I’ll confess to being pleasantly surprised Disney has permitted a reboot of my favorite childhood movie. The Lion King is, as the enlightened like to put it, problematic.
The kingdom is a hierarchical one–a monarchical one, more precisely–that maintains strict borders. It is safe and prosperous because of these things. When the rightful ruler is usurped and the borders opened to an incompatible species, the kingdom collapses into destitution and dictatorial despair.
The one capable of restoring the kingdom is initially so wallowing in feelings of guilt and self-pity to do what he must do. A hedonistic life of grubs and games is so much… easier.
Heroes, however, are not made to be pets. Ancestral voices echo through time to intervene in a carefree existence that is wasting away, snapping the hero out of it: “You have forgotten me and so you have forgotten who you are. Look inside yourself. You are more than you have become.”
Chastened and with courage restored, the rightful regent bursts back onto the scene, throws out the invaders, and reclaims for the lions what has been taken from them.