The Lion King is one of Disney’s most beloved animated films. On its release in 1994, it gained huge critical and commercial success. And it’s still so popular that a CGI remake is planned for summer 2019. Although its story of kinghood is a fairly straightforward one, over the years some fascinating fan theories have been passed around the internet. Here’s one of them so good that you’ll wonder how you never thought of it before.
The story of The Lion King actually borrows heavily from Shakespeare. It was influenced by the plot of Hamlet, the famous playwright’s tale of revenge and regicide. Most of the major elements from Hamlet – the wicked uncle, the self-imposed exile, the ghostly father – also appear in The Lion King.
However, thankfully, The Lion King ends far more happily and involves far less bloodshed. By the end of the movie, the evil Scar is killed not by his nephew Simba but by his own hyena henchmen, and Simba takes his rightful place as king of the Pride Lands. And all his friends – his love interest Nala, his father’s adviser Zazu, his buddies Timon and Pumbaa – remain alive. Poor Hamlet had no such luck.