Top Ten Reasons Why the Lion King Does Not Deserve the Praise It Gets

It bothers me whenever someone or someone talks about what is the "best" Disney movie, the "best" animated movie, the "best" this, the "best" that, etc... The Lion King is always No. 1, and whenever someone disagrees or even hates the movie and calls it the worst in his or her opinion, everyone throws a fit about it and they even swear at or flame the hater for having a different view on the movie. Have you ever heard about people having different opinions? Not everyone is going to like The Lion King, get over it, fans! I find The Lion King's praise and acclaim to be unacceptable because all of it's hype and impact on popular culture has done much more harm than good. There are (valid) reasons why.

The Top Ten

1 The film contains stereotypical views that may be offensive to others, and went out of its way to completely demonize a species of real animal (spotted hyenas)

This reason is stupid I like all animals including hyenas and this is not a valid reason. Only an idiot would think hyenas are evil because of lion king they should know it is a movie not a documentary and made for entertainment not scientific knowledge only little kids will think they are evil after watching the movie. The writers just needed a villain and they could have chose any animal. I can not believe that a hyena researcher sues Disney simply for making hyenas the villain she should have known better I am pretty sure the writers of lion king do not think hyenas are actually evil. You could sue the famous movie jaws for inaccurately portraying sharks as evil, mindless killing machines.

A hyena researcher actually sued Disney because of how the hyenas were portrayed in the movie. Hyenas as "wicked" beings in folklore, myths and other fictional works is bad enough, but The Lion King enforced that and made it worse by treating spotted hyenas like it's a villain-exclusive species when it is not. In fact, this negative portrayal is one of the biggest obstacles to the conservation of hyenas. One other hyena researcher even went as far as suggesting a boycott of the movie during a hyena fact sheet he wrote. Because of this, people just stereotype hyenas horribly because of The Lion King. It's not a documentary, it's just a Disney animated movie and nothing else.

In real-life, spotted hyenas are nothing like the henchmen in the movie and are very intelligent and beneficial to our ecosystem. They're also unique because they're one of the very few mammal species where females are larger and dominate the males. There is no good reason for demonizing the species. May be ...more

The movie had to have a villain! And to get sued for choosing an animal is stupid!

The difference between this and Jaws is that (besides the fact that the villainous shark was only a vicious wild animal looking for something to eat, and not a whole species cast as henchmen to a main villain like the hyenas in TLK) the original author of Jaws, the novel in which the movie was based on, was deeply perturbed by the negative depiction of sharks in it and even was willing to spend much of his life campaigning for shark conservation. The same cannot be said about The Lion King and it's false view on hyenas.

Bad news: The Toxic Fandoms & Hatedoms wiki has made a page on The Lion King Hatedom. This is no good.

The Lion King's hatedom is NOT TOXIC, but it's fandom is.

That wiki deserves to be shut down for good.

2 It is a ripoff

I'm fine with a movie paying homage to something or just making an adaptation but this film gives NO credit to the original and the only reason they never got sued for it is because they have stronger lawyers

To those who know this and try to rationalise it by saying Kimba is a rip-off too, NEWS FLASH. They admit they took SOME elements (not the entire movie like Lion King did) and the Lion King denies it. The Lion King claims originality, which is exactly what it lacks. It is a blatant rip-off and that is a fact.

So is Kimba, read the original Babar book and you will understand that Jungle Emperor is not original. Jungle Emperor also isn't that good, actually it's a pretty bad story that only PETA would like. Read the Unico manga and watch the Unico movies instead of Kimba. Lion King is great, and you butthurt Kimba fans "take comfort" in the fact your oh-so-original-and-precious white lion is getting a live action remake as well. I hope the Jungle Emperor remake is terrible, just to spite you Lion King haters!

We all know the Kimba the White Lion controversy since it has been discussed many times, but I believe that TLK has ripped off other works, too. Or at least, it's often mistaken as the first Disney movie to be based on an original story rather than a preexisting story like those before it, but that is not true and TLK may have ripped off or be based on Hamlet.

