I have just returned from Disney’s latest live action adaptation, The Jungle Book.
Rejoice, oh followers of the Lion-King-is-Hamlet cult!
It turns out that the Jungle Book is ALSO HAMLET!
There’s this dude, right? And then his dad gets killed. So he goes off on adventure with his friends, but has to return to avenge his father.
Boom. Frickin Hamlet, right there. QED.
I mean, sure, there’s bits of Hamlet that aren’t there, too. Like a Polonius or an Iago or Fortinbras or Horatio, but they’re not in Lion King either. I thought that was the rules, that we just pick an arbitrary number of similarities, ignore the differences, and call it a day?
Sorry, had to be done. There’s a scene where the tiger literally sits on a “pride rock” and says, “Once the man cub learns what’s happened he’ll have no choice to but to return and take his vengeance,” or something like that, and I thought, “Pretty much the essence of Hamlet right there, if you want to split hairs about it.”
Every “Hero’s Journey” is not Hamlet, people.