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)

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 ...more

I loved this movie for decades, but even then never hated hyenas. I was 5 and loved animals, and saw pictures of real hyenas and thought they were adorable! I will always love this movie but it sucks that it's going to make some people think negatively about hyenas.

If the plot was REALLY focused on 'the circle of life' thingy, than why are the hyenas driven away, and only excuse is that "They're evil" blah blah. I think they deserve some redemption.

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.

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2 It is a ripoff

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!

Even what the knowledge that is is a rip off, dumb fans still like it and treat it as some sort of masterpiece. Hope this failure's remake flops big time. A remake of a rip-off. What a joke. And so is Disney.

I loved the Lion King until I found out that it ripped off Kimba and didn't give it any credit. People who worked on the movie even claim that they have never heard of Kimba! Really, can't Disney just admit that Kimba heavily inspired TLK?

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

This is one movie where I really want the baddie to kill many of the good guys. Even in wicked, cruel, vicious ways. - DylanB5

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 ...more

Kimba is even worse though. HE"S SO HORRIBLE TO POOR RUNE! AND HE FORCED THE CARNIVORES TO GO VEGAN WHICH WOULD KILL THEM IN REAL LIFE AND WOULD CAUSE THE HERBIVORES TO OVERPOPULATE! I will always love the Lion King and I USED to like Kimba but thanks to this list and other butthurt Kimba fans, I despise the entire Jungle Emperor franchise. Unico teaches better morals then Kimba plus Speed Racer is more thrilling then Jungle Emperor anyways.

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.

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4 Mufasa's death is nothing to cry over

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

WHAT! Why would I cry over a death of a lion, who leads his tribe NOT to be beneficial to the ecosystem, we knew for about 10 minutes.

So really his death is beneficial - DylanB5

Uhhh hmm. Your mom gae, but anyway yeah...Just your mom is gae

Kimba/Leo's death is nothing to cry over either.

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5 It is a boring movie

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

shut up

6 The songs are annoying and overrated

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 agree! The songs from a 2002 "PG-13" rated Fox Searchlight Motion Picture entitled "Brown Sugar" sound a whole lot better.

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!

Why can't tlk fans and haters get along. I mean seriously. It's just a movie.

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

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 also hate it when fans make crossovers of anything or everything they want with The Lion King. They never make sense at all.

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.

As a The Lion King liker, I would never join in the fandom. It was broken since the mid-1990s AD.

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8 It is anti-feminist

Sounds like sumthing a neo feminist would say.

Yes yes, yes; yes

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.


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

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.

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.

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!

Again, The Lion Guard is easily the worst series on Disney Jr.

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10 There are way better movies than The Lion King

There has to be movies that people like better than The Lion King... Heck, perhaps I could go as far to say that ALL other movies are better than The Lion King, even the cruddy ones. There are plenty of alternatives out there.

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. - AwesomeJawson

I liked The Lion King movie when I was a kid I even had magazines it was about animals, but it was not my favourite movie.

There are better movies than Lion King. Let me count it for ya. These good animated movies are for example Ice Age, Big Hero 6, Toy Story, Little Mermaid, and much more.

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The Contenders

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

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.

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)

12 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

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. - RegularGuy

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.

Their Lions. They need to
Kill to eat,

13 It's for kids

That doesn't automatically make something bad!

This is the most stupidest list I have ever seen.

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

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.

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14 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)

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.

15 Simba was a brat

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

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.

16 Simba was snooty

Plus he's biased.

17 It is fascist propaganda

So is Kimba but I never saw anyone complaining.

How is that good?! >:(

18 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

19 Timon is annoying
20 Too many stereotypes about hyenas

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.

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. - LedgerDraven

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

21 It was in Kingdom Hearts II

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

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.

22 The story wasn't very good

Enough with the cliches, already.

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

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

24 It completely overshadows all other animated movies

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

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

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

25 Scar is the most overrated villain ever

Nah, The Lion King franchise are the worst movies ever, even though there are so many bad movies out there, same with good movies. It is a matter of opinion.

Not to mention that so many people consider Scar to be one of the best villains ever when he's not.

He's a good villain but I do think he's overrated. - RegularGuy

I always thought Zira was a more menacing villain, like AniMat according to his list of "Top 10 Best Animated Sequels". I've seen way worse Disney movies than The Lion King (not that this trilogy is a masterpiece, but I give it a 4/5 for trying) such as Mr. Magoo, some Disney Channel Original Movies (such as Zapped!, Girl vs. Monster, Teen Beach Movie and Return to Halloweentown), Strange Magic, Home on the Range, Doug's 1st Movie, Disney Junior movies, Chicken Little, Frozen, straight-to-video Disney sequels (especially Beauty & the Beast: Belle's Magical World, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II and Mulan II) and Miley Cyrus movies.