No they admitted they based it off hamlet they said lion king 2 was based off Romeo and juliet

3 The characters are bland, generic and all-around cliche. Possibly too derivative of other animated movies

We've seen these cliches too many times and it's nice to be more creative or different for once. For instance, Simba is the bland, generic "heroes are always associated with light" protagonist who is really a whiny and obnoxious brat who is later an overprotective father of his daughter, Kiara. Nala is the bland, generic "princess" who doesn't do anything but to be the hero's love interest and she can't even fight the villain. Mufasa is the typical, bossy, overprotective father and authority figure who lied about the so-called "Circle of Life" and bans one species from entering the lands for food. Timon and Pumbaa are the typical annoying comic-relief sidekicks. Scar is the stereotypical "darkness is associated with evil" villain who is also more effeminate or androgynous than the male heroes. I hate villains like that, because they get more attention than the heroes and that doesn't seem moral-tastic to me. And just don't get me started with the hyenas; Their species does not fit the ...more

I wouldn't say that they are bland, they have memorable personalities, the problem is that those personalities are either annoying or incredibly unlikable

Zazu is probably a Falco Lombardi (Star Fox) ripoff due to his feathers being blue and his snarky attitude, but even so... Star Fox is much better than this flick.

This is one movie where I really want the baddie to kill many of the good guys. Even in wicked, cruel, vicious ways.

4 It is a boring movie

I watched, enjoyed when I was a small child.
But I'm not sure if I'd still like it nowadays.
But there is a movie I'd like nowadays older one called The Jungle Book which even had better songs ok Elton John is a great singer but just the songs are better in The Jungle Book.

I could've fallen asleep if my eyes weren't itching up a storm. I don't understand why people say it's the best. Boring and unoriginal. I wouldn't watch it if it were the only thing on T.V..

Yep totally! Horrible and non realistic

No it's not, it's a classic!

5 Mufasa's death is nothing to cry over

The Lion King is my favorite movie, but even I'll admit that it gets too much praise, especially this scene. Mufasa didn't have much development since he was only around for maybe 20-30 minutes, so I didn't even get attached to him. I lost my dad when I was 6, so you'd think I would relate (not meant for pity, just relevant to the topic), but even then it still feels like a regular movie death.

Kills me how Mufasa's death is the number one 'Saddest Disney Moment' in TheTopTens. Even if someone makes a video or some other list about sad Disney moments with Mufasa's death not being no. 1, there will be waaay too many comments about how 'Mufasa should be no. 1'. They are just trying to find a reason to make a Lion King item no. 1 when they probably didn't cry either.

Mufasa died like 20 minutes into the movie. He's not that sort of character we'd fall in love with in just 20 minutes.
He's way to serious. Most people fall in love with fun characters. Of course, we like wise characters, but, aye, we don't like know-it-all anthropomorphic animals.
It wasn't that sad. Even Ray's death from Princess And The Frog is sadder.

I can not think of any other death of a non-villain or other fictional character where people cried like a bunch of stupid overgrown baby toddlers as much as Mufasa's death. There are other (and sadder) non-villain deaths such as, for example, Ferdie the Fox from the Casper animated short 'There's Good Boos Tonight', or even Aerith/Aeris from Final Fantasy VII, but no, people feel more sorry about Mufasa than any of them. Every time you see a video or top ten list about the saddest deaths or something, Mufasa's is always number one. I strongly disagree. I thought Mufasa was a bit of a hypocrite. He goes around about how he tells Simba on how to treat his royal subjects, how to respect all creatures, et cetera, but the hyenas are not as respectable for some reason, therefore, they must live in a ghetto wasteland asylum where they're forced to starve for no reason. I also find it mind boggling that people actually like Mufasa's hypocrisy because they think it adds depth to his character ...more

6 The songs are annoying and overrated

People say that it has the best soundtrack of any animated movie and they have no idea how wrong they are.
'Just Can't Wait To Be King' is one of the most annoying Disney songs of all time.

'Hakuna Matata' is much more overrated than 'Let It Go'. Hakuna Matata is so...boring...just so...plain. At least 'Let It Go' has some personality.

'Can You Feel The Love Tonight' is so sappy. Yes, yes, Elton John can sing...but this made me roll my eyes. No, I can't feel the love tonight.

Many claim they're the best songs in any Disney film but they aren't. Examples...

"Circle of Life" just encourages everyone to follow the same old 'when you're older, you have to get laid, get married and have children. When you grow old, you die. That's just the way it is' rule in which not everyone wants to get laid or have children for crying out loud.

"Just Can't Wait To Be King" is about abusing your power. It is annoying, and a pain to listen to if you ask me.

