*African safari music* Hello internet! Welcome to Film Theory. The Youtube channel that’s doing more animation than Disney these days *Gunshot noises* Pew pew! Shots fired got him good But in all seriousness, while we’re over here key framing until the cows come home, Disney, a company built on beautifully hand drawn animated classics is like “Screw that noise! Live action is where it’s at!” In 2019 alone, they’re releasing 4, FOUR live action remakes in the same year! We’ve already had Aladdin and Dumbo. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is coming later this year And of course, there’s the most recent one, the one I’m most excited for, The Lion King. Why am I excited you ask? Well, for one it gives me the chance to revisit one of Shakespeare’s most- Uh, sorry, it gives me the chance to revisit one of Japan’s most endur- Uh, UGH! It gives me the chance to revisit one of Disney’s most original, most emotional stories. But also I’m so hyped to see this new version of The Lion King because it’s gonna have a different far more epic, far more brutal ending. Its got to, right? I mean, since it was so important to remake The Lion King to be more realistic this time around. Disney must be making the responsible decision here to show us how this story would have really ended out there in the wild. Which will make The Lion King 2019 one of Disney’s darkest, bloodiest movie’s ever. Because, when the dust settles in this movie, the lion standing on top of pride rock won’t be Simba Heck, might not even be scar. So be prepared my dear theorists Today we’re looking at what a more live action version of The Lion King would really look like. Lemme tell ya’, if you thought Mufasa’s death was traumatising as a child, prepare to have your childhoods shattered. You will never, NEVER be able to look at these movies the same way again. For today’s theory, we’re only gonna be looking at the events of The Lion King. I know there are sequels and books covering what happens before and after the movie, but as you’ll soon see, those are so SO horribly inaccurate that they’d never happen. So sorry Lion King 2, Lion King: A Tale of two Brothers, and Lion King 1 1/2 sounds more like a bad Kingdom Hearts spin off. You’re all deader to me than Mufasa. So with that let’s give you the quick refresher so that you understand everything you need to know for today’s theory. Our story begins with the birth of Simba, son of Pride Rock’s current king Mufasa. Simba grows up being groomed to be a wise peaceful king, something that he just can’t wait to be, but this youthful exuberance for monarchical authority gets on the nerves of his jealous uncle, Scar. A feline who just wants the throne for himself. One day Scar tricks Simba into a gorge were he’s rigged up a dangerous stampede. Big papa Mufasa learns about the stampede scheme and rushes to save his son. He’s successful (yaayy) but he dies in the process (awwe) Scar betrays the bejesus out of Mufasa leading to the saddest kids movie scene since Bambi’s mom, and a lot of awkward post-movie conversations about why the big kitty cat couldn’t wake himself back up. Scar convinces Simba that it’s his fault and Simba runs away to hang out with Timon and Pumbaa until he becomes a full grown lion. Nala, Simba’s childhood friend, finds Simba hanging out in the jungle and tries to convince him to come home. Turns out the Scar is a terrible king who’s basically destroying the Pride lands and after talking to some clouds, Simba returns to fight Scar and wins. Simba and Nala feel the love tonight, if you know what I’m saying and we end the movie where we began. New kid, new king to be, circle of life and all that jazz. Roll credits. Now in the movie we are led to believe, that prides of lions just pass off dominance in the same way as a human monarchy. Male lions born from the king, go on to take over the pride when the king passes away. However the more realistic story, like the one Disney’s delivering us here in 2019. This couldn’t be further from the truth After researching how lions actually behave in the wild, I’ve come to learn what would’ve really happened here, is a far darker, and far bloodier story. There is no hakuna matata in today’s theory my friends, let’s begin. To start off with, in order to understand the society of the lions we are talking about, we first have to understand what kind of lions Mufasa, Scar and Simba actually are. I mean this live action remake portrays them as real lions, so they have to be based off of real animals somewhere along the line here, right? Well, surprisingly it’s actually easy to find out the exact sub-species of lion we are talking about. When researching for