Thursday, June 2, 2011

mfalme simba.

nyants ingoyama bagithi baba!

that's obviously not english. it's not swahili, either, like i used to think it was.

no, that's zulu.

it took me a long, long time to figure out how to pronounce that sentence. i spent an hour and a half driving on the highway listening to it and trying to sing along. over and over and over. and when i could finally say it, i felt like a real badass.

if you can't say it, it's okay. but i'm pretty sure you've heard it before.

this is, hands down, my favorite movie EVER. it's bordering on an obsession. scratch that, it IS an obsession. so i have to blog about it.

first of all, you should understand just how bad this obsession is.

in my bedroom, on my desk, i have a teeny weeny white TV. it's old enough that the screen bubbles out. it doesn't have one of those fancy digital boxes, so it doesn't have a single TV channel, but it has a VCR. i went in our basement and found the lion king on tape and fed it to my hungry VCR. i haven't yet figured out how to loop the VHS yet, so i'm still in the stage where every time the movie ends and the credits are done (the credit music is so good i have to listen), i just rewind it. and then i start over.

i will watch this tape between one and eight times a week.

in my car, i have a six CD changer built into the dashboard, and i have to say, it's my favorite thing about my car besides the fact that it takes me wherever i want to go. in slot four of this CD changer, i have the lion king broadway original soundtrack. ORIGINAL. my father acquired this because the actress who plays nala, heather headley, went to my high school, which is pretty neat for fort wayne. the soundtrack has extra songs that don't appear in the movie, and most of those songs are in zulu and don't have a single word of english.

those are my favorite ones. except of course, i just can't wait to be king. because that's the greatest song ever.

looking up lyrics and translations for these songs, i discovered that the language spoken in the soundtrack and the movie is zulu, not swahili. the names in the movie are swahili, though. except scar. i guess if you're a brother-murdering nephew-exiling lion who turns out to be a terrible king, you don't get a cool african name.

i've been trying to figure out my fascination with this movie for a while. i'm not the only one who's fascinated, because the lion king is the highest grossing animated movie ever, and has been voted, consistently, the best animated film ever made.

i'm thinking most of it, at least for me, is the music.

i don't want to hate on other disney movies, and i especially don't want to hate on alan menken, because that man is my disney music hero. but the lion king didn't use alan menken. they used elton john and tim rice for the songs and lyrics.

i secretly love elton john. i will admit to that. you can laugh at me, but elton john is legit.

when elton john and tim rice get together, magic happens. you get that awesome feeling when you press play and the sun rises at the beginning of the circle of life. even though i've seen the lion king at LEAST fifty times, i still get that intense warm feeling when the movie begins. tim rice and elton john making songs together does that. good music, good lyrics, good movie.

the score is ridiculously moving. some of it is african sounding, some of it isn't, but if you hear just about any part of the score, you can jump up and down and say, HEY! THAT'S FROM THE LION KING!

the score, as i found out, was written by hans zimmer. you know, that cool guy who does all the hardcore music in batman and pirates of the caribbean. yeah. that guy.

he looks like a major creeper to me.

but that's okay, because he writes damn good music. and he's listed in the top 100 living geniuses. i'm not sure exactly what constitutes a genius anymore, but if he can write music like that, i'm okay with calling him a genius.

i honestly believe that when i'm older and have children, i will still love the lion king. i'm really hoping that my kids will like it as well so we can watch it together. and we can listen to the broadway sountrack in the car. my family still does, and my parents are fifty, i'm basically twenty, and my brother is twenty-one. but seriously, last sunday when we drove to manchester to visit my grandpa, we listened to the lion king soundtrack the whole way, and was sang along. i think my entire family has a thing for disney.

even though i really hope that my kids love the lion king, i hope they don't love it as much as i do, because my obsession scares me.

lion king is magic. it's timeless. it's the lion king.

nyants ingoyama bagithi baba! (a lion is coming, father!)

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