“Hey, have you seen this movie? What did you think about THAT SCENE?!” We have all used that phrase at one point during our discussions of movies with the other person’s eyebrows raising, “Oh yea, THAT SCENE!” You go on to pick that memorable scene apart by listing what you loved or didn’t like, how it made you feel and the impression it left on you.
In this series, we will do just that. We will take a scene from a movie and discuss its impact on us. Some of these scenes may be frightening, weird, iconic, controversial, hilarious and everything in between. Let us know your impression of the scene and the impact it left on you the first time you watched it down below in the comments. Enjoy!
*Warning: May Contain Spoilers*
Movie: The Lion King (1994)
Scene: The Stampede
Directors: Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff
Characters: Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), Scar (Jeremy Irons), Mufasa (James Earl Jones), Zazu (Rowan Atkinson)
In the Pride Lands of Africa, King Mufasa rules the animal kingdom of Pride Rock. Mufasa and Queen Sarabi have a newborn son that is present to that kingdom in a glorious ceremony. Every animal is excited about this event, well, except for the King’s jealous brother Scar. He covets the throne and this puts a kink into his plans for ruling the kingdom himself someday. As Simba grows, Mufasa shows him the way of being the best ruler he can be and of course, teaches him the “circle of life”.
After a failed attempt to take out Simba by having his hyena goons attack the young prince, Scar must devise another evil plan to clear his way to the throne and be the ultimate ruler of Pride Rock. That brings us to our scene.
Has there ever been a death and a betrayal that hit so hard especially in an animated kids movie? I remember hearing the sobs of young kids, teen girls, and grown women in the theater back in 1994. I even remember being a little choked up. It was quite unexpected for it to happen the way it did. It was our Bambi’s mother being shot tragedy.
The satisfaction on Simba’s face as he finally got his big boy growl figured out turned into sheer horror at the oncoming stampede just signifies the rollercoaster of emotions we go through during this scene. Scar baiting Mufasa into the middle of the stampede angers us. We find relief when Simba is out of harm’s way and Mufasa is able to jump to safety himself. Then are thrown into shock and rage when Scar sinks his claws into Mufasa’s paws. “Long live the king.” Jeremy Irons delivers that so sinisterly and then it happens. Mufasa falls to his death. Weeping and gnashing of teeth ensue.
Easily one of the most emotional scenes Disney has ever done in one of their best and iconic animated films. It is a thrilling, intense and sad scene that even hits an old curmudgeon like me right in the feels.
Do you remember watching this scene for the first time? Was it a rollercoaster of emotions for you like it was for most?