For the longest time, I refused to watch The Lion King II because the first one meant so much to me and remains my favorite movie. Nonetheless, I decided to watch it and I found it interesting that I could see it from a different percepective than I did when I was younger.
My sister and I would ready ourselves for The Lion King every time we watched it like we were watching it for the first time. On cold days, we would have blankets and hot chocolate to warm ourselves up and sit in front of the fireplace and roast marshmallows. We could narrate along with the characters as the movie went on and cry everytime we got to the scene where Mufasa dies, then laugh at each other for crying afterwards. In those seemingly few minutes, we were in a similar mindset and I cannot help but miss my family, especially my sister who also played Nala at a school concert when we were in elementary school.
Watching the movie now, I realize how it is a depiction of so much more than animated lions and other wild animals in a jungle. The Lion King is politics. It shows power, those who have it seek to keep it, and those who don't have it but would do anything for it. It touches on justice, Kovu asking to join Simba's pride on the basis of not being judged by a crime he never committed. It shows loyalty, betrayal and ultimately, the meaning of true companionship. I wish I had seen these as a kid but then growing up wouldn't be as fun.
I am thousands and thousands of miles away from home and cannot be with my sister to watch The Lion King II with her but I can certainly say that being at The College of Idaho has made me look at things from a completely different angle. My being an international Political Economy major has made me analyze the politics in a movie perhaps as innocent and not politically motivated as The Lion King and I am amazed by it. The fruits of education are evident when we see things differently and I am glad that I can use my education to gain a deeper understanding of things that have contributed to my childhood.
Keneuoe Mphutlane is a sophomore International Political Economy major from Lesotho.