Browsing Category: disney lessons

Disney Lessons | Wreck-It Ralph

There are many lessons about self-worth, self-identity, prejudice, and judging in Walt Disney's Wreck-It Ralph. It is a perfect family movie to learn from!

It has been quite a while since I’ve done a Disney Lessons post. So, I thought I would do one of Justin’s and Rhys’s favorite movies: Wreck-It Ralph! Justin absolutely loves this movie because it is about video games! He loves pointing out to me all the different references and Easter eggs in the movie. Rhys really loved the action and the characters, especially Ralph and Felix. He’ll do a “hulk-smash” movement for Ralph and mime a hammering motion for Felix. I love the movie not only because of the video game world, but also because of the lessons that are involved–it’s a great movie for children and adults alike. *Includes spoilers!*

There are many lessons about self-worth, self-identity, prejudice, and judging in Walt Disney's Wreck-It Ralph. It is a perfect family movie to learn from! Continue Reading

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Frozen | Disney Lessons

Disney's Frozen teaches good lessons to young children: love your siblings, love doesn't have to be perfect, believe in yourself, be confident, and so much more

I have loved Frozen even before I ever saw it! Mainly that is because I knew that Idina Menzel was going to be the voice of Elsa. Wicked is one of my favorite Broadways, and Menzel does such an amazing job with Elpheba’s voice–the power behind it. So, I knew she would be perfect for Elsa, not your typical Disney princess. And, after I watched it for the first time, crying my eyes out, I knew it’d become one of my favorite Disney movies.  I know there have been many critics of Frozen for many reason, but I don’t really care. I think it rises beyond any of those criticisms and these lessons are the reason why.

Disney's Frozen teaches good lessons to young children: love your siblings, love doesn't have to be perfect, believe in yourself, be confident, and so much more

True Love Isn’t Always Romantic Love

When Elsa accidentally froze Anna’s heart, the only cure was an act of true love. The characters assumed that to be true love’s first kiss. I mean, it works in Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Enchanted, and many other fairy tale-like movies. However, what breaks the spell was Anna trying to protect her older sister Elsa from being killed by Hans. Throughout the entire movie, Anna always made excuses for Elsa. She always looked up to Elsa, even though she never really got to bond with her most of their childhood. She always trusted Elsa. She kept saying, “Elsa would never hurt me.” She cared deeply for Elsa. And honestly, Elsa felt the same about Anna. The whole reason she sequestered herself from people, especially Anna, is because she didn’t want to accidentally hurt Anna again. She cared so much for Anna’s health, that she was willing to sacrifice her own happiness for Anna. That is true love. And, you know what they say, “Blood is thicker than water.” (By no means is there a secret Disney agenda to support lesbian love–that’s ridiculous that people think that about Frozen…I mean, if that were true, than Disney would also be supporting lesbian incest! They are SISTERS!)

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Love is More Powerful than Fear

And, using the same concept (and video) from the previous lesson, we can learn that love is more powerful than fear. Elsa’s powers are controlled by her feelings. Her fear of her powers and the effects and consequences thereof caused the eternal winter. However, when Elsa showed how distraught she was at Anna’s “demise” and because of Anna’s act of true love, they realized that love can thaw a frozen heart. Elsa’s love was able to end the winter and bring back spring. Love is always more powerful than fear. Today is no exception, although we seem to have forgotten that, with ISIS and the current political campaign. But, love is the way of Christ, even. Love will always conquer. Be more loving and less hating and less scared.

Love is an Open Door

Yes, I know. Technically, this song is between the protagonist and the surprise villain. However, it has some good points. Anna had been isolated and lonely most of her life, and now she found someone invested in her. And, although the song lyrics really don’t have any depth to them, the title is what is most important. Love is an open door. Love leads to so many good things. Love is an opportunity for service. Love is an opportunity for growth. Love is an opportunity for adventure. Love is an opportunity for improvement. Love is an opportunity for happiness. Love is an opportunity for more love. It’s an open door.

