The College Student’s Inner Child: The Lion King 3D

 NAAAnts ingonyAAAhma bagithi baba…

By Caroline Thirkill

While the stereotype may be that most college students spend Saturday nights at a party, or a dance club, I spent last Saturday (and I say this completely without shame) at The Lion King 3D. The original Lion King movie came out in 1994, and along with Pocahontas, was one of the first movies I ever saw. I decided to go for entertainment as well as sentimental purposes to see my favorite Disney cartoon.

When I arrived at the theater under the cover of darkness, I did not expect to have to wait on line to get in—let alone a line of people of our generation! I was not the only one trying to relive my childhood that night. As soon as that iconic sunrise hit the screen, the entire theater started cheering. We had immediately regressed to age 5.

This crowd took audience interaction to the extreme. As the first lines of “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” began to filter in through the speakers, someone in the front row decided to sing along. By the end, we had all joined in, shouting out the lyrics we remembered and abandoning all sense of movie theater etiquette; they could probably hear us from the lobby.

This sort of action continued throughout the movie. Someone cried “Eww!” after the fraternal burping scene between Simba, Timon and Pumba, and the entire theater filled with catcalls at the end of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.” The finale of the movie had us all on our feet, clapping and laughing at Simba’s return to Pride Rock.

It makes you wonder… can animated characters 
even see in 3D??

As adults, especially living in a crowded place like New York City, we put up many social barriers that keep most of our daily interactions impersonal. But, the audience’s time together in this theater tore down all of those walls. No one was afraid to talk to one another, to tell stories about how the Lion King was part of his or her childhood, or generally act out. In this context, it was completely okay to belt out the next song, no matter how off-key the singing!

Although it may seem silly, that movie was the best hour and half of relaxation I’ve had since school started. Now that we are college students, we feel the need to move past the hallmarks of our childhood and act like responsible, mature, and—admit it—sometimes boring adults. But every once and a while, it just feels good to be a kid again!

Caroline Thirkill is a sophomore at Barnard College. She is majoring in English with a minor in Classics.


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