I saw The Lion King for the first time my freshman year of college. The only thing I remember thinking about the movie at the time was how adult Simba and Nala rolled around in the grass a wee bit too sexily for a cartoon. I also recall appreciating the voical stylings of Jeremy Irons and James Earl Jones. And wait ... isn't that Jonathan Taylor Thomas?
I recently saw this movie again as a parent. This time around, I was struck by the number of times the words "kill" "die" and "dead" pop up in this flick. I was so not ready to explain the sinister plot culminating in Mufasa's demise to a two year-old.
I have to say, she handled the whole Circle of Life thing pretty well. She had some questions about Mufasa being "injured" and "sleeping" and then questioned his absence form the remainder of the movie. But, by the time she saw Simba and Nala's lion cub, she was fine. She told me she loved the movie. And, when I asked her if she was still sad about Mufasa and scared of Scar she said, "Hakuna Matata, Mom. It means 'no worries'".