Christian the Lion

Christian the Lion

Part of a series on Viral Videos. [View Related Entries]

Updated Oct 16, 2010 at 02:51PM EDT by Brad.

Added Apr 03, 2010 at 09:34PM EDT by JohnyJoe.

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About

Christian the Lion is a phenomenally popular video clip from the 1971 Australian documentary Christian, The Lion at World’s End featuring a domesticated lion recognizing his owners a year after being successfully integrated into the wild. The video is usually accompanied by a happy-sad song and is most notorious in chain-mails.

Origin

Christian was born in captivity in an Ilfracombe zoo, who gave the cub to a department store. Christian was soon purchased by John Rendall and Anthony Bourke, who took pity on the cub and raised it to the best of their abilities. They were allowed to exercise the cub at a local graveyard, but Christian soon grew much too large to be kept around. John and Anthony made the decision to integrate Christian into the wild at the Kora National Reserve, where, after a rocky start, Christian became the head of a pride just outside of Kora.

The life of Christian became the subject of an Australian documentary called Christian, The Lion at World’s End, which detailed the introduction of Christian to the wild and a subsequent reunion a year later. In 2002, a fansite (No clue what it was called… anyone know?) uploaded a clip of Christian’s reunion with his former owners.

Internet Fame

When the introduction of Youtube combined with the sheer concentration of D’AWW present in the short clip, this meme took off. It has since garnered countless re-edits and re-uploads and an extremely large amount of accumulated views. Unfortunately, the fact that the video content remains essentially the same in each upload makes this meme extremely repetitive.

MSNBC looks at the video’s newfound fame.

Videos


An interview with John and Ace following the video’s viral fame.


Original audio.


On The View.


On Today (host cries).


Different soundtrack and more info included.


Christian the Lion spoof.


Alternate ending re-edit.

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