The jungian Lion King

Go down

The jungian Lion King

Post  krissology on Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:43 am

Disney's The Lion King (1994)

Fairy tales and children's stories are often more symbolic and conveniently structured than immediately visible on the surface. Disneys animated film The Lion King is an excellent example of such a story. Nearly every aspect of the film fits into the model of Jungian Archetypes. The hero of the story, Simba, is surrounded by several supporting characters who represent multiple character archetypes. Among the symbolism in the film the battles between light and darkness, and water and desert stand out as perfect Jungian examples. The task presented to Simba must be accomplished for the salvation of his kingdom. In this classic retelling of the battle between good and evil, the symbolism is clearly evident.

The life of Simba, true to the hero archetype, is broken up into major events. His first encounter with evil and his father coming to rescue him, the stampede in the gorge which was staged by scar resulting in his fathers death and his self imposed banishment, his return to the kingdom after an encounter with the prophet, and his victory over his enemy fit the model archetype of the hero perfectly. Simba is the child of a king. After two near-death encounters orchestrated by his uncle Scar, who is desperately looking to usurp the throne which rightfully will be Simba's, Mufasa, Simba's father is murdered by Scar, who then convinces Simba that he is responsible for his fathers death. The villain, Scar, convinces Simba that the only option available is to run away, as his pride will not forgive him. Upon leaving the kingdom, he meets his mentors, Timon and Pumba, who become his foster parents, and serve as his teachers. In a beautifully orchestrated montage Simba grows up over the course of about thirty seconds.

As an adult, Simba encounters his damsel in distress, Nala. Nala is one of his childhood pride mates, and also happenes to be betrothed to him. She explains that Scar has allowed his minions of evil, the hyenas, to take over the pride land and they have over exhausted the resources and no longer have food or water. He must return to save them from starvation by overtaking Scar. Upon further prompting from the prophet, Raffiki, Simba is convinced to return to Pride Rock to battle Scar and regain his throne. He marries his princess, Nala, becomes king, and reigns over the pride land.

The Light vs. Darkness symbolic archetype is no stranger to the Disney studios. In The Lion King it is clearly materialized simply in the colour of the lion. Simba, and the lions of his pride are all light coloured, while Scar and his hyenas are dark, or black. The lightness during the periods of plenty, the images are lighter, and happier. As Scar attempts to strengthen his grasp on the pride the images conform to his darkness, until the point of his death in a scene similar to one you would find in Dante's Inferno. Water vs. Desert is also displayed in Scar's kingdom, as with his evil, the land is dry and barren. Water from the heavens starts to fall immediately upon Scars death, and restores the land once Simba takes his throne, and his pride acknowledges him as king.

In his meeting with Simba, Raffiki convinces him that he alone can restore life to the pride. Simba refuses until he is shown that he still has a connection to his deceased father. When the spirit of his father reminds Simba that he is the king, Simba accepts the task and puts his selfish feelings of guilt aside to restore the kingdom. To complete his task, Simba must first accept the task, make the journey back to Pride Rock, gain the trust of the pride, over throw Scar's reign, become king, and restore fertility to the kingdom. Simba identifies himself to his mother and his pride which leads to the battle between Simba and Scar. Simba banishes Scar and his hyena minions from the pride lands. The hyenas turn on Scar, and in a fiery attack displayed on a cliff wall in shadows kill him. Simba makes an epic walk up Pride Rock and lets out a glorious roar to identify himself as king, which is returned with roars of aknowledgement from his pride, and the rains fall and immediately bring the land back to life and wash away the death, which clears to reveal the kingdom as a place of beauty again. The final scene of the movie includes an image of his father as a god, giving him a nod of approval from the heavens.

