28.8.12

STONED MOVIE REVIEWS: The Lion King!!!!!!1

BY LAURA JANE & ERIN (ILLUSTRATION BY JEN)

My friend Erin and I like getting stoned and watching movies together. We're really good at it.

"Stoned Movie Reviews" is our column where we tape-record ourselves getting high and and watching a movie and then I share our night's finest moments with the world because it is important that we use this incredibly refined skill of ours to benefit the greater good. Our inaugural stoned movie review was of Good Will Hunting and I highly recommend you read it not only because it's killer but also because we spent a LOT of watching The Lion King relating The Lion King to Good Will Hunting and this week's SMR will be way less fun to read if you don't know who "Lambeau" is

(ABOVE: Erin & I traversing the savannah (that's a metaphor!!!)- I'm the baby because I'm younger)


1. OUR LION KING PREAMBLE; OR, "REMEMBERING THE LION KING"

LJ: How old were you- what was your life like- when The Lion King came out? Like, too old? 
ERIN: What was my life like? Is that what you asked me?
LJ: Well, mostly I just want to know how old you were.
E: Yeah, I was too old for it. 1994. I was way too old. 
LJ: You were eighteen?
E: No, sixteen.
LJ: That’s when our age difference really reveals itself.
E: You were nine?
LJ: Nine.
E: Holy shit!
LJ: But it was so… I feel really grateful. I was the perfect age. 
E: Yeah! No, I would too. But I do enjoy The Lion King, like, sixteen… you can still get into it. 
LJ: The Lion King was an event
E: It crossed boundaries.
LJ: The whole world loved that movie! The whole world came together, to love The Lion King.
E: Yeah! Like, back when Disney movies mattered.
LJ: I feel like The Lion King was the climax, or like... the beginning of the end. Of Disney’s relevance. And I was, like, nine, and I remember, it was so exciting and cool! And then the next one came out and it was shitty Pocahontas and I… expected such great things of it. And it was such a let-down. And then it just fell apart, Disney. Actually, I kind of liked The Hunchback of Notre Dame- 
E: I’ve never seen it. 
LJ: You were much too old. 
E: Much too old.
LJ: You were in college. You were, like, smokin’ a doobie, drinkin’ Jello shots-
E: Watching Hunchback of Notre Dame! I would have! I would’ve done that, if somebody had suggested it. 
LJ: Yeah, that’s true. I mean, that’s exactly what you’re doing right now.
E: It’s who I am.









2. THE OPENING SEQUENCE




LJ: I just remember feeling, like, so emotional when this movie began, when I saw it in theatres. Like, I was just like, “I’m nine. This is great art. I’m moved by this.” And everyone in the world was all, “It’s such good animation!”- like, everyone. That was all anyone ever talked about, in 1994.
E: It was so cutting-edge. And, like, look at it now. Like, big fuckin’ deal.
LJ: I’m so unimpressed. 
E: Sorry, Lion King




LJ: Actually, it’s cool. I take that back. This is… exquisite.
E: Stunning.
LJ: Yeah! 
E: Oh… you mean it. That’s so cute! 

3. POKING HOLES IN THE LION KING







I don't really know what's the point of doing this but for some reason every time The Lion King struck us as being "inaccurate" or "unrealistic" we had to make a big show out of pointing it out to each other. Like DUHHH no shit The Lion King is inaccurate! The people who wrote The Lion King weren't trying to write a realistic David Attenborough-y depiction of what life is literally like for lions living in the African savannah! The rhinos in the "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" sequence are TURQUOISE, and the king owns a bird who is his personal assistant.

During the scene shown above, when all the different animals travel to Pride Rock to celebrate the birth of the new baby lion king and BOW to him, Erin asked, "Imagine this? Imagine this is what it was like?" 
        I said: "We wish! This is so, like, a human's fantasy: And all the different animals are friends and they're supportive and they love each other, and they go to see-
        "The ruler," said Erin, "Like, what? Why do they have to have a ruler?" 
         "In real life, the zebras aren't, like, cheering for the newborn lion," I pointed out, "Like, they're fucking terrified. The lion is going to eat them. They're running away." The last thing a zebra needs is the birth of a new baby lion. 

