Ospreyshire Origins: Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis Pt. III: Rise of the One True Emperor

Lyrics:

[Swahili]

Tazama! Mfalme anainuka!
Tazama! Ukweli utatawala!
Tazama! Hatutakubali wafalme bandia!

Father, I hear your voice in the eastern sky
Mother, I hear you from the constellations
I will make you both proud in being the one true emperor
As I express myself in this human song,
I will right these misdeeds
I’ll still have unity with mankind and the wildlife in my kingdom
I’ve survived capsized ships, weapons, and bigger animals, and I’ll survive this

(Japanese backup vocals: Taitei o nagaku ikiru.)
(Swahili backup vocals: Mfalme ni bandia. Wambariki mfalme wa kweti.)

I hear the cries from Kinshasa, Toronto, Saitama, Grimes, Kigali, Kampala, Dodoma, and Nairobi
While I fight for peace and make sure my kingdom has dignity
I have to address the king who swindled me

You wouldn’t exist without me, but you’re so full of pride
(Japanese backup vocals: Kare wa honto shishi desu.)
(Swahili backup vocals: Ukweli unaishi ndani yake. Akawa ukweli!)
Like uncle, like nephew
You enjoy usurping the throne
Your gods had no worries
Profiting and suing others
For cultures they don’t own
Much like your father you dreamed of
Devastation and deceit
Have you seen a human before?
Have you found a way
To punish without genocide by starvation?
Shame on those humans who are allured
By your mate’s bedroom eyes
Was she your sister or your cousin?
You vagabond in denial
I never ran away when my parents died
Artifice flows through you
And permeates every time that you breathe
You tried blocking my existence
And denying it, too
You’re a false king
I’ll break your deception (X3)
Cause I’m the one true emperor

Copycats get no mercy!


I wasn’t originally planning on writing a song based on this anime when I was coming up with Dear Innovare. However, with everything I know and have learned last year with this and other cases, there was no way I could avoid talking about it especially when a good portion of this concept album involves plagiarism and theft cases. Also, there’s a contest that I have for the fun facts section if someone wants this song for free if they don’t have the album already.

If I could base songs on the Paprika/Inception controversy and the Battle Royale/Hunger Games controversy, then I’d be a fool not to talk about what one could make a strong case to be THE biggest film plagiarism issue of all time. Well, there’s that and having a couple of friends who actually wanted to hear an Ospreyshire track about the first anime series to be created and broadcast in color. One of those friends would be one of my college buddies Drew and the other is my Scottish mate Dave from ZAP Records himself.

[sigh] Here we go.

For those of you who don’t know anything about this song or anime series, this involves Osamu Tezuka’s creation Jungle Emperor Leo AKA Kimba the White Lion. This was a manga made in 1950, but it got the anime treatment in 1965, so this is older than Speed Racer. Tezuka is also known for creating Astro Boy, Black Jack, Metropolis (no, not the German film), and Dororo which got remade last year. This story is about the life and adventures of a lion cub prince named Kimba (I’m going to refer to their English names from here on out). His goal is to have unity between the animals and the humans, but he has to take responsibility to lead his kingdom after his father Caesar (the original king) gets murdered and…

You know what? I don’t need to go further with a synopsis.

Related image

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. If you want to know my full thoughts on this issue, then check out my Lion King rant post I did last Summer. You can also check out my review of Kimba the White Lion on my other blog. If you really want to get in depth with this insane film plagiarism controversy, then check out this link. I don’t want to repeat myself too much here.

This is infuriating how Disney even to this day have never owned up to stealing most of it’s characters, storylines, and even scenes that were shot-for-shot from Tezuka’s work. The reasons why Tezuka Productions haven’t sued Mickey Mouse are because Osamu mentioned on his will not to burn bridges with Disney (context: he died in 1989 during production of The New Advantures of Kimba the White Lion which would be 5 years before The Lion King was released) and because they don’t have as much money to take them on in court. I disagree and they should’ve sued The House of Mouse. Disney even tried to block Jungle Emperor Leo 1997 from North America at the Fantasia Film Festival in Canada back in 1998, for crying out loud! Simba was originally going to be a white lion in pre-production. Roy E. Disney called Sarabi “Kimba’s mother” in the 1993 Prodigy Q&A Transcript which can be seen in one of the links above. They would have so many strong cases for copyright infringement. Here are examples of these various characters:

Screen Shot 2020-01-07 at 11.52.44 AM.png

Comparisons from the first picture and this screencap:

Lion prince: Kimba=Simba
Deceased father lion: Caesar=Mufasa
Comic relief hyena henchmen: Tom and Tab=Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed
Wise, yet eccentric baboon advisor: Dan’l=Rafiki
Major-domo bird who gets into prat falls: Pauley=Zazu
Major villain that usurps the kingdom: Claw=Scar (BIGGEST RIPOFF VILLAIN EVER!)
Girlfriend lioness who becomes the prince’s mate: Kitty=Nala

Bonus examples:

Lion queen mother: Snowene=Sarabi
Daughter of the main character: Lukio=Kiara (see: Susume, Leo or Jungle Emperor Leo 1997 and The Lion King II respectively)
Son of the main character: Lune=Kion (see: Susume, Leo or Jungle Emperor Leo 1997 and The Lion Guard respectively)

Even The Simpsons made a joke involving this plagiarism controversy. Yes, that’s James Earl Jones doing all the voices in that scene!

