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The Lion King 

1994 | 89 min | K-7 | animation, drama, family, musical

Come along and follow the lion cub Simba, who can’t wait to become king, but seeks his destiny by following the “way of life”. Relive the movie’s epic opening in the African landscape, Sing “Hakuna Matata” with Timon and Pumba, and join in as Simba takes his rightful place as king. The film has been awarded two music-related Oscars.

Directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff. As original voice actors, e.g. Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, and James Earl Jones.

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About the movie


  • arts
  • finnish
  • music


  • animal characters
  • music
  • rolemodels
  • succeeding
  • thought awakening

Educational levels

  • primary schools


  • animation
  • drama
  • family
  • musical


  • growth story

Age limits

  • K-7


  • Oscar


  • Walt Disney

For media educator

One of Disney’s most successful and beloved classic films, The Lion King is the story of the growth of the young lion cub Simba. Loosely based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Simba tragically loses his father and is driven into exile as an innocent, his father’s death on his conscience. During his escape, Simba meets the wild pig Pumba and Timon, a member of the mongoose tribe, who take the young lion cub into their care and raise him into a young adult in their own, carefree way.

However, Simba cannot forget the past, and when he meets his childhood friend Nala, Simba has to decide between returning home and making up for his past deeds. Even though The Lion King is an animated musical, the film deals with serious themes such as the death of a loved one, guilt, justice, and facing the past in a surprisingly direct and genuine way. The musical parts of the film bring lightness and humor to the film, and as a whole, the film deals with the themes with a gentle educational touch. The main character of the film, Simba, is young and inexperienced – and above all, eager to test his limits.

Kind-hearted father Mufasa guides and raises his son with a firm but gentle paternal touch and mother Sarabi acts as a caring mother figure. The relationship between father and son becomes the focus of the film, and the second half of the film highlights Simba’s growth story and journey to take his father’s place as king of the savannah. The character of the inexperienced Simba offers a good role model for young viewers who are still thinking about the world. Through Simba, the viewer can think about parenting and friendship as well as justice and the essence of good and evil.

Simba’s uncle Scar and his subordinates, the infamous hyenas, are presented as the one-time villains of the film. Scar acts as a catalyst in the film, causing the accidental death of Simba’s father, his brother, and Simba’s banishment. Scar thirsts for power but only achieves it by betraying his own family and pack.

Scar pursues his interests, and is ready to betray even his subjects to save his skin. Although Scar’s actions are not further explained, his power-hungry and self-centered character is above all tragic and makes you think about the essence of good and evil. The numerous, fast-flashing side characters, fast-paced action scenes, and verbally snappy dialogue familiar from modern animations have been removed from the film, and what remains is a clear and easy-to-follow growth story.

The film progresses at a calm pace from one scene to the next, which gives space for thinking about the film’s themes. Above all, the life instructions that Simba receives from his father as well as from his new friends Timon and Pumba offer snacks for life to both younger and older viewers. Note! There are a few scenes in the film that might frighten and distress the youngest viewers (eg the death of Simba’s father Mufasa and Simba’s encounters with Scar). However, the episodes do not last long and are always followed by a calmer, lighter period. (Source