The Lion King

The Lion King

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The Lion King is a Disney animated musical film loosely based on Shakespeare’s play Hamlet and released in 1994.


The Lion King was released on June 24, 1994.[1] The film stars Jonathan Taylor Thomas as young Simba, Matthew Broderick as adult Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, and Jeremy Irons as Scar.

Stage Adaptation

On November 13th, 1997, a musical adaptation of The Lion King opened on Broadway.[4] The musical was a large success and became known for its eleborate costumes. Directed by Julie Taymor the musical won the Tony Award for best musical in 1998.


Simba is a young lion cub, and prince, eager to grow up. He spends his days playing with his best friend Nala, and is close with his father, King Mufasa. His father’s brother, Scar, wants to be King, so he hatches a plan to kill Mufusa-by luring him to the site of a stampede by putting Simba in danger. Mufasa is killed, and Scar convinces Simba he is responsible so he will flee. Scar becomes King, and Simba grows up away from the pride in the company of warthog Pumbaa and meerkat Timon. As an adult, he runs into Nala, who believed he was dead. She insists he come back to claim the throne from Scar, who has run the kingdom into the ground. At first he is too afraid, but eventially he works up the courage and returns home, where he learns he was not responsible for his father’s death. He defeats Scar and reclaims the throne.


Upon its release, The Lion King was a critical and commercial success. The film earned a rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes[2] and a score of 83 on MetaCritic. [3] During its original theatrical run between 1994 and 1995, the film grossed more than $987 million dollars worldwide, and when combined with the ticket sales from the 2002 IMAX and 2011 3D re-releases, The Lion King has grossed over $1.18 billion dollars worldwide, making it the highest-grossing hand-drawn film in history.


The film won two Oscars for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (“Can You Feel the Love Tonight”) and three Golden Globes for Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Motion Picture for Comedy or Musical.

Online Presence

As of February 2014, The Lion King’s official Facebook page has over 19.5 million likes.[5]


Though The Lion King was released nearly two decades ago it remains popular online due to the wave of online ’90s nostalgia that began in the mid-2000s. It has also enjoyed more attention online in 2014 due to lists collecting pop culture that will be turning twenty this year.[10][6] has over 2,900 submissions under The Lion King, while Deviant Art[7] has over 18,000 submissions for the film. Popular Tumblr blogs dedicated to the film include fuckyeahthelionking[8] and lionkingfreak.[9]

Related Memes

Everything the Light Touches

Everything the Light Touches is a photo meme that features screen shots of a scene between Simba and Mufasa with the words the spoke in the scene slightly altered. The scene involves Mufasa and Simba looking out at their kingdom. Mufasa tells his son “Everything the light touches is our kingdom.” When Simba asks, “But what about the shadowy place?” Mufasa replies, “That’s beyond our boarders. You must never go there, Simba.” The dialogue is altered to indicate other areas of dominance and areas that are forbidden for specific groups. For example substituting “fandom” for “kingdom” and indicating the non-fandom side of Tumblr is somewhere you should never go.



On January 8th, 2012, YouTuber SmutlyPupp[12] uploaded the official bloopers from The Lion King DVD. As of March, 2014, the video has over 5.8 million views. On June 12th, 2013, YouTuber Simone Rovellini[11] uploaded a video titled “The Lion King Random Death” which features the opening scene when Rafiki presents Simba to the animals, but edits it so Rafiki throws Simba off the rock instead. As of March 2014, the video has over 1.6 million views.

Notable Examples

Search Interest

External References

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