It has often been referenced that Disney‘s The Lion King is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet set in the African Savannah – but is it more than that? Of course, many have accused the animated classic as being an unceremonious rip-off of Japan’s Kimba The White Lion (many of the similarities are admittedly uncanny), but perhaps it owes a lot more to another influence – Disney’s own Bambi.
So it’s a coming of age story of a deer versus lion cub, you say; without a doubt, there would be a few parallel themes. Disney itself would claim Bambi as a strong influence – but just how strong is that influence? As a preview to our upcoming Default Disney review of Bambi (debuting the first week of February), we’ll explore the question: is The Lion King secretly a remake of Bambi?