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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(1994), G [13-G*] (1hr 23min)
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Walt Disney Pictures
Distribution (US): Walt Disney Home Video
Director(s): Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
Producer(s): Alice Dewey, Don Hahn, Sarah McArthur, Thomas Schumacher
Written by: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton with contributions by many
Music: Elton John, Lebo M., Hans Zimmer
Film Editing: Ivan Bilancio
Casting: Brian Chavanne
Production Design: Chris Sanders
Art Direction: Andy Gaskill
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
The Lion King seemed innocent enough, didn't it? But did we really notice all the issues of assault on morality and ethics the first time we watched it? I sure did not. It was not until I sat down with a pragmatic open mind did I even realize the scope of moral violations the 83-minute The Lion King fed our minds.
We hope to reveal the plethora of issues of assault on morality and ethics for you in this special request analysis of the 1994 animated feature by Disney. Please keep an open mind as you proceed through this analysis. Keep also in mind that while the CAP analysis model was built by observation of human behaviors in film, it is assumed that if animated deeds or attitudes demonstrated in animation that can reasonably be duplicated by a child or subjected to a child that the influence is equal.
Note first that The Lion King is quite probably the best example found of the CAP Rule of 1000
Films in our comparative baseline database which were rated PG-13 earned scores from 67 to 55. PG-rated films in that baseline earned scores from 86 to 68. Consistently. The Lion King earned a final score of 66, placing it on the PG-13 side of the cell boundary between PG and PG-13. That makes the film a "lite 13-G." It certainly was not G-equivalent. Too much violence, too much impudence with a generous helping of issues of shaman witchcraft and consulting the dead [Deut. 18:10] not to mention several uses of Jesus' name in vain. [Deut. 5:11]
I suspect some who read this will mutter to themselves "Gimme a break!" But if you dust off your copy of the film and watch it again with the listing in the Findings/Scoring section in front of you, the depth of influence might become more clear for you.
Basking in idyllic life under rule of the noble King Mufasa (voice of James Earl Jones), the herds of Africa's Pride Rock region enjoyed a full and satisfying life. All but Mufasa's treacherous and regicidal brother Scar (Jeremy Irons) that is. Scar is bent on usurping Mufasa's cub son and heir to the throne, Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas, later Matthew Broderick) by killing Mufasa and assuming the role of king since Simba is still a cub.
After murdering Mufasa, Scar convinces Simba that his father's death is Simba's fault. [Rev. 21:8] Believing Scar, his own uncle, Simba exiles himself in hopes that running away would make more bearable the pain of causing his father's death. At least Scar says Simba is responsible. [Matt. 18:10] Scar uses the inherent trust of a family figure to manipulate Simba. Little did Scar know that Jesus warned of such maneuvers: that anyone who abuses His little ones would be better off with a millstone tied about his/her neck then cast into the sea. [Luke 17:2] Jesus is very serious about the little ones. And so am I. He even warns that whatever you do to His little ones you do to Him [Math 25:40]. And He "carries a bigger stick" than we and knows how and when to use it. On whom. And why.
While in exile, two of the local critters, warthog Pumbaa (voice of Ernie Sabella) and meerkat Timon (voice of Nathan Lane) befriend Simba even though warthog and meerkat are blue plate specials for lions. Pumbaa and Timon teach Simba to survive and thrive both physically and emotionally, physically by eating a wide variety of insects and emotionally by assuming a "who cares" attitude with "Hakuna Matata", the song of "problem-free philosophy."
After growing up, Simba's betrothed lioness Nala (Moira Kelly), while scouring the countryside for food, runs into the adult Simba. After failing to convince Simba to return to Pride Rock and assume his rightful role as king, Simba consults with the dead Mufasa who appears in the clouds. After accusing his father of breaking his promise to never leave Simba, the ghost of Mufasa convinces Simba to return to oust Scar and return the land to its once plentiful state.
And that Simba does. But you all probably know the story inside and out by now.
The undercurrent of this film that lies beneath a generous helping of humor and even noble lessons such as family solidarity and not running away form one's troubles is quite dark and sinister. Scar is the embodiment of evil cunning and selfishness and portrays it well. Truth and honor are not in him. Throughout the majority of the film Scar is at war with anyone whom he interfaces. His "Hitler-esque" style leads the hyenas, the mortal enemies of the lions, to serve him. A note to they who might want to say that showing such a negative entity is good for contrast learning, please note that too often the use of bad behavior to teach how not to act teaches how to not act.
Clearly the leading presence in this film is impudence and hate [Prov. 6:16-19] by Scar with a smidgen of adolescent arrogance toward and defiance of parental authority [Exod. 20:12]. While no uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary were noted, several uses of Jesus' name in vain were present. [Deut. 5:11]
Impudence content was followed closely in scoring loss by violence [Prov. 13:2] then by several matters of an unholy nature such as shaman witchcraft and communicating with the dead. [Deut. 18:10]
The only sexually immoral inference noted was the homosexually-oriented comment "You want me to dress in drag? And there was only one murder, the murder of Mufasa.
To help you keep an open mind about pointing out these issues in a fantasy film, please understand that a bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly. [1 Cor. 15:33]
My hopes are that you will consider strongly the listing in the Findings/Scoring section should you opt to let your young ones watch The Lion King again.
Sidebar Note: To address the many accusations we have received that the film presents many hints of the homosexual nature, only one was incorporated into the scoring distribution: the matter of Timon speaking to dressing in drag. But if attention to the posterior is an indication of an undercurrent of a homosexual nature, there were eleven instances noted of special attention given to the posterior of animals. These observations were not incorporated into the scoring since the matter is quite gossamer but had they been incorporated, the final score would have been reduced to 59 with a Sexual Immorality (S) investigation area score of 52.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
(The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary/
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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