True Love isn’t Always Perfect

When Anna and Christoff get to the trolls, they make the assumption that Christoff and Anna are together. This is all for comical reasons because we, as the audience, know they aren’t. The trolls begin to sing, “Fixer-upper” talking about all of Christoff’s weaknesses and negative traits. However, that doesn’t mean that he isn’t worthy of loving, or even, for that fact, marrying. Everyone will have negative traits. Everyone will have baggage. This song also relates back to the whole “what is true love” motif:

We aren’t saying you can change him
‘Cause people don’t really change
We’re only saying that love’s a force that’s powerful and strange
People make bad choices if they’re mad or scared or stressed
But throw a little love their way, and you’ll bring out their best
True love brings out the best.

That’s what marriage is–bringing out each other’s best, lifting each other up. The last lyric of the song is: “The only fixer upper fixer / That can fix a fixer upper is / True love.”

Don’t Rush into Marriage

Now, this one is a little hard for us, Mormons. We are notorious for quick courting periods, and even quicker engagements. Justin proposed to me after half a year of dating (which is actually on the longer end of the average dating period for college-aged Mormons) and we were engaged for only 4 months (an very average length for Mormons). However, Anna and Hans got engaged later the day after meeting (but then again, my college Bishop met and proposed to his wife in a period of three days! And, they had a handful of children, each who have served LDS missions and married in an LDS temple themselves…so sometimes, it works…).

But, what Disney was trying to do with this was to break away from the classic fairy-tale stigma of love at first sight. This is the only Disney movie that does it: Enchanted and Tangled also deal with this. Dating for getting to know the other person. Getting to see how you two click. Engagement is for getting to the worst, as well as the best of your partner, for serious life discussions and planning. Don’t necessarily rush into marriage–get to really know your significant other. Spend as much time with them as possible. But, when the timing is right, don’t delay.

Let It Go

This is the most iconic song of Frozen. It is so powerful. Elsa is coming to grips with her powers. She is releasing her inhibitions about it, and beginning to embrace it. This song for us could be about fears, weaknesses, flaws, mental illnesses, chronic illnesses, bad experiences, bad pasts, really anything. But the whole idea is to “let it go.” Move on with life. Don’t let others hold you back, especially their view of yourself. The only view that matters is how you perceive yourself. Test yourself. Push yourself. Explore. Try new things. Be brave. Be confident.

There are many more mini-lessons, but these are the most important and life changing. I love this movie for it. And, Idina Menzel, you will forever be my hero! The first time I heard this song, I just kept thinking of Wicked’s Defying Gravity“.

Lessons from Disney movies series

What lessons did you learn from Disney’s Frozen?

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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Lilo and Stitch | Disney Lessons

Justin and I absolutely love Lilo and Stitch. We love singing the Hawaiian songs, and we love the cuteness of the movie. It is one of our favorites!

Lilo and Stitch is about about an evil alien experiment called Experiment 626, created by the evil scientist, Jumba. After being captured, it escaped and crash landed on Hawaii. Jumba and Earth Specialist, Pleakly, are sent to retrieve him. Experiment 626 ends up being adopted by Lilo and Nani from a dog pound. Lilo and Nani are sisters whose parents have recently died. Nani works at a luao restaurant and Lilo is very young and a little different. She doesn’t have friends and Nani is always stressed about taking care of Lilo, especially after getting fired. Social Services comes and threatens to take Lilo away from Nani unless she can find a stable job and train Stitch.

I don’t want to really give any more away in case you haven’t seen it…but here is the trailer

But, there are so many lessons to learn from Lilo and Stitch which is why we love it so much.

Lessons you can learn from Disney's Lilo and Stitch are very important: cultural history, family strength, and trust.

Cultural Heritage is Important

I love that this movie is diverse. It takes place in Hawaii, with a native Hawaiian as its protagonist. But more than that, this movie tries to intentionally add in as much Hawaiian culture as possible. All the songs that aren’t Elvis songs, are in Hawaiian. The first song, He Mele No Lilo talks about the beauty of Hawaii, as well as some of it’s religious history. Lilo participates in hulu class. Lilo and Nani both are Hawaiian names. They use Hawaiian phrases in daily life, such as “lolo”, “mahalo”, and “ohana”. I think it is very important to keep your cultural heritage alive and to learn from it, which is one of the reasons that I am so obsessed with the Welsh culture.



