This morning my family and I took a trip to the movies to see a childhood classic, The Lion King. I have to admit, we were all pretty excited about this movie. For me, it was a chance to relive my childhood and for the girls they were pretty excited because Beyonce was in the movie. I think I've shared before, that they are totally a part of the Beyhive. As far as my mom, I think she was just excited to spend time with her daughter and grandchildren as well as watch the movie.
If you have the opportunity to go see this movie, I recommend seeing it in 3D. It makes the movie extra spectacular when you get to watch the bugs, the animals and all moving parts come so close to you. A definite drawback, is that the movie was not discounted even for the matinees. If your family is on a budget, or you're just completely opposed to the idea of spending unnecessary money to see this movie, I would recommend going on a discounted day. It may be a little crowded, but your pockets will be grateful!
On to the movie....
Here are the messages or reminders that I took away from the Lion King.
1. Everyone has a Scar in their family and this is also why you have to protect your children even from their relatives. Unfortunately, this story line of jealous/envy and back stabbing is not something that simply created by Disney. This story line plays out in the every day family too. As a mom, I watched how much trust was given to Scar by Simba's mom and dad. Simba naturally trusted his uncle because he was a close family member and he watched his parent's interaction with him. The sad truth is sometimes the people who are closest to you will hurt you the most. I wonder how things may have turned out differently if Simba told his parents the things that Scar was doing and saying. I wonder if it would have helped for Simba to have been warned about Scar or watched a little more intensely around his uncle. To me, he also represented the crazy/unfit family member that has be accepted and normalized by the entire family. His presence makes everyone a little uneasy and instead of the family taking the necessary precautions to protect the children, they too become victimized by his/her dysfunction, toxic ways and inappropriate behavior.
2. Don't follow your friends into places that go against your intuition. Honestly, as a Momma Bear, I wanted to scream this at my children because I recognized that Nala's and Simba's trip into the "elephant grave" was a metaphor for a larger context. The context being going/doing/trying things not only that your parents would disapprove of , but also that you find intuitively wrong.
When Nala and Simba first arrived at the grave they were both hesitant to continue on, but Simba had to prove his bravery. Nala beckoned with Simba to turn around but he refused. His refusal to back down and her decision to not stand strong in refusing to go in allowed this first encounter with the hyenas. This experience almost ended in both of their demise. I wonder what would have happened if Nala refused to come or turned around. For me- it reminded me of the importance of talking to my girls about following their intuition, asking someone else if you feel hesitant such as a trusted adult if they're unsure of what to do and not sub-cumming to peer pressure.
3. Simba and Mufasa had some beautiful father-son moments. One of my favorite being their dialogue about "looking to the stars, the great kings will always look down on you." This foreshadowing not only created future guidance for Simba to connect with his father, but it also allowed him to tap into the wisdom of his ancestors reminding him that he is not alone. The conversations about using your ancestors for guidance and strength is a conversation that I've seen showing up a lot lately. I am not sure that it was as consistently talked about it in the past, well at least not in my circle.
We later see the concept of ancestry show back up when Simba has a run in with Rafiki who reminds him that his father lives in him. In this moment, we spiritually are able to connect with the idea that all of our ancestors live on in us and through us. Beyond this point, I think it was a calling for Simba and ourselves to never lose the fight that was given to us, after all we are their wildest dreams. Simba goes on to prove this to be true when he takes over the kingdom and brings it back to normalcy.
4. Hakuna Mata- it means no worry. In the name of self-care, mental health and personal freedom can we just take a moment to tap into this mindset? Simba runs into these two characters who ultimately totally transformed his outlook. Simba had to take some time to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually into a place where he could find joy even after all of the heartache. This life mantra allowed him to connect with joy, peace and experience happiness after the ultimate heartache, the death of his father. It is also a reminder than our mentality creates our reality. I also a reminder that you cannot run away from your purpose.
Simba's time away from the other lions allowed him time to heal and grow and to transform his mentality on his experiences. When he first ran into Nala as an adult, it appeared as if his Hakuna Mata mentality was limiting his growth and perhaps it was in the moment, but his carefree mentality ultimately allowed his growth mindset and for him to be a courageous and effective ruler (Before you jump on me, no we did not get a chance to directly see this YET, but we can make a few inferences here about what his ruling will be like based upon the ending of the movie.)
Overall, I think the movie was great and it really opened the door for some meaningful family dialogue. I hope you enjoyed the movie. If you had some impactful takeaways, feel free to comment below.