Later in the film ("film"), Timon & Pumbaa teach Simba how to search for bugs so he can eat them, and I said: "In real life, those grubs wouldn't be enough to sustain a lion," and then went on to brilliantly report that "In real life, he would just eat Pumbaa and Timon. On instinct." Cool, LJ. That's so cool that you understand what "instinct" is. 




At the very end, when Simba reclaims his faltering kingdom from Scar's shitty rule and Nala gives birth to their new baby lion cub and all the animals come back to celebrate the new lion's birth and it demonstrates that the circle of life is in action indeed good old smartypants LJ had to chime in and ask: "How did Simba, like, accomplish this? He just fixes it. No explanation necessary. He fixes the weather, somehow. The grass grows back." 













4. IF THE LION KING WERE GOOD WILL HUNTING...

LJ: Let’s just talk about Good Will Hunting, and then the second column will just be, like, how The Lion King relates to Good Will Hunting
E: Is Simba a Will Hunting? 
LJ: “Simba’s such a Will." Actually, I have no idea. 
E: Scar is such a fuckin’ “pedantic guy in the bar.” 
LJ: Oh! And Robin Williams is Rafiki. They’re both wise and… weird. Or, I don’t know… Robin Williams is definitely way less weird than Rafiki.
E: It’s an imperfect comparison.
LJ: It’s not our fault, you know, that the characters in The Lion King and Good Will Hunting don’t perfectly match up.
E: “It’s not our fault. It’s not our fault. IT’S NOT OUR FAULT.” 

(Speaking of “It’s not your fault,” there’s an entire scene where Simba repeats the sentence “It’s my fault” over and over again (re: Mufasa’s death/the dissolution of Pride Rock under Scar’s dictatorship), and we said NOTHING. I can’t believe we missed such a glowing opportunity to make an “It’s not your fault” joke! We’re stupid. It's our fault.)




LJ: Scar’s hot.
E: He is, kind of. But he’s also kind of, um, the other guy from Good Will Hunting… Lambeau!
LJ: Scar’s way better than Lambeau!
E: That's true... Lambeau would never do this [sing "Be Prepared," is what she meant]- I guess he’s a little bit of a Robin Williams character. Like, that chip on his shoulder kinda thing.
LJ: Maybe Mufasa’s Lambeau!
E: Probably! Oh my God! That’s exactly right!
LJ: He’s, like, successful in a traditional way. And then that means Simba’s Will!
E: Yeah! Mufasa, like, totally tries to help him along, but for all the wrong reasons.
LJ: That’s what he’s doing. With his own son. [I have no idea what we meant by this, by the way. What are the "wrong reasons" Erin is referring to, that I immediately understood? Erin, do you remember? If yes, please enlighten us in the Comments section or like text me or whatevs]
E: Simba is Will Hunting! Ipso Facto! Simba is Will Hunting! 
LJ: You know who else Simba is? To me? Kind of? Prince Harry.

5. A FUNNY STORY ABOUT JAMES EARL JONES: 




E: I just keep thinking about James Earl Jones.
LJ: I feel like I’m pretty good at… compartmentalizing James Earl Jones and Mufasa.
E: I’m having a hard time with this one.
LJ: I really believe that it’s Mufasa.
E: I saw James Earl Jones speak once at a conference for speech therapists, because he stutters! It was really weird! He didn’t talk about stuttering at all. Everyone thought he would, but he didn’t. He just talked about, like, being a good person. It was a very weird speech. I feel like everyone was like, “What the fuck? Why is he talking about all of this?” Nothing to do with speech therapy. And it was, like, the keynote address! Weird choice, James Earl Jones! Like, if you agree to go and out yourself as a person who stutters, give the people what they want! 

