It’s not Hamlet. No matter how many times your junior high school teacher said “oh, it’s actually based on Shakespeare”, it was all a lie. I suspect, in fact, although there is no way Disney was dumb enough to write it down, that this meme was propagated specifically in order to enable entry into the lucrative “screw it, it’s movie day” public education market.
The only thing it has in common with Hamlet is that the uncle kills the father. Structurally and thematically they couldn’t be more different, as this provides merely an off-screen MacGuffin for Hamlet, but is the full-on Act I MKUltra trauma induction in The Lion King.
(Consider, if you will, the amount of time given to Simba staring at his father’s corpse. The death scene runs a solid five minutes. Even in the context of the notoriously patricidal Disney canon, this is an outlier, and…
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