Tag Archives: The Lion King

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

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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I love the shot of the waterfall, it’s a beautiful piece of animation

There are love songs and then there are love songs, and for a long time “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” was THE love song for me. The song was created by a collaboration between Tim Rice and Elton John (in fact the pop version in the end credits is performed by the latter). Now that they’re both grown up, Simba and Nala are finally accepting their feelings for one another and coming to the realization that yes, they are in love!

The song went through several variations before it reached the form we all know and love. At one point, it was going to be sung exclusively by Timon and Pumbaa, but that idea was discarded because it was felt that the comedic nature of the duo would detract from the romantic theme of the song.

 

 I can see what’s happening
(spoken) What?
And they don’t have a clue
(spoken) Who?
They’ll fall in love, and here’s the bottom line
Our trio’s down to two
(spoken) Oh.

Ze sweet caress of twilight
There’s magic everywhere
And with all this romantic atmosphere
Disaster’s in the air

Then it was going to be sung onscreen by Simba and Nala, but THAT idea was dropped because it was felt Disney had already gone that route many, many times. Ultimately, a compromise of sorts was reached: Timon and Pumbaa begin and end the song, while Simba and Nala sing offscreen while onscreen we watch the pair grow closer together.

Can you feel the love tonight?
The peace the evening brings
The world, for once, in perfect harmony
With all its living things

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Of course it’s not as simple as Simba and Nala just falling in love, they both have mental obstacles that are initially holding them back.

So many things to tell her
But how to make her see
The truth about my past? Impossible
She’d turn away from me

He’s holding back, he’s hiding
But what, I can’t decide
Why won’t he be the king I know he is
The king I see inside?

Can you feel the love tonight?
The peace the evening brings
The world, for once, in perfect harmony
With all its living things

Can you feel the love tonight?
You needn’t look too far
Steeling through the night’s uncertainties
Love is where they are

For Simba’s part, he still blames himself for his father’s death, and he feels that if Nala knows the “truth,” she would never love him. For Nala, she can’t understand why Simba has stayed away all these years (in fact up until a few hours ago she believed Simba was long-since dead) when he is in fact the rightful king of Pride Rock. Happily, they both dismiss their mental concerns and embrace the fact that they love each other, and for tonight at least, the world is a perfect place.

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Hijinks ensued (Simba started it)

And while Simba and Nala are happy with their new-found love, Timon and Pumbaa are horrified because, if Simba falls in love, he’ll ultimately leave the oasis, which means their longtime friend will be gone forever and “doomed” (because their life motto Hakuna Matata/No worries doesn’t really make provision for love, which in itself can be home to a host of worries).

And if he falls in love tonight
It can be assumed
His carefree days with us are history
In short, our pal is doomed

I really love the inclusion of Timon and Pumbaa’s comedy as a bookend to the song (let’s face it, little kids can get squirmy during love songs, I know I did at that age). (And, I don’t know why, but I always giggle a little when Timon and Pumbaa burst into tears at the end of the song, it just seems funny to me that they’re so upset about Simba falling in love).

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And that’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” Let me know your thoughts on this awesome love song in the comments below!

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

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

For more Lion King, see also:

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

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

The Lion King “Be Prepared” (1994)

The Lion King “Hakuna Matata” (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)

For more great Disney songs and other animated soundtracks, check out the main page here

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

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

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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“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!! 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

(spoken)
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!

(spoken)
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).

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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 🙂

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

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

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 🙂

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

 

*all images are the property of Walt Disney Studios

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

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Lion-King-Circle-of-Life-Sunrise

Part of what makes The Lion King so spectacular is the gorgeous animation and renderings of the African landscape. The film’s iconic sunrise opening remains a beautiful moment, even 20 plus years after the film’s initial release. The opening song “The Circle of Life” is a perfect combination of traditional African music and Western song. The opening “call” is from the Zulu language and translates to:

“Here comes a lion father, oh yes it’s a lion!/We’re going to conquer/A lion and leopard come to this open place.”

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After this initial verse, the scene alternates between various animals found in Africa (cheetahs, rhinoceros, elephants, ostrich, antelope, etc) all awakening and beginning a mass journey towards what is ultimately revealed as Pride Rock. This visual of animals assembling to celebrate the birth of a new Prince is reminiscent (and likely inspired by) the opening scene of Bambi (1942) where all the animals of the forest gather to greet the newly born Bambi.

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I love the next verse:

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done

There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round

It’s a perfect summation of life, there is so much to do/see/touch/experience, that even living life to the absolute fullest, we still couldn’t experience all of it, which is amazing when you think about it.

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I love the sweeping view of the landscape when Zazu flies up to Mufasa

It’s the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love

Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life

Up at Pride Rock, King Mufasa (James Earl Jones) is awaiting the arrival of Rafiki, a mandrill who serves as an advisor to the king and also presents the new Prince to the animals of the Pride Lands whenever a new one is born. The newborn Simba is absolutely adorable and somewhat bewildered by everything going on around him. Rafiki pronounces his blessing and proceeds to take the lion cub out to the ledge so that all the animals can see him and bow in homage. It’s a wonderful moment, and this remains one of my favorite Disney songs.

I hope you enjoy “The Circle of Life,” let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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

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

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 “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)

For more great Disney songs and films, check out the main page here

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

The Lion King “Hakuna Matata” (1994)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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).

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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.

The Lion King “Hakuna Matata” (Film scene) (1994)

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.

 

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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!!)

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

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

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)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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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!

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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