The Significance of Family

The premise of this movie is that Lilo and her older sister, Nani, have recently been orphaned. As is typical, especially in siblings that have a wide age gap between them, Lilo and Nani often fight. Nani has a hard role in trying to be both sister and parent to Lilo, and Lilo sometimes finds that exasperating. The threat of Lilo being taken away by Child Care Services because of Nani being an inadequate care provider constantly looms over them. The fact that their parents are gone also haunts their house. But, throughout the movie, they remind each other of the concept of “ohana”. Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. Their parents had instilled this concept in them. They are to look after each other and protect each other. They are to love and care for each other. Such is the importance of family. As a Mormon, I believe that family is the foundation of society–“whatever wounds and breaks the family, wounds and break the world. Whatever lifts and saves the family, lifts and saves the world.”



Broken Families Can Still Be Strong

Lilo and Nani are orphans constantly at each other’s throats. Child services threatens to take Lilo away. Nani has no time for a love life with David. They have a wild alien “dog” that almost tore the family apart for good. But, it is still a strong family. Stitch helps bring Lilo and Nani back together. Nani will do whatever she can to protect Lilo. David, although he loves Nani, will be patient and willing to help in whatever way he can. I honestly love David. Nani says she has more important things to worry about than to date him (which is 100% true), but when David sees Nani and Lilo having a bad day, he takes them surfing. He cares for Lilo because he loves Nani. Families don’t have to be the perfect dynamic of mother and father and children. Families today come in all shapes and sizes and look vastly different. That doesn’t mean they are dysfunctional or broken. Families that have issues can still be strong.



There is Good in Everyone

Stitch was created as an evil experiment. But, Lilo saw good in him. She was determined to teach him how to be a proper behaving citizen. She never gave up on Stitch, even when Nani threatened to take him back to the pound. And, Lilo’s determination helped turn Stitch from evil experiment to protective, loving member of her family.


Have you ever seen this movie? What do you love about it?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Hercules | Disney Lessons

Another one of my favorite childhood movies was Hercules. As a young kid, I was a little obsessed with Greek mythology and would check out all the books my library had on it. I loved it and spent hours reading about the myths, legends, and genealogies. When I saw Disney’s Hercules for the first time, I immediately knew that it wasn’t accurate…I mean, Hera hated Hercules (it wasn’t her son…just one of Zeus’s “couldn’t keep it in his pants with mortal women” children). But, I loved the movie, especially the songs…I mean, it’s just about every red-head girl’s dream to have the voice of a soulful, passionate, black woman. But, as with all Disney movies, there are lessons to be learned with Hercules, lessons that will stay with you forever.

Disney's Hercules is a perfect movie to teach self-confidence, what makes a true hero, and family love.
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Greek Knowledge/Jokes

First, before I get into any songs, I just want to say how much Greek there is stuffed into this movie! The writers tried their hardest to insert culture, stereotypes, everything into it: “since they put the ‘pit’ in Pita bread”, “wanna buy a sun-dial,” “call IX-I-I,” “I haven’t seen more love in a room since Narcissus discovered himself.” I could go on and on. Every time I watch it, I pick up even more. And one of the little nuances I never realized until I was an adult was the counting issue. In the movie, a lot of times characters will say, “three words” than speak two, etc. Well, that’s because they are listing how many Greek words it would take to say that. For instance, Phil tells Hercules, “Two words: I am retired.” But in Greek, it is Είμαι συνταξιούχος. Two words.

They also do a pretty decent job of the mythology (with a few huge mistakes for creative license). In any Mount Olympus scene, you can very easily name all the Gods and Goddesses drawn according to their obvious characteristics: Dionysus is pink and has a wine glass, Aphrodite has a nice figure and blonde hair, Athena has a warriors helmet and an owl, so on and so forth. They include the Titans, even though have who they are incorrect. They include different heroes, even though they were all in different time periods, some long after Hercules. They include the Fates, the River Styx, and Cerberus for the underworld. They even try to incorporate the different adventures and quests that Hercules went on very subtly! But, again, take it all with a grain of salt!

