For most of people who won’t pay much attention on media and entertainment corporation, they maybe hardly figure out the scale of The Walt Disney Company. Most American aware there is one Disneyland in California, and another one in Orlando, Florida. Rest of the world, people know there is “a” theme park called Disneyland. Than, there has a media industry, which chances are less identifiable than amusement park. Since 1923, Walt Disney started his animator career at Kansas City, Missouri. His studio’s work was known by the interaction between actual actor, anamorphic personified object and the combination of jigging music. In the early Disney’s studio, they often coherent their work to social and political issue. After the huge success of his first feature-length film in 1934, the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1934, Walt Disney Studio reinforced its domain position in animation industry. In Disney Animation’s history, there's a certain period that their movie gained huge success and become ageless product that sold to generation through generation.
In 90’s, there is a term that being designated: the Disney renaissance. This decade, Disney produced, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan and the Lion King. This period of the movie shared some sort of template that generally formed the stereotype of Disney Animation, which quoted from Dream on Silly Dreamer: “a musical-comedy format with Broadway-style songs and tentpole action sequences, buoyed by cross-promotional marketing and merchandising designed to pull audiences of various ages and types.” Animation is an activity of creation, animators has all access and power to decide how to form the image or their character, what kind of character to tell the story. Disney manage to practice a method to catch various audiences eyes. The Lion King among all the carious, is the most successful one. It’s about a king’s orphan return from its outer-edge exile life to regain family and land after his father’s tragic death. If the character is not a lion, this plot will be more like a gray, heavy post WWI Russian literature. Instead, there are something else which is more accessible to public. There is a scene when Simba, the main character, was confused by his role and lying on a cliff in the Savannah. He wiped up some grass and dust into sky. The wind those grass and dust into further distance. Then, there is a second they be arranged into three letter: S-E-X. This is the most famous urban myth. Disney’s animator did admit that they will be a little ”playful” while they are making films. However, the S-E-X inception in the Lion King has never been confirmed for an intentional act. Once a psychology test took place in movie theater, researcher put 1/60 second frame of slide that wrote “Coke” or “Popcorn” and implanted in the middle of movie. 1/60 frame’s information is not recognizable by our eyes. However, the selling number of coke and popcorn increased drastically during the movie. Our conscious expose to a wider range of connotation.
Back to the design of image, The Lion King has a interesting character set that more interesting than the conspiracy of sexual symbol exposure. Disney is good at the method of anamorphic personate character. Between Simba and his father, Mufasa, animators set up a clever element which been used to differentiate those two. Mufasa, in the story is a wise ruler, role model of father. Simba is a young, immature cub that eager to become his father. Then, look at their hair. Mufasa has a perfect smooth, no spiky, creamy fur. On another hand, Simba get a bang and thick sturdy hair. It seems a logical match for character and hair style: a solemn serious character versus clean, well taken cared image. (see fig. 1); a playful, no-worry noble versus a bang. (see fig. 2) Which one can be more easy to build connection for Disney’s young audience? This is another layer of information this film inherited.
The third aspect that worth pay attention to is one of the music scene in that film. Composed by Sir Elton John, Can you feel the love tonight is an Oscar Academy Award winner piece. Animators had choose a specific perspective to illustrator this scene. Story is about the love relationship between Simba and Nala. After Nala found Simba is still alive and try to persuade him back to power. They found a waterfall, Kiara sip some water first, then Simba jump into the pound, and grab Kiara into it. As the music goes on, they are playing in Savanna, rolling down the hill. Kiara kisses Simba, not kisses, she licks his cheek. Then they spend a good night.
Is this good or bad? An animation that embedded different kind of layer of sexual content. If anamorphic can start to let audience bound with character, then inevitably, the attraction between affection should be conclude to capture the humanity. Disney did a good job to keep these content as a behaved sublayer of the story as a tool to approach to large customer while maintaining a good quality context. Children will attract by the delightful color, humorous music and they will learn about friendship, family and maybe a lesson about live. Young one, as in the age of first being introduced to having an affection with different sex, the interaction between two personate animal is much more less deliberate than the actual reality. In this case, Disney is sending a message of feeling, not knowledge, including that Simba’s bang. Than audience grow up, sex itself start to derived as a sensitive subject that need to be sealed nut still stay as a hidden secret, which cause when some random grass and dust being carried to sky, people see S-E-X. Before audience over drain their attention to superficial conspiracy, the Lion King treat sex as a nature primitive quality that all human share and well translated it anamorphic into the subtle layers of seasoning that make it a good tasteful story.
1. “Company History” Corporate Information. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved August 30, 2008.
2. “Disney: Notes on the end of the Disney Renaissance”. decentfilms.com. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
2. Mussenden, Sean (January 31, 2005). “AFTER THE CREDITS ROLLED ; FILM DOCUMENTS THE TRIALS, TRIUMPHS OF FIRED ANIMATORS WHO HAD GIVEN THEIR HEARTS TO DISNEY”. Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-02-20.