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.

Advertisements

They Dreamed of Devastation and Deceit (Circle of Lies)

They claimed that continent was so dark
Not only because of the melanin of their majority
They’ll protect the native creatures
Yet laughing at the deceased bodies and mistreatment
Arousing those who inflict the suffering on millions even before that cursed scramble

They project a utopia of either animals only or having those who look like them walk around or live there
Empire and golden states of minds dictate this false narrative
Assuming they’re not projecting and magnifying poverty, corruption, or war-torn areas
How ironic. Their people and certain others have been moving in

Cobalt, tin, oil, copper
Among numerous others are exploited
An unfair trade to make such an understatement of the decade.

They purposefully ignore smart apartments, luxury hotels, and even locales safer than (supposedly) more “civilized” nations.
Funny how they call themselves nations while others are called tribes
The artifice and constructs of foreign tongues beg to warp minds

A continent where genocides have been afflicted on them where their perpetrators walked off without being behind bars could only be ignored for so long
How tragic is it when all that’s being mailed back are whips, severed skulls from the natives, or maybe artwork when it’s not an empty and insincere apology

So many deluge themselves in the circle of lies to feel euphoric
As they don’t want those with melanin to exist (whether they admit it or not)
They want to see a continent full of strangers like them and only those who look like them
Whatever god they believe in or not, all of them should pray every day that those living there or scattered don’t think like them.

These history books have been silent about these matters. Who ever thought that autodidact endeavors would become useful for unlocking truth when some desire it regardless of the learner’s pigmentation?

While there are issues that can’t be ignored, there is also solace that cameras, books, or online channels don’t dare to show.

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

Belgium “apologizes” to the DRC even if it wasn’t for a reason I expected

As soon as I saw this video from Dr. Mumbi drop, I really really had to talk about it.

Some of you might remember me talking about the sins committed by Belgium to the Democratic Republic of Congo not too long ago. This issue is mentioned again although there was something I legitimately didn’t know about the colonial atrocities. Belgium is saying sorry because that country STOLE biracial Congolese/Belgium babies from the DRC (then known as the Belgian Congo), separated them from their parents, and subjected them in horrific conditions. Not only that, these Belgian poor excuses of fathers who impregnated the Congolese women backed off and didn’t want to be in their children’s lives. Come on, if the races were reversed, Bill O’Reilly would scream “Where are the fathers?!”. So these kids had to grow up bouncing around from orphanage or foster home while their baby daddies didn’t want to own up to what they did (although I really doubt all of those so-called fathers had consensual relationships with the moms given historical patterns).

This was new information for me, but I wasn’t shocked at all. This only made me angrier about everything that happened to the DRC. That country lived through that genocidal maniac King Leopold II who took over the Congo which is 5 times the size of his own home country and his people slaughtered 10 MILLION people and never got punished. Leopold and his regime shot, raped, maimed, and starved out millions and no historical institution is ever calling this a genocide. One form of punishment that he did was to chop off Congolese hands if they were disobedient or couldn’t make quotas for the natural resources. You see that picture in the thumbnail with the chocolate hands? That’s how they got the idea for that demonic dessert and it’s still sold in Belgium to this day! Seriously, Belgium needs to pay big reparations for all the atrocities they committed against the Congolese.

Before any of you say that the people of the DRC should “just move on” or “forgive”, let me ask you something. Are you going to say the same thing to the families of those related to the Holocaust victims/survivors? Are you going to say the same thing to the 9/11 families? If you’re not going to say those things to the families of those afflicted by those tragedies, then you’re a freaking racist hypocrite.

I hope justice happens.

Video courtesy of Dr. Mumbi Seraki.

#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

Alabama teens want Black people in concentration camps. How despicable!

[Warning: Video contains strong language, racial slurs, and genocidal waxing]

It’s just another day in America and it involves a story that’s more common than you think.

In Birmingham, AL, some stupid teens from Spain Park High School decide to video a conversation where they want all Black people to die in concentration camps. Do I even need to say how sick that is even as a joke?

America has been racist long before 45 was in office and it’s starting to be much more overt. While I do agree that The South is more overt about racism, it can be upfront sometimes in the North, too. Trust me, I’ve been called racial slurs on BOTH sides of the Mason-Dixon line, even though he is right about Yankees being more coded with bigotry (and this is coming from a Midwesterner).

Phil was also right about biracial people (in this case, those who are Black/White mixed) being seen as non-White. Trust me, I’ve had my wake-up call on that matter when I was much younger and a lot less conscious about these intricate matters. I seriously doubt they’ll get punished so severely, but they totally deserve it.

I’d also like to add one point in that video by saying that Black people have been in concentration camps before. The most obvious ones to me are The Devil’s Punchbowl in Natchez, MS which happened not long after the Civil War and Shark Island in Namibia. The latter was carried out by Germany’s 2nd Reich and some of those same people would also be indirectly and directly involved in the Holocaust, too. I actually talk about this matter when I reviewed the Namibian Genocide & The Second Reich documentary on Iridium Eye if you want more details on that matter.

Seriously, those teenagers are evil and I know that they know better. I would bet you money that if some Black kids were talking about doing they same thing to their Caucasian counterparts, you know they would be expelled and possibly jailed for a video like that. No one should ever have to go through genocide, and it sickens me how people make jokes about ethnic groups who’ve faced it.

Video courtesy of Advise Show Media.

Is the UN pressuring Belgium to pay off for what they did to the DRC?

This is a video I saw a few days ago, but I thought it would be good to share it on here with this blog.