 Beginning of the Movie // Gospel Truths I, II, and III

In the very beginning scene, the narrator brings forth to light the most poignant theme of the movie, “What is the measure of a true hero?” It kind of resonates with The Hunchback of Notre Dame’s theme, “Who is the monster and who is the man?” However, he is interrupted and the muses, Goddesses of the Arts and Proclaimers of Heroes take over the narration. Well, it is their dominion. And, they are black, soul singers. Awesome! They give the background of Zeus and how he organized the world and stopped the Titans. We then see a party for the baby Hercules. Hades doesn’t like the baby, because he is upset with his position in the Underworld and wants to take over Olympus. This never happens or is mentioned in the real mythology, but God of the Underworld makes for a good villain. After being humiliated again at the party, Hades goes back to the Underworld and meets with Fates to see if Hercules will stand in his plan of a hostile takeover. They reveal to him that Hercules will. So, Hades decides to get rid of Hercules. But, as he asks his minions, “How do you kill a God?” You can’t…you have to make him mortal. So, he sends his minions, Pain and Panic, to kidnap Hercules, give a potion to turn him mortal, and kill him. But, they were interrupted by an old mortal couple, and Hercules never finished the potion. The last drop he didn’t drink allowed him to retain his god-like strength, and he was able to stop Pain and Panic (who had morphed into snakes) as a baby! And, that is one of the legends of Hercules! But in the last Gospel Truth, the muses mention how Zeus and Hera had to watch Hercules grow up from afar because only gods are allowed on Mount Olympus. As a parent, that hit me–how devastated would I feel if I couldn’t raise Rhys myself, but could only watch someone else do it for me?

I Can Go the Distance

Years pass, and Hercules is a scrawny looking, pariah of a teen. But, remember, he is super strong…and that strength is the reason he is a pariah. He always breaks everything and reeks destruction wherever he goes because he can’t control his strength–everyone hates him for it. His adopted father tries to cheer him up, but Hercules says, “Sometimes I feel like I don’t really belong here. Like I’m supposed to be someplace else.” This kind of relates back to Tarzan and the motif of adopted families and different cultures. But this song is more than just that. Hercules believes he has a bigger purpose, somewhere he belongs and something he can do. The first part of the song is more of a hope and a dream. He wants to believe he belongs somewhere else because he doesn’t fit in here. This can have a few Christian overtones: we believe in the Kingdom of our Father in Heaven. He is waiting to receive us with open arms. But, anyone who has ever believed there is something bigger and better for them or that they would fit in better with another group or culture can relate to this song. One line in the song is, “I will go most anywhere to feel like I belong.” How many of us wouldn’t do the same? The feeling of being accepted is common in everyone. We long to be accepted. We long to be like others. We long to feel approved of and validated. So does Hercules, especially because he is different from everyone else.

He returns home and his adopted parents told him that he was found as a baby, with a medallion of the symbol of the Gods around his neck. Hercules then decides to go to the Temple of Zeus to pray to the gods to see if they have answers. Again, some Christian undertones here…we pray to our Father for guidance, to see what His plan for us is. Hercules begins singing again, only this time, he is more determined. He has a plan and has more power in his determination to go most anywhere to feel like he belongs. He can do it and will do it. My college actually had this song be the theme of one of our school years, to support students and let them believe they can do anything as long as they have determination and do their best.

Well, Hercules gets to the Temple of Zeus and starts praying. Then Zeus comes down in the form of the statue and tells Hercules the story of his birth and kidnapping. He then tells Hercules that he can rejoin his family in Olympus if he becomes a true hero. So, he goes off to seek Philoctetes, or Phil, to be trained as a hero.