6. HOW THE LION KING RELATES TO THE CLASH, BY LAURA JANE

“It’s cool how Scar just went and became the king of the hyenas. He’s like, “Fuck, I can’t be the Lion King," so he came up with, like, a really cool alternative. I feel like Scar’s really “Clash Life.” You know? Like… Scar would love the Clash. He’s a Joe.”

7. ERIN'S OPINION ON HOW LIONS BATHE THEIR CUBS BY LICKING THEM




“That isn’t really a bath, by the way. Why don’t they just go in the water? That’s a bath.”

8. THE STONERIEST CONVERSATION OF THE NIGHT:

LJ: You know what would be really cool? If like- you know what I love is, like, cartoons where it’s like, animals live like people? You know, like in Arthur? Wouldn’t it be cool if we were all, like, all the different animals, living in a society together?
E: Totally. Obviously.
LJ: I wish it was just that, right now.
E: Fantastic Mr. Fox-style?
LJ: Yeah! Totally. Except with more- all animals. Not just… badgers. Jungle animals, too.
E: Right, right. All together. But, like, surely they all have to live in different places. Just like humans!
LJ: There’s not different breeds of humans.
E: Well… there used to be. Kind of.
LJ: So I guess we’d be more integrated now.
E: True.
LJ: But would you only be able to mate with, like, the ones that were your species? It would be way easier to meet dudes! You’d just be, like, “Oh, cool! You’re the only other panther in Toronto!”
E: But what if it just got overpopulated with women, like real Toronto?
LJ: Oh. It’d just be the same. That’s too bad.
E: You’d literally have fewer choices.
LJ: Like, there’s four other panthers in the city, and all the other ones are paired off-
E: There’s an uneven number!
LJ: And I’m the other one!

10. THE SECOND-STONERIEST CONVERSATION OF THE NIGHT:

LJ: It’s so cool how lions are at the top of the food chain.
E: I mean, are they? Literally? Yeah, I guess they are.
LJ: Maybe… could a lion kill a whale? Like, a killer whale? I feel like maybe not, but they’ll just- it’s a non-issue.
E: They’ll always just miss each other.
LJ: I wish I could see a fight between a lion and a killer whale.
E: I don’t.
LJ: I don’t either.

11. WE CAN DEFINITELY FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT



LJ: Oh! Look how romantic this is!
E: Oooh! They’re so playful!
LJ: They’re having so much cool fun!
E: They’re having such a good time!



LJ: Ew. Nala looked so ugly for a second there.
E: Oh, look at them! It’s getting pretty hot and heavy! Sul-try. You know… it’s possible we’ve been single too long, Laura Jane. We’re finding this to be a very erotic scene.
LJ: We’re like, “They’re so lucky.”
E: “They’re so in love.” We’re so jealous!
LJ: Of everybody-
E: Literally everyone.
LJ: We’re jealous of cartoon lions. “Oh, I’m so sad! Simba and Nala have love, and I don’t!” 
E: “It’s so unfair!

12. THE GREAT "HAKUNA MATATA" REVELATION OF 2012




E: I do like this part… maybe we have to start Hakuna Matata-ing more, in our lives. We need to Hakuna Matata the rest of August.
LJ: No!
E: Yes, Laura Jane! I think we do!
LJ: Yeah, I think you’re right.
E: I think that we, out of all people, could fuckin’ stand- you would not even believe how many times on Friday I mentioned having an emotional breakdown of some sort. Every story just, like, began or ended there.
LJ: Yeah, you’re so right. Let’s just Hakuna Matata the rest of August. It’s all we can do!
E: Well, that’s an appropriate thing to come out of a stoned Lion King viewing.
LJ: I hate this part, though. The song. It’s so embarrassing.
E: Get into it. Change your attitude.
LJ: I feel like Hakuna Matata-ing is going to be, like, a huge challenge for me.
E: But you’ve got to try! It’s important to try. I mean that.
LJ: I think so too! I feel like I’m the opposite of Hakuna Matata. I’m “Matata.” I’m…. worries. And that’s stupid! That’s not who I want to be! Let’s fight against it.
E: I think we can do this. I think we have it in us. I think we have periods of Hakuna Matata-ing, and now we’ve just got to force one.
LJ: But can you force that?
E: I think we have to.
LJ: It’s time, guys. No more of this. We’re really letting ourselves go… psychologically.
E: We have to be emotionally bossy with ourselves! We’re not being vigilant. 

