Is the Lion King Based on Hamlet by William Shakespeare? While there are definitely some similarities, it’s hard to say for sure. Here’s why…
As shown in todays daily infographic, the major plot points of The Lion King follow a near identical pattern to the classic play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Is this a coincidence?
The Lion King is a popular animated movie that came out in 1994 to huge success. It tells the story of a young prince coming of age and attempting to reclaim the kingdom from his evil Uncle Scar.
The truth is, just about every fairy tale is a retelling of a classic story that has been told as long as we can remember. You can look at just about every animated movie that comes out and see some similarities between it and a previous story from a previous generation.
With that being said, it is hard not to see the direct comparisons between The Lion King and Hamlet. The major divergence appears at the end of The Lion King. The movie ends in a happy way with the iconic song “The Circle of Life” being played. This is contradictory to the end of Hamlet and definitely leaves the audience with a different feeling and message about what they just saw.
Most of the differences between the two works can be attributed to the intended audiences for each. The Lion King is clearly made for a younger demographic while Hamlet is made for adults. That alone can explain many of the divergences between the two stories.
The final verdict is… Yes, The Lion King is loosely based on Hamlet but has many key divergences. This is mostly due to the intended audience of the film being much younger than the original. The similarities are undeniable between the two stories and while The Lion King puts its own spin on things in many ways, the references to Hamlet are definitely there.