One Last Hope

Phil is a grouchy old retired hero-trainer. He refuses to be Hercules’s teacher because all the other heroes he trained, Odysseus, Theseus, Perseus, Jason, Achilles all eventually were defeated and died (well, Hercules was a drunken fool tricked by his jealous wife into a wearing a poisoned cloak that tormented him so much, he built a pyre and burned himself to death, but that’s not Disney!). Hercules asks Phil if he ever had a dream that he wanted so badly. Phil said that he wanted to train a hero that was so loved, that the gods would put him in the stars. But, he says, “Dreams are for rookies.” He had been disappointed so much, that he gave up on his dream. Hercules was determined though. Phil didn’t believe. He had no hope. This served as an archetypal warning–you will turn into a grouchy, isolated, cynical person if you give up your dreams and hopes. Finally, after a lightning bolt sent from Zeus, Phil agrees to train Hercules. The entire song is a little cynical–he is giving Hercules his best shot, and claiming he is Phil’s last hope. But, Phil still isn’t convinced. But, as the song (and years) go on, Phil gets a little more confident. It is always nice to have someone, even someone as innocent and naive as Hercules (or Kimmy Schmidt also comes to mind) to help you restore faith in yourself and others.

After training is over, they decide to go to Thebes (compared to New York) to become a hero. On their way, Hercules saves Meg from a Water Guardian (a seductive centaur, which is a throwback to the myths as most centaurs raped women, even Hercules’s wife was almost raped by a centaur). But, what they don’t realize is that Meg is actually working for Hades, who owns her. Hades finds out that Pain and Panic never actually killed baby Hercules and time is running out before his plan to take over Olympus is put into action.

Meanwhile, Hercules and Phil arrive in Thebes and everyone is cynical of Hercules claiming to be a hero. They are sign seekers–they want someone who as already proven themselves to be their hero. Hercules says, “How can I prove I’m a hero if they don’t give me a chance?” How many of us have been burned or denied our dreams because we aren’t given chances? Justin felt that way after he graduated college and couldn’t get a job for a few months because he didn’t have any experience (that’s a rant for another post). He kept saying how if employers would just give him a test-run, a chance, they’d see how much worth Justin is and what he could bring to the company. Well, Hades sets up a trap for Hercules with the hydra, Meg leading him there. The townsfolk follow. But, Hercules defeats the hydra.

Zero to Hero

Just like One Last Hope, this is another montage. It shows how Hercules is slowly becoming a hero of renowned. He defeats different monsters, saves people, is paid for it, and becomes famous. There are a lot of Greek jokes in this song and a lot of allusions to the quests that the real mythical Hercules did. Hades is throwing all of these monsters to try and defeat him. But, the moral of this song is zero to hero. You can be a no-one, but become a some-one. Think about all the rags-to-riches stories we have in history. It can happen. Think of Malala, think of the Slumdog Millionaire, think of George Washington and other famous people. It can happen. You just have to believe!

Well, Hercules visits his dad again wanting to return to Olympus. Zeus tells him that he isn’t a true hero yet, Hercules has to look inside his heart to figure out how to be a true hero. Again, that is an important theme. Becoming successful and lauded is great and all, but it won’t make us the best we can be. We need to be reflective and be the best person we can be. Hercules is upset and needs to de-stress, so Meg takes him on a date, with Hades’s command to find out what Hercules’s weakness is.

I Won’t Say I’m in Love

But, with all Disney movies, there is a love story. Hercules and Meg begin to fall for each other. Before they can enjoy their first kiss, Phil interrupts and drags Hercules away to keep training. Now, Meg had sold her soul to Hades in the first place to save the life of her love. But, he betrayed her by running off with another woman, leaving Meg brokenhearted and in the clutches of Hades. So, she’s already had a lot of bad experience with guys. This song is her inner turmoil of trying to figure out if she actually does like Hercules and what to do about it. I dated/liked/crushed some jerks before I met Justin, so my heart was pretty guarded when we became friends. I’m sure there are many of us girls who have been the same, whether it be disappointing relationships, abusive relationships, no relationships and we didn’t want to be hurt again. It can be so vulnerable to allow yourself to feel love for another.

Meg finally admits that she does care for Hercules. Then, Hades comes asking her what his weakness is and she claims he doesn’t have one, but at the same time, it’s pretty obvious her feelings for him. So, Hades decides to use Meg against Hercules one last time, insinuating that Meg is Hercules’s weakness. And, as we all know with love and movies, especially hero movies, the way to harm the hero or get them to do what you want, is to hurt and/or threaten their loved ones.

