The film “The Lion King” is the latest in a series of annual media events from Disney. The film, created by Walt Disney, is based on half the stories in classical mythology. The film, which is an animated feature at Disney, has had its development evolutionary having taken years for its creation and refinement. The movie is an original story not based on any previously published account. The Lion King continues to win in Disney animation after The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. The play “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare, had its first edition published in 1603 with the second publication being in 1604 under the title “The Tragic History of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.” There was a remarkable improvement in the command of language in the second edition of the play Hamlet. The play also indicated a larger philosophic intensity and an extraordinary approach into what is most concealed and unclear in men’s behavior and intentions. A comparison of the elements of the creative works is thus significant for the analysis of the film techniques. A discussion of the similarities in the themes of the works is also essential for a quick analysis of the two works.
The film is an animation that one might naturally think is dedicated to children. It has been famous because of the animations that largely have an aesthetic appeal, vivid characters, interesting plots, and the right moral standards. The gaze of the film celebrates the repeated natural world of the forest living and seasons in Africa. In the movie, there are droughts and fires, and finally rain, representing life and rejuvenation. The imagery of classic American Western paintings and films is also depicted in the film. The epic landscapes, the evocative lighting are a representation of the dramatic styles of the classic painters who depicted the tremendous scope and beautiful lighting in the movie.
There is depth and realism to the background setting of the film. The artists’ keen instincts for color styling and ability to capture subtle gradations of light in a landscape made the film consistently interesting and believable. The wide portrayals of a variety of natural elements in the film also make the film look consistent and right to the integrity of the artistic vision. The musical moments in the movie is utilized to assist the characters break into song to advance the story. The emotions and the element of entertainment that would not have been achieved without the music are expressed (The Lion King).
The play Hamlet is a dark play full of uncertainty and suspicion right from its beginning. The tale has its setting in the belated middle ages in and around the royal palace in Elsinore, Denmark. A lot of play acting is brought out in Hamlet, including a performance of the Murder of Gonzago. The allusion to the protestant reformation initiated around 1517 is another setting that the play is based. The whole play is based at Denmark royal court with the political kids being a better analogy. Besides, the royal court is not the only place Hamlet hangs out due to his strange behavior that is a liability to his parents.
The play Hamlet is written in a combination of verse and prose, with the noble typically speaking in unrhymed verses. Characters that are not of the high social class do not get to speak in verse. They just do the talking. Apart from the verse and prose in the play, symbolism and imagery is also utilized in the play. For instance, Hamlet constantly broods about death and humanity in the infamous graveyard. The graveyard definitely is a symbol of death. In the play, the imagery of the gardens is brought out to not necessarily be a place where one would like to hang out and watch the butterflies. They are more of overgrown plots that may not be so attractive. The symbolism of flowers is also brought5 out when Ophelia loses her mind in the play and issues everyone around her with flowers. She again talks directly about the symbolic meaning of the flowers (Nichols, Guilfoyle and Davidson).
The genre of the play is a tragedy that comes as a result of revenge. The element of secret murder appears in the play, and that is evident enough for the play to be regarded a revenge tragedy. The death is planned secretly in the state of Denmark. Also, the ghost of the murder victims visits a relative in the play, and it demands that the relative revenges by killing somebody for him to go to heaven. The boy Hamlet also intends to carry out revenge as ordered by the ghost (Shakespeare and Olivier).
The theme of the hierarchy is common in both the two works. There exists a hierarchy in the society with those in the top being those with power. The ruling classes have power, courage, intelligence, knowledge, and every quality that empower them to rule the society. The legitimacy of the ruling class cannot be changed. In Disney’s The Lion King, Simba is the main character. He is the young man of King Mufasa of the society. That makes Simba the prince of the community (The Lion King). The situation is similar in Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Hamlet, where Hamlet is the prince of Denmark. He is the son of the tragically murdered King Hamlet, making him a prince too.
The theme of revenge is also common in both the two works. The concept of retribution has been in existence since the crack of dawn of man. Naturally, any person would want revenge for somebody who has hurt them in the past. In the play Hamlet, the vengeance is wanted by Hamlet for the slaying of the king, who was his father. Hamlet is fanatical about the plan of fatality after his father’s put to death. In the entire play, the idea of death is tied to the themes of spirituality, truth, and uncertainty but death is the only workable solution for Hamlet. Since death is the cause and consequence of revenge, it is also tied to the theme of revenge and justice. Claudius’ murder of King Hamlet initiates Hamlet’s quest for revenge, and the death of Claudius is the quest for the revenge. The film The Lion King is an animated film that resembles Hamlet in many aspects, including revenge. In the movie, Simba initially runs away from responsibilities but returns to avenge his father’s death.
Disney’s The Lion King is a children’s version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. There are many parallels between the two stories and even in the actual dialogue. Both stories are a narration of a young man who is torn apart by the early demise of his father. In both cases, an uncle takes the position of what belongs to the young prince. The young prince in both cases overcomes the uncertainties to take back what belongs to them for the benefit of their countries. In the stories, the biggest similarities are the presence of death images and symbolism.
The theme of guilt and redemption is evident in both the two stories. In Disney’s Lion King, Simba, a young lion cub and heir to his father’s throne is led to believe that he was the reason his father died. Samba was so traumatized that he went into exile, attempting to find peace of mind in the company of a warthog. It is very hard to escape the feeling of guilt and that made Simba learn the reality; hence he was motivated to carry out revenge. In the play Hamlet, Mufasa, king of lions is murdered by a brother who also takes over the leadership of the kingdom. Hamlet, the beloved son, is wracked by guilt and impotence till his father’s ghost gives him an idea of what took place and how he should do the revenge. The play Hamlet led to the expansion of the existing broad horizons of the animated Disney series, the Lion King being the most mature of the films.
In conclusion, the film The Lion King is not merely an entertainment work. It is full of the concept of authority and male supremacy in the society, legitimizing the place and civil liberties of the open power and of men. The popularity of women is persuaded as a secondary role in the society. The animation in the film has an aesthetic appeal mainly because the social psyche resembles the themes and ideologies projected in the movie. The play Hamlet is a modern tragedy story that shares the same themes as Disney’s The Lion King. The two works reflect one another, with the primary characters showing similarities in behavior. The similarities between the secondary characters in The Lion King and Hamlet are also still alike.
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