Ortiz: The new “Lion King” is for adults ONLY

Kenia Ortiz

Editor’s note: This is a satire piece from The Collegian’s opinion section. Real names may be used in fictitious/semi-fictitious ways. Those who do not read editor’s notes are subject to being offended.

On July 19, 2019, Disney released “The Lion King” live-action in theaters. Disney released the animated, original film in 1994, and 25 years later, it’s back on the big screen.

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This has been one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer because the original is a movie that many people hold dear and because of the phenomenal casting for the beloved characters of “The Lion King.”

Taking on the role of Simba is American actor Donald Glover, who is also known for performing music under the name Childish Gambino. Aside from Glover’s musical talent, accompanying Simba, singing Elton John’s famous “Can You Feel The Love Tonight,” is American singer, songwriter and actress Beyoncé, playing Nala. When news spread that Nala would be voiced by Beyoncé, fans of both the movie and artist awaited eagerly to see how Nala’s character came to life. 

Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner gave a stellar performance voicing the dynamic duo Timon and Pumbaa. Other beloved characters such as Rafiki, Zazu and Sarabi were voiced by actor John Kani, comedian John Oliver and actress Alfre Woodard.

Playing the infamous and most sinister Disney villain of all time, Chiwetel Ejiofor brought Scar to life. And finally, there would be no way of having a “Lion King” remake without having James Earl Jones returning to voice, the father of us all, Mufasa.

With that being said, I need to make it clear that “The Lion King” remake was made for adults only.

“The Lion King” played a vital part in the childhood of ’90s babies. People who were born between 1990-1999 grew up with “The Lion King.” They were the first to grow up with Simba, learn the lyrics to “Hakuna Matata” and feel the raw pain of watching Mufasa die.

“The Lion King” remake should be enjoyed by adults only for the first week so that kids won’t ruin the movie experience for others.

Those kids are now between the ages of 20 and 29. They deserve to see this movie first with no distractions or inconveniences —  which means that no children should be brought to the movie theater for the first week.

I, a ’90s baby, went to watch “The Lion King” the day it premiered. I was excited to relive such a big part of my childhood and see my favorite characters as real animals.

However, my excitement was cut off when a stream of parents with yelling kids came into the theater. I watched as other young adults in the theater grimaced or rolled their eyes.

We knew what was in store for the next two hours, and we already knew our experience was ruined.

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“When I bought my ticket to see “The Lion King,” I bought it to actually see the movie, not hear a bunch of six-year-olds asking their parents ‘Is that a real lion?’ or ‘What’s happening mommy?'” Diana Turner, a 24-year-old graduate student, said.

Throughout the movie, the kids behind me kept asking their parents questions about the characters, asking to go to the bathroom and asking for more popcorn, which ruined my movie experience.

“I was literally on the verge of tears when I saw the stampede,” said Robbie Gin, a 28-year-old mechanic. “I knew what was coming next, but I was distracted by the woman next to me who was holding a screaming baby. I couldn’t even hear Scar’s iconic line before he killed Mufasa.” 

I understand that “The Lion King” is a family movie, and I agree that it is a timeless story with beloved characters that every generation should enjoy. However, when it comes to bringing that story back to the big screen as “live-action” for the first time, the generation that grew up on the movie should have the right to enjoy it.

“It is not my fault that they have a banshee of a child that cannot be quiet for two hours,” said Rachel Blue, a 27-year-old nurse. “If parents know their child will not shut up and will ruin the movie experience for others, then they shouldn’t be going to the theater with those kids in the first place. Either get a babysitter or come to an earlier showing when no one is there, and the baby can cry all it wants.” 

For the first week, ’90s babies should be the only ones allowed to watch the movie, and it would eliminate the problem of annoying, talkative children and crying babies. After the first week, if parents want to take 15 kids to see the movie, then they can. All the ’90s babies would have seen it and enjoyed it already.

Kenia Ortiz can be reached at letters@collegian.com or online at @Kenia_Ortiz_.