American Values And The Lion King

1259 words - 6 pages

American values are among the attributes which make a person who they are. Many fail to understand them, there are the standards used to define these ‘values.’ American values are an individual’s belief system set over time, the decisions they make in their life, their morals and what it means to be an American citizen. Few of these notable values that Americans have stayed true to are present in the Disney film, The Lion King. The film itself may dismiss to be nothing more than a childhood fairy tale; however, it reflects much of how American Values are seen in the arts today.
Modern day American citizens are categorically indulged in the lifestyle obsession of ‘the American dream,’ being driven by what they see on television, hear on the radio, read in magazines/newspapers, and in other forms of media. Mary McMahon, author of “What is the ‘American Dream?’ defines the American Dream to essentially be “an idea that suggests that anyone in the US can succeed through hard work and has the potential to lead a happy, successful life (McMahon 1).” This belief has the power to infiltrate itself into a person's life, taking control of them and their actions substantially. After some time, a person's hopes and dreams can become scrambled by confusion in their beliefs, these beliefs are then replaced by influences in what they see, hear, or read. The Lion King is an example of this influence in beliefs, being intended for young children to teach them about growing up in a way that they can understand. The eye-catching visuals and the likable tunes allow children of all ages to follow the storyline, where they witness young Simba’s life fall into place in the Pride Lands, a fictional place set in Africa.
Simba’s family is the equivalent of a ‘traditional American family,’ described as a male and a female, married to one of their own kind, without intent for separation. These families stereotypically include a father who is the strong provider and a stay-at-home mom (Todd 1). The Lion King proclaims this idea through Mufasa, the strong father figure, Sarabi as the supportive mother and Simba, the obedient child with a dream. Being lions, Mufasa and Sarabi are two of their own kind, happily married when they decide to bring life to Simba. Mufasa is the king of the Pride Lands, who provides for his family and establishes their values. In the film, Mufasa explains to Simba that “A king’s time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. One day, Simba, the sun will set on my time here, and will rise with you as the new king,” setting the foundations for the present and future values of their family.
The idea of a ‘traditional American family’ indirectly suggests that women are the subdominant gender. This notion is also shared in almost every media form of modern times, where women are seen as delicate and dependent on male dominance to aid them in life. Although women are entitled to the same rights as men today, these representations of women are still...

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