Now, Phil had caught wind of this and tried to warn Hercules who got mad at Phil. Phil left. Hades put his plan into action. He appears before Hercules and bargained Meg’s life for his powers. Hercules, of course, agrees, but is brokenhearted when Hades reveals that Meg had worked for him the entire time. He leaves them both crying, frees the Titans, and successfully attacks Mount Olympus while sending a giant cyclops to get rid of Hercules. When Hercules sees, he decides to go against the Cyclops, knowing full well that he doesn’t have the strength to defeat him. He was doing what was right. It was his responsibility to protect the city and he was being a hero. Meg gets Phil to try and help him. Phil tells Hercules that dreaming isn’t for rookies, but “Giving up is for rookies.” Phil gives another lesson: No matter how hard it seems, don’t give up! Hercules is able to slyly defeat the cyclops, but Meg gets crushed by a column trying to save Hercules from being crushed by it. She is dying, but tells Hercules, “People do crazy things when they’re in love.” Hercules knows that Meg loves him and takes that to help him in saving the gods at Olympus. But, Hades escapes and Meg dies. Of course, true love comes into play in this movie. Phil tells Hercules, “There are even somethings the gods can’t change,” talking about Meg’s death. But, mad with love, Hercules says, “Yes, I can.”

A True Hero

Love conquers all. You don’t mess with heroes when you take one of their loved ones. It is pretty archetypal. Many movies shows heroes becoming more powerful with righteous vengeance. True love is willing to sacrifice anything. Hercules is willing to sacrifice his life to save the life of his true love. Just as the Fates are about to cut his life thread, he reaches Meg, proves he is a true hero because of the self-sacrifice, and turns into a God. Hades is defeated, Meg returns to life, and Hercules is brought up to Olympus. Zeus congratulates him saying, “A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” Hercules then decides that he’d rather be with Meg than an immortal God. He didn’t believe that an immortal life was better than living one life with his true love, Meg. So he gives up his immortality to live with Meg.

A Star is Born

This is the ending song. Everyone is happy, everyone is saved. It is technically the credit song, and another Gospel-ish song. But, there are a few lyrics that prove these lessons of true love and being a true hero (accomplishing want you want).

Just remember in the darkest hour
Within your heart’s the power
For making you
A hero too
So don’t lose hope when you’re forlorn
Just keep your eyes upon the skies
Ev’ry night a star is
Right in sight a star is
Burning bright a star is born


Have you seen this movie? What did you like about it?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Disney Lessons | Lion King

Ever since I have read Othello in college and Hamlet last year to teach my 9th graders, I have wanted to do a post on Lion King, especially to talk about the character of Scar and how is not like Claudius, but more like Iago…but I’ll get to that soon. Christian morals and beliefs are also majorily threaded through this movie. So, I’ll focus on the Christian and Shakespearean influences of this film.

The Circle of Life
This is the very beginning scene of Lion King. Mufasa, the leader of the pride has just beget a son–probably his first born, as you never really see any other cubs besides Nala. But, with this beginning song, you can definitely tell the Christian overtones in this movie. It could very well be taken on a naturalistic view point, “some say eat or be eaten”, and Mufasa even teaches it to Simba: “the antelope eat the grass, we eat the antelope, and when we die, we become the grass.” But, it could also be meaning the Great Plan our Father in Heaven has for us, the Plan of Salvation. 
Directly after the opening scene and the title, we see Scar for the first time. Already, we can see him as a very sarcastic, spiteful, discontented younger brother of the King, just as Claudius was in Hamlet. We can visibly see Scar’s disdain for his brother. He also warns Mufasa not to turn his back on him and says he wouldn’t physically ever challenge Mufasa.
Some Christian undertones begin when Mufasa takes Simba out to pride rock in the morning. He tells Simba that everything the light touches is their kingdom, and where the shadow is, is the badlands and to never go there. Well, obviously that could represent Our Father’s kingdom (think of the scripture: “Ye are the light of the world.”). Typically light represents God and shadow typically represents Satan and his following. So, in the movie, Mufasa is warning Simba never to go to the outlands where the hyenas and other bad animals live. But, to us Christians, it is God warning us to stay in His light and not stray out of His sight.
Simba likes his uncle Scar, and Scar plays along. Fact #1 that Scar is more like Othello’s Iago than Hamlet’s Claudius: he uses reverse psychology to trick Simba into going to the Elephant Graveyard in the outlands. Simba then gets his half-sister/cousin/best-friend Nala to go with him, but they have to trick Zazu to not babysit them. Before, Zazu mentions to them that they are betrothed. Thus, if this is Hamlet, and Simba, being the protagonist, is Hamlet, than Nala is Ophelia. Wait, does that mean Zazu, even though not Nala’s father, but being the king’s advisor, is Polonius, as he is always tyring to tell them how to act? I think so!
I Just Can’t Wait To Be King

