Although we spend a lot of time in our house doing craft projects, building with Legos, reading books, putting on puppet shows, and playing soccer, I confess we have not banned Disney from entering our home…yet.
My son D has been a fan of Disney’s Lion King since he first saw the movie when he was 3. I would fast forward some scenes that in my opinion seemed a bit scary in typical Disney fashion–including the evil character (in this movie it was Simba’s evil Uncle Scar) who kills a parent (here it was Mufasa, Simba’s dad and Scar’s brother) early on in the movie, leaving the child to deal with grief and figure out what to do next. The message of good versus evil, being true to yourself and taking responsibility for your actions probably went over my 3-year-old son’s head. But he loved Simba, his friends, his parents, the songs and the humor. As he has gotten older these concepts have made for interesting dinner conversation.
My boys often acted out the movie and made their own costumes. After seeing the Broadway version of the Lion King on stage at PPAC in 2005, my son (and I) was even more mesmerized by this show, the music, and the costumes by Julie Taymor. Now that my son is six, he is a little less obsessed but still a fan of the story. And lions have become one of his favorite animals. Although we love our local Roger Williams Park Zoo, it doesn’t have lions. My son has recently expressed his desire to see a real male lion just like Simba and Mufasa.
After searching around, we finally found one. Christopher is a 405-pound male lion who lives at the Franklin Park Zoo. Until we get a chance to visit him in person, here he is.
Franklin Park Zoo (located less than an hour from Providence)
One Franklin Park Road, Dorchester, MA