The multiple archetypes woven into the plot and design of the film tell a story to the tune of Jung’s writings. The hero figure follows the necessary life dilemmas perfectly. Light vs. Darkness is depicted both in the plot of the movie, and through the characters in as simple a statement as colour tones. The story of the film is the archetypal task depicted through lions. The connections to Jung’s theories are so evident, that it could be said that Jung was inspiration for the movie.

avatar
krissology

Posts : 3
Join date : 2011-01-23
Age : 25

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: The jungian Lion King

Post  ellynhokeefe on Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:48 am

Interesting analysis, but I would not catagorize Nala as a damsel in distress. It is true that almost all of the Disney heroines are damsels in distress but not Nala. According to our handout a damsel in distress is, "A vulnerable woman who must be rescued by the hero. She is often used as a trap to ensnare the unsuspecting hero." Nala comes to seek Simba's aid, but rather by accident. When she sees him for the first time in years she is baffled and amazed because she thought that he was dead, therefore she wasn't truly seeking his help. She also isn't used as a trap for Simba because Simba's return is not set up as a trap, more of a confrontation. I think Nala fits better into the archetype of the platonic ideal, mostly because she inspires Simba to return and take his place on Pride Rock. The platonic ideal is a "source of inspiration" and "for whom the protagonist...has an intellectual rather than a physical attraction." Now I know that these two characters were betrothed so they technically had no say in the matter, but even after they fall in love a la cheesy love ballad they are friends first, and friends are (usually) attracted to eachother for their intellect. To conclude, with her retorical comments and strong voice, Nala is not a vulnerable character and I think you might want to expand upon why you catergorized her as a damsel in distress.

ellynhokeefe

Posts : 4
Join date : 2011-01-26

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Response to the Lion King Jugian Analysis

Post  Maddy Bouchard on Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:49 am

I enjoyed your analysis of this film. I agree with your analysis of symbolic archetypes to be light vs. darkness and water vs. desert. However, I beleive that there is another symbolic archetype which is good vs. evil. This is because the two primal forces in this film, Scar and Symba, are constantly in opposition througout this entire film. Evil can be defined as a force that causes harm and or misfortune. In the case of Scar, his quest is to kill Symba so that he himself can become king. He attempts to do so many times, by getting his hyena's to do his dirty work. Symba fights back and there is much hostilty and combat. Good is always in conflict with evil, and this is demonstrated throughout this movie. Good wins in the end as Symba takes his rightful place as king at the end of the movie.

Maddy Bouchard

Posts : 4
Join date : 2011-01-28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

situational archetype?

Post  catherineleggett on Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:15 pm

maybe another situational archetype present in the film could be the ritual. The part of the film at the beginning where they lifted baby Simba up on pride rock clearly marked him as the heir to the kingdom. And it seems like something that always occurs when a new heir is born, since it occurs again at the end of the film with Simba and Nala's baby. When we see their baby being lifted up on pride rock we understand that things one day it will inherit the kingdom, just like Simba did. So therefore the ceremony fits into the archetype of the ritual, because like our handout says, it "provides a clear signpost for the character's role in society".

catherineleggett

Posts : 5
Join date : 2011-01-25

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Initiation

Post  Liane on Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:36 pm

Another situational archetype could also be the Initiation. After Simba fights Scar and sends him tumbling down to the hyenas, he reconnects with Nala and his friends. Rafiki the baboon points toward pride rock which is now rightfully his. When he ascends the pride rock, this represents Simba's new role as king and with it all the obstacles and hardships of managing his kingdom. When he hears his father's voice coming out of the sky he finally realizes his destiny and comes into maturity. Right after, a scene shows the rest of the animal kingdom celebrating the arrival of his daughter, again showing another role Simba now takes as a father.

Liane

Posts : 3
Join date : 2011-01-26

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Feedback

Post  Mr. C on Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:00 pm

Kris - a great analysis. Well done! And everyone's posts add to the depth of the review. For my two cents, I would agree with both Kris and Ellyn; that is, Nala has elements of the Damsel in Distress and the Platonic Ideal. She may also be considered his Anima. She is is a Damsel in Distress due to the current situation that she and the rest of the Pride are in. That is, Scar and the hyenas have taken over and their food supply is drying up. Even though she is strong, she cannot challenge Scar. Only Simba has the right of primogeniture to do so. And yes, she does serve as a friend for the purpose of moral conscience and inspiration.

And Kris: great picture - very colourful!
avatar
Mr. C
Admin

Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-01-16
Age : 47
Location : Toronto

View user profile http://mrchris.canadian-forum.com

Back to top Go down

Re: The jungian Lion King

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum