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)

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[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.

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Fighting Doppelgangers (Why Do the Masses Exalt Them?)

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Deified clones storm the way
At the altar of superficiality and petty fandom
The subterfuge from the creations of expensive gods
Becomes canonized into the minds and hearts of their deluded believers

The congregation bows to the duplicates
Without question or concern
Entertained by their subpar existences
Owed to others far greater than their mediocre lives

It’s time to silence the cacophony from this overpaid choir

There are those who want to expose every lie churned out
And to expose the real originals to drive the point home
What’s the matter?
Can’t handle the dosage of red pills and sodium amytal?

Woe to those who craft the precepts of denial
Ronnie Martin said it right when the good are starved
From decades of being forgotten
KRS-One was right. The thief is no greater than whom they steal from.
They will know their idols shall crumble
The true history shall appear
The clones will fall asunder at all costs


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

Images of Tetsuo and K9999 are from Retro Injection

Tetsuo Shima from Akira is property of Katsushiro Otomo and Kodansha.

K9999 from The King of Fighters series is property of SNK Playmore.

Fan art of Claw and Scar is from WhiteLionWarrior at DeviantArt.

Claw from Kimba the White Lion is property of Tezuka Productions.

Scar from The Lion King is property of Disney.

Brotherhood of the World Award! (or There’s a joke involving X-Men, Doom Patrol, or Fullmetal Alchemist in here somewhere.)

Brotherhood of the World award

I was nominated again so soon! This time, it’s the Brotherhood of the World Award. I would like to thank Chizurue for nominating me. She reviews anime, manga, and books on her blogs such as Of Midnight Ravings and Mnemosyne.

Here’s how the award works:

-Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
-Answer the questions sent to you.
-Nominate around ten bloggers.
-Create your set of questions for your nominees.

-List the rules and display the Brotherhood of the World logo in your post.

Without further ado, I’m going to answer the questions used during Chizurue’s post.

Briefly explain your blogging style (where your favorite blogging spot/tools – as in, on the couch using your smartphone or something).

For starters, I blog using my phone or my desktop. I’d say it’s 50/50 depending on which blog I’m using and what kind of content I’m posting.

I all my blogs I tend to write like how I talk or what I believe, but in different ways. When it comes to some kinds of content, I just let something like a video or song speak for itself before I explain things briefly.

Ospreyshire: I do my best to talk about my creative project under this moniker. This is my main blog as one could guess. I show as much content that I create on here like my year-long Katauta 52 Project or my stories behind my songs/poems on here. Things couldn’t just be a bout me, so I do my best to cross-promote people like other people on ZAP Records (the indie label I’m affiliated with), nominating others for awards, and the occasional post about some real-life friends of mine doing great things.

Autumn Peal Media: I don’t talk that much on my blog. I just let my video projects and photography speak for themselves on there. Just don’t expect me to be all that vocal on there.

C. M. B. Bell Fiction: This is different since I deal with my original stories on there. I try to have a conversational style of dialogue while also adding some more poetic narration. My fiction writing style tends to use atypical protagonists, referencing social issues, having diverse casts, and making plots for things or characters I’ve never seen before. I also enjoy satirizing tropes and cliches whenever I can. Most of the stuff on there is micro fiction or my Hollandus Landing cell phone novel. Stay tuned for more content on there though.

Iridium Eye Reviews: This blog allowed me to be more overt in my honesty as I review some obscure media and anime. I wanted to have a mix of formal things such as researching concepts for fun facts while also having a bit of humor. There are times where I drop some uncomfortable truths if I disagree with the majority consensus or mention some controversial elements depending on what I review. I felt like I’ve become more assertive as a person after making this blog March of last year.

How do you manage your blogging time including blog reading time?

Good question. I do read some articles when I have some free time or checking some things out on my breaks if I’m at work when it comes to blog reading time. Some days, I can read several articles while other days I barely have any time given my variable schedule, so I just go with the flow. However, I make an effort to catch up when I can and I’ll intentionally read bloggers’ older/archived posts besides just their newest ones.

Blogging time? Most of this has gone to this page and Iridium Eye. The Ospreyshire page is straightforward and I don’t have to post that much, but most of my time is spent writing poems and filming for the Katauta 52 Project. Iridium Eye takes longer with reviews, finding a picture with it, researching things, and scheduling 3 reviews per Saturday with some cases a whole month in advance.

Who is your most read author?

I haven’t read as much as I used to. As far as books read per author, then I would say Ted Dekker. I read a bunch of his books years ago, but I haven’t read his newer fiction books. As far as more recent authors are concerned, I would say either Winona LaDuke or Rev. William J. Barber II. Both are nonfiction authors who talk about the history and concerns from the American Indigenous and African-American communities respectively. Both were really insightful and I really like how they get real on those issues, are well researched, they know what they’re talking about, and they do not make race a partisan issue which is a huge godsend to me.

How did you come up with your blog name?

I’m sure I’ve answered a question like that when it comes to the Ospreyshire moniker, but I’ll talk about how I got the names for my other blogs.

Autumn Peal Media: I was born in October, so I was certainly an Autumn baby. Peal is an uncommon word that I thought would sound cool and it’s a wordplay with something else, too.

Iridium Eye: Iridium is one of the rarest and most precious metals. This rarity aspect plays on the fact that most of the content I cover is lesser-known. The eye refers to the critical I that I use whenever I review indie films, foreign films, anime, non-mainstream Western animation, short films, and documentaries.

What keeps you blogging?

It is a platform for my creative outlets across the board and it has helped me to have a voice when I’ve been bullied into silence in my past. I’m able to be more honest and assertive online and real life. There’s also a goal I have for using bigger projects to give them a place to be posted online such as books, albums, and video projects.

Thank you! I hereby nominate the following bloggers…

Shokamoka
Ra’ahe
The Things I’ve Seen
Brandon Knoll
B. (Aphorisms)
Blog Posts From the Edge
Angie Trafford
Bloom Reviews
Emily Curry
Milly Schmidt

Here are my questions for my nominees:

1. What was a post that you created that made you feel better as a blogger?

2. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

3. What improvements could you make on your blog? How can you improve as a blogger?

4. How has blogging changed/improved you as a person and in your real life interactions?

5. If you can visit any country that you’ve never been to, where would you visit, which tourist spots would you check out, and why?

 

 

So I made some improvements to my film/documentary/anime review blog known as Iridium Eye…

Hello, everyone.

As some of my followers may or may not know, I have more blogs besides this one. Sure, it is my main one where I focus on my spoken word/music project, but I have additional interests you know.

That other blog is Iridium Eye. My new slogan if you will, is “Reviewing the best movies and series you’ve never heard of.”

This is a little review blog where I post things every Saturday. If you’re looking for a  place that’s all about the latest mainstream movies, this isn’t for you. I focus on media that’s lesser known to the mainstream zeitgeist.

I now made a menu of all my archived reviews from past to present. Everything is even in alphanumerical order from numbers to A to Z as redundant as it sounds. At the time of this post, I have written 135 articles critiquing things like indie movies, documentaries, anime, and short films.

Not everyone has checked it out since it’s inception in March 2017, but I would really encourage my followers and even some new faces to check it out. Iridium Eye has been cathartic for me and it helped me become more assertive even in real life.

“What stuff have you reviewed before?” You may ask.

Good question, and I’ll make some statements that might match your tastes in film and/or animation.

Do you like some quality foreign films?
I’ve talked about movies such as Before Your Eyes, Ringu, Mother of Mine, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (the original) to name a few.

Do you like some well-made documentaries?
I’ve reviewed docs like Danielson: A Family Movie, I Am Not Your Negro, Bananas!*, This Is Not a Film, and many more.

Do you like anime?
I’ve critiqued movies and series such as Cyborg 009: Call of Justice, The Ghost in the Shell: Arise prequels, Haibane Renmei, and Kino’s Journey to name a few.

Do you want to see Western animated films outside of the iron grip of companies like Disney, Dreamworks, or Illumination?
I’ve certainly highlighted lesser-known animated films such as The Secret of Kells, Ernest & Celestine, Fantastic Planet, and Song of the Sea for example.

Are you into old-school stuff?
I’ve discussed things such as Yojimbo, Kimba the White Lion, and Key the Metal Idol.

Feel free to check out Iridium Eye if you want to discover movies and series you might enjoy. If you know some of that stuff, then that’s awesome. Follow that blog as well, if you please.