Enough of me ranting here. I felt like I’ve done a bunch of it on two of my blogs already. Hahaha! Let’s talk about the music. This is actually the longest Ospreyshire song I ever written and recorded and has more instrumental layers than anything else. I had three different sounds from one keyboard, bass, acousmatics, African percussion instruments (fair trade, FTW!), and my little mbira. I felt so compelled to use both Swahili and Japanese lyrics which was a very nice touch and I wanted to be respectful to those cultures. The lyrics use a TON of Kimba and Lion King references. I won’t explain them all, but here are a few and the meanings therein.

Kimba references:

“Father, I hear your voice in the Eastern sky. Mother, I hear you from the constellations.” This represents the death of both of Kimba’s parents. The Eastern sky also references an opening lyric in the Jungle Emperor Leo 1997 ending theme “Wind Song”. That and he sees the spirits of his dead parents in the sky in the original show (SOUND FAMILIAR?).

“…this human song” This references the Kimba song “Sing a Human Song” in the English dub.

“Saitama…Grimes” Those cities have major significance to Kimba. Saitama, Japan has a baseball team called the Seibu Lions who use that character as a mascot even to today. Grimes refers to a town in Iowa referring to Right Stuf and their anime distribution subsidiary Nozomi Entertainment who have the license to the original show.

Top Lion King potshots in my opinion in no particular order:

“Was she your sister or your cousin?” Who is Nala’s father? No Lion King fan has ever given me a straight answer on that issue, so I directly referenced that infamous incest theory in this song! Do the math.

“Your gods had no worries profiting and suing others for cultures they don’t own…” Three words: HAKUNA MATATA TRADEMARK!

Note: I reference capitals of countries where Swahili has official language status with Kinshasa (DRC), Kigali (Rwanda), Kampala (Uganda), Dodoma (Tanzania), and Nairobi (Kenya).

“Have you found a way to punish without genocide by starvation?” This line calls out Mufasa’s severe protagonist centered morality of the Elephant Graveyard. Starving and isolating others is genocide. Just look at Shark Island in Namibia, the several Native American tribes who were subjugated by the pilgrims, and The Devil’s Punchbowl in Mississippi to name a few. Also, I have to give props to Croatian blogger Vigour of Film Lines for noticing that severe flaw of the Mufasa character and for calling the Elephant Graveyard a concentration camp, too!

Fun facts:

I namedrop the title of my other song “They Dreamed of Devastation and Deceit” in the lyrics. It’s even more appropriate when you consider the subtitle is (Circle of Lies).

Lion King fans! I actually parody two songs from that movie franchise from a musicality standpoint. The intro should be obvious and the other parody aspect kicks in when I start singing halfway through the song. The first person who gets the answers right gets this song for free if they didn’t buy the album.

Hope you liked my somewhat lengthy backstory on that song. This concludes this song/poem trilogy.

The picture of The New Adventures of Kimba the White Lion is from Fandom and is property of Tezuka Productions.

The screenshot of Mufasa, Simba, Caesar, and Kimba is from Mashable and they are property of Disney, Tezuka Productions, and Nozomi Entertainment respectively.

The character comparison guide is from the Internet Archive. All characters are property of Tezuka Productions, Nozomi Entertainment, and Disney respectively.

The video clip is from The Simpsons and is property of Fox.

Ospreyshire Origins: Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis Pt. II: The Queen Is False and Her Hive Is Deluded

Lyrics:

Such a naughty girl typical in copying imagery
Not from precambrian times, but from 2018
I wouldn’t blame your man or blaming fire
But your employers who were accomplices
It sucks to be you abducting the black house
While you call your vanity project a “gift”
Your daughter must be so proud of you
Your shame ya mobali ya mobali [Lingala for “To the right, to the right”]
Oh wait, you have none
You may be called a queen, but I see a phony
Keep thinking you’re a survivor

[Lingala]
Ozali mokonzi mwasi te
Ozali nkosi te
Ozali Nzambe te!


Welcome to part 2 of my Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis trilogy which is all about one of the biggest pieces of cat burglary, cinematic plagiarism, and cultural appropriation ever! This is actually the most recent example of this ravenous plagiarism. Shout-out to Inskidee for that term!