They are disgusted with this notion (they’re kids, after all). Simba mentions that tradition will be the first to go when he is king. Zazu says no. Nala mentions that Simba is future king. Simba then says that means Zazu has to listen to what he says. Here we see some similarity between Simba’s pride adn Hamlet’s pride! Zazu then says, “And with an attitude like that, I’m afraid you’re shaping up to be a pretty pathetic king indeed.” Here is Polonius’s disapproval for Hamlet! This whole song has Simba/Hamlet’s pride. It’s also a fun, catchy song. =)

Simba and Nala are able to ditch Zazu and get to the Elephant Graveyard. There, they are chased by 3 hyenas. When they are cornered by the 3 hyenas (or evil spirits, influences), Mufasa rescues them. This could be like God rescuing us from evil or even the Atonement doing it’s work–being “rescued” from sin. After walking the kids home, Mufasa keeps Simba aside. Simba steps into Mufasa’s paw print, which is significantly larger than his own. He has big shoes to fill to be like his father, just as we try to be perfect like Christ and Heavenly Father. We have big shoes that are impossible to fill. During the lecture, Mufasa mentions that he is disappointed, not mad. Heavenly Father is disappointed when we don’t live as we should, but he doesn’t hate us. There is also a lesson about being scared, brave, and reckless. After they make up, Mufasa says, “Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars. So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you … And so will I.” Seriously big Christian undertone there! Heavenly Father and his angels are there to guide us. If we pray, we can get advice and comfort from them!

Be Prepared
This is Scar’s evil plan song, all the evidence in the world that he is Iago and not Claudius. Before Hamlet even begins, Claudius had slowly poisoned his brother to death so that he could have Queen Gertrude and the throne. Iago was insulted in a way by his general, the Moor, Othello. He wanted revenge and used others to get it, as well as cunning, trickery, and slyness. There are many scenes in which we see Iago monologue-ing his plan to the audience and putting it into action through others. Scar uses hyenas. He also feels the hyenas are dumb; Iago didn’t think highly of his cohorts as well and saw them as pawns to be played.
The next scene is the saddest in the world. Scar brings Simba down to the ravine, claiming there is a surprise for him and his dad, then leaves him to get Mufasa. The hyenas start a stampede of antelope. Scar warns Mufasa that this is happening and Simba is in danger. Mufasa comes to rescue his son, and once he is in safety, Scar kills Mufasa while Simba watches. This could be seen as our Savior being crucified to save us. Simba is so distraught, and with Scar in whispering in his ear, Simba believes that he is to blame for the death and runs away. This could be seen as us believing there is no repentance for our sins.
Now this is where the play, Hamlet, starts…it has been a few months since the death of his father, and Hamlet’s mother has already married his uncle, her brother-in-law, thus allowing him to be King. Hamlet doesn’t run away until later in the play. While Simba has run off, Scar tells the news that Mufasa and Simba have both been killed in a stampede and thus he is king and starting a new era of lion and hyena. But, his reign quickly turns the kingdom to rot as the hyenas are allowed to roam free and become hunters rather than scavengers. Thus, the Circle of Life is disrupted and vegetation and food disappear.
Hakuna Matata