the film, the producers, director and other lead crew took a trip to ‘Hell’s Gate National Park’ in Kenya, Africa. This would end up being what the entire film was based off of. Pride rock, it’s an actual real place in ‘Hell’s Gate’ Being set in Kenya would make the lions we see in The Lion King the Panthera Leo Melanochaita, or East African Lion. But we can get even more specific here, let’s look a bit closer at the character models for Scar and Simba, notice these extra tufts of hair on their knee joints? This isn’t just a little extra animation, this clearly identifies them as Masai Lions. So, with that knowledge in hand, we can actually analyse what their society looks like and how, in nearly every way, Scar is genetically superior to Mufasa. You see, us humans view Mufasa with utmost respect and Scar as the villain, because, well, he has a scar. And that makes him evil. However it turns out that choosy lionesses choose scar, Look again at Mufasa, Scar and Simba. we see the tufts of fur on both Scar and Simba’s knees but you’ll notice that Mufasa is distinctly missing those exact same tufts. Now, while it may be extreme to call it a genetic defect, the fact that he can’t grow that extra hair on his knees, is our first hint that Mufasa is actually a genetically inferior male lion. Just like the fact that I’m incapable of growing a beard makes me- You know what? Never mind, bad comparison. But it’s less of what Mufasa doesn’t have and more of what Scar does that matters: A beautiful, dark mane. That again, is not just an artistic choice to make Scar dark and brooding, according to research done at the University of Minnesota, don’t ya’ know? Lions with dark manes are actually much more attractive to female lions than those with lighter manes. In The Lion Kingdom, dark manes are actually a sign of lions with higher testosterone levels. In a nature.com article covering the study, Quote: “Males with high levels of testosterone grow darker hair These males may be more aggressive and therefore better at defending mates and cubs.” End quote. This, in turn, gives their offspring a higher chance of survival, which in the animal kingdom, is a BIG deal. I guess in any kingdom that’s kind of a big deal, no one really wants their children to die early, horrific deaths. But you know, animals care a lot about this stuff. Furthermore, lions with more testosterone also tend to have longer reproductive lifespans, which means that Scar is gonna be rockin’ Pride Rock much longer than his brother. That’s right, Scar is a literal sexy beast with those dark locks of his. Now, let me clear something up right here, lion society does not function like a human monarchy like we see in the movie. We are led to believe that since Simba is born of the current king, he is next in line to take the throne. That is just simply wrong! Simba was most likely gonna get himself booted out of the Pride no matter what, dead dad or otherwise. When young male cubs approach full adult male status, they are actually exiled from the Pride. Renowned National Geographic filmmaker Dereck Joubert said in an article in Live Science Quote: “When male lions begin to reach sexual maturity around age 2, the older males within the pride kick them out.” End quote. Why would this be? you ask. One word: Incest. Think about it, you’re the king and as a result you’re the one making most if not all of the babies. And so you’re making all sorts of little lion cubs: male and female Once your little Simba starts looking for a mate for himself, if they stick with the pride, there’s a REALLY high chance that they’re gonna be related to the female lioness they’re starting to make googly eyes off of. Meaning, the circle of life just got a whole lot more awkward. And if you’re starting to see some problems with Simba and Nala’s relationship now, congratulations! You just understood the concept, can you feel the love tonight? I certainly can, but I don’t wanna To avoid these sorts of awkward run-ins, the young male lions are kicked out of the pride. Where they go on to form small groups called coalitions. Quote from Luke Hunter, President of Panthera. Which, based on the name, is either a big cat conservation or a feline themed super-villain society. I’ll leave it up to you to judge. Quote: “After being kicked out, the young males roam the countryside solo or in small bands, often with their brothers or cousins, negotiating the no-cat’s-land between territories of other lions. They usually do this as a coalition.” End quote. These coalitions begins roaming around in search of territory or a pride they can take over When a coalition finds an optimal pride, they may challenge the current