This song is about Yannick Illunga AKA Petite Noir. He’s a Belgium-born avant-pop musician of Congolese and Angolan descent who is based in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2018, he recorded an EP called La Maison Noir (The Black House) and released a long-form music video containing most of the songs, but adding a narrative and incorporating visuals from African culture. They filmed it straight in the Namib desert which covers his current home country and it’s next door neighbor Namibia. I think you might like this short musical of sorts.

Then one year later…Mickey Mouse happened to have a certain diva as an accomplice…

Image result for petite noir beyonce

LOOK OUT, BEYHIVE! I’M GOING TO BASH YOUR FAKE GODDESS AND THAT OVERRATED MOVIE FRANCHISE!!

Wow, just wow! The Petite Noir video was barely a year old before Disney and the former Destiny’s Child member managed to rip off his music video when the newest iteration of Nala decided to release her video for “Spirit” for the Lion King remake. Here are some images from both videos.

Beyonce

Do you honestly believe that Beyonce, Jake Nava, Jon Favreau, or anyone at Disney didn’t see the Petite Noir video? Do any of you think it’s some little coincidence that both videos would take place in the desert and have traditional African clothing in red and blue? Come on, people. This isn’t like “Mbube” or a certain Osamu Tezuka anime/manga series (we’ll get to that in a certain post!) which both predate the internet. This was from 20-freaking 18. This was stupid and the denial is just facepalm-worthy. JUST OWN UP TO IT! No, just because Beyonce had African musicians on her vanity project of a companion soundtrack doesn’t give her a right to steal from another musician from the continent. Also, notice how that album is called “The Lion King: The Gift” and the Petite Noir’s video is called “La Maison Noir: The Gift and The Curse“. Think about it! Here’s a good link about that plagiarism issue and some of the online reactions.

The song was an experimental acoustic-ish track, but I got to use effects to my mbira to give it an electric sound to it. I was listening to a ton of Konono No. 1 and Kasai Allstars before writing and recording, so that instrumental choice was highly influenced by them using amplified thumb pianos in most of their songs. Besides that, I use Petite Noir references and a bunch of Beyonce references in the lyrics. See if you spot them.

After this piece of thievery, we’re going to get to the big example of this plagiarism marathon. It will be hard not to have some pride in this work and in part 3, all you anime fans are going to love me even though you can guess what the last part will be about. :3

La Maison Noir: The Gift and the Curse is property of Petite Noir and Red Bull Music. The screenshot is from YouTube.

The Beyonce picture is from Timeslive.

The screenshot comparison is from WiseAfri. The La Maison Noir screenshots are property of Petite Noir and The Spirit screenshots are property of Disney.

Ospreyshire Origins: Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis Pt. I: The Uncrowned King of Johannesburg

Lyrics:
[Zulu]

Bass voice: Kumele adale
Baritone voice: Inkosi yethu izokwaziwa
Tenor voice: U-Linda ungumbali wangampela wengoma

Johannesburg was where the lion was born
It had a roar that shook the concert halls
Collective voices made sure no one slept
Only controlled by the uncrowned king

Ethnomusicologists stepped in
To colonize the canorous monarch’s song
That lion was poached as it reached stateside
Leaving the king without a cent to his name

What a token gesture that was thievery
New York and Burbank usurped his throne
His daughters were neglected by their greed
They had to keep that lion and king alive


We’ve got another song that involves South Africa and some Zulu lyrics much like “Lebombo”. Hooray! This also kicks off the first part of my Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis trilogy for Dear Innovare! Double Hooray! This song was an Ospreyshire first in creating a one-man acappela chamber choir song with no instruments and/or acousmatics! Triple Hooray all the way!

This song is an homage to South African musician Solomon Linda. He’s a beloved singer even to this day in that country. His biggest song was called “Mbube” which means “Lion” in the Zulu language. He invented a subgenre of South African choral music that’s named after that particular song and has been involved in that country’s Isicathamiya scene (just so you know, you’re supposed to click on the “c” when you pronounce the name of that acappella genre). Feel free to check it out!

That song got the attention of an American licensing company to take it stateside. First came Pete Seeger “adapting” the song into “wimoweh”.

Next came what became easily the best known form of covering. By covering, I mean total plagiarism. Everyone should know the biggest rip-off version by now if you didn’t figure it out from the original “Mbube” song.

Solomon Linda died before The Tokens did their stolen version of his song. To make matters worse, he died penniless and his family lived in poverty long after his passing. The surviving family members struggled and wondered why they didn’t get money from Solomon’s song. Then in 1994, there was this big animated movie that would be the straw that broke the camel’s back especially with two characters.

