And now I know that Spanish Harlem is just pretty words to say the ghetto-Elton John.
I have always liked Elton John. I guess most kids like him because his music played a central role in The Lion King.
The Lion King is my favorite film, and that is saying a lot coming from a guy who enjoys film a tad too much for his vitamin D deprived skin’s sake. When I saw it as a youngest it really captured my imagination. I guess the Lion King was my Star Wars. It captivated my attention much like the THX surround sound wowed audiences of the first Star Wars film.
While I was in Japan, I was forced to re-exam some aspects of western media to search for “insider information”. My teacher at the time tried to convince me that the creator of the Website Yahoo had a Pro-Hebrew motive in naming the website and that the creator of Popeye the sailor man had an extensive knowledge of the earliest biblical translations. This type of nonsense was right up my alley. I lay in my bed one night and thought about what aspects could be related from the Lion King and the bible. So I came up this ridiculous and preposterous theory.
THE LION KING
Simba is Christ. He is born in the bloodline of Kings much like Jesus was born in the bloodline of King David. His father is God, recall that eventually Mufasa becomes a god in the clouds and leaves a revelation to Simba. Mufasa’s revelation is much like the covenant between god and Jesus. Mufasa says the “ you are my son and the one true King”. Mufasa goes on to say “ look inside your self Simba you are more then you have become” He leads Simba to remember that there is a king with him. This reminded me of a part of a parable from Luke (Luke 17 20-21) Where Jesus says “The kingdom of heaven is within you”.
Another parallel is that Jesus says “ Lord, why have you forsaken me”(mat. 27:46) and Simba says in a time of peril “ you said you would always be there for me, but you are not”. This is a little bet of an over state in comparison to further evidence, but has some minimal parallels.
Light and Dark is another important part of the New and Old Testament. Mufasa tells Simba “that everything the light touches is yours, it will be your kingdom.” Jesus also has light imagery around him “He is the light of the world”(John 8:12) he “dwells in the unapproachable light” and similar light imagery connects the African light filled kingdom of the Lions to the Light filled kingdom of God.
The ceremony of Simba’s birth is his baptism by Rafiki. Notice that in the beginning there is darkness and then the “SUN” is born unto the world. The animals are seen awakened. Then they crowd around Pride Rock to see the new born baby king.
Rafiki has the physical creature of John the Baptist. And as I interpret this scene in the film Rafaki is emulating John the Baptist. Rafiki then anoints Simba’s head with gore juice. The word “Messiah” in Hebrew means, “anointed one” (http://www.keyway.ca/htm2001/20011225.htm). or” Anointed king” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah). It is important to note that Simba is an Anointed King.
Also in the Bible after John the Baptist baptizes Jesus the sky opens up and the light from Heaven shines on to Jesus. I remembered this part of Mathew (Matthew 3:13-17). “Then he allowed him. Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him.” This event clearly matches what happened to Simba at his birth. Especially when you note that the Animals of the world bow down to Simba once is baptized and officially recognized as god’s son.
The bleams of light are similar basic they both show the heavens opening up.
All this aside there are two major correlations between the Lion King and the Bible. The kingdom of Judah was represented as a Lion in the book of Revelations. Revelation 5:5 ” behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, has triumphed ”.
2nd The plot of the Lion is similar to a Revelation
“And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down…”
— Revelation 12.
-Notice the similarity between Scar’s rebellion, Mufasa’s appearance, and Simba’s acceptance of his place as king.
Although correlations exist between the two stories there is one fact I have ignored. The story of the Lion King is a reworking of the story of Halmet. So it is possible that some of the biblical references stem from an influence the Bible had on Shakespeare. So I cannot accredit all the similarities to the creators of the film alone. However, the anointing of Simba and the revelation of Mufasa are original to the lion king. On a final note the character Scar has his own parallels to Satan especially his banishment to the underworld and his tempting of Simba to disobey Mufasa( Eve and the tree of knowledge). I will include a chart I cite from source #2
By: Berit Kjos
THE PRIDE LANDS: GOD’S KINGDOM
One day a new king will rule the land — In that day, all will bow to the true King
The jealous Scar hates the new king —- Satan hates Jesus and all who follow Him
Scar lures Simba onto a deadly path –Satan tempts us to choose our own way
“We’ll always be together,” says Simba –God will never leave or forsake His own
King Mufasa dies to save his son –Jesus gave His life for us
Scar blames Simba for his father’s death –Satan accuses Christians
Simba runs away, is saved by “outcasts” –Samaritan “outcast” helps victimized man
Simba grows to maturity in exile –Moses trained for leadership in the wilderness
Simba reluctant to return to responsibility –Christians reluctant to obey God
“He lives in you… Look inside yourself…” –Christ, our King, lives in us.
By: Berit Kjos
In closing the similarity between the Bible and the Lion King is just another example of how Disney movies are often more than what one may believe them to be.
When I began this article, I was just musing on my own ideas whoever, I found that I am not the only one who has found similarity between the Lion King and the Bible. So I will credit my sources here.