Wait, is The Lion King Hamlet?
This is one of those things that nearly left my mouth open when I read it.
Of course it is.
It should be obvious now that we have pointed it out, isn’t it?
Prince Hamlet’s uncle kills his brother the king in an effort to seal the throne and take the queen as his wife. Hamlet must avenge his father’s death.
That beloved Disney movie from your childhood is nothing but “Hamlet with lions.”
I feel tricked.
It’s hard to unsee once the glass shatters, but understand: Most stories are the same.
The first to respond was CEO Michael Eisner, who wasn’t getting it. Grasping for a hook, he asked, “Could you make this into King Lear?” Coincidentally, Minkoff had reread that Shakespeare play a few weeks earlier, and he explained why the concept didn’t fit. Then, from the back of the room, a producer named Maureen Donley raised another Shakespearean suggestion: “No, this is Hamlet.”
-Adam Grant, Originals