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‘Mufasa: The Lion King’ Gives The Character A Controversial Backstory

Mufasa: The Lion King was announced at D23 and Mufasa’s alleged backstory is the subject of controversy for fans. The Lion King first premiered in 1994 and became an instant classic. The film follows a young lion cub named Simba who will become king. The movie shows Simba navigating the world and facing off against his uncle Scar who wants the throne for himself. The animated feature has a hit live-action adaptation and features the acting talents of Donald GloverJames Earl JonesBeyonceJohn OliverSeth RoganChiwetel Ejiofor, and Alfre Woodard.

Out of all the announcements at the D23 Expo, it was the backstory of Mufasa in Mufasa: The Lion King that caused some controversy for fans. Apparently, Mufasa grows up as an orphan and rises to be king without any nobility. Information is sparse but we know that director Barry Jenkins will helm the project. We also know that the story will be told in flashbacks told by Rafiki, Timon, and Pumbaa. The film will follow Mufasa as a young cub and his struggles to become one of the greatest kings of all time.

I remember watching The Lion King as a kid and crying like a baby when Mufasa died. It was borderline traumatizing but like all Disney animated films, it taught a valuable lesson. I have no doubt that learning his backstory will strengthen the character and make his sacrifice that much more meaningful. As far as the controversy is concerned, I guess I see the point. In The Lion King we learn that Mufasa is the rightful king. This new movie is showing us that Mufasa he wasn’t born to be king at all.

Mufasa’s story runs opposite that of Simba’s and I think this is an interesting approach. Like with any film in development, we don’t know enough about the story to form a solid opinion on whether it makes sense in the context of the larger narrative. I trust Disney to do the right thing by their characters and the fact is they usually do. So let’s just wait and see the film before we get all bent out of shape. You can catch Mufasa: The Lion King when it debuts in 2024.

Synopsis:  a prequel to “The Lion King,” won’t release until 2024, but director Barry Jenkins was on hand to show a never-before-seen sneak peek and share a little about the film, which is currently in production. Told in flashbacks—Rafiki, Timon and Pumbaa tell the story of Mufasa to a young lion cub—“Mufasa” reveals the rise of one of the greatest kings of the Pride Lands.

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