LION KING: Remember the Father | FCC 119

In THE LION KING, Simba lets his guilt and shame stop him from doing what his father taught him to do. He changes his mind, however, when he remembers who his father is. Join us as we discuss these Christian themes and so much more on this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap
  • 00:02:48 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:21:48 – Christian Themes in THE LION KING 
  • 00:50:24 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 00:55:29 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:02:15 – Lightning Round 
  • 01:04:17 – Upcoming

Simba’s Guilt and Shame

Simba has run away from Pride Rock. Because of Scar’s deceitful scheming, he honestly believes that he is responsible for his father Mufasa’s death. Unable to bear that cross, he escapes into the wilderness. There, he meets Timon and Pumbaa and embraces their mantra of hakuna matata. It translates into “no worries for the rest of their days,” but it really means to stop taking responsibility for one’s own actions and to furthermore stop from taking on any responsibilities at all. As Timon says, “When the world turns its back on you, you turn your back on the world,” and that’s exactly what Simba does to assuage his guilt and shame.

This image from THE LION KING shows Rafiki whispering into Simba's ear.

Remembering and Obeying the Father

Even as Nala comes back with a report of what Scar has done, Simba is too far gone into the hakuna matata mindset that he simply doesn’t care about his home. It takes a shamanistic baboon called Rafiki and a supernatural visitation from Mufasa himself to make Simba remember who he is and who his father is. After this experience, Simba is restored to his noble self and takes responsibility for his home. He tosses aside the hakuna matata as rushes to Pride Rock to save his family from Scar and the hyenas.

This image from THE LION KING shows Nala and Simba overlooking the dark Pride Lands.

Key Texts for The Lion King

Let these passages be your guide as you sit on your double-decker couch and share the Gospel with friends and loved ones.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NLT)

Just as Simba was no longer condemned by his guilt and shame, so are we no longer condemned by our past. Technically, Simba was not responsible for his father’s death, which is where we as the audience differ from him. We do indeed have our own sins that separate us from God. Where we are similar, though, is that we, like Simba, can let the guilt and shame of those sins stop us from doing the right thing.

We, like Simba, can even let it stop us for so long that we begin to forget who we are and Whose we are. But when we remember our heavenly Father and what He did for us, we can be confident in that there no longer any condemnation to hold us back from doing what He told us to do.

But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. (2 Timothy 3:14 NLT)

Once Simba remembered who his father is and is no longer paralyzed by guilt and shame, he realized that he still had a responsibility to obey his father. Likewise, we, too, must take up the responsibilities that God the Father has given us when are freed from the guilt, shame, and condemnation that once held us back.

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a way to use good stories to soften people's hearts.
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  • Philip Heard

    Hey guys! So, the Lion King episode has finally happened. I’m in the same boat as Michael. As many times as my youngest sister and oldest son watched Lion King, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the entire film start to finish. I have a barrier when it comes to musicals, and the only real Disney musical I’m a fan of is Robin Hood. But, this all got me thinking of gratitude, and how thankful I am that there are so many animated movies to enjoy with my family now. You can actually go back to anime, which for a long time has used the medium of animation to tell stories for all ages. John Lasseter is a huge Miyazaki fan, and much of Pixar’s work has been influenced by him. The Pixar revolution in the west has changed how animated films are created and perceived, and now families are spending more time together taking in stories that everyone can appreciate on their own level. So, the main thing I get from Lion King is how grateful I am that there is more variety in animated films now than ever before.

    I’m looking forward to the Christmas episodes. Love the show, guys! #muhweeladgimli

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