Tag Archives: The Lion King

The Lion King “Hakuna Matata” (1994)

Driven from his home in the Pride Lands, Simba finds himself in a lush oasis (separated from his home by a wide desert). But he is not alone: this place is already home to a meerkat named Timon and a warthog named Pumbaa (they’d found Simba passed out not far away and brought him back with them).

Horribly guilt-ridden, Simba doesn’t want to stay, but Timon and Pumbaa persuade them to change his mind by teaching him a new lesson “You have to put the past behind you…when the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world!” All of this can be summarized in the two word motto the pair use: “Hakuna matata” which means “No worries.” It’s also the title of the song the pair sing to introduce Simba to his new home and their way of life.

Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase!
Hakuna Matata, ain’t no passing craze
It means no worries for the rest of your days
It’s our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata!

I love “Hakuna Matata.” It’s a hilariously funny Disney song and the perfect way to lighten the mood after the darkness and despair of the wildebeest stampede. Timon and Pumbaa are the perfect comedy relief, a pair of wonderful characters. As a kid, I loved singing along with this particular track, and even now, thinking of it makes me smile.

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Abiding by the rule of “hakuna matata”, Timon and Pumbaa don’t let anything bother or upset them. No one bothers them and they don’t bother anybody else. We also find out why Pumbaa in particular separated himself from the world.

Why, when he was a young warthog…
When I was a young warthog!

He found his aroma lacked a certain appeal
He could clear the Savannah after every meal
I am a sensitive soul
Though I seem thick-skinned
And it hurt that my friends never stood downwind
And oh, the shame!
He was ashamed!
Thought of changing my name!
Oh, what’s in a name!
And I got downhearted!
How did you feel?
Every time that I…

Hey, Pumbaa! Not in front of the kids!
Oh, sorry.

Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase!
Hakuna Matata, ain’t no passing craze
It means no worries for the rest of your days
Yeah, sing, kid!
It’s our problem-free…
philosophy!
Hakuna Matata!

It looks like Pumbaa used to live in the Pride Lands, however, being particularly flatulent, no one wanted to be around the poor warthog, and an embarrassed Pumbaa retreated to the oasis. Another verse was going to tell Timon’s story, but the song was already running long so that verse was cut.

One big change that Simba has to get used to is a new diet: the oasis, while a lush place, is home to no other wild life, no antelope, zebras or hippos, not anything that Simba is used to eating. As Timon says “Kid, if you’re going to live with us, you have to eat like us.” And what do Timon and Pumbaa eat? Grubs!! (Bugs and worms, that is). Simba is grossed out by the idea, but he finally tries one and finds….it’s not so bad!

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Now comes one of my favorite visual moments in the film. During a montage representing the passing of time, Simba transforms from a cub, to a young adult, to a fully grown adult lion with a beautiful mane. The adult Simba has fully embraced “hakuna matata” and is seemingly content to live out the rest of his days in this isolated paradise. And Timon and Pumbaa are thrilled to have a friendly lion that’s looking out for them, and not at all interested in eating them.

But Simba’s quiet, carefree life is about to come to an emphatic end when a person out of his past makes an unexpected appearance (oh who could it possibly be!!)

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For more Lion King see also:

The Lion King “Be Prepared” (1994)

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

The Lion King “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” (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: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

The Lion King “Be Prepared” (1994)

In case you hadn’t noticed, I love talking about Disney villains. The more devious they are, the better I like them, and there are few more devious, more conniving and more loathsome than Scar, Mufasa’s evil brother in The Lion King (1994).

Scar (voiced to perfection by Jeremy Irons) holds an eternal grudge that Mufasa is King of Pride Rock instead of him, and when the birth of Simba makes it certain that he’ll never be king, Scar decides to take matters into his own hands. First, he simply tries to get rid of Simba by tricking him into visiting the elephant graveyard (which also happens to be the home of the hyenas, and a place Mufasa had warned the young cub to never go).

 

After Mufasa saves Simba and Nala in the nick of time, the battered hyenas reconvene in their lair and are joined by a disappointed Scar. The cubs had been perfectly set up to be killed, but the hyenas still blew it. However, as the hyenas are quick to point out, there wasn’t much they could do against Mufasa, did Scar expect them to kill him too?