26 It is controversial

Kimba The White Lion aka Jungle Emperor is racist, and yet you people still like it. I should be allowed to like the Lion King if you still like that racist Kimba The White Lion. Also, I find the depictions of African-Americans in Kimba The White Lion aka Jungle Emperor to be worse than Song of the South, there, I said it!

Very true. The Lion King is one of, if not, the most controversial Disney movie ever.

27 The characters were pretty shallow

You never learned much about any of them, or at least enough to care.

28 It glorifies bullying and discrimination

Kimba aka Jungle Emperor glorifies blackface and racism towards Africans, don't even bother trying to deny this one. Look up Jungle Emperor Racist and you'll see what I mean.

Mufasa told Simba to respect all creatures? All we got is when hyenas came to the Pride Lands, Mufasa rushed out and forced them into a ghetto where they starve for no reason. I wouldn't want anyone treating me like that. One may argue on how "the hyenas are the bad guys", but Simba and Mufasa forced the WHOLE species to live in the ghetto called the "Outlands" or "Elephant Graveyard" or whatnot, and not just the evil hyena characters. Even when the new spinoff The Lion Guard introduced the so-called good hyena Jasiri, she still lives in this ghetto that the evil hyenas live. It goes to show that Simba and the rest of the Pride-landers are prejudiced against hyenas no matter what, just for being hyenas. It's like if the Pride Lands is home to all the bullies of the African savannah. The same thing can be said about leopards, since the leopards in The Lion Guard live somewhere outside the Pride Lands, but unlike hyenas, leopards aren't as discriminated as much. I wonder why? It's ...more

Mufasa is a hypocrite.

29 There are better Disney movies

True, true. (and this is coming from someone who is not even a Disney fan)

30 Its fandom is worse than its haters

Both are annoying. - LedgerDraven

No offense to anyone who likes the movie, but I don't know why anyone would treat it like God and put it above everything else. Not everyone is gonna agree on this flick. Not everyone is going to have the same darn positive opinion on the movie and it's franchise, spinoffs and such it spawned over the years. This attitude is why TLK is full of awful, rabid fanbrats and it hardly has any "sane" fans in the fandom. Heck, even the haters seem to be more sane and down to Earth than a large portion of the fanbase.

31 Bunga is in it

Bunga is in The Lion Guard, that horrid spinoff show of TLK that is easily considered to be the worst show of the 2010's next to all those reality shows that plague MTV. Bunga is annoying, mean and a downright terrible character.

32 Stereotypical depiction of animals
33 Unwanted sequels and spinoffs

Especially The Lion Guard, man.

34 People make tons of bad fanart and fanfiction of this movie

And the fanbase are very close-minded, too. They think characters like Simba and Mufasa are "great" and "all-awesome" and "worth getting more praise than everyone else" when they are not. They think that everything about and everything in this movie are the best things in the world and would feel threatened or cry like babies if you like something else better or say it's not the best movie ever. In fact, it's FAR from being the best in anything, knowing how awful and controversial it is. What a pain the fanbase really are.

And the bad fanart and fanfics of this movie just makes it worse.

Really, I wish The Lion King would be dead and forgotten in the next year or two. It doesn't deserve to be preserved.

35 Too dark and edgy for a G-rated Disney film about animals

I swear, it should've gotten a higher MPAA rating.

36 It is the most controversial Disney animated canon film


37 It's Getting a Remake in 2019
38 The story is everything but unique

Dunno if it was when it came out, but today there isn't anything unique to the story.
A child's parents are killed, is traumatized by it and later gets his revenge. I've seen plenty of stuff that uses it (and that way better)

39 Bad choice of heroes and villains and the wrong depiction of good vs. evil

Simba and company are supposed to be the "good guys", yet they act like the average school bullies who are mean to others, or in this case, doesn't let others eat and force a whole species to starve for no reason, for the sake of "the movie needs villains, that's why said whole species are the villains, they are evil and deserve to starve". How would you feel if someone did that to you? It's like if TLK is trying to enforce a bad moral down everyone's throat, in my eyes.

40 It attracts a lot of bad people into the fandom
41 It is not original
42 Shenzi, Banzai and Ed are in it.

These three are a complete defamation of their own kind. Enough said.

43 It has the most annoying comic-relief side characters ever
44 Disney got into legal trouble for using pop culture references in this film

There was a lawsuit over the use of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" back in 2004, 10 years after the film's release. Want proof? Look it up on a search.

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