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June 27th, 2014
The Lion King turns 20 this month. Yes, you read that correctly, The Lion King is 20. Let that sink in. If The Lion King was a person they’d be half way done university. I suddenly feel really old.
Nonetheless, The Lion King was a movie that defined a generation and had a huge impact on children growing up. Everyone belted out the opening chant from Circle Of Life, had a secret crush on grown-up Simba (he was kind of hot, for a lion), and some of us are still recovering from Mufasa’s death. And besides being a box-office and cultural success, The Lion King taught us some very valuable lessons about death, family, and the politics of a lion kingdom. Here are some of the lessons hidden within the cinematic masterpiece that is The Lion King
1. The Circle of Life
Right off the bat, the movie’s opening sequence and song teaches us about life and death. Life is a giant circle and there’s a delicate balance in the world. The Lion King taught us about the food chain and that all organisms rely on one another. Like Mufasa says, “We are all connected in the great Circle of Life.”
2. You Can’t Run Away From Your Past
Simba tries to escape the trauma and repercussions of his father’s death, but luckily Rafiki knocks some sense into him. Your past will always be a part of you; it makes you who you are. You can try to run from it, but you’ll never really be able to escape it. It’s best to accept the past and move on and hopefully learn from it.
3. Remember Who You Are
Simba tried for a long time to deny his true self and live a care-free life of lies. That is until ghost-Mufasa appears in the sky and tells him to cut it out. You have to stay true to yourself. Basically always be yourself. It’s always better if your true self is really a king.
4. Hakuna Matata
Perhaps this is the most well known, and quoted lesson in the movie. Hakuna Matata is basically the original YOLO. Timon and Pumbaa’s problem-free philosophy is about living for the moment and regretting nothing. “It means no worries, for the rest of your days.”
5. He Lives In You
Death is a nasty part of the circle of life. But just because someone dies, doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. They will always live within you. After Mufasa’s death, Simba believed his father was gone forever, but in reality he lives in him. Our ancestors and loved ones live within all of us, spiritually speaking.
6. Never Get Caught in a Wildebeest Stampede
Don’t let Mufasa’s death be in vain. I’m sure that none of you will actually ever get caught in a wildebeest stampede, but you can never be too safe. Clearly wildebeest are vicious and will crush you.
7. If A Dead Ancestor Doesn’t Appear in the Sky, Then it Can’t be a Bad Decision
Unless one of your dead relatives appears to you in a cloud, then you’re probably not that big of a hot mess. Congrats, continue being you.