The Lion King: Analysis of Development In The Lion King (Disney, 1994), a young lion cub undergoes a deep and powerful lesson of life while developing his morals and personality along the way. This young cub is in line to be the next ‘King of the Jungle. ’ The name of the cub is Simba, who leaves on a journey after his uncle, Scar, sets his father Mufasa up to be murdered. After Muafasa is murdered, Scar tells Simba to leave instead of staying and becoming king.
Mufasa, Simba’s father, was always a very prideful and righteous King who always tried to do the right thing.
He taught Simba about “The Circle of Life,” which is a methodology about the balance of nature, and how every member of the jungle community has its own place and purpose. Simba however is a young and rebellious trainee who has just not matured enough to learn these traits from his father. The exile from the community leads him to find two lazy friends with whom he spends the next couple of years with, learning their way of life.
He lives this lazy lifestyle until he has an epiphany about his father who wishes him to return, trying to rid Simba of the shame he felt for thinking he caused his fathers death.
The many experiences of Simba allow him to develop into a King that cares for the entire jungle community. He learns many traits about himself, reflects on the lessons of his late father, and even learns how to not take life to seriously from his two lazy counterparts. The portrayal and treatment of the characters in this film were at times realistic, while at other times unrealistic. It depends on how deeply you look into the film. We see the story through the eyes of our main character, which is developing into a young adult.
After his father dies, Simba is ashamed and feels that his death is his responsibility. This is a realistic feeling, as there are many children and adolescents who feel at fault when an event happens that affects the family, such as a death or a divorce. As a child, when my parents became divorced, I had felt as if I was responsible for my father leaving, although now I see it differently because I matured. Simba went through a similar process. Another realistic process is one that he encounters with his friend and eventual love interest, Nala, with whom he starts his childhood as friends and playmates.
However, as they grow into adolescence they become love interests. This is a common process for all people, who at some point or another become interested in someone sexually. These processes are realistic in the way that these are common steps for all of us in these situations. This film is a fictional animated children’s musical about a lion cub becoming the ‘King of the Jungle. ’ Some may ask, “How is this comparable to development? ” The emotional development that Simba undergoes is astounding, going from a small child cub to an adolescent Lion.
Through his process in middle childhood, he develops guilt for what had happened to his father. During this stressful situation he used both Problem-Centered coping and Emotional-Centered coping. He used Problem-Centered coping because he saw the situation as changeable, by leaving the jungle he became away from his problems which is what his decision was. However it was Emotional- Centered as well because he never told his two lazy friends about his issue. This is known as internal private control of distress, which happens often during middle-childhood.
Simba does not only develop emotionally but also socially during his middle childhood. He begins to be able to judge the people around him, including his two lazy friends. During this time, you become more aware of your surroundings, which also form your ideal self. Simba changed his ideal self from being King, to being a lazy slacker with ‘no worries’ due to his lazy peers that he surrounded himself with. Now, Simba ends up going back and becoming King but he finds a way to have the best of both worlds through moral reasoning set forth by his father, whom he was running from.
This allows Simba to become his true ideal self, though it was a little foggy on what his ideal self was for a while. Watching this movie, from a completely different perspective than I have ever watched it before, taught me a lot. The film shows young people how to develop, while learning from your peers, accepting things outside of your control, and facing your fears to become your own ‘King of the Jungle. ’ Watching this film with this viewpoint, allows us to learn lessons about the development of people during middle childhood.
We may be able to take away points that can help us teach others who are going through a difficult time. This also helped me realize that I felt the same way as Simba during my parents divorce, and I would’ve loved to be able to be more open about it, just as he wanted to be. Overall, this film is very fictional, but teaches many life lessons that can be used for child development. Work Cited Berk, Laura. Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Pearson Publishing, 2012. 7th Edition. The Lion King. Film. (Disney, 1994).
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