous brother ‘Scar’ is seen nowhere.
Simba grows up as a playful, head strong and confident cub. Like a good father, Mufasa tries to instil in him values of mercy, tolerance and sympathy, so that he makes a compassionate ruler, when enthroned. ‘Zazu’ the puffin bird courtier, is instructed to keep a close eye on Simba, for security reasons. The security, that the adventurous Simba, often breaches, with the help of his best friend Nala. On one such expedition, the mischievous duo have a savage, blood curling encounter with ‘Shenzi’, the ruthless, cruel queen of hyenas and her vicious, hungry pack. They are saved by a brink, when Mufasa barges in to their rescue.
The nefarious blood-traitor Scar, conspires against his crowned brother, with Shenzi. He promises her, the right to free hunt in Pride Land, if they helped him become the king. Shenzi and Scar together plan, Mufasa and his son’s murder, that would look like a terrible accident, in a stampede. While they succeed in killing the king, Scar coaxes Simba, into the guilt, of being responsible for his own father’s death. Simba flees never to return, falls off a high cliff and is deemed dead. Scar takes over the throne and recruits the hyenas as his royal army.
As fate has it, Simba survives the fall. Timon and Pumbaa, a meerkat and a warthog save him from the vultures. They take him to their Heartland home. Little Simba, Timon and Pumbaa, along with the other animals of Heartland lead a peaceful life believing ‘Hakuna Matata’ as in no worries. They help Simba leave the past behind, in order to build a sparkling future. Simba grows up with a thick, fuller, silky, brown mane, like his father Mufasa. Though not as robust, for he lives on caterpillars and beetles in Heartland.
Life is gets hellish and gruesome at Pride Rock. Puffin reports Sarabi, the ever hungry hyenas have hunted excessively and are killing the last flock of bisons and antelopes. Pride Land is barren of animals. Nala decides to seek help outside Pride Land, to save her tribe. Nala tries hunting the round and plump Pumbaa, thus bumping into Simba. It is a heart warming reunion. Nala and Rafiki convince Simba to return home and resume his throne.
Simba encounters a divine prophecy, of his father instructing him from the stars to protect everything that the light touches. Responding to this calling of the spirit, Simba realises he is the only one who can fight to protect his clan and kingdom, and returns to Pride Rock.
The lions and the hyenas have a violent, aggressive fight. Scar confesses that he fooled the hyenas and killed his brother Mufasa to become the king. In the end Simba is victorious. The hyenas kill Scar for deceiving them.
The Lion King is a story of courage, compassion, responsibility, and not letting go. It imbibes, the triumph of the rightful and virtuous, over greed and evil. Even if it’s late, it is always important to set things straight, until we find our righteous place in the circle of life. The movie ends with Rafiki pronouncing Nala and Simba’s newborn as the future king, right where it begun, completing the extraordinary Circle Of Life. Also the movie is in 3D and a magnificent, wondrous watch.
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