"Be Prepared" is praised by fans to the point that it's much more overrated than "Let It Go" (it even has a Nazi reference because of how the hyenas goose-step while marching. How horrible is that? ).

"Hakuna Matata" has no moral value whatsoever. It's like "No worries! Forget the death of your family member, and move on. Eat like us, and enjoy our farts! " You get the point.

"Can You Feel The Love Tonight" is just a sappy ripoff of either "Bella Notte" or *barf* "Some Day My Prince Will ...more

I do like the songs, but I respect your opinions, I Can still take the songs from the Lion King over the Wacky World of Tex Avery intro any day. I think both the Lion King Fandom and Hatedom aren’t perfect to be honest. They often get into debates if the Lion King is a ripoff of Kimba or not, and it’s okay to like both Lion King and Kimba, but you just can’t hate Kimba just because of the Lion King haters, I think both Lion King fans and haters and Kimba fans and haters should get along and respect opinions.

The Lion King isn't a classic, and yes, people can have different opinions, so this means they can insult The Lion King if they want to!

7 It has one of, if not, the worst fandoms ever on the whole Internet

In fanart for the movie, they only ever do either the lions themselves or Timon and Pumbaa. They very rarely do the hyenas or the jackals from the awful "Lion Guard" show. And if there's any fanart of the hyenas or jackals, this means there are indeed Lion King haters like me, who feel bad for them being unfairly labeled 'villains' and want them to shine in the Disney spotlight someday.

People who like the movie are so overprotective of it and treat it like it is better than everything else (when it isn't). They go as far as telling you to treat the movie the way you wanted to be treated, and if you don't, they threaten to call the police on you if you say anything negative about the movie, even once. Seriously, The Lion King and everything in it are all fictional, and it's not a crime to hate the movie and boycott it, and there is a lot more to life than watching movies or T.V. shows or playing video games and whining all about it.

I'm aware that people have different likes and dislikes, but The Lion King fandom... God. They are mostly rabid and perverse, and there are hardly any sane fans of the movie anymore. They treat the movie like it's better than everything else and they threaten if you say you hate the movie or like a different movie/franchise better. And when another movie becomes more popular and more of a box office hit than The Lion King, the fans will complain about it and call it "overrated" while liking TLK better.

And I thought the Cars fanbase was bad, this one is everywhere and gets pissed off for even the tiniest difference in others opinions

8 It is anti-feminist

Nala may have been "strong" as a cub when she wrestled Simba to the Elephant Graveyard, then becomes a wuss as an adult as she and the other lionesses were unable to fight Scar until Simba comes and joins them in the fight.

Sounds like sumthing a neo feminist would say.

Yes yes, yes; yes


9 It spawned an awful new spin-off series, The Lion Guard

Not only were hyenas still villains in this, Disney made the black backed jackals villains, too! Those puppies were so cute! They strongly resembled Chihuahuas, and Disney must of forgotten they made the Beverly Hills Chihuahua franchise! How mean of Disney, first they honor these cute dog breeds with their own movie franchise, but then they antagonize their wild counterparts in the TLK franchise!

TLG is also the worst and most overrated show of today's generation. It's supposed to be for the preschool demographic, yet it contains mature content that is more suitable for a more adult show and may traumatize small children, and I heard that the second season is going to be darker. I'm hoping that TLG would be cancelled soon.

It should've never been made and it sucked big time, I fear it may giving kids the wrong message on African wildlife by telling them that hyenas are bad animals (despite having one good one in the show), while all other animals are good.

You know what makes The Lion King (trilogy) a heartfelt, deft masterpiece in comparison? Not just The Lion Guard, but Disney Junior as a whole!

10 There are way better movies than The Lion King

The Godfather, Goodfellas, Fantasia, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T the Extra-terrestrial, The Empire Strikes back, Platoon, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Star Wars, Saving Private Ryan, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Guardians of the galaxy, Star Wars, Kubo & the 2 Strings, Pulp Fiction, the Toy Story trilogy, Finding Nemo, Memento, The Prestige, Inside Out,The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Alien, Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Lost in Translation, Speed, Back to the Future, The Lego Movie, Baby Driver, The Matrix, The Wizard of Oz, Monsters Inc, Iron Man, Rocky, Schindler's List, Full Metal Jacket, and Braveheart. I could go on all day!

There are way too many. Even Frozen is far superior. I can't waste my time naming all of them when almost every movie ever created is better than The Lion King.

I know. Much better movies than The Lion King are The Shawshank Redemption, The Avengers, Megamind, Surf's Up, Ice Age, Big Hero 6, Saving Private Ryan, Aladdin, Beavis & Butthead Do America, Jonah: A Veggietales Movie, Punch-Drunk Love, An American Tail, Aardman movies and Citizen Kane. Tell me why you think so.

Say all you want but lion king is and ALWAYS will be my favorite movie call me a dumb Disney fanbaby but I can have an opinion no matter how much you say.

The Contenders

11 The Circle of Life is the protagonists' way of justifying killing and other bad acts.

Believe it or not. This is one of the reasons why the movie is bad. In order to be a "hero" you have to follow this piece of crud known as "the Circle of Life", which just... What the--? It seems that Mufasa's words do nothing more than a way to justify being a murderer. The exchange isn't really "balanced", for one thing. How many antelope and other herbivores have died compared to a lion or other predator passing from old age? And why would animals accept a killer as their king? Are we to just believe that all the non-predators who watch their fellow kind be slain and mauled by Simba and his lions just say. "Well, that's the Circle of Life". Even if it's a mother antelope or some other herbivore watching their child die? Hey, if some world leader wanted to shoot your children. You, one hundred percent, would not just give them up without a fight. I find that to be very cruel, and no bodies become grass, so why bother. I just think that the "Circle of Life" is filled with lies that ...more

I know every animal needs to eat no matter what, but it seemed that the "Pride Landers" use the "Circle of Life" as an excuse to justify killing whatever the heck they want.

The Circle of Life is just plain stupid. There is no way that the herbivores like the gazelle would be okay with their "king" hunting them.

Their Lions. They need to
Kill to eat,

12 The Lion King inherited the flaws of all other animated movies and made them worse.

Well, if you think of it, TLK is a lot more darker and edgier than the other Disney animated films during that time period. It features a lot more drama than most of the other films, and is a lot more violent and it introduces the first character ever to fart in the Disney animated canon (Pumbaa), the list keeps going on and on... (Many people on the Internet have written essays on The Lion King and other films many times in case you'd like to know more)

In the past, the Disney company and the films they made were supposed to be all family-friendly and conservative, setting new standards for most non-Disney studios to be inspired by, but not anymore thanks to The Lion King. It made everything worse, much worse, to the point that it is no longer acceptable.

13 Its success is completely unfair to other movies, and people treat other movies like trash, especially if they're less successful as The Lion King (or "not as good" as the fans say)

Did you know that the Shawshank Redemption, the classic that is seen as one of the best films ever made, tanked at the box office? And instead, this feature was literally everywhere that year. Really?

The non-Disney animated movie that I worry about more than the rest is Balto, because people constantly compare it to The Lion King too much, and even think of it as a ripoff of TLK when it isn't. Balto's characters are not the same as those of The Lion King... And just don't get me started on the sequels as they were only made to cash in the success of the first movie. Balto is also mistaken for a Disney film when it's not that, either. Balto was made by Universal and Amblimation, by the way.

Nice to see someone agrees. TLK really overshadows all other animated movies. It's just not fair.

14 It's for kids

Not really a valid argument since a lot of kids media can be good (I.e. Pokemon), and that TLK tries to appeal to all ages although the film may frighten young children due to all the violence and drama in it. TLK really is not a good film, regardless of what rating it is.

I used to make that excuse not to like Disney. - The Ultimate Daredevil, an avid Disney fan remembering his near past

Except TLK isn't great media at all. There are better films/franchises out there.

This is the most stupidest list I have ever seen.

15 Simba was a brat

When Simba was young, he was your typical little kid. Just... no. Simba is more three-dimensional than all The Lion King characters, but seriously. He cried like a little kid when he was that young. Obviously, it was because of King Mufasa's death which is not the most tragic death I encountered.

Need I say more?

This is why mufasa and sarabi can't have no more cubs because Simba is stupid nala has a brother mheetu and simba does not because he is stupid nala is not

16 The characters are not true to their real species

I know this is a Disney animated movie and the characters are all fictional, but it is still true that Disney animators tried to make the animals look realistic, even bringing real animals to the studio and going to various zoos and wildlife parks as a reference, and people think the characters act true to their real species because of this when they're just fictional characters. It is a problem when people think every lion in the world is like Simba or Mufasa, or that every hyena is like Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, for example, when that is not true at all. In fact, the villainous hyenas are such a bad representation of their species that a hyena biologist tried to sue Disney because of this, and another encouraged audiences to boycott the movie.

