When artists set out to create their vision, there is a fine line when it comes to embodying their vision and drawing from their influences. Sometimes these influences can speak too loudly, whether the artist is aware of it or not. Disney’s original 1994 The Lion King is a dazzling work of art, but beneath the majesty of its animated splendor lies an untold truth.
Since shortly after the release of The Lion King, it was mired in intellectual property dispute with accusations of plagiarism. The aesthetic of Japanese animation, known as manga, has helped define the boundless potential of artistic imagination in animation since at least the 1960s. One of the early pioneers of this style, an artist named Osamu Tezuka, nicknamed the “Father of Manga”, created an animated manga known as Jungle Emperor Leo. White Lion.”
Not only does the show feature animated animals similar to the same characters drawn in The Lion King, but the story surrounding the hierarchy of animals and the themes of life, death, and the cyclical rebirth of nature are also similar to a Disney movie. . The confusing details behind these similarities are huge, as the company has always bought and licensed the source material for its films in the past. But Disney’s 1994 stance was that the film was an original story.