And then we begin to love.

October 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Families are the center of support in our society. Parents bring up their children who then bring up their own children. It is as Lion King states, “the circle of life” that keeps the world continuing. Eventually as children grow up and discover the crazy world of love, they create their own families. It is this transition from thinking kissing is gross to looking for sexual attraction and eventually repeating the role of their parents that marks the change from child to adult. This transition phase is know as:

THE TEENAGE YEARS.

The Lion King makes this point quite vividly through Nala and Simba. As children they are best friends. When told they are going to be married one day they respond with “EWWW!” As children, they find love to be a yucky thing. But then after being apart they find each other again as teenagers. Right away their relationship is different. They begin to “feel the love” for each other…

This scene marks the first time we begin to see Simba and Nala as mature lions. It shows they are taking the steps towards growing up. Beginning to discover love as a teen.

Love is an essential part of our society. It marks the change from child to teen to adult. It keeps our society maturing and continuing in “the circle of life.”

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Living the Teenage Dream

September 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

According to my personal interpretation of the Lion King, we only see Simba as a teenager once in the movie, during Hakuna Matata when Simba, Timone and Pumba are walking across a log and Simba transitions from a cub, to a teenager, to an adult lion. Although we only seen a second of Simba as a teenager, a lot of assumptions can be made about his life during that time span. It is apparent that he grew up with Timone and Pumba, apart from his family and living without restrictions or responsibilities. This is somewhat of a reflection on teenage life as a whole, reflecting on the desires and aspirations of a stereotypical teenager. As teenagers, we spend a considerable amount of time away from our families, 10 hours per day at school and sports, numerous more hours locked up in our rooms doing homework, and then on the weekend, we spend even more time out with our friends. Personally, I know that at this point in my life, I try and avoid confrontations with my family as much as possible, knowing that the painful subject of college applications will surely come up within five minutes of the conversation. Even though Simba may not have to deal with applying to college, his teenage life is still spent avoiding his family for other reasons. Also, by escaping from his community, he avoided all the restrictions and responsibilities that normal teenagers must take on and instead, got to enjoy his teenage years without worries, through the idea of Hakuna Matata. However, despite living his teenage years in total independence from his family and pride, Simba still values the lessons he learned as a cub as shown through the scene where he, Timone and Pumba are gazing up at the stars and Simba recites Mufasa’s star theory. Simba also has not lost his sense of responsibility  and loyalty even though he was living apart from the pride as visible by him returning to the Pride Lands and battling Scar. So who knows, maybe if teenagers were allowed to live by the rules of Hakuna Matata, we would all end up doing the right thing?

Children of Men

September 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Disney films often chronicle a character’s journey, be it a beast or a man, from childhood to adulthood.  The Lion King is no exception, and it follows Simba’s journey from being a young prince as a child to becoming the eventual king as an adult. This is evident in his behavior and word choice, as they both parallel that of children and adults we.

However, not even animals can become adults without passing through adolescence first.  Teenage years may be recognized as the most formative and significant span of an individual’s life,  and The Lion King seems to epitomize this fact.  In the modern world, they are so important to us because they are spent in highschool and are subject to the fickle issues originating from their social lives.  However, it is these issues and conflicts that, once they arise, ultimately help all teenagers create their identity and finally recognize who they are.   I believe the film captures this perspective of teenagers perfectly.

Consider when Simba was debating with himself about whether or not he should go back to pride rock to reclaim his rightful throne and eventually, with the help of Rafiki, chooses to return.   This scene seems to parallel teenagers and their volatile, ever-changing mindsets as they wrestle with their decisions and their identity.  Ultimately, Simba matures into an adult and makes up his mind to return to pride rock, effectively formulating his identity as Mufasa’s son and heir to the throne.  Though Simba’s teenage mentality was evident for only a brief amount of time,  it shifted the entire course of his life.  sǝɹıɟ & sɹıɟ‘s post does mention Disney’s portrayal of “adolescents and responsibility,” and I agree with the presented view that the teenagers in Disney films seem to have a lack of responsibility.  Just considering Simba’s Hakuna Matata style of living alone exiled from society radiates the lack of responsibility or duty that he carries with him in his teenage years.

Some may believe that the teenagers presented in Disney films are rather weak characters desiring a life of bliss and fleeing from their duties.  However, I believe that they are only experiencing adolescence in its simplest form: coping with the vast, oncoming responsibilities that they must constantly carry around with them in any way possible.  Eventually, they all face the intimidating prospect of adulthood head on, whether they like it or not.

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