Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

RIP Michael Jackson. A lot of people have already put in their two cents on this so I won't really contribute anything further. I am however a bit sad that I first heard about his passing via a facebook status update...

If I were still at MIT, I think I'd be tempted to do the Thriller dance down the Infinite Corridor, something we'd planned to do, but never got around to doing.


Timon: Gee. He looks blue.
Pumbaa: I'd say brownish-gold.
Timon: No, no, no. I mean he's depressed.
Pumbaa: Oh.

I re-watched The Lion King today. I haven't watched that movie in ages, and I've forgotten how fantastic it is. While I love Pixar and what it's doing with its animations (Wall-E, Ratatouille, Up, Monster's Inc, etc), a part of me still really misses the Disney cartoons from the 90s: Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, and Aladdin. This is probably an over generalization, but I miss how it was okay for things to be more *epic* back then. There were a few boy bands and pop stars who dominated the charts instead of artists with catchy songs that disappeared quickly. And cartoons were more...I feel like Pixar movies tend to be more about individuals, and center around how these individuals change the world around them (sometimes this results in huge changes in the actual world) but the movie isn't necessarily about how they're going to change the world, more around their personal growth. Okay, so maybe the old 90s Disney movies were like that too, scratch that.

I think The Lion King epitomizes Disney epicness in a very good way. It's probably, imho, the best Disney movie from that time, and it's a close second favorite (right behind Mulan, which I hold a soft spot for). Animation-wise and musically (catchy songs and Hans Zimmer score =<3), it's so very beautiful like in the beginning when the birds flock over a waterfall to get to Pride Rock and when Simba's alone and calling out for Musafa in the barren cavern. Also, I really love how when Simba's walking up Pride Rock to claim the throne, you see it from his perspective; he quivering and staring at the ground- what a journey it has been. From a story telling perspective, I really like how well they balanced humor and actual, drama. eg. Timon and Pumba's little interludes during "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and Rafeiki fluctuating between guiding mentor and insane monkey when he shows Simba Mufasa again.

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