29 August 2014
Simba, a lion prince born in Africa to King Mufasa, is welcomed into the Pride Lands by almost all of the animals. Scar, Simba’s jealous uncle, refuses to attend the birthday ceremony because with Simba’s birth, he no longer is next in line to be King. While Simba grows into a high-spirited lion cub who often boasts about the fact that he “just can’t wait to be king” Scar secretly plots against him. He uses the hyenas to cause a stampede through the canyon and lures Mufasa there to save Simba from danger. Mufasa then dies, as planned, in the stampede. Simba believes he is responsible and runs away to a distant jungle. There, he grows into a handsome young lion, while Scar, now king, wreaks havoc on the Pride Lands. When his old friend, Nala, discovers him several years later she alerts him of Scar's tyranny and destruction, and urges Simba to return home. Simba, after much soul searching, returns and finds that all of the natural resources of the Pride Lands have been wasted and abused by Scar. Further enraged when he figures out that Scar actually was responsible for Mufasa’s death, Simba initiates a battle between Simba's army of lionesses and Scar's army of hyenas, Simba ultimately defeats Scar and returns the kingdom back to the way it used to be.
Simba, both before and after Mufasa’s death, is full of admirable characteristics. Among these qualities are loyalty, selflessness, power, and braveness. He displays loyalty and courage by standing up to Shenzi, a hyena three times his size, in order to protect Nala. Simba is selfless because he returns to the Pride Lands because it is best for the other animals even though it is not necessarily best for him. The greatest display of all these qualities together, however, is when Simba destroys Scar’s power and saves the kingdom from total destruction.
As is common with so many people today in our society, Simba at first choses to run away from his problems and not be part of the solution. He lets his fears drive him, instead of facing the glitches head on. Today, many people would rather act cowardly or selfishly and take the easy way out like Simba did at first than fight for others. After Simba’s encounter with Nala, he realizes that he is essential to the solution and returns to the Pride Lands to fix what he, by running away, helped Scar destroy. This is a huge lesson to today’s society. Simba faces his problems and stands up for himself and ultimately stands up for all in the kingdom under Scar’s control. If more people today acted on what was good for society rather than just what was good for themselves, society, as a whole, would have less problems, less pollution and lower crime rates. What is good for the whole will usually benefit every individual.
Not only do people idolize heroes, they want to impersonate them as well. Heroes usually exemplify courage, strength, goodness and selflessness; the more people imitate them, the better off society will be. If everyone had a hero and tried to act like that hero, again doing more for others than themselves, the world would be a more positive place.
Most heroes, like Simba, are not born that way, but created out of necessity. Simba’s heroism rises out of his weaknesses. At first, he is an unlikely hero; he is a bit spoiled and boastful and self-centered. His claim to the kingdom is through his birthright, not because he earned it. When he realizes he needs to save the Pride Lands and those inside it despite any personal cost, he steps into the shoes of a king or a hero. He becomes a true leader.