Image result for the lion sleeps tonight

Seriously, screw Disney. The Lion King was able to rake in over $15 million in royalties from “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and that’s not even counting the Broadway version. The Linda family with the help of journalist Rian Malan and the South African government sued the American licensing company and Disney for plagiarism in the 00s. This issue was shown in the 2019 Netflix documentary called The Lion’s Share which I actually reviewed on Iridium Eye. I don’t want to spoil the case and all the details that went into it, but Disney STILL never credited Solomon Linda and the “Mbube” song in the Lion King remake!

This rampant plagiarism, cultural appropriation, and bastardization of Africa makes my blood boil, but I’m not done yet.

We still have two more songs that deals with other aspects of the cat burglary coup of the century. Yes, I just referenced the biggest villain clone ever, but it was way too appropriate.

The picture of Solomon Linda is from Change.

The Lion King is property of Disney. The image of Timon and Pumbaa is from Financial Times and is property of Disney.

Disney Double Standards in a nutshell.

For starters, I would like to thank K at the Movies for the term that inspired this mini-rant.

If someone likes Disney movies as an adult that’s okay, but if I tell people I like anime, I get made fun of.

If someone old enough to be my parents or grandparents rocks Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, etc on a short or jacket, no one says anything. I wear a shirt with Kimba the White Lion, then I’m supposedly weird.

Whenever the creators say or do bad things, they are easily forgiven. When I point out any unfortunate implications in these movies, then I’m over-analyzing or even called a racist or hateful for pointing them out.

Whenever Disney buys out a major company, it’s supposedly star spangled awesome. Any other conglomerate, then they are the evil empire.

Whenever Disney makes a new animated movie, it’s instantly awesome no matter what. When it’s any other company, it’s automatically garbage.

Whenever someone else uses princesses or fairy tales, they get called rip offs, but if you point out that Disney has plagiarized things (see: Kimba or Nadia: Secret of Blue Water), then it’s just coincidence or “everyone rips off something”.

Whenever someone says they hate Don Bluth or Dreamworks, it’s cool. When someone doesn’t like Disney, they are seen as villains!

Whenever Disney gives lip service to nonwhite ethnic groups, it’s progressive. When someone gets racebent, then it’s instantly Armageddon (See: the #NotMyAriel backlash).

Watch any cartoon with lots of anthropomorphic animal characters, and you get called a furry. Watch a Disney movie or cartoon with the same kinds of characters, and supposedly that’s exempt.

When an IP has a bunch of sequels or remakes, and that’s franchise milking. Disney does the same thing (especially their remakes currently), and that’s okay.

When some artist does horrible things, then they get shunned and blacklisted. When a Disney employee does horrible things, then they separate the art from the artist because their childhoods and fandom mean more than justice.

Those are examples I can think of at the moment. Anything of more double standards?

Things I Learned from Disney Movies (or How Jaded I’ve Become with Reality and Adulthood)

WARNING: The following poem is scathing in it’s honesty and has elements of caustic sarcasm in it. I’m normally a literal person, but the rare times when I get sarcastic, I’m merciless with it. Don’t expect me to hold back and not just because I’m not a fan of this company.


The Happiest Place on Earth was all a lie in hindsight.
I certainly wanted to be happy and joyful, yet I was never meant to have that kind of positivity. I could die not visiting those castles in Orlando and Anaheim, and I’d be okay with this (Sure, I’ve been to Orlando, but I never went to THAT place).

There were things I learned, but I never realized some of these things until I was in my teens or even as an adult.

I learned that beauty always equals goodness because ugly people are worthless at best or evil at worst.

I learned that happy endings come to those who don’t work hard or work smart. Well, only for certain people, that is.

I learned that originality is a sin, so it’s better to adapt, buy the rights to something or outright plagiarize someone else’s work.

I learned that princes don’t look like me.

I learned that true love is the only things that matters.

I learned that if you’re female, then you better be a size 2 at worst. Being very emaciated or obese is tantamount to being evil for those lacking a Y chromosome.

I learned that wishing is the best way to get what you want. Well, only for certain people.

I learned that fantasy is more important than reality.

I learned that you can sing your cares away because nothing EVER bad happens in musicals (Bjork reference!).

I learned that Africa is more appealing to the animators when there are no humans who look like they are from the continent. It’s a lascivious fantasy for both furries and open racists. Yeah, I said it!

I learned that stories should be recycled for that cash flow.

I learned that poverty and homelessness aren’t really THAT bad especially if you’re a stray animal.

I learned that cultural appropriation and racial degradation is the name of the game although the Polynesian community managed to be taken respectfully though.

I learned that you can’t be a hero unless you have at least one dead parent. I guess broken home lives are better for them?

I learned that life isn’t like the movies and I wished more people would notice this. Not everyone will have the same experience and some are targets of ridicule. I pity those edified by a mouse.

3 news cases I have to vent about: Mass Shootings, Cultural Appropriation, and Dehumanization

I wish I wasn’t physically sick today. Over the past few days, I’ve been hearing stories and I just get emotionally sick hearing about these. This world is too cruel and bigoted for it’s own good. I couldn’t just have 3 different posts going on.