reigning lions with a fight TO THE DEATH. Usually, sometimes they retreat but mostly it’s TO THE DEATH. If the coalition is successful, they then take over the pride and reign over it. So, how this would have really gone down prior to the events that we see in the movie is that a young Mufasa and a young Scar would’ve been part of one of these exiled coalitions, they would’ve come along the reigning lions at Pride Rock, defeated them and taken over. Scar probably loses a battle of dominance against Mufasa the first time, which is why we see Mufasa as the reigning king, but comes back to challenge him a second time at the Gorge. This time winning single-handedly, or I guess multi-hoofedly. Anyway, that makes Scar, who is already overflowing with testosterone, the rightful and best king for the pride. So, in our more realistic interpretation of the movie, Scar wins and Simba still gets himself exiled, right? Doesn’t this just mean that the movie continues on as normal? Well, yeah. If by exiled you mean eaten to death. See, there is something I haven’t mentioned yet. When a new dominant lion takes over the pride, the first thing that they do as king is kill off all the children that aren’t his. Ain’t nobody got time to be a step-father in the animal kingdom Quote: “When male lions take over a new territory, they almost always kill the prides’ cubs, since they’re not biologically related and don’t want to spend energy ensuring that other lions’ genes will be passed on.” End Quote. Oh sure, we all give Scar a hard time, ’cause he’s going around killing kings and their kids, but prior to the events we see in the movie, the wise king Mufasa totally did the exact same things to the previous owners of Pride Rock.
We just never saw any of it. Anyway, this all means that once Scar takes over the pride, his first order of business would be killing every child that isn’t his. RIP Nala, RIP Simba. Thank goodness there’s no awkward incest, and all hail to the king, baby. But even if Simba managed to escape the literal jaws of death, he still wouldn’t have returned to the pride. Again, there’s that whole inbreeding thing.
Totally a bummer. Instead he would’ve just left them far behind, formed a new coalition of male lions, and try to find a new pride he’s not related to. Which means that when all is said and done, the final and true king of Pride Rock is none other than: Scar himself. It turns out, in this Disney Movie, the villain would have been the winner. Almost. You see, as I mentioned during the recap at the beginning, Scar ends up being a terrible king. He lets other predators, the Hyenas, take over the Pride-lands. He depletes the food resources, and I’m not seeing any new cubs, if you catch my drift. He is terrible as the dominant lion. In the movie, we see the lionesses bow to ever whim Scar has. But in real life, lionesses are far
more woke to their own power. Let’s just say you should never
get on a lionesses bad side. Though it doesn’t happen often, lionesses have
been known to attack the dominant male lion. Especially when it comes to issues around food. Take this example from
West Midland Safari Park last September, Where a male lion named Jilani was viciously
attacked by the lionesses he was dominating. In the statement made by the park, they said quote: “…a dispute happened between Jilani and a female lion over some meat. Jilani and his two brothers usually stick together
and are able to keep the lionesses in order, but on this occasion the other
females became involved first” “Lions are very tough animals and disputes similar to this are very common in the wild.” End quote. Disputes over food you say?
Well, what do we see in The Lion King? Scar hoarding food and giving it to the hyenas
before he gives it to his female lionesses. This would have never stood in the wild. The moment the lionesses saw that he was hoarding the food, they would have killed Scar before the Hyenas even had the chance.
#GIRLPOWER With Scar dead and the territory devoid of food sources, the pride would have been disbanded, leaving Pride Rock in ruin. So, there you go, ladies and gentlemen, the real story of The Lion King. So I challenge you dear theorists, just try to watch
The Lion King the same way again. This time knowing Mufasa is a king slayer and child murderer just like Scar, that Simba is either “Feeling The Love Tonight” with his sister, or is just dead before he could say “Hakuna Matata,” Scar was right all along, but then due to mismanagement, would’ve been killed by his own female subjects, leaving Pride Rock abandoned. In an ironic twist, the circle of life in this movie really breaks down. But hey! That’s just a Theory! A Film Theory!