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Shenzi, Banzai and Ed: continuing a long tradition of smart villains having dumb henchmen

Well as a matter of fact, yes that’s precisely what Scar wants. He proceeds to lay out his plan, which is the basis of “Be Prepared” (one of my favorite villain songs ever!!)

Before I get started with the song itself though, I have something of a bombshell to drop. I’ve heard two versions of how this song was recorded, but they both equal the same thing: that is NOT Jeremy Irons’ voice once the song begins (not for all of it at least). The first version of the story I heard is that Jeremy Irons DID record a portion of the song, but threw his voice out after the line “You won’t get a sniff without me!” And the rest was subsequently recorded over by Jim Cummings. However, I later read an article about dialogue dubbing and Jim Cummings told the story of how he recorded the ENTIRE “Be Prepared” song because the final product was simply not that good, so they asked him to dub it over. As Cummings has no reason to lie, I’m inclined to believe that this version of the story is probably the true one. Who knew?

I know that your powers of retention
Are as wet as a warthog’s backside
But thick as you are, pay attention!
My words are a matter of pride

It’s clear from your vacant expressions
The lights are not all on upstairs
But we’re talking kings and successions
Even you can’t be caught unawares!

So, prepare for the chance of a lifetime
Be prepared for sensational news
A shining, new era
Is tiptoeing nearer
And where do we feature?
Just listen to teacher

I know it sounds sordid
But you’ll be rewarded
When at last, I am given my dues
And injustice deliciously squared
Be prepared!

Anyways, back to the song. Scar has apparently been planning this for years, looking for his best opportunity to take Mufasa (and now Simba) out of the picture, leaving him as king. Scar won’t be able to do it alone though, he needs the help of the hyenas, and he has the perfect inducement for them to join him: “Stick with me” he says “And you’ll NEVER go hungry again!” The hyenas are thrilled, and in a shocking moment, the camera reveals that there are actually HUNDREDS of hyenas, all cheering “Long live the king!”

It’s great that we’ll soon be connected
With a king who’ll be all time adored
Of course, quid pro quo, you’re expected
To take certain duties on board

The future is littered with prizes
And though I’m the main addressee
The point that I must emphasize is
You won’t get a sniff without me!!!

With an army of hyenas at his command, the odds are squarely in Scar’s favor. And speaking of Scar, the conniving lion is promising these hyenas the moon, telling them everything they’ve ever wanted to hear. They’ll have more food then they’ve ever had before, but they’d better stick with him or they won’t get anything!

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It all sounds good, except what Scar is proposing will destroy the balance of the Pride Lands. The hyenas aren’t aware of this though, so they happily pledge allegiance to King Scar, rejoicing in all the food they are about to enjoy.

So prepare for the coup of the century
Be prepared for the murkiest scam (Oooh… la, la, la!)
Meticulous planning (We’ll have food!)
Tenacity spanning (Lots of food!)
Decades of denial (We repeat!)
Is simply why I’ll (Endless meat!)

Be king, undisputed
Respected, saluted
And seen, for the wonder I am
Yes, my teeth and ambitions are bared
Be prepared!

 

The song ends in a grand display of flames and hyenas, all laughing over their impending victory (“Be Prepared” is the recurring theme of this song, as well as its title). Scar clearly loves to put on a good show, and he talks a really good game. And deep down, I’m sure Scar truly believes that he’ll be the best king ever. And the whole time I watched this in the theater (20 + years ago), I was thinking that there’s no way Scar was going to get away with this. That somehow, Mufasa was going to figure it out and put a stop to everything (I was five, I was really naive). Of course Scar’s plan is going to work, otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a plot *sighs.*

“Be Prepared” is a great Disney villain song, relatively short and to the point. It establishes Scar as one of the more despicable Disney villains (I mean plotting to kill your own brother and nephew is pretty dastardly) and is all around really enjoyable. I hope you like listening to it.

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here: Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

For more of The Lion King, see also:

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

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

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

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios