Rose got a copy of “The Lion King” for Hanukkah and, as a daughter after my own heart, has asked to watch it over and over and over again. I was just the right age (and sex) to enjoy it when Disney’s 1990s renaissance came around. My husband, on the other hand, is 8.5 years older than me and was in college or grad school when these movies were coming out. Plus he’s a boy. So, he didn’t see any of these Disney flicks until our kids started watching them. Considering what a big part of my childhood (and, I suppose, teenhood) these movies were, this is hard to fathom having never seen “Beauty and the Beast” and the like, but that’s what I married into.
Anyway, while the girls were watching it the other day, Dr. Toy Warden suddenly sneered during “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”.
“I hate this song! It has a terrible message!” he said.
“Yeah, I guess he does sound like a spoiled brat…” I agreed.
He said that he wasn’t concerned about Simba’s dream of bossing everyone around and being in charge so much as the song’s implication that he wanted his father dead.
“His dad has to die for him to be king! Why would he want that?!”
I hadn’t thought of that before. I always saw it as a song about a kid wanting to be an adult and in charge of his own life. Dr. Toy Warden is right though. Simba doesn’t just want to be an adult; he wants to be king. And we all know what needs to happen (and does happen like 10 minutes later) for him to succeed his father.
His father has to die.
So if you think about it, you could replace the words “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” with “I Just Can’t Wait For My Dad to Die” and it would mean approximately the same thing.
Considering how Simba reacts to his father’s death, it’s pretty clear that he wasn’t thinking about what would have to happen for him to be king, but still.
Ironically, when Simba becomes king, he flees the kingdom. I guess he didn’t want to be king that badly after all.
But next time you watch that musical sequence, think about what Simba is REALLY saying. Dr. Toy Warden has something here. It IS creepy.
And that’s only reason why Dr. Toy Warden is still great even though he never watched a Disney movie until after we got together.