The Lion King

Connor Sollestre
Cronk English 12 3rd hour
Hero’s Journey
October 16, 2011

The Lion is a Disney animated film that shows the hero’s journey of a lion cub and him accepting his fate as the next king of the Pride Lands. With a backstabbing uncle and the loss of his father, his life is not getting any easier. Although the film has music and comedy, it also has many different kinds of archetypes that affect the outcomes. The Lion King was released in 2002.

The Call
Simba is a child and an energetic one at that. One morning Simba wakes up his father reminding him about what he promised. His father slowly gets up and brings him to the top of Pride Rock. As they watch the sunrise, his father, Mufasa, tells him that everything the light touches belongs to him when he is gone and Simba is king.
Father and Son

The Threshold
After Mufasa is killed, Simba is taken in by Timon and Pumba. As he grows older with them, he learns to have fun and have no worries. One day as an adult, his childhood friend Nala finds Simba and tells him the kingdom was taken over by Scar and the hyenas. She reminds him that he is the rightful king and needs to return to Pride Rock. Even though Simba is happy to see her, he still refuses and tries to forget about his past.

The Challenges
As a child, Scar convinces the young Simba to go to the Elephant Graveyard, the place where the sun never touches, and he decides to take Nala. While in the Graveyard Simba, Nala, and Zazu almost get eaten by hyenas until his father comes and saves him. Later in the tale as an adult, Simba needs to face his uncle Scar and take back his rightful place as the king, but Simba doesn’t believe in himself and is not the same person he needs to be.

The Abyss
When Simba is under the influence of Timon and Pumba, they teach him about Hakuna Matata which mean no worries. As he grows he forgets that he even was a king. Nala then returns and reminds him as an adult who he really is, but Simba refuses to go back and is afraid to accept his fate. The Abyss occurs when he finds Rafiki while he is in doubt of himself and he tells him he knows his father and shows Simba the reflection in the water and sees his father.

The Transformation
When the Spirit of Mufasa appears before Simba, Mufasa reminds him of what he told him. Simba is the rightful king and must go take his position as the proper heir of the Pride Lands. Simba then realizes what he must do and heads to Pride Rock.

The Revelation
Once Simba realizes what his father wants him to do, he immediately heads to his home. With the help of his friends and family, SImba has all that he needs to take back Pride Rock and take back the throne. Simba now realizes who he really is and what he must do.

The Atonement
While Simba is hanging off the cliff with Scar standing over him, Scar whispers to him that he killed Mufasa. Out of rage Simba attacks and forces him to tell everyone and pushes him off the cliff. Knowing that Simba wasn’t the cause of his own father’s death made him realize that he was living a lie until that one moment when he conquered Scar.

The Return (with a Gift)
When Scar is defeated, Simba now officially is given his place back as king. Him and Nala get married and have a baby. Now he can teach his daughter the same thing that his father taught him about being the child of the king.

Simba- The Exiled Heir
Simba was the next heir. When his father died, Scar made him believe that it was his fault and told him to run and never come back. Simba being a scared cub runs away and doesn’t come back until he is a grown adult.

Scar- Usurper/Dark Mentor
Scar acts very friendly towards Simba and slightly towards his brother, but little does everyone know that Scar has other plans. He kills his own brother and lies about what really happened. Also, he makes Simba think that it is his fault his father died making Simba runaway from his throne. Scar all along just wanted the kingdom for him.
Rafiki- Mentor
Rafiki was very good friends with Mufasa and always waited for the return of the king. When Rafiki finds Simba as an adult, he immediately shows him his reflection in the water and shows Simba that Mufasa is always inside of him. After, the spirit of Mufasa is summoned and talks to Simba face to face.

The Sun-Death/Life
The Sun has a very important impact on the movie. When Mufasa dies and Simba has the throne stripped away from him by his evil uncle, the sun disappears and Pride Rock is gloomy and dark. When Simba defeats Scar, the sunlight comes bursting through the clouds on Simba as he stands on Pride Rock. This relates back to when Mufasa says, “everything the light touches is yours”.

Timon and Pumba- The Fool
They teach Simba about Hakuna Matata. It means “no worries” and shows Simba that he needs stop thinking about the past and enjoy life. They raise him from a child to adult and taught him how to do everything he knows.

Nala- Childhood Friend/Lover
Nala was Simba’s best friend through his entire life. When she finds Simba again as an adult they still are friends, but he finds attractive and sees her as a grown female. She reminds him about his position in the kingdom, but fails to bring him back. In the end the two get married and a have a cub.

The Importance of Archetypes and the Hero’s Journey
Archetypes allow viewers to understand and relate to what’s going on. This also applies to the Hero’s Journey. Although The Lion King has music and humour, it is actually a very deep movie as it can be watched by anyone and still be appreciated. The Archetypes in the movie may not be the same as every other movie, but it follows the same line. They shape the Hero’s Journey in many unique ways which makes every film like this different.
The Lion King has very obvious Archetypes, but some are very interesting and have a large effect on the Hero’s Journey and how it all plays out. The sun, for example, has an interesting role in the film. When it is out and shining, everyone is happy or more lively. When the sun is not out, evil is in the air and the mood changes drastically like when Mufasa dies. Even when the sun is behind the clouds and it is raining, it represented a certain form reviving or rejuvenation upon Simba’s life. Even with talking animals and silly songs the movie contains many Archetypes and a interesting Hero’s Journey.