Sadly, no jackal biologists sued Disney for antagonizing black-backed jackals in the Lion Guard show.

1.hornbills NEVER had sky blue feathers, their feathers are DULL

17 Simba was snooty

Plus he's biased.

18 It is fascist propaganda

So is Kimba but I never saw anyone complaining.

How is that good?! >:(

19 The story wasn't very good

I like the moral but it doesn't do anything with it until the middle and the execution is poorly constructed. Check out the NC's review for more information on this if you don't understand

Enough with the cliches, already.

20 Pumbaa's fart jokes don't fit the "epic" tone of the film

Shrek gets stereotyped for making fart jokes all the time, but count the amount in this movie, it really isn't far off, maybe even more

Absolutely not. But you know what fits the "epic" tone of the film? IF PUMBAA WENT SUPER SAIYAN!

21 It completely overshadows all other animated movies

I find it completely unfair to say that this movie is better than Spiderverse. On what level? That movie is more adult, has a similar moral, looks 10x better and is more iconic. What made Lion King earn the praise it got?

Not everyone is going to love the movie so people have every right to hate it as much as it's fans love it.

People need to stop hating on the Lion King. Number one is the ONLY reason I can agree with.

Hell no. This movie doesn't deserve all the likes and good ratings, this movie has a very dark story behind it, and most people who like this are delusional to think about it's dark side and it's truth to go against The Lion King. Your comment will not stop me and the haters from hating this movie for legit reasons.

TLK deserves to be hated on. It's overrated as heck.

Overrated does not equal bad

In fact it means a lot of people like it

22 Stereotypical depiction of animals
23 Timon is annoying
24 Too many stereotypes about hyenas

True, The Lion King and The Lion Guard gave the whole spotted hyena species a horrible reputation.

Shenzi, Banzai, Ed, Janja and so on are horrible characters.

Even Jasiri is atrocious since she is portrayed as a weak, damsel-in-distress who is smaller than the male hyenas, when female hyenas are supposed to be larger, stronger and more aggressive than their male counterparts.

I love hyenas and have been researching them for a while. I hate when Mufasa says to Simba, "Respect all creatures" and they push the hyenas in the elephant graveyard. Respect all creatures my ass. It disgusts me that Disney made the stereotypes about hyenas came alive, making those untrue facts known worldwide. First of all, making the hyenas seem stupid and cowardly. Hyenas are one of the most intelligent animals in the world, in fact, they are up to par with primates. They are actually known for being brave if you read actual documents about them. They chase larger predators away, such as leopards and even lions. So, if hyenas actually face lions to chase them, you call that cowardly? The only thing they got right was Shenzi (being a female) the leader of the hyena clan. Spotted hyenas are matriarchal in real life.

Are you that biologist that sued Disney? 'Cause you sure sound like it.

There are unfair stereotypes about the black-backed jackals in the Lion Guard show, as well. Disney portrayed them as cunning and sneaky, when it's clearly the opposite in real life. Even worse, Disney even went so far as to antagonize the PUPPIES as well? Disney, don't you remember your 101 Dalmatians and your Beverly Hills Chihuahua franchises? You portrayed the domestic dogs the right way, and now you throw it all away and make baby black-backed jackals the villains? Also, you got the hyena leaders wrong in your Lion Guard show as well. Janja is the leader, but this time, a male.

Ok for y’all haters let me explain something

The hyenas clearly did some bad things to the pride lands and Musasa was responsible to banish them

Also, the hyenas did have some good traits as they were manipulated by scar and killed him later

Also In the guard, they teach u not to judge a hyena because they put jasiri

Stop commenting ridiculous things about this movie

So what about the hyenas? That comment you made is not gonna stop it. There are even more ridiculous things about this movie other than that.

25 It was in Kingdom Hearts II

At the same time as I agree, I feel like the hyenas are portrayed to be evil for entertainment purposes. Disney might be making countries look like bad, dangerous places (it may be racist), but it's also meant for entertainment purposes.

Including the same hyenas. The hyena activists might as well boycott KHII, too.

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