In honor of The Lion King making a big screen re-debut and it's long-awaited Blu-Ray release, I bring you one of my favorite scenes not only in this film, but of any film ever.
There is no question in my mind that Lion King is indisputably the best Disney classic out there (and considering the history of that studio, that's saying quite a bit) The film has a powerful classic mythos to it, based on Hamlet. Man is King. King has brother. King has son. Brother gets jealous, kills King. Son gets revenge, kills brother. That's Hamlet. Simba is Hamlet. He's also King Arthur. And Beowulf. And Luke Skywalker. Rafiki is Merlin. Or Obi-wan Kenobi. Thankfully, Nala doesn't drown herself at the end.
But it's also....despite being a group of talking animals....a powerful story of the human experience. Of love and loss, of facing fears and growing up and finding our place in life, and this is the scene that really shows it. I remember all the way back in 1994, this scene being the one that hooked me. It's funny, it's intense, it's insightful, it's sad, it's happy, and it's touching. Everything a good movie should be, in the from of a baboon and a lion who would someday be king.
I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Blu-Ray Diamond Edition. The picture and sound quality is stunning, but even if that doesn't matter to you, the documentary alone is worth the price.
EDIT: We should also acknowledge that the Lion King Broadway musical in fact debuted here, in Minneapolis at the Orpheum Theatre. July 8th, 1997. The director, Julie Taymor, has often said that opening night was the most diverse crowd she's ever seen, and she knew the play would be a success when it reached them all.