At least I think that's the way the loose Hamlet retelling works in The Lion King. Since the 3-D theatrical re-release is preventing us from watching it again (not that my heart is breaking), I'll have to go on what I remember from when I saw this in the theatres the first time around.
I probably would have re-watched this one if possible, though it's not a favorite, even in the Disney blockbuster category, just to get the taste of "The Butcher" out of my mouth. But I do have trouble getting with 100% animal stories. Like, it's weird for me to see Simba and Nala (was that the lioness's name?) flirt and whatnot. In other words, I am not feeling the love tonight. I can anthropomorphize with the best of them, but it's sort of like my problem with the Cars franchise. And I don't get why some animal species are inherently evil. I mean, what makes hyenas the bad guys? And as I recall, all the hyenas are played by voices of color? Like Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin? Am I remembering right? If so = problematic.
I do remember really liking the Simba is a lion cub parts of the movie. The animators got the body and face of a cat exactly right. When the monkey prime minister or priest or whatever he is holds the baby Simba up for the jungle hordes to bow to ("the CIRcle of LIIIIIFE"), he goes all limp and boneless just like Quincy does when I carry him in from outside. I also thought the Hamlet elements were cool, and I dug Jeremy Irons's Scar. The music was fun as well. In fact, thanks to writing this post, I now have "Hakuna Matata" stuck in my head.
So, I'm guessing the book wanted us to watch this because it was really popular? Did it make any strides in animation technique? And as I wrote in the blurb, I will always be grateful to this movie because it, in a roundabout way, led to Julie Taymor getting steady work.