Although we have owned Disney's The Lion King on video for well-over a decade now, our nearly 5 year old twins only recently watched this amazing film for the first time. Our nearly 8 year old son had watched part of it when he was quite a bit younger, but the element of danger had frightened him too much to continue on with the video. And since it had been many years since my husband and I had watched this movie, it was almost as if the whole family was experiencing it for the first time.
In addition to the moving music by by Elton John, this film brings us amazing performances by respected actors, such as James Earl Jones (voice of Mufasa), Matthew Broderick (voice of Adult Simba), Jonathan Taylor Thomas (voice of Young Simba), Nathan Lane (voice of Timon), and many more . . . Jeremy Irons, Robert Guillaume, Whoopi Goldberg, and Cheech Marin just to name a few. Of course, none of these names mean anything to our children, aside from James Earl Jones perhaps (the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars).
The circle of life is the main theme of this coming of age film and is such a vast concept that our children can only grasp it on the most basic level. Other themes present in this movie that your children may have questions about are tyranny, murder, birth, death, and running away.
Another major theme in The Lion King is that of friendship. When young Simba had lost all hope, he was befriended by Timon and Pumbaa. These two, who have a "no worries" attitude towards life, formed such a strong bond with Simba that they gave up this philosophy to fight by their friend's side . . . a statement of true friendship.
(This song always puts me in a good mood and I can never seem to get it out of my head after listening to it.)
I admit I was a little nervous about our children being frightened by the danger presented by Scar, the stampede, and the hyenas in various scenes, but all three seemed to handle it very well. The children were also visibly touched by the scene when young Simba realizes his father was gone forever. Even though this movie has its scary and sad parts, there was also quite a bit of comic relief. I think all of our children can agree that their favorite part of the movie was when Rafiki surprised them with his knowledge of marital arts.
You can find The Lion King Diamond Edition in a Blu-ray/DVD combo most places where Disney movies are sold, including The Disney Store and Amazon.com.
Thank you to Click-Communications for providing a complimentary product sample for us to base this review upon.