Erin sang along to the rest of "Hakuna Matata," but I couldn’t do it.

E: Laura Jane! Get into it!
LJ: No! I’m not singing Hakuna Matata!
E: Laura Jane! You just have to get into it!
LJ: I am into it! I’m just expressing it in a different way.
E: Alright. Fine.

Near the end of the movie, when Simba goes back to Pride Rock to fight for what is rightfully his, my commitment to "Hakuna Matata-ing it" came into question:

E: I don’t know if I like the message of this movie.
LJ: I guess it’s just, like, “Fight for good. Don’t be complacent.” But then they’re saying that “Hakuna Matata” is bad.
E: Yeah, exactly! That is it.
LJ: What if they’re right?
E: They’re not.

But I was wrong:

LJ: You know, fuck this. I’m just looking for a way out of Hakuna Matata-ing it. Like, “Oooh! Maybe it’s wrong to Hakuna Matata! The writers of The Lion King think so…” but it’s not. Or maybe it is for some people-
E: But not for us, right now.
LJ: Or ever, I think. No worries, for the rest of my days? I want that. I'm on board. 

Two weeks have passed since the night Erin and I got stoned and watched The Lion King, and we've both been ardently Hakuna Matata-ing it ever since. Erin even texted me at one point to suggest that we get matching "HM" tattoos, but I'm not that into it; it reminds me too much of H&M, and like, I don't want a Lion King reference inked onto my skin for the rest of my life. I think that's fair. 
         But don't take my not wanting to get a Hakuna Matata tattoo to mean that I don't believe in Hakuna Matata-ing it, because I TOTALLY DO. Hakuna Matata-ing it is one of the best life decisions I've ever made! I'm so chill now. Nothing phases me. Whenever shit goes down I'm just like, "Water off a duck's back, my friends, water off a duck's back." I am going to continue Hakuna Matata-ing it for all the rest of my days, and I recommend you do the same. It is, literally, our problem-free philosophy. 

8 comments:

  1. I need so badly to learn how to start Hakuna Matata-ing it.

    Also, this was fucking hilarious. Thanks for it!

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    1. If I can Hakuna Matata it, ANYONE can Hakuna Matata it!

      & yr welx!!!!

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  2. this was quite a journey from start to finish!

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  3. I have absolutely NO idea what we meant by Mufasa encouraging Simba for the wrong reasons... oh but WAIT WAIT, could it maybe be because he's disregarding Simba's own free will and kinda forcing him into it because of who he happens to be? What about Simba's JOURNEY, Mufasa??? Yep, I think that's it. Such a Lambeau move.

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  4. Lion King isn't my favorite Disney movie (that's Pinocchio!), but it's definitely the one I've seen the most. My little bro was born in 1990, so he was the perfect age for Lion King to be his favoritest movie. He watched it three or four times a week for a couple years, to the point where he had it memorized. And since we had the one tv, that meant that I also watched it a billion times. I don't have it memorized, but I do really dig it, despite my possible Stockholm Syndrome.

    I tried to find a good DVD of Lion King for my brother's 18th birthday, but it'd already been put back in Disney's vault or whatever. I think that would've been the right balance of funny & tease.

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    1. "disney's vault or whatever" so funny to me

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  5. So when Agnes is kidnapped by Martin and his crew, Steven must go to Hawkwood for aid. http://www.bringthepopcorn.net/

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  6. The very opening of the film is gorgeous, with watercolor strokes on parchment. movies

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