A Defense of the “King”

For more of Ashleigh’s posts, check out #WiN

By now I hope everyone has listened to the latest episode of The Nashville Podcast, in which we sit down to determine the ultimate Disney movie champion. Let me just say, this is probably one of my favorite episodes ever recorded and I was pumped to be apart of it. However, I cannot say that I was happy with the results.  

If you haven’t listened yet, you may want to stop reading as the rest of this post contains spoilers for the results of our bracket. I’ll wait right here while you listen to the episode Special Episode: Disney Movie Tournament …..once you’re finished, scroll down to continue the post.

… scroll down …

All done? Great! It’s an awesome show but COME ON! Beauty and the Beast?! Albeit, one of my favorite Disney movies ever but no way does it beat The Lion King. But don’t just take my word for it, let’s review the merits of TLK:


Between the years 1994-2016 TLK has won 35 awards and was nominated for 29 more. These include two Oscars for Best Original Song and Best Music, Original Score. Two Golden Globes for Best Original Score and Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. And three Grammys for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Best Musical Album for Children, and Best Instrumental Arrangement with Accompanying Vocals.

In addition, TLK had an incredible cast line up including the talents of James Earl Jones, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Matthew Broderick, Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, Moira Kelly, and Cheech Marin! These voices are the stars of so many people’s’ childhoods.


Mufasa’s death is one of the most influential moments in cinematic history for both children and adults. When Simba tries to wake him up…..(I’m not crying, you’re crying!) But that’s just the beginning of the story. Simba runs, he grows beyond who he is expected to be, learning to love those who are different than himself.  But then he’s faced with a choice; use the things he’s learned about himself and others to restore order to the Pridelands or continue to run away from his responsibilities while blaming his circumstances for his choices? Enter Rafiki and his reminder that we all have a say in who we become; your circumstances do not define you. If ever there was an important lesson to learn from a cartoon movie about lions, this is it.


Elton John. Need I say more? Yes? Fine. Hans Zimmer. Moving On.


Typical of most Disney classics is the boy/girl romance. That dynamic is not lacking within TLK but it’s also not the point of the entire film. There’s a mother/son relationship, best buddies, villain/hero, mentor/student, and most importantly, the father/son bond. Everyone can relate to at least one of these but most of us can connect to more.  Relationships are foundational to humans of all ages, genders, and cultures. TLK is so inspiring no matter where or who you are because of the myriad of relationships found throughout the film.

The the Winner Is…

Overall it seems obvious to me that when all the factors are taken into account, The Lion King is clearly the mac daddy of all Disney movies. It’s timeless; containing both sorrow and joy in equal measure. I don’t disagree with the Leftover Nashville crew often but on this we will just have to part ways.

Categories: #WiN

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