The Lion King: Fathers and Sons

by Ethan Alter September 16, 2011 6:00 am
<i>The Lion King</i>: Fathers and Sons

The first and last time that I saw The Lion King was during its initial theatrical release in the summer of 1994. I was 16 at the time and was temporarily back in the U.S. from my then-current home in Hong Kong, enjoying the extended vacation that State Department families received in the middle of four-year tours abroad. Movie-wise, it was a good summer to be stateside. While most Hollywood fare made it across the Pacific, there was generally a time delay that could range from weeks to months depending on the movie in question. In the span of our roughly five-week stay in the U.S., I saw in quick succession, Keanu Reeves piloting an out-of-control city bus in Speed, Jack Nicholson getting his werewolf on in Wolf, Alec Baldwin donning cloak and fake nose to play The Shadow and Tom Hanks eating his way through a box of chocolates in Forrest Gump. And somewhere in the middle of all that, we also made time for that year's Disney offering The Lion King, because if you came of age during the Mouse House's late-'80s renaissance, going to see the studio's latest animated feature was just something you did, like breathing, eating or picking Ryu over Ken for marathon Street Fighter II sessions.

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