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The Lion King Movie by Disney

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There are many discourse symbols in animated films, among which the representation of race and gender in particular agenda-setting in the field of media science. The content displayed in front of the audience often reflects the communication intention of the producer. The Lion King is one of the most impression cartoons by Disney made. In 1994, This movie received much universal praise. It grossed more than three hundred million in the United States and won two Oscars. Some of the animal’s roles, such as Mufasa, King of the Pride Land, Simba, Son of Mufasa King, and The three hyenas, the enemy of Simba. In the proposition of love and responsibility, the movie takes the growth of a little lion named Simba, which makes the family, love, and friendship incisively. Although The Lion King is one of the famous cartoons in many people’s minds. It also gives the audience the stereotype is the classes different between whites and other people who have color by insinuation. The Lion King uses a cartoon to tell us that Lions are the strongest and fiercest, and eat weaker animals downstream of the food chain, and other animals live under the lion’s control. Some of the animals usually design to be ugly and Irony, such as the Hyenas in the movie. In The Lion King, Almost every character sounds American or British, except the hyenas; Hyenas are villains in movies, and Disney makes sure we know they’re evil by making them sound like Hispanics or people from slums. Disney equates evil with non-white. Three of the hyena’s names are Shenzi,Banzai and Ed, and two of them are played by a few colored vocal actors. Therefore, Disney was show racism between the color of the people.

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The Lion King is a great movie, but it actually some racist themes. There is no doubt that The Lion King is a movie that can accompany people’s growth. It gives people a deep and long-lasting feeling. On the other hand, some people use the racism angle to see this movie; some people will take issue with it. In Washington Post, The authors claim that the hyenas in the film ‘represented the black, brown and disabled bodies that were forcibly excluded from this hierarchical society’, using the ‘ethnic coded ‘street” accent, symbolizing ‘the threat to the composition’ Racism and anti-Semitic prejudice of the ‘pest’ group’ (Dan). Therefore, Disney movie seems to be an animated film for children or teenagers, but it has the spirit and connotation of the times. It was influenced by the anti-war thoughts in the 1970s and 1980s in the United States, and also marked the whole process of Disney family company from prosperity to decline to glory. Of course, its unique film environment has too aroused widespread criticism, such as hierarchy and racial discrimination. For another, some people take issue with this movie, because it uses some low-level animal to represent some people who live in the lower class. The author points out that: In Disney’s Lion King, hyenas usually drool and giggle. Similarly, in many outdated nature documentaries, the most common one is that the lower hyenas are driven away by the ‘proud and noble lions’ (Hungry). In the lion king, those at the bottom will be hyenas. They are portrayed as greedy, uneducated barbarians. The lion is the top of the hierarchy. In our society, people with wealth and / or political power are at the top of the hierarchy. Therefore, The Lion King showed the classes different between whites and other people who have color.

Even though Disney becomes one of the biggest media companies in the world, Disney has acknowledged these past crimes, but they didn’t recognize racism in The Lion King. Actually, the racial problem in the United States has a long history. American animated images also inevitably have racial discrimination. Visram points out that Disney did not respond to his request for a comment on the new hyena, but in the new version, it seems that someone in the studio took the dispute seriously, therefore, as not to repeat the same mistake, which is about the racism (Visram). Disney was remaking a new version, The Lion King, in 2019, and it changes some racism problems. The sound actor for the hyenas is already changed to different color people. For movie fans and Disney fans, it’s a cool prospect for everyone to watch old Disney movies. In the present day, it is of great value to reexamine these films, even those with problems. Disney needs to have solved the problem of racism in the archives, integrating historical notes and background information into the platform.

In our society, The cartoon is one of the ways that representing a difference from our life. The Lion King uses the lion to represent the people who are white supremacy, and some low food chain animals represent people who have colors. The lion in the movie usually uses the original British sound; other animals usually use some accent English. As a result, the racism wall between the different kinds of people is already had. According to the Hall points out that the application of race theory to the cultural/natural differences between the two racial groups is different. Among whites, culture and nature are the opposite. Among people who have color, culture, and nature are considered to be the same. White people develop a culture to conquer and overcome nature. For people who have color, culture, and nature are interchangeable. Disney movie is one of the ways that can point out the racism problem. In the Lady Geek Girl, we know only five black voice actors and only six color voices, actors. Two of these voice actors have been out of the movie for a long time. Mufasa, played by James Earl Jones, died at the beginning of the movie. Young Nala, played by Nikita Calame, is only at the beginning of the movie, while adult Nala is played by white actress Moira Kelly. Simba’s mother, Sarabi, is played by another black voice actor, Madge Sinclair, but rarely in the movie. In American films, American culture plays a major role, while the people who have color usually appears as a supporting role. Sometimes, the movie usually put the people who have color in an unimportant object position or a hostile position with a sense of threat. The movie labels them as autocratic, stupid, ignorant, and backward, and attributes the superiority of enlightenment and saving others to a strong Western discourse system. Therefore the Disney and some western movies usually will represent different in racism.

The othering presentation of the image of the people who have color in a Disney movie. Othering is a concept opposite to the self. The other image is the writing of different cultures, which is derived from the imagination of one culture to another. In The Lion King, We can see it create an ‘us’ vs. a ‘them.’ ‘Us’ represents the people who are white, and ‘them’ represent the people who have color. Some of the white people have the stereotype for other color people. The stereotype of racism often stems from the fear of the unknown, which has been staged in different forms in history. Racial stereotyping usually stems from prejudice. It is a logical fallacy formed by people’s obstinacy and ignorance of objective facts that contradict their own understanding. Hall states that: ‘Stereotyping as a signifying practice is central to the representation of racial difference’ (257). Movies not only reflect prejudice; but also create it. In film and television, black people are usually frightened and stupid. Naturally, it will affect people’s feelings about such ethnic groups. While the number of color people actors has increased in some Disney movie, it has also created some of the new stereotypes. Up to now, black images are often terrible and threatening, while black female characters are often noisy and frivolous. Black characters in movies are often good friends of the protagonists.

With the gradual improvement of the global human rights situation and the fight for global box office, Disney Animation has gradually expanded its subject matter to a variety of skin races. People usually different because of Linguistic, language, anthropological, psychoanalytical. The more diverse the roles, the less stereotyped people will be. On the contrary: the less a certain group appears, the more the audience will keep their eyes on the only few characters.  

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