“I’m gonna be the ‘mane’ event” oh very punny Disney
Oh Simba, Simba, Simba…now that he young lion knows about the mysterious elephant graveyards (courtesy of his devious uncle Scar), the mischievous cub is determined to find a way to go see them, despite being clearly warned by his father that he must NEVER go there. But of course, this is a Disney movie, and when did the rules ever stop a Disney hero from going where they weren’t supposed to go?
At any rate, Simba has a plan, and it involves his best friend, a girl lion cub named Nala. Claiming that he wants to go with Nala to visit the nearby water hole, the pair is allowed to set off, but are accompanied by Zazu. Needing to “ditch the dodo,” the two young cubs begin formulating a plan when the observant bird lets some unexpected news slip: Simba and Nala are betrothed/engaged/intended/affianced, in other words, some day they’re going to be married!! (What a gross concept when you’re just a little kid!). This actually gives the cubs the perfect opening to set their plan into motion as, when Zazu protests that betrothals are a tradition “going back generations” Simba boasts:
“Well when I’m king, that’ll be the FIRST thing to go.”
Despite Zazu’s (increasingly vocal) protests, the young prince begins to lay out exactly how he’ll run the Pride Lands when he becomes king and this is the basis of “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.” The song is hilarious for many reasons: Simba and Nala take every opportunity to tease poor Zazu; seemingly every animal in the Pride Lands is in on the trick and, most funny of all, Simba clearly has no idea of what it actually means to be king!
This is understandable, I mean, after all, Simba is only a kid and not expected to know everything at this point, but he’s already at that age where he thinks he knows all he needs to know, meaning he has very unrealistic expectations of what being a king is like. For example, Simba seems to believe that kings can do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want (a belief that Scar shares believe it or not). A king’s life also consists of looking down (from atop Pride Rock), working on his roar and basically strutting around everywhere (with Nala by his side).
Poor Zazu is completely mortified by Simba’s attitudes about being king, exclaiming “If this is where the monarchy is headed, count me OUT!!” The uptight bird can sense that the cubs are up to something, but if he ever completely figures out what’s going on it’s not until the cubs have already gotten away with it (poor guy).
The song builds and builds, until finally Simba is “enthroned” atop a massive pyramid of animals, with an unwitting Zazu set up to be squashed at the bottom. This gives the cubs enough time to slip away and head straight for the forbidden elephant graveyard.
“I Just Can’t Wait to be King” is a fun Disney song that really brings back happy childhood memories for me (I loved pretending to be Simba). I hope you enjoyed reading about this song and have a great weekend 🙂
For more Lion King, see also:
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*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios