The Lion King “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” (1994)

Oh Simba, Simba, Simba…now that the 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!! 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.”

I’m gonna be a mighty king
So enemies, beware

Well, I’ve never seen a king of beasts
With quite so little… hair

I’m gonna be the main event
Like no king was before
I’m brushing up on looking down
I’m working on my ROAR!

Thus far, a rather uninspiring thing

Oh, 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!

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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.

No one saying, “Do this”

No one saying, “Be there”

No one saying, “Stop that”

No one saying, “See here”

Free to run around all day

Free to do it all my way!

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).

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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.

Everybody look left
Everybody look right
Everywhere you look I’m…
Standing in the spotlight

Let every creature go for broke and sing
Let’s hear it in the herd and on the wing
It’s gonna be King Simba’s finest fling!

Oh, I just can’t wait to be king!
Oh, I just can’t wait to be king!
Oh, I just can’t wait…

To be king!

“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 🙂

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For more Lion King, see also:

The Lion King “Be Prepared” (1994)

The Lion King “Hakuna Matata” (1994)

The Lion King “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (1994)

The Lion King “The Circle of Life” (1994)

The Lion King “Under the Stars” (1994)

The Lion King “To Die For” (1994)

The Lion King “King of Pride Rock” (1994) Pt. 1

The Lion King “King of Pride Rock” Pt. 2 (1994)

And for more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here 🙂

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*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios


7 thoughts on “The Lion King “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” (1994)

  1. Pingback: The Lion King “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (1994) | Film Music Central

  2. Pingback: The Lion King “To Die For” (1994) | Film Music Central

  3. Pingback: The Lion King “Under the Stars” (1994) | Film Music Central

  4. Pingback: The Lion King “King of Pride Rock” Pt. 2 (1994) | Film Music Central

  5. Pingback: The Lion King “King of Pride Rock” (1994) Pt. 1 | Film Music Central

  6. Pingback: The Lion King “Hakuna Matata” (1994) | Film Music Central

  7. Pingback: The Lion King “Be Prepared” (1994) | Film Music Central

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