Review by Kriscia, from Alrighty Then Mama
I can still remember the first time I saw Disney’s The Lion King at the movies. I was 16 years old, probably too old to be watching cartoons, but I had made a pact with my girlfriend that we would watch every Disney movie that came out after seeing The Little Mermaid together. Up until that point, the Mermaid was my personal Disney favourite, but as soon as the first minute of The Lion King was over (the African savannah, the animal procession and finally, the presentation of the lion cub on the top of Pride Rock to Hans Zimmer’s soaring musical score) I was hooked. The Lion King is hands down my favourite Disney animation.
It was a few years later when it was turned into a Broadway musical and many years still when the musical first came to Sydney. Now 10 years on and it’s back in town showing at the very same, very beautiful, Capitol Theatre. Believe you me it’s even better on stage.
I saw it last night and, where do I start? Rave reviews abound. Much has been said about the dancing, acting, costumes, amazing puppetry and clever lighting and stage production, the African singing that gave me goosies all over and transported me right in the heart of the Serengeti… So there’s really nothing I can say here that you’ve not already read somewhere else. The show is fantastic; go see it by any means necessary!
But my fondness for this musical is back-to-basics – it’s because of the wonderful story. First, it’s the only Disney movie in that every character is an animal. Think about it, even Bambi had references to “the Man” whereas there are no humans in The Lion King. Second, it’s one of the few plotlines for children that are about being yourself. There’s a fine message within this lion tale and that is to look inside yourself and remember who you are. It’s not about being someone else (as opposed to the fish wanting to be human, the pretty girl bored with her “provincial life”, and the other who got a makeover to meet her prince). Of course it includes all the elements of a good story: adventure, love, good vs evil (the villainous Scar and his hyenas were marvellous!), humour (Rafi Ki was superb and Timon & Pumba had us in stitches!), but there’s also family, truth and dignity. One of my favourite songs (although I’m hard pressed to choose) was Nala’s “Shadowland”:
And where the journey may lead you
Let this prayer be your guide
Though it may take you so far away
Always remember your pride
Seeing it this time around was extra special because with me was my little one, Camila. It was her first live musical and seeing her face in awe of the spectacle was priceless. She can’t stop singing “Hakuna Matata”.
Thanks MummyK for this awesome chance to see The Lion King with my cub! The Lion King is playing now at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney. Get your tickets! Like, now. Go!