1: The mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH

This should be quite obvious since this was big news over the weekend. I wasn’t shocked at what happened. So many people died in two different shootings in El Paso and Dayton by Patrick Crusius and Connor Betts respectively. It’s not surprising at all with who the suspects were and I’m frustrated by how well they treated. When I saw the video of Patrick Crusius being arrested, he was taken alive (OF COURSE!) by only 1 single cop. Apparently he wasn’t in fear of his live for someone who gunned down over 20 people and people have been treated worse for less nationwide let alone in Texas. Oh, I’ll get to that reason why I namedropped that state in particular. When I saw a different video from the African Diaspora News Channel (FKA The Advise Show). Phil talked about the El Paso shooting and said something that really hit me in just four words “Mass murderers have privilege”. Think about that for a minute. How many unarmed Black people get gunned down for far less by the police, yet White killers get taken alive and the cops suddenly don’t feel scared even if the suspect is armed? This is the Injustice system on full display.

2: #TrademarkWars Pt. III AKA Be Prepared…because Disney is suing people because of a foreign phrase!

Disney…STOP GIVING ME REASONS TO BASH YOU REGARDING YOUR RIP-OFF MOVIE!

I swear if that company keeps up with this madness, then I might as well call Ospreyshire’s Realm the Lion King Thievery Expose Blog. As you all know, Disney trademarked the phrase “Hakuna Matata” which sparked outrage on and off the African continent. There’s a petition still going on right now. You should already know my thoughts about this issue. I remember some people being in denial that Disney wouldn’t be stupid enough to sue people despite having legal fiat to do so. It was only a matter of time, but those people would be wrong and I was proven right. You see, Disney is suing a Chinese company for trying to trademark that Swahili phrase, but as “HakunaMatata” in their claim. Here’s more information about that story. Let’s break it down. An American company is suing a Chinese company over a phrase they didn’t invent from a language that isn’t spoken in either place. Now, China wants in on stealing African culture, too. For me, this is like America and China’s predatory business practices in Africa in microcosm. Just look at all the people being exploited by companies from both countries in the continent. You even have Chinese people beating up Ugandan politicians or murdering Namibian employees there and that’s the stuff I know about. I’m sure China wouldn’t like it if Disney trademarked a common phrase like “Xie xie” or “Ni hao” if they did something idiotic to promote the upcoming Mulan live-action remake, and everybody knows it. Lion King fans, I dare you to defend this and the other forms of theft.

#3: A leashed Black man…HOW SHAMEFUL!

Going back to Texas, there was a mentally ill Black man who was apprehended by two cops on horseback and leashed him! If it wasn’t for the cars and fashion, I would’ve thought I saw a real life scene from the 1800s, not 2019. The slave catcher imagery was beyond sick and this goes back to the first news story. You get accused of trespassing (allegedly), then you’ll have two cops leashing you up with horses, but if you slaughter people in the double digits, you get to be arrested with dignity by one cop! This is just beyond sick. I don’t want just an apology for their racist actions, I want those cops involved to be punished and for Donald Neely to sue the police department. America is so freaking bigoted. I’ve dealt with being discriminated firsthand here and that’s something some of you will never deal with in your lives. Name one white person in 2019 who was treated like Donald Neely. Exactly. I can’t ignore the mistreatment of others just because of their race and I hate how demonic people get softer treatment. I’m beyond infuriated as I recover from being sick.

I had to get these things off my chest. This dehumanization needs to stop.

Disney and Beyonce need to stop giving me carte blanche to rant about that stupid rip-off movie franchise and how they rip off stuff again (or CAN YOU FEEL THE HEIST TONIIIIIGHT?)

I’m sorry. I seriously didn’t expect to make a rant involving the best-selling piece of plagiarism in movie history. Okay, I did get a smile on my face how that remake has been getting negative reviews, but I still get frustrated with their fans defending the indefensible.

However, recent situations and discoveries are only proving me right more and more!

Let’s recap on what The Lion King has stolen thus far:

1: Kimba the White Lion. ‘Nuff said.

2: Trademarking the phrase “Hakuna Matata” which is totally cultural appropriation.

3: Withholding royalties from the late South African songwriter Solomon Linda for his song “Mbube” which was plagiarized into “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. He died penniless and his heirs sued a licensing company and Disney for not giving credit to Mr. Linda and for the royalties which they wouldn’t get until 2006.

Then came a 4th reason and this one involves a music video, the most famous Destiny’s Child member, and a lesser-known South African musician of Congolese and Angolan descent.

So, Beyonce came out with the new music video for “Spirit” which is a song for The Lion King remake. It features imagery of a desert and people wearing blue and red traditional African clothing. Wouldn’t it be crazy if the imagery copied a long-form music video that came out last year? Oh…that actually happened.

