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The Lion King


11. The Lion King

Other than maybe the original trilogy of the Star Wars films, I don't think there's a single film I've seen more than The Lion King. It's the highest ranked animated film and the highest ranked kid's movie on the list. It's a movie I've been watching probably since before I could talk I don't remember a time when I hadn't seen The Lion King. The animation is beautiful, the performances are great, Scar is among the best villains ever in movie history in my opinion, and overall it's just a spectacular film.

It follows the story of a lion cub named Simba who is set to be the heir to the current king of the lions, Mufasa, however Scar, the brother of Mufasa, has other plans as he wants the throne. After arranging the death of the king in one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in movie history, especially for a kids film, Scar scorns Simba and tells Simba the only way for him to repent for his father's death (designed to look like an accident or even Simba's fault) is for him to leave the pride and never return.

Simba leaves the pride and ultimately ends up being raised by a meerkat named Timon and a warthog named Pumbaa, from whom he learns the philosophy of hakuna matata, meaning no worries. He is raised in relative paradise and everything is going well when his royal past finally catches up to him. Nala, his childhood friend and technically fiance shows up and they fall in love, when it is revealed that the pridelands have fallen into catastrophe under Scar's rule. She convinces him to return and take his rightful place as king of the pride. (basically, as has been said a million times, it's Hamlet but with lions).

It's a fantastic film that is ingrained in my childhood. The animation, the characters, the performances, the music (oh my god the music!), everything is so incredibly well done in this film and it's one of the best animated films ever made.