Donald Glover , Beyoncé Knowles , James Earl Jones , Chiwetel Ejiofor , Alfre Woodard , John Oliver , John Kani , Seth Rogen , Billy Eichner , Eric André
A new version of the movie The Lion King, by Walt Disney, has been released recently, using techniques that produce a special sense of reality. This invites us to reflect on the ideological characteristics of one of the most successful audiovisual stories in film history.
The natural order was guaranteed by Mufasa and all the previous kings who had understood that their function was to respect and enforce the laws on which the balance of the ecosystem and the continuity of life depends. The principle is clear: each one must be where nature has placed them by birth and the king must be above all ensuring, even by violence, that this order is not altered. It is a model of stately and medicalizing society.
Anyone who refuses to follow this order and anyone who do not resign themselves to the social and territorial place that has been assigned to threatens the kingdom. Scar represents a member of the ruling elite who wants to replace the legitimate king. The hyenas represent a social sector made up of excluded subjects, whom - as a rule - must always be kept outside the borders of the kingdom. They are unintelligent, manipulable and cruel beings who obey Scar when he promises them not to go hungry again.
There has been the talk of Hamlet's influence in the plot of The Lion King, of machismo (eg female lions can be stronger than male lions - Nala defeats Simba twice - but the crown corresponds to the male), ethnocentric features of the characters or of the xenophobic analogy between hyenas and Latino immigrants. In addition, in the film, there are abundant religious references, political, and historical.
These elements are articulated around a political proposal: to recover and preserve a pre-modern and anti-liberal order where God-Nature determines our place on Earth and in the structure of society, granting control to a strong and paternalistic authority, the king legitimate lion (Mufasa, Simba), with the mediation of a religious figure (Rafiki) and allies who can offer military support. The king is respected by the people, partly because they fear his violence and partly because it is the guarantee that the "cycle of life" will continue, even if this means accepting to be eaten as a consequence of the place that God-Nature has assigned to each subject and social group in the "food chain".
The political key is, therefore, in the naturalization of a certain social order and in the legitimate force that can be applied against any behavior that seeks to alter it. Mufasa persecutes and threatens the hyenas, Simba is reconvened by Zazú and Mufasa when he has played to be a king who does what he wants. Scar and the hyenas are assaulted by Simba and his allies (the lionesses, Rafiki, Timón and Pumba) and fight a battle that results in the defeat and exile of the usurpers.
The Lion King returns to the screens with a more naturalized story if possible, the characters seem more "real", more "natural". Its content is recreated and relaunched twenty-five years later, in a context of the crisis of democracies and geopolitical risks.
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