Petite Noir is the originator in this story. He made a short film/long-form music video for his “La Maison Noir” EP. I’ve checked out his music and it’s really good. I bought his EP on Bandcamp not just because I liked the music video or his music, but to support a real artist who doesn’t steal from others. He even self-directed his own music video. Want to know the subtitle of it? The Gift and the Curse. HAHAHAHA! Get it? Because that Beyonce vanity project…I mean companion soundtrack is called The Lion King: The Gift! Wow, shame on Beyonce, director Jake Nava, and Disney for stealing someone else’s art. I hope Petite Noir lawyers up and sues all those parties involved.

Disney and Nala…I mean, Beyonce are only proving me right even more that this franchise is a legacy built on artistic larceny. First, Japan, then multiple Swahili-speaking countries, and South Africa TWICE now?! They really have no shame.

I really didn’t want to do a post bashing this movie franchise again, but it was deserved.

Now if you excuse me, I’m going to rock out to Petite Noir’s EP at the moment. Dear Beyhive, your so-called goddess isn’t infallible whether she got Mickey Mouse money or not. Disney fans, your favorite company isn’t innocent.

How I Learned to Utterly Despise that Expensive Ripoff, Overrated, and Bigoted Movie Called The Lion King (And the Existence of Kimba the White Lion Isn’t the Only Reason)

an_unexpected_aftermath_by_theforgivenartist-d4vhbtx

[Warning: This post contains a very contrary opinion to most people and will contain controversial content. Read at your own peril]

I’m sure some of you are probably sick of me at this point bashing this Disney movie if you’ve read earlier posts on this blog or saw certain reviews on Iridium Eye. I’m not sorry for what I’m about to say on here. This frustration has been building up for the past couple of weeks and it’s something I need to vent about on this blog of all things regardless if people agree with this post or not.

[sigh] Here we go.

For starters, I didn’t always hate The Lion King. If anything, it used to be one of my favorite Disney movies when I was a kid. This is going to partially give away my age, but I saw that movie during it’s first theatrical run when I was very little. I even saw the stage adaptation in Chicago at the Cadillac Theatre when I was a bit older. One of my favorite soundtracks back then was the “Rhythm of the Pride Lands” which was the companion soundtrack and it was also the first time the song “He Lives In You” was used. Not Lion King II or the Broadway version. I saw the original VHS tape probably a hundred times during my childhood. I used to know the words to most of the songs way back when. However, I stopped paying attention to Disney during my teenage years because I was really into anime. Okay, I still like Japanese animation, but I was nowhere near as much of an otaku as I was when I was in high school.

It was also around this time when I first heard about Kimba the White Lion. I heard that The Lion King ripped it off, but I thought it was shallow with just the main characters. Flash forward to my adult life when I saw a Cracked article involving childhood icons you didn’t know were shameless rip-offs, and the memories came back again. This piqued my interest, did more research and started to rent the DVDs on Netflix after Kimba stopped airing on Hulu (Disney is a partial owner of that site, so I don’t know if it was because of them or not). While it has it’s issues and has aged animation since it was made in the 60s, I enjoyed that anime for it’s usage of subject matter, originality, and seeing how much Disney stole from it. If you don’t believe me, check out this link. I couldn’t believe the scenes of Caesar (AKA Original Mufasa) consoling Kimba from the beyond in the night sky. I couldn’t believe the scene where the villainess Belladonna tried to kill Kimba by pushing him off a cliff. I couldn’t believe one of the major villains (Claw) just happened to be a scarred lion usurper with a black mane, dark fur, and had hyena henchmen with him. Every character not named Timon and Pumbaa in that movie is a copy of someone from Tezuka’s manga/anime series. Seriously, shame on Disney for stealing from this classic anime and for trying to block the Jungle Emperor Leo ’97 movie from North America. Trust me, you won’t be looking at The Lion King the same way again once you see the obvious similarities. I can’t see how any sane person could watch Kimba and not think that no one from Disney saw this. Why does The Lion King get a free pass in plagiarism when other media like Yuki Yuna is a Hero gets lambasted for having similarities to Madoka? You know if the situation was reversed, then all you Lion King fans would scream bloody murder that your favorite movie got plagiarized by a foreign (majority non-White) country if Kimba came afterwards. It would be amazing if Disney admitting to stealing from Tezuka’s creation, paid royalties to them, or got epic backlash for their thievery, but I know that will never happen because wishes never come true.

