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.

Both The Lion King and The Lion Guard enforce god-awful tropes and stereotypes of animals that are not true to reality.

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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.

Stupid, it didn't "rip off" anything. Its based on Hamlet, ITS SUPPOSED TO 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.

If The Lion King is not (just) a ripoff, then it's an homage of Kimba the White Lion.

LOL, Pixtol is a moron.

TLK is a ripoff. Get over it.

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.

You didn't mention the underrated Zazu.

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".

5 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.

What do you mean by that exactly? Did it make them too dark for kids and such? I'm just wondering/curious. - SailorSedna

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)

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

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!

You Don't Insult A Classic Like The Lion King

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.

TLK has one of the worst fandoms? Yes.
TLK has one of the worst hatedoms? No.

Not to mention that TLK fans are so doggone narrow-minded as heck, like they can't respect opinions. They don't realize that there are better movies out there and TLK isn't worth watching or even liking in the first place. If you dare to say anything negative about the movie or give it a bad review, even ONCE, then you're gonna have a bad time by the rabid fans and butt-kissers who love or praise the movie. Seriously, man.

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8 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.

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!

9 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.

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!

Not to forget The Godfather Part II, Die Hard, Se7en, Blade Runner, Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs, Shrek, The Incredibles, Fight Club, Good Will Hunting, The Departed, Dunkirk, Road to perdition, Spiderman 2, To kill a Mockingbird, Lawrence of Arabia, Lethal Weapon, and Minority Report as well.

10 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.

The Newcomers

? 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.

? There are better Disney movies

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

The Contenders

11 Simba was snooty

Plus he's biased.

12 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

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

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.

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

13 It is fascist propaganda

How is that good?! >:(

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 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.

16 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.

17 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!

18 Scar is the most overrated villain ever

Scar doesn't seem that much of a bad guy now that I'm reading about how Mufasa was... - SailorSedna

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.

19 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

Honestly now if I had to do this film I'd maybe have the herbivore animals rise up against that idea of "The Circle of Life" explaining why, and form their own part of the jungle or savanna or whatever and make their own territories/kingdoms, each with a certain king/queen, like an elephant one, a zebra one, even a hyena one (ruler there would be a queen as females lead hyenas), and there could be clashes with them against each other or something. Maybe I'd have a giraffe one and they'd be feared amongst animals as believe it or not, giraffes (though predators can bring them down) can kick lions hard enough to kill them. Maybe I'd include that with that hyena one I also did...

Holy crap, I think I just did a better idea for a film than Disney even did!

I dunno if it would be for families/kids though...it probably would spark at least a PG rating. - SailorSedna

20 The characters were pretty shallow

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

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