Watching Scar trying to seduce Nala would have been disturbing to say the least, especially since in the animal kingdom age only seems to matter so long as it means that a female is ready to procreate. Yeah, I just read that again and it’s just as disturbing. To be fair the scene doesn’t seem all that bad since it is suggestive but doesn’t go so far as to make Scar force himself on Nala. I mean keep in mind that more went on between Simba and Nala in the jungle, but it was accepted largely because everyone believed that the two should have been paired from the get go.
It also wouldn’t be the first time an older character was attempting to be familiar with a younger character. Anyone remember The Hunchback of Notre Dame? Despite his disdain for her lifestyle Frollo was all over Esmerelda and couldn’t take his mind off of her for anything. It was a different situation of course but it was essentially the same. In the Lion King, Scar knew he needed a queen to continue his line, and unfortunately he picked Nala. This scene obviously didn’t sit well with the top brass of Disney however and was deleted.
It’s hard to say really if this scene should have been kept or tossed simply because anyone that has watched the Animal Kingdom knows at this point that in the wild lions aren’t shy about taking a mate. It’s not exactly something we want our younger kids to start asking about right away but the chances are that if they watch the Discovery channel they might eventually find these things out on their own. The real argument seems to center around allowing nature to take its course in children’s cartoons. One question I have to ask though is, “what do the kids think is going on in the wilds?”.
Really, think about it a moment. They saw Simba being gently taken from the embrace of his mother to be presented to the herds. Did they think that the cub just magically appeared? Obviously Sarabi and Mufasa had to have done what was natural to have their cub. And the discussion about eating antelope between Simba and his father, did parents fast forward over that? Oh, and the severed zebra leg that Scar throws to the hyenas, where did kids think that came from? I guarantee that Scar didn’t stop by the Pride Lands Market to pick it up from the deli.
I would agree that showing everything that goes into the circle of life, meaning the killing of animals, the mating rituals of animals, doesn’t need to be shown. But the idea that kids can’t handle the simple suggestion that Scar wants to make Nala his queen seems like it was needlessly cut to spare the sensibilities of parents and not children. This is coming from someone that had to find out the hard way that daddy could have easily been the one to shoot Bambi’s dad or, quite honestly, Bambi himself. Kids are tougher than we think, and this scene could have been handled in a way that would have allowed them to realize the truth without being traumatized by it.
Grow up parents, your kids aren’t as fragile as you think.
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