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

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.

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.

Is this a fetish or something, or just an obsessive hatred? If it is, I'd suggest seeking help and/or distracting yourself from it, because it is not healthy.
Someone who isn't a fan of The Lion King.

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2 It is a ripoff

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.

According to Cartoon Palooza, The Lion King is said to copy from Bambi. Disney even planned to make the movie very similar to Bambi, even more so than it is now. I don't care how strong the animation is. The Lion King is not my favorite Disney movie. I love it, but I hate it, according to this list's reasons.

And I can't believe they're making a live-action adaption of this putrid film. What the heck are Disney thinking?!

It is indeed a ripoff, there are so many things that was stolen from Kimba.

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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 ...more

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.

Finally someone agrees with me I found all the characters to be boring apart from the villain Scar.

All the characters apart from Scar suck. Even Scar became a lazy villain later on in the film. - RegularGuy

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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

"You know what, whiners? I think Mufasa deserved to die. His death was a victory, not a tragedy. He was both a hypocrite, a bully and a snob that not respect nature by a hundred percent. All he only cares about his own son and wife, and that isn't enough to preserve the 'circle of life', honestly." - The Ultimate Daredevil, who is literally aware that Mufasa also cares about Nala according to the seventh chapter of the movie called "Under the Stars".

I'm glad he died he was a racist for not letting the hyenas live in the pridelands and letting them starve in the elephant graveyards. I can't blame any of the hyenas for following Scar as he promised them food something that Mufasa never gave them. If Mufasa just let them live on the pridelands they wouldn't have sided with Scar and he would still be alive. He has only his own fault to blame for his death. - RegularGuy

5 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'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.

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

Haters are getting worse - ParkerFang

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6 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.

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

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!

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7 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

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.

You Don't Insult A Classic Like The Lion King

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.


9 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)

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.

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.

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.

Yes. All of those are much better movies.

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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. - RegularGuy

Their Lions. They need to
Kill to eat,

12 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.

13 It's for kids

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.

Babar is awesome kids' media. So much Disney franchises are great media.

This is the most stupidest list I have ever seen.

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14 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.

15 Simba was snooty

Plus he's biased.

16 It is fascist propaganda

How is that good?! >:(

17 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

18 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.

19 The story wasn't very good

Enough with the cliches, already.

20 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!

21 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.

22 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.

23 The characters were pretty shallow

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

24 Stereotypical depiction of animals
25 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.

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

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

27 It is the most controversial Disney animated canon film


28 Too many stereotypes about hyenas

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.

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

29 It is a boring movie
30 It is controversial

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

31 It glorifies bullying and discrimination

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.

32 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)

33 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.

34 There are better Disney movies

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

35 Its fandom is worse than its haters

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.

36 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.

37 It attracts a lot of bad people into the fandom
38 It is not original
39 Shenzi, Banzai and Ed are in it.

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

40 Unwanted sequels and spinoffs

Especially The Lion Guard, man.

41 Timon is annoying
42 It has the most annoying comic-relief side characters ever
43 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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