Once again the other day I walked into another Lion King is Hamlet conversation. Twice. It always goes like this:
“Lion King is Hamlet.”
“Seriously? I had no idea it was based on Shakespeare.”
“Timon and Pumbaa are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.”
Yes, there were three people talking. How the middle person hadn’t previously heard this story I have no idea, it seems like I hear it at least once a week. There’s always somebody that brings it up, somebody that has no idea, and somebody that goes “Oh, sure…” and promptly parrots back what they saw on Buzzfeed last week.
I’ve decided that I give up. It’s no longer fun to explain to people that the number of ways in which Lion King is NOT Hamlet far outweigh those in which Lion King is Hamlet. Instead I’m jumping on the bandwagon. Enlisting the help of Bardfilm (who no doubt will be responsible for the best bits), I present:
Psycho is based on Coriolanus because it’s about a guy that does what his mother tells him.
The Shining is actually based on The Tempest. They both take place in a remote location and involve apparitions.
Seriously, though, Titanic is really The Tempest. Not only is there a shipwreck, but at the end an old person throws valuable stuff in the ocean.
Goodfellas is really Julius Caesar because that one guy gets stabbed a lot.
On The Waterfront is a modern retelling of The Merchant of Venice because both are on the waterfront.
The Silence of the Lambs is based on Titus Andronicus. We know all about Hannibal Lecter’s main course of liver with fava beans and a nice chianti, but he never talks about the pie he had for dessert.
Twins (with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny deVito) is really Comedy of Errors because both involve twins.
No Country for Old Men is King Lear, for obvious reasons.
Four Weddings And A Funeral is The Taming of the Shrew, only with more weddings. (The funeral being for Petruchio’s father, which is technically before the play begins, but when has that ever stopped the movie people? )
The Godfather is King Lear. I don’t know how, but apparently people really do think this. Hmmm, might require a separate post…
Purple Rain is based on Romeo and Juliet because Prince is a character in both.
The Wrestler (2008) with Mickey Rourke is a sequel to As You Like It, looking at what happens to Charles after the events of the play.
The Wizard of Oz is Twelfth Night. It’s so obvious. Storm causes girl to be shipwrecked alone in a strange new land? The Wizard is Orsino, and Glenda is Olivia. The Wicked Witch is a gender blind Malvolio. Not buying it? I don’t see why not, it makes about as much sense as saying the meerkat and warthog are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
My goal is to own the Google search results for “Lion King is Hamlet” so we can set the record straight and stop people from including it on all those lists otherwise reserved for 10 Things I Hate About You and She’s The Man. Help Bardfilm and I achieve this goal by adding your comments below! More content on the page helps drive up the quality score 😉