This segues into my next point. I wasn’t aware of this as a child, but growing up, I realized how racist the implications were with the hyenas. Have you not listened to how they talk? They straight up talk in stereotypical African-American Ebonics (Shenzi) and an exaggerated Mexican accent (Banzai). What ticks me off is when Disney fans don’t call their depiction racist or handwave it because you have Black cast members voicing some of the heroic lions namely James Earl Jones playing Mufasa. No, just because you have Black people playing both sides of the good/evil paradigm, it doesn’t make it bigotry-free. It’s the equivalent of a racist claiming they have a Black best friend or family members to prove they aren’t racist. That or saying slave owners can’t be racist because they have Black people around them. Let’s not forget Disney has a history with using animal characters as POC proxies with racist undertones. Look at the crows in Dumbo and the lead one’s name was JIM! You know, like the same laws in America that involved having enforced segregation, lynchings, or it being legal for White people to rape African-Americans? There’s also Siamese cats talking in broken English in Lady and the Tramp, Aristocats, and even an episode of Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers for crying out loud. You could even throw in Tito from Oliver & Company as a slap against the Latino community. Coincidentally enough, Cheech Marin would voice both Tito and Banzai in his voice acting career. Is this why so many Americans falsely assume that Black people let alone other ethnic groups act like the hyenas all the time? If you think so, then you need your head examined and we should question if you’re a bigot.

Extending onto that point is how the hyenas were treated with the Elephant Graveyard. Besides the name being a blatant carbon copy of the place in Kimba where the animals had to rescue Roger Ranger in one of the later episodes, I found the place to be disturbing, but not for the same reasons as it was portrayed in the movie. As an adult, I had this realization that this punishment against those animals involved isolating the hyenas in a barren wasteland and they’re forced to starve. It hit me when I researched lesser-known aspects of history: Mufasa was committing genocide against them and I was sickened by it. Scar did bad things, but his big brother is not much better if you really think about it; he’s just applauded for his actions. If you think I’m being crazy, then maybe you should read up on the Congolese Genocide under King Leopold II or the Namibian Genocide by Germany’s 2nd Reich. The former had a body count of 10 MILLION Congolese and Leopold never got punished for it. If you take away the hand chopping, guns, and mass rape, then it would be the same thing. The latter had a concentration camp called Shark Island where the Germans starved out the Herero and Nama tribes and there was a valley of bones left behind. By the way, one of the perpetrators was General Franz Ritter von Epp who would eventually employ Adolf Hitler and Hitler said he was influenced by this general. LET THAT SINK IN! It’s as if the animators were aroused by putting anti-Black racism with that act as they believe melanated people don’t belong in their circle of life. Come on, if those hyenas talked in Yiddish accents instead of stereotypical Black and Latino accents, then the ADL would’ve thrashed Mickey Mouse in a heartbeat and everybody knows this. But because it’s happening to the bad guys and because they talk in a racially-coded way, it’s somehow justified in the animators’ and fans’ eyes. No, that’s protagonist centered morality on Mufasa’s part (saying nothing how that punishment contradicts his circle of life speech), and it’s propaganda in a form of G-rated White Supremacy. In my adulthood, I’ve seriously pondered if White people actually saw me as one of those hyenas in the past before. I’ve been discriminated against, so I wouldn’t put it past them. It’s hard to watch that knowing about the genocides against Black people, the 1994 crime bill which overloaded the prison-industrial complex (while being soft on Caucasian offenders, let’s be honest), Apartheid South Africa, and gentrification to name a few things to punish them. Do you enjoy Black people or any other POC group getting punished or afflicted at all costs and is The Lion King your film of choice of vicariously having that joy in a supposedly “innocent” way? Are you more offended by me pointing out the racist implications of this Disney movie than the millions of dead bodies from those aforementioned genocides let alone other atrocities?

Let’s also talk about the depiction of Africa. There are no humans in it! Was there some extinction of Africans before the beginning of the story? Disney sucks at this fact and Tarzan is another example of this when that continent is shown without Black people. So people who look like me and darker shouldn’t be seen? Is this a wish fulfillment about depopulating Africa in animated form? Think about it. They wouldn’t try it with Europe or America. Even if they do have furry characters (don’t lie. furries love The Lion King and you all know this. Also, how come that movie doesn’t get called a furry film with all the anthropomorphic stuff in it?), they make them upright, clothed and human-like in attitude like Zootopia or DuckTales for example. Are they insinuating that Africa should just be one giant savanna or natural utopia without the humans who would live in that part of the world? If not, then they’ll show it as one big piece of poverty porn and/or a giant war zone. It’s as if the animals are treated with dignity if something happens to them than the humans who live there. Cecil the lion? I rest my case. Screw stereotypes. Those furries and their sick fantasies can go away.