Simba is found by Timon and Pumbaa. They don’t have any matches, really in Hamlet, unless you want to compare them to Hamlet’s friends, but in the play, they help Gertrude and Claudius more than Hamlet, so I don’t like that comparison. Simba’s time living with these two could be comparable to Hamlet’s leave of Denmark and partial journey to England, but it’s a stretch.
Timon and Pumbaa teach Simba two simple words: Hakuna Matata–no worries. Think on the positive side, live life to it’s fullest, be happy with who you are.
One of my favorite scenes is a quick one with Rafiki, who symbolizes a prophet (no Hamlet comparisons). A breeze of wind and magical leaves (a motif in Disney movies) come and Rafiki has a revelation that Simba is alive and leaves to go find him.
Can You Feel The Love Tonight?
Nala left Pride Rock in search of help…Ophelia never did–she instead helped Polonius, Gertrude, and Claudius see if there was something wrong with Hamlet. But, she ends up hunting Pumbaa and eventually reunites with Simba. She’s excited and wants to let everyone know because that would mean Simba is king, not Scar. Simba, though, still believing he killed his father, doesn’t feel worthy, and says he’s not king. This could be like Hamlet’s depression of his father’s death. Even after Hamlet learned that his uncle killed his father, he was still in such a depression (like the “To Be Or Not To Be” monologue) and wondered if life was worth living or revenge was worth living for. Most of the play is Hamlet in this undecided, depressed mood.
This song is mainly just a love song, as Simba and Nala have a much happier end than Hamlet and Ophelia (spoiler, they both die). Also, Disney movies need to have a love song in them! Simba has some thoughts in this song, afraid to tell Nala the truth. Hamlet won’t let Ophelia in on why he’s acting the way he is and the knowledge he has, which eventually leads Ophelia mad. Nala knows there is something up, but can’t get Simba to tell her, just like Ophelia. Right after the end of the song, Simba says he wants to stay and doesn’t want to be king, whereas Nala tells him it is his responsibility. They fight and storm off. Again, this is like the on-and-off relationship of Hamlet and Ophelia.
The Mufasa Ghost Scene
Seriously!?! If you are a Christian, do you need the metaphorical, allegorical explanation of this scene? You are the Child of Christ, He lives, He lives in you and you in Him, you can always repent and get back on the straight and narrow path. CHRISTIAN UNDERTONES!!!!!
And, on a Hamlet undertone, this scene (well, just the ghost part) would have been on the of the very first scenes. In the beginning of the play, Hamlet sees the ghost of his father, who lets him know that Claudius killed him and Hamlet needs to remember who he is and get revenge.
Simba decides to return to Pride Rock to right his wrongs (wrestle with his sins, past, and inner demons) to take his rightful place on the throne (in God’s kingdom). Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa help him get back to Pride Rock. Hamlet didn’t have any one help (except for some actors whose play was a similitude of Claudius’s seducement of Gertrude and murder of the King).
The Last Scenes
Now, when Simba confronts Scar, Scar still tries to use slyness, cunning, and reverse psychology on Simba, Nala, and the rest of the pride. Well, in Hamlet, after Claudius sees the play, he feels super guilty about murdering his brother and is repentant. Scar never apologizes. Thus, another reason I believe Scar is more like Iago than Claudius. Scar does physically battle Simba. In the play, Claudius has the late Ophelia’s (she drowned herself) revenge-seeking brother duel Hamlet for him.  In very Shakespearean ways, everyone ends up poisoning each other either by drink, or tipped sword. So, Hamlet doesn’t win. But, Simba confronts Scar, allows his past to strengthen him and defeats Scar. Scar is thrown down over Pride Rock, to where a lightening strike has started a fire and the hyenas are fighting. I believe this is symbolic of hell…fire and “demons” ready to devour you. 
Rain starts, the pride looks to Simba, and Rafiki leads him to the top. There is ceremonial roaring, then the movie ends as it began–the Circle of Life. Simba is King, Nala is his wife, and they have just given birth. The Circle of Life continues, repentance works, and God (Mufasa) looks down on us all, proud.
So, there you have it. Lion King is a Christian interpretation of Hamlet!
Sometime, I will do Lion King 2, which continues the Christian beliefs!
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What did you think of Lion King? Why did you like it? How else do you think it has Christian undertones?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.