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The Lion King Visual Techniques

For this essay I chose to go down the path of the Bildungsroman genre of the movie which means ‘coming of age’. This is the genre of the movie which focuses on the psychological, physical and moral growth of the protagonist from youth through to adulthood, both the physical and psychological change of the protagonist is vital within the movie because it shows their personal development. During the opening scene the animals from all over the land are shown to be rushing towards the Pride lands towards the royal family of Lions which gives the scene a sense of excitement and leaves the viewers wondering what will happen next.

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Shortly after all of the animals arrive they place themselves in a semi-circle shape around the Pride rock to welcome Mufasa’s new born cub Simba into the world. Which is over exaggerated as it would not happen in real life which gives the moment more significance to the viewer. Also the composer played the song ‘the circle of life’ during the ceremony which symbolizes the animal’s actions and what the ceremony actually is. With the use of all of these techniques the opening scene made a statement to the audience and showed the birth of the protagonist which brings Simba and his story to life.

Shortly after the opening scene Simba is shown as an immature, mischievous, risk taking lion cub that is eager to explore the lands and learn his father’s way of running the pride lands. He shows how eager he is to become king as Simba sings the song ‘can’t wait to be king’ to Simone and Pumba while out and about exploring. The protagonist used a lot of enthusiasm and excitement during his song as everything around him was bright colored which stands for happiness. This is a big part of Simba’s change and development throughout the movie as it shows his youth. Relationships are vital to self growth and development.

One of Simba’s main relationships from the movie is with his father Mufasa. Mufasa being the father had a deep and masculine tone of voice as he was Simba’s voice of reason that gave him motivation, courage and taught him how to survive and be a strong king like himself. One effect used was comparison as they put Simba and Mufasa side by side to show the differences and similarities and also show what Simba will become once he grows mentally and physically. Without a stable relationship with a mentor Simba’s development as a lion wouldn’t have anyone to look up to and aspire to be.

The protagonist’s uncle Scar is set as the antagonist who is envious of his brother Mufasa and of course that his Nephew Simba would be crowned as king and not him. This is shown throughout the movie as scars eyes are green which symbolizes envy also everything is set in dark and harsher colors whenever scar comes onto the screen. Simba goes through some dramatic situations through the movie including betrayal from his own family which help him learn how to deal with emotions and these awkward situations.

Not long after Mufasa died Simba was distraught and lost all will to be happy about himself or anything to be exact, until Timone and Pumba came along and sang a little song called ‘Hakukana Matata’ which means ‘no worries’ (for the rest of your days) which brought Simba’s spirits back up and made him confident and mature into a teenager. This is shown throughout the movie when Simba is running back to the Pride lands as the panning camera techniques is used to watch him run and grow bigger as his confidence grows.

When Simba realizes he is wiser and more confident than before it makes his self esteem blossom and helps him get his mind on track. Becoming a teenager and maturing is a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to the coming of age. By analyzing the coming of age during this film it shows that, relationships, age and also some conflict together creates one’s life journey of growing up and developing their own thoughts, opinions and ways of dealing with changes that happen throughout life. It is basically a big learning process where you learn from your past, you’re peers, elders and aspire for your future.

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