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)

As someone who is a big animal lover (I even go as far as saying animals are better than humans), but also a fan of TLK, it doesn't really matter in my opinion, the hyenas in the movie don't have to be exactly like real life ones.

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

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.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of The Lion King as Anti-Hyena propaganda. So many people say "it's just a cartoon not a documentary, grow up! " But that's the thing! There are so many people, especially grown adults and parents who automatically assume that Hyenas are stupid scavengers because of this ridiculously overglorified movie and it's so pathetic. Hating this movie because of it's hate towards hyenas is honestly a good reason because the franchise continues to spread misinformation on these animals and it gets more and more obnoxious every time.

2 It is a ripoff

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.

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.

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.

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

If these characters are so called "bland" or "cliche", then how come my favorite character in Disney is Mufasa which is from TLK?

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.

4 Mufasa's death is nothing to cry over

I'll admit that it was sad to see Simba lose his dad and that my favorite Disney character died, but we knew Mufasa for like a half an hour. We knew Kokichi for 5 whole chapters in Danganronpa V3 (there are 6 chapters in total) which is the equivalent of 10+ hours! While Mufasa did save Simba from a stampede, Kokichi literally (tried to) saved EVERYONE by lying about the Killing Game! As he stated, "That was a lie, obviously... How can something your being forced to play...be fun?..." He "told the truth: about enjoying the game and then before he died, he straight up lied to save everyone by saying that the game was torture. I understand if you feel upset about Mufasa's death, but that was nothing compared to what Kokichi did before he died. And yes, even Bambi's mom's death was sadder. Mufasa's death was sad, but compare that to Kokichi's death and see how you think. Please respect my opinion. If you have any thoughts about this, let me know! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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".

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.

5 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!

6 The songs are annoying and overrated

At least they're catchy, "Let It Go" was stupid to begin with and became even more overbearing for years! "Into the Unknown" didn't help. It was a Frozen II version of "Let It Go". The only thing that is saving it is that it's better than Baby Shark (Stupid nursery song... Ghost Rule deserves that amount of views, not Crappy Shark!)

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

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.

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.

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'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.

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.

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.

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!

I love TLK, but I can see the hater's point of view. And there are better movies/franchises such as MLP: The Movie (2017), Aladdin, Danganronpa, and much more!

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 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.

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 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.

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?

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

13 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.

14 Simba was a brat

He is adorable and funny as a cub, and as an adult, he's brave and kind. I wouldn't call Simba a so-called "brat", he was a little kid! Little kids are like that!

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?

15 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

That's like saying My Little Pony is stupid and horrible because it's for kids.

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

16 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

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.

18 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.

19 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.

20 Scar is the most overrated villain ever

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.

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.

21 Simba was snooty

Plus he's biased.

22 It is fascist propaganda
23 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.

Both are annoying.

24 Stereotypical depiction of animals
25 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)

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