Movie Analysis of the Lion King


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The hero’s journey is the ordinary format of stories which include a hero who transforms being shaped by an adventurous experience, later being successful in a definitive moment of crisis and returning home changed. Three weeks into a trip to Kenya in November 1991, directors Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers observed the beautiful savanna and wildlife it had to offer from their jeep and had a vision; they were inspired by the pride of lions stalking its prey. Released in 1994 by Walt Disney Feature Animation, the film revolves around the circle of life and takes place in an animated kingdom of lions in Africa. The Lion King, an original Disney movie follows the journey of Simba, a young lion cub, who is forced to abandon his fate as future king of the Pride Land after being misled by his bitter and jealous uncle into thinking that he is guilty of his father, Mufasa’s death along bringing shame to his home. In The Lion King, directors Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers incorporate camera angles, lighting, and sound to outline how one should look to the future and stop worrying about the past even though a significant event might’ve shaped them into who they are now.

To begin with, the major aspect of camera angles used actively by the directors reinforces the theme. There are numerous manners by which you can outline your subject, from seeing their whole body to just their eyes. We can separate this into three fundamental shot sizes: long, medium, and close. Long shots show the subject from a good distance out, stressing the location and area. Medium shots fall someplace in between long and close shots showing the subject and surrounding simultaneously. While close shots uncover subtleties of the subject and feature feelings of a character. The reading indicates that “Gaskill implemented a rack focus technique, quickly shifting the camera’s focus from ants walking along a branch in the foreground to zebras stampeding in the background. He employed other live-action-inspired tricks–intense zooms onto Pumbaa’s face and 360-degree dolly moves around Scar and Simba–enabled by newer computer technology” (Kring-Schreifels). This reveals how art director and animator Andy Gaskill found new and easy ways to incorporate camera angles in an exciting and rewarding way to amplify the cinematic effect and emotions. Incidentally, there’s an effect that the directors need in a film that would be difficult to do with customary animation methods. That is the place where CGI comes in and makes a difference. A horde of thousands of wildebeests would be too arduous to even consider creating by hand however artists working with CGIs can sort out what the actions of the animal are and duplicate it. We can likewise make all the camera angles that the scene requires and coordinate them with the surrounding environment.

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Another major aspect that both Minkoff and Allers incorporate into the film to illustrate the theme is lighting. There are numerous advantages to the way of lighting utilized in the various scenes, such as the bright colors grasping the eye consideration of the intended interest group, which for this situation, our kids. What’s more, the various sorts of lighting can help pass on feelings of the film. Bright tones cause somebody to feel cheerful and can be seen at the beginning of the film when Simba is being presented. Then again low-key lighting gives a feeling of misery or fear, for instance, the scene where Scar hits Simba’s mom. For example, “Once the characters were set, animators would draw out scenes in pencil that would be scanned into the Computer Animation Production System and then digitally colored by a team of painters. Eventually, the finished products would be superimposed onto painted and layered backgrounds and transferred onto film…It’s really true that out of the 1500 scenes, the lightning is going to be different in every scene, Fullmer Notes. You’re putting opacities, varying transparencies on dust and water; you’re working with lightning; you’re doing a million things to try to make it all come together.” This proves that no scene is alike, they all are unique and have distinctive traits that make them stand out how the color and lightning compliment the story unfolding. Like in the scene where Simba comes across Rafiki and has an otherworldly experience with his deceased father, Mufasa. The lighting in this scene is low and dim. Low-key lighting is utilized all through this scene and is dull, utilizing profound shadows along with giving a dramatic feel to it. The shadows are highlighted vigorously and seemed to assume control over the screen as Simba chased Rafiki into the wilderness. The lighting related to the music straightforwardly affected what the crowd was feeling. Simba was feeling stunned and befuddled. He appeared to be discouraged, just lost, and brimming with melancholy. This scene additionally utilizes the three-point lighting framework. This is noted when Simba is staring at his appearance in the water and talking with Rafiki about it. It’s additionally noted again during the appearance of Mufasa in the sky. The three-point lighting utilizes three fundamental light sources to control shadows. In this specific scene, the lighting decisions were awesome. They evoked feelings and the crowd could identify and understand Simba all through his encounters. Simba attempts nearly anything to see or find out about his dad. He was by all accounts down bad in his life and in search of some guidance. The directors’ utilization of lighting was suitable and passed on the intensity of the mood required in this scene. If the lighting was bright or high-key, the scene would not have the same impact. It is difficult to feel down when you are encircled by brilliant lights and clear tones.

Throughout The Lion King, the sounds and music convey the overall message of the film of succeeding in dealing with setbacks to eventually do the right thing, or for this situation Simba to comeback the Pride Lands. Sound plays have a tremendous effect on building up the topic in this film since it’s an animated musical so it depends intensely on music and sound effects to give the film a sensible appearance and feel. Songs composed by the one and only Elton John along with Tim Rice and scored by illustrious film composer Hans Zimmer, the music contributed and fit in perfectly with the film to the point that the music itself won Oscar awards. The article articulates, “Music is a very important factor in our movies. In the song, we can do tremendous amounts of storytelling and the music carries a lot of the emotion of the story” . With this, dialogue is utilized to recount the story and communicate inspirations alongside the sentiments of the characters. Audio cues are the sounds that are synchronized to what exactly is going on in the film. You can likewise have audio effects that help to the mood of the scene. Music is utilized to add feeling and mood to a film. Musical music is utilized to help further the dialogue as portrayed in The Lion King. In the Scene where Scar sings the song “Be Prepared” it shows Scar is annoyed that the hyenas couldn’t kill off Simba and has chosen to slaughter Mufasa so he is advising everybody to plan for the death. The discourse truly assists with setting up what is going to happen and what precisely Scar has as a primary concern for what’s to come. The audio cues utilized in the scene help to make the mind-set and give it a practical edge. For instance, when Scar kicks one of the hyenas into the piles’ bones you can hear the bones breaking and being tossed. Music takes the scene as this is Scar singing about plotting to slaughter the King and having his spot as the new king. The music is dull with substantial bass so it gives a serious startling sound, the chorus is used to show the hyenas and the drums assert that the constant rhythm is kept.

Thus, the use of film aspects of techniques such as camera angles, lighting, and sound help advance the idea of how The Lion King and its directors sought to showcase the theme of looking to the future and stop dwelling on the past. How past events may shape you however they don’t define you, you must instead learn and grow from it. This is evident in The Lion King as Simba who is traumatized after running away from his home after believing his deceiving uncle that he caused his father’s death, with the help of new friends and old ones he comes back to set things right. Upon his return his home is unrecognizable and ruined, yet empowered by a new sense of identity, he sets out to challenge his uncle, finding out the truth about his father. Ultimately, assuming his role as the rightful heir to the throne and restoring the pride land to its greatness. Similarly, the directors wish to point out how one can be betrayed, rejected, and feel like running from one’s own destiny/responsibility nevertheless it is in these times that we recognize who we truly are. Hence we must open ourselves to happiness as a choice, life is hard and full of obstacles but even so, you don’t have to suffer from the past. The Lion King provides insight on how to deal with certain situations in life, that through adversity we grow stronger and is a preparation for greatness. I want to leave you with this quote from Rafiki from The Lion King, “Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or … learn from it.” 

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