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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: December ::
Re: Hamlet! The Musical
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2422  Tuesday, 17 December 2002

[1]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Dec 2002 10:44:56 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2414 Re: Hamlet! The Musical

[2]     From:   C. David Frankel <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Dec 2002 16:05:43 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.2414 Re: Hamlet! The Musical

[3]     From:   Billy Houck <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Dec 2002 16:06:20 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2414 Re: Hamlet! The Musical

[4]     From:   Douglas M Lanier <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Dec 2002 19:48:01 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   RE: Hamlet! The Musical


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 12 Dec 2002 10:44:56 -0500
Subject: 13.2414 Re: Hamlet! The Musical
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2414 Re: Hamlet! The Musical

Mike Jensen <
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 > writes,

>I grow a'weary of the claim that *The Lion King* was based on *Hamlet*.
>The plots do not significantly overlap.  Please, before making this
>claim again, watch *TLK* and make a plot outline.  Read *Hamlet* and do
>the same.  They have very little in common.
>
>Just because a plot has an uncle trying to get a throne does not mean a
>story is significantly based on *Hamlet*.  Does anyone know how this
>idea began?

The idea began because it's bloody obvious to anyone seeing "The Lion
King" for the first time.

And there's a lot more in common than a plotting uncle.  The king is
killed by his brother, who assumes the throne and (at least in
appearance) the queen.  The murder is eventually avenged by the king's
son, despite his initial reluctance to act.

It's "Hamlet" with a PG rating and a Disney happy ending for everyone
but the necessarily dead king and the villain (and his henchmen, who, I
grant, have no meaningful "Hamlet" parallel, Rosencrantz and
Guildenstern being paralleled rather by Timon and Pumba).

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           C. David Frankel <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 12 Dec 2002 16:05:43 -0500
Subject: 13.2414 Re: Hamlet! The Musical
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.2414 Re: Hamlet! The Musical

For what it's worth, I remember reading the Classics Illustrated Comics
versions of Macbeth, Midsummer, Romeo and Juliet, and others (and also
many non-Shakespearean works) when I was much younger than I am now.
I'm convinced that the wonderful illustrations combined with the
language helped make me into a reader and a director.

cdf

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Billy Houck <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Dec 2002 16:06:20 EST
Subject: 13.2414 Re: Hamlet! The Musical
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2414 Re: Hamlet! The Musical

I remember sitting in the theatre watching The Lion King thinking it was
Hamlet with Henry IV, 1 and Richard III thrown in for good measure.

Billy Houck

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas M Lanier <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Dec 2002 19:48:01 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        RE: Hamlet! The Musical

For more on Shakespeare and Disney, readers might be interested in
Richard Finkelstein's essay on the topic, "Disney Cites Shakespeare:
The Limits of Appropriation," in SHAKESPEARE AND APPROPRIATION, eds.
Christy Desmet and Robert Sawyer (NY:  Routledge, 1999), pp. 179-96.
Richard talks about THE LION KING and THE LITTLE MERMAID.

As to the origin of the LION KING / HAMLET connection, it seems to have
originated with journalists soon after the movie's original release
(which suggests that this claim may be part of the film's press
materials).  Connecting the film with HAMLET may have been Disney's
strategy for deflecting attention away from another, much closer source,
Osamu Tezuka's JUNGLE EMPEROR (KIMBA THE WHITE LION), made in the 60s
into a Japanese cartoon series which was briefly shown in the US.  For
more on this connection, see Frederik L. Schodt, DREAMLAND JAPAN
(Berkeley, CA: Stonebridge Press, 1996).

Douglas Lanier

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