Before we delve into this, first, I need to get something out of the way.
Okay. I had to do that. Anyone who has watched the nineties classic 'The Lion King' knows that this powerful opening Zulu chant, with the rising sun in the backdrop, calling out to all the animals in Pride Lands, is nothing short of perfection. I still get goosebumps. At one point, it even was my alarm back in college!
I still remember the first time I saw the movie. I was 6 and I had gone to spend the holidays at my aunt's place in Bangalore. I was particularly out of control that day and my aunt, who was on the verge on losing her mind, plonked me down in front of the TV and popped a videotape into the VCR, asking me to quietly watch the 'cartoon'.
The 'word' cartoon was enough for me to shut up and fix my complete attention on the giant Onida TV. I will never forget how my heart started beating faster when the Zulu chant began and I saw all the animals wake from their slumber and make their way to Pride Rock to meet their future king.
I was only 6 and this was my first Disney movie, so obviously I was not ready for the avalanche of emotions that this movie engulfed me in. I still remember how Mufasa's death destroyed me and how the tears wouldn't stop, as I watched little Simba desperately try to wake his dad up by tugging his ear…
okay, I need a moment…sorry…I can't….
If you are with me so far, you know how much this movie means to us nineties kids. It opened us up to the world of Disney and introduced us to the magic of animation.
“When I was a child, I wouldn't eat unless my parents played Lion King. Seeing the new trailer filled me with childhood nostalgia,” said my 25-year-old junior from college, Jacinth Miriyam.
Which is why it goes without saying that the people most excited for the live-action remake of the classic movies, even more so than kids, are adults, and here's why:1. A Throwback To Our Golden Childhood
So, when the trailer dropped today and I heard James Earl Jones' magnificent, sonorous Mufasa voice saying “Everything the light touches, is our kingdom”…it was like someone had pressed a button in my brain and I was 6 all over again.
This movie signifies a time gone by, a time of innocence, a time when childhood meant watching animated movies with our mouths hanging open, marvelling at a whole another world.
“For me, The Lion King instantly represents my childhood. It was my favourite movie ever at that time. It made me laugh, cry and feel anger at the same time. I think this movie teaches resilience in all of its purity, and that's what makes it immortal and so loved”, my friend Chiara Lana from Italy told me when I asked her what she felt about watching it again.2. Watching It On The Big Screen After Almost 20 Years
I am not among the lucky ones who got to see this movie on the big screen (my first movie in a theatre was 'Hum Aapke Hain Koun'!).
So, watching it in a live-action format on a giant screen will not only make this special, but in a way, I will be able to make up to my little self who missed this marvel on a big screen.
“Watching movies in halls was still a novel concept back in the day, at least for my family. So now that I get to see it again, even though in a different format, somehow I feel like I have honoured my childhood by catching up on what I missed out all those years ago.”- James Matthew, my 28-year-old buddy from school.3. A Need To Remember All The Emotions We Felt When We Saw It The First Time
I was only 6, so obviously I was not prepared for so many things. The hurt I felt at Scar's betrayal, the devastation at Mufasa's death, the joy at Simba re-uniting with Nala and his mother, the horror at watching Simba and Scar fight, and the exhilaration at Simba finally climbing up Pride Rock to take his place…it was a roller-coaster that a tiny little me did not see coming.
I will never forget how I ran up to my aunt after the movie ended and demanded some serious answers from her, especially as to how could a lion kill his own brother? I will never forget her face when I asked her “Will you do this to me too, auntie?”
My 29-year-old friend from college, Shruti Menon, echoed the same sentiments, “Mufasa's death was so unpredictable and heartbreaking especially when you're watching as a kid. It really shook me as a child and still does, to be honest. But when you grow older, you do realise there's so much strength and beauty to the story, to remember who you are and where you come from. After all, it's the circle of life.”4. The Beautiful Soundtrack
I am pretty sure this is going to be a sing-a-long movie, as 90 per cent of the people in the hall will be comprised of adults, who already know all the songs from the movie by-heart!
I'll be lying if I tell you that I'm not going to brush up on my lyrics before I catch the movie. “Oh, I just can't wait to be kiiiiiiiiiiiiing”.5. Timon And Pumba
They were, still are, and always will be my favourite set of friends/sidekicks in a Disney movie (Mushu from 'Mulan' coming in second). I mean, come on! They are basically the life of the movie and I have never seen anything like them till date in a film.
From finding a half-dead Simba as a cub, to raising him and teaching him to find the joys of life, to ultimately watching him transform from their goofy friend to the mighty King of the Jungle, Timon and Pumba are the epitome of true friendship and by God, I wanted a pet pig after watching the movie back then.
The new trailer that was dropped today has left nineties kid across the planet screaming. Baby Simba looks so freaking cute!
It is so satisfying in every way and each and every CGI animal looks like perfection.
Honestly, even if this movie had dropped when I was like 50 or something, my excitement levels would still have been the same. This movie is a representation of my glorious childhood, which I am proud to say that kids these days will never, ever get to experience, no matter how much they try.
It goes without saying that 'The Lion King' is going to be a success as there is no chance of failure anywhere. The cast itself is nothing short of iconic and has my Goddess BEYONCE in it as Nala!
So, all I can do now is mentally prepare myself for next year, so that I still have my sanity intact by the end of the movie, and am not left a crying, quivering, destroyed mess of a woman!