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"Disney's The Lion King" (review)

Short Description of "Disney's The Lion King" (review)

Disney's The Lion King (thru 4/17/16)

at Proctors State

Street Schenectady

http://proctors.org

by Richard DiMaggio

We can review the living daylights out of "The Lion King" --the show has, after all, been around twenty years, been performed in dozens of countries, and seen by over 80,000,000 people--but the fact is, the cult-like phenomonon that has swept around the world will be without a doubt just as popular twenty years from now. "Disney's The Lion King", the sensation about Simba the Lion and his quest for the meaning of his father's untimely death, is simply one of those baton's of human creations we wish to pass to our children, and then to their children.

Yes, the show is that good. But it is so good on a myriad of levels, the true meaning of this work is harder to analyze than first meets the eye.

First and foremost, the scenery is simply breath taking. The blue skies of dusk, dotted with black silhouettes of animals, orange suns exposing the beauty of the African landscape, and some of the most original music (mostly by Elton John) we have heard in ages. For many of us, the play right there earns its staying power.

Still, despite the breathtaking appeal, there is something else at work here we won't readily admit to ourselves: This is the Africa we actually want to exist. As children, thoughts of talking warhogs that make us laugh and extravagant sly pumas and the oneness with nature is exactly what gives us a warm and cozy feeling all over. "The Lion King" is not just a landscaped Africa without the myriad of problems facing the continent, none of them any good--The Lion King is the Africa we always wanted. We wanted to see the beautiful animals at one with man, the beautiful voices, the beautiful people, and the beautiful sunrises. In this context, "The Lion King", like so many Disney shows, truly does reach into our hearts and souls and massages our inner wounded child.

It leaves us not with just jaw-dropping scenery and breathtaking performances, but for many of us, that's enough.

It also leaves us with a sense of goodness: A sense of nature, the way we wish it would be; a sense of oneness, the way we wish it would be; a sense of innocence, the way we wish it would be.

In short, a sense of reality, the way we wish it would be.

 

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