What an interesting turn of events to say the least.

The UN is telling off Belgium to apologize and to pay reparations to the Democratic Republic of Congo. For those of you wondering why the DRC in particular, let me give you a breakdown of what happened. Belgium wanted to be a part of the Scramble for Africa and they managed to colonize what would be the DRC under the reign of King Leopold II. To the Belgiums, he was known as “the builder king” as he did so many architecture projects in his home country and many of them are still up to this day. To the Congolese (or anyone with a shred of humanity), Leopold was a genocidal maniac. Him and his forces exploited the country for their natural resources, chopped off hands from those who disobeyed him, starved out and annexed several people like his own personal elephant graveyard where the Africans didn’t belong in his circle of life (I know that comparison was mentioned in an earlier article, but it bears repeating), and killed 10 million Congolese during his reign. Not to mention HE NEVER GOT PUNISHED FOR HIS ACTIONS! Can someone please explain to me why he’s never mentioned in the same sphere of infamy as Hitler, Pol Pot, or Stalin? Seriously, I never learned about this when I was in school.

A little side note about the middle of the video…that was the most satanic thing I have ever seen in my life. A guy dressed up in blackface while pretending to cry as a chocolate cake molded like a pregnant Black woman gets sliced by some attendees at a gala? How sick can you get? Shame on all of those people who did that.

Back to this story at hand, I do hope justice can be done. The DRC was exploited for far too long and I hope that their plight will be taken seriously.

NEVER FORGET!

The video is courtesy of the Dr. Mumbi Show.

#TrademarkWars: Have you no shame, Disney?

I know this is an older story, but I just have to talk about it.

I apologize if this issue is getting old especially for those in the aniblogger community, but holy crap…did Disney have to steal something else especially in regards to The Lion King? Ripping off Kimba the White Lion wasn’t enough for them?

Basically, Disney owns a trademark for the words “Hakuna Matata” which is stupid on so many levels for a common phrase in the Swahili-speaking community in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, DRC, Uganda, etc.). I also didn’t know that there was a popular song in the 70s that used the phrase in it’s chorus.

Sure, some of you are rolling your eyes to me bashing Disney since I am a former fan of The Lion King. Besides the shameless stealing of Kimba, I couldn’t stand some of the plot holes, the protagonist centered morality of Mufasa, and the racist implications of the hyenas (come on, you don’t think they sounded like ethnic stereotypes?). Not to mention the whole Elephant Graveyard situation is much more disturbing in hindsight when you research things like the Congolese genocide, the Namibian genocide, or the genocides against Native Americans to name a few where people where exiled and starved out at punishment. Makes me wonder if Disney fans see the hyenas as proxies for Black people to be punished at all costs while claiming that company isn’t racist for hiring minorities as some rhetorical dodge for it not being racist (strawman defeated). Please, that’s like saying the porn industry can’t be sexist because they hire women.

The thing isn’t just about trademarking a common Swahili phrase or for me ragging on Disney for their business practices. The bigger picture is cultural appropriation. One other example that Dr. Mumbi gave in the video was Louis Vuitton capitalizing on traditional Masai cloth by giving it the luxury treatment which is idiotic and offensive to me. Culture isn’t some free for all object for people to steal. I would bet you money if someone were to steal stuff from Louis Vuitton or any other big company, then lawsuits would be handed like candy on Halloween. Screw that double standard. If you want to incorporate something like someone’s culture then do it respectfully and pay the price for it.

This trademarking is so shameful on many levels. If you want to sign the petition about this matter, then here’s the link: https://www.change.org/p/the-walt-disney-company-get-disney-to-reverse-their-trademark-of-hakuna-matata

Video is property of Dr. Mumbi Seraki.

Mozambique gets $7.8 Million in settlements from British gem company. A rare event, indeed.

British Firm Agrees to Pay £5.8m to Victims of Abuse in Mozambique

First of all, I’d like to give props to Dr. Y and Dr. Mumbi Seraki for covering this story. Please check out the video and link above.

I couldn’t believe this just happened recently. In Mozambique, there are several ruby mines that got in control by Gemfields which is a British gem company. The problem is that their employees have physically and sexually abused the Mozambican people around the fields. They actually settled for $7.8 million for all the families of the victims. I’m shocked that a major company would give out that much money to all of those people. This is unheard of especially in an African nation where certain individuals and companies get away with atrocities like this all the time.

I’m ambivalent about what happened. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the victims are getting compensated for all of the suffering that happened to them. However, I think Gemfields should’ve paid way more since that amount is a drop in an ocean given their net profits. At least some justice was done, and I hope this starts a trend for the better, so no company gets away with it.

So a woman threw a huge rock at a cop and lived to tell about it? The double standards are strong in this one.

I just found this news story that infuriated me, but it only proves the point that many others and I have been saying for years.

In this video, this woman is resisting arrest by these policeman, picks up a huge rock, and throws it at one of the officers. Amazingly enough, none of these LEOs drew their guns at her. Sure, they do get a taser briefly, but they don’t resort to lethal force despite her committing attempted assault/murder.

This begs the most obvious question. How would she be treated if she was Black?

There’s an obvious hypocrisy going on as certain people get treated better than others whenever they are confronted by police. I would bet you money, if she was African-American, she would’ve been shot before she would have a chance to chuck that rock at anyone. Those policemen would’ve had every right to draw their guns since she did attack them, but they were so restrained in dealing with her.

I really like Phil Scott’s commentary about this situation as he really destroys so many arguments against this situation by all those people in denial.

Video courtesy of The Advise Show.