Those are some of my main points that have angered me. Disney needs a moral overhaul. Was it enough to steal from a 60s Japanese anime and from millions of Swahili-speaking Africans by trademarking “Hakuna Matata”? I could go on about the plot holes such as the Nala incest theory, how much that movie ripped off Kimba, how heredity monarchy is not always a good thing, how that movie isn’t that deep/meaningful, or how The Lion King or it’s fanbase avoids being called furries when other movies get labeled as such, but I think you get the point. Even I’ve had enough from defenders of this movie franchise and for people trying to shame me not liking that film, let alone bullying me for my ethnic background or even what media I like. You’re only proving me right that way. It sickens me how there’s that remake coming out (it’s not live action, people. it’s just realistic looking CGI) and for people making fun of me for not liking it anymore. You all have no right to moralize to me especially with all the things that have happened in American history let alone what happened to the African diaspora. I’m not saying you’re automatically evil if you’re White since that would be very stupid of me to insinuate that of one’s skin color. Spare me from your attempts of putting words in my mouth or for strawmanning my arguments. What I am saying is that you shouldn’t take movies at face value and assume everything is innocent just because it’s family-friendly from a content standpoint. For one, I’ve become offended the more I’ve learned about history, part of my culture, and with storytelling techniques. I’m sick and tired of being a scapegoat because of the color of my skin and my heritage. I would never even imagine doing the things done to my ancestors to anyone regardless of race. Not everyone is going to like what I typed, nor am I begging people to like it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to listen to real artists from the continent instead of that artificial crap from Hans Zimmer and Elton John.

All images and videos are property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws.

The fan art is property of WhiteLionWarrior at DeviantArt.

Kimba is property of Kimba the White Lion and Tezuka Productions.

Simba is property of The Lion King and Disney.

Quote by Miriam Makeba on the Misrepresentation of Africa in the Media — African Heritage

I reblogged this post from Dr. Y’s Afro Legends blog which is so true that I just had to post it on here. Dr. Y is an awesome blogger and person who taught me a lot about African history and cultures that they NEVER teach you in school (at least here in America or the West as a whole.

That quote from Miriam Makeba is inarguable with how Western mainstream media treats the continent. At best it takes place in a fictional country that no one will ever visit (see: Wakanda in Black Panther). At worst, the whole continent is either war-torn, super poor, and uncivilized.

The Tarzan example is spot on. Granted, I’m more familiar with the Disney version, but it only proves my point since that company was too cowardly to put any Black characters in that film. That and having a certain other movie which has no humans at all also proves Makeba’s point (**cough** The Lion King **cough**). It’s as if Hollywood sees Africa as either a giant zoo, some conflict-torn continent, or a place where they can get their rocks off by exterminating Black people offscreen in their movies much like aforementioned Disney movie examples.

Thank for sharing, Dr. Y!

“People in the United States [the West] still have a ‘Tarzan’ movie view of Africa. That’s because in the movies all you see are jungles and animals . . . We [too] watch television and listen to the radio and go to dances and fall in love.” Miriam Makeba

via Quote by Miriam Makeba on the Misrepresentation of Africa in the Media — African Heritage

#TrademarkWars Pt. II: Drop the Hakuna Matata trademark because cultural appropriation sucks!

http://chng.it/YkXFKwDbQN

At the time of this post, over 187K+ people signed the petition in that link above. I’m one of them because I practice what I preach.

Some of you may have seen my #TrademarkWars post not too long ago. I’m not sorry for repeating the information, but some of this maybe new to some of you. For those of you who didn’t see that earlier post, let me give you the scoop. Disney owns a trademark for the words “Hakuna Matata”.

“But Ospreyshire, that’s a stupid thing to worry about!” You might say. “What’s the big deal?”

It’s because making a dollar of a foreign phrase is cultural appropriation. That’s why.

This offends me more than The Lion King ripping off Kimba the White Lion, and that’s saying something. The thing is “Hakuna Matata” has been a very common phrase that the Swahili-speaking world (examples: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, DRC, etc.) has said for centuries. Disney acts like they can just own foreign words like some kind of hidden treasure. That’s colonizer thinking right there. Could you imagine the outrage if Disney or any other conglomerate were to trademark foreign phrases such as “C’est La Vie” from the French or “Que Sara Sara” from the Italians? Everybody would riot if that were to happen. Even English speakers know what those phrases mean and would call out something like that. Keep in mind, even Paris Hilton couldn’t trademark “That’s hot” and  Donald Trump couldn’t trademark “You’re fired” when The Apprentice was a hit show, so what does that tell you? I guess since this involves Africans, then they don’t matter in Disney’s eyes by taking a common saying that’s spoken throughout multiple countries in that continent.

Cultural appropriation is another form of racism as it steals from others while benefiting the appropriator. I’m sick and tired of people getting away with thieving cultural elements that clearly never belonged to them to the first place. The Swahili speaking public got nothing out of this trademark even though they’ve been saying it long before the invention of animation.

If this irks you that colonialism still permeates even in kids movies, then I would urge you to sign.

Hakuna Matata: Not some remorse-free philosophy

http://chng.it/YkXFKwDbQN