Can You Feel The Love Tonight: A Pictorial Analysis of a Sex Scene That Wasn’t There When You Were Six
Sometimes you think you knew it all, only to be surprised.
Most people, when they reach college age, they begin to understand that the Disney films of their youth may have a little more subtext than we once thought:
(Which they conveniently cut out of this DVD release. The scene fades just as the “sex” cloud goes into the air. Hence the reason that photo looks like shit. It’s from an old copy I found online.)
Of course there’s more. The penis in The Little Mermaid, etc. (I don’t count the racism, because subtext implies that it’s not out in the open.) But, you come to realize that Disney films are a bit more adult than you thought they were when you were a child. And you see stuff like that sex cloud up there, and you think that’s it. But then you discover more. Much more.
I was recently watching my brand new Blu-ray of The Lion King, which Disney recently took out of their vault. It’s a gorgeous copy of what may be my favorite Disney film (Beauty and the Beast and Fantasia are stiff competition). And, as I was watching, I noticed some things. I noticed some subtext that maybe I didn’t necessarily notice as a six-year old, which is the age I was when the film first came out. Growing up will do that to you.
But, the more I watched — the more I started noticing certain things. Specifically in the portion of the film where Simba is off with Timon and Pumba.
Let me set this up for you…
Simba watches his father die. He even goes and nestles up next to his corpse.
Then his uncle Scar (maestro of this parade of death) comes up and says, “Simba, what have you done?”
Because — Simba had recently gotten into trouble by hanging out in the north area of the Pride land, where he’s not supposed to go (aka the hood), where the hyenas live (black people. Make no mistake, these are the projects. The hyenas aren’t accepted in society, live in their own run-down part of town, are thought of as scavengers and thieves, and are desperately hungry for real food all the time, which they usually get as a handout from Scar — welfare! Not to mention the fact that they’re voiced by Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin and the third one doesn’t talk. A black, a Mexican, and an illiterate one who is dumb as rocks. There’s that good, old-fashioned Disney racism!). And Mufasa was very upset with him.
Now, having gotten caught in a stampede, he naturally assumes his father’s death is his fault, because Mufasa died trying to save him. So Scar (knowing this would be the case — he’s using the black vote to take power. They should call it Tammany Rock) scares Simba into thinking it was his fault and that he has to run away, plaguing him with years of guilt and emotional problems. Just like a real family member would!
But what Simba really does, like any real 12-year old kid with a hard life and family problems would do, rather than go to therapy, is — become a stoner.
Timon and Pumba — two clear potheads if there ever were any — find Simba. They don’t like him at first, because he’s one of the cool kids. He’ll pick on them and ruin their lives. So they realize — if they make him one of them… “having a lion around might not be such a bad idea.” So they take him in, and they teach him their ways.
They smoking that good stuff man. That Hakuna Matata shit, man. It’ll make you see some shit:
What a wonderful phrase, indeed.
They teach him the ethos of “no worries”:
Well — what do you have when you’re high besides no worries?!
For those keeping track, this also means no worries:
But back to the movie. Timon and Pumba teach Simba to dull his problems with weed.
Father died? Uncle told you to leave? Wracked with guilt? Smoke up, man! It’s a problem-free philosophy.
Pumba even says: “These two words will solve all your problems!”
Then Pumba tells of his first introduction to weed.
When he was a young warthog… he had a bad flatulence problem, and people couldn’t be around his smell. He had no friends. He felt ashamed. He thought of changing his name. He got down-hearted.
And then he got introduced to Hakuna Matata (and the song picks back up again). Now, he’s happy, and he has a friend who sticks by him all the time (because I guess the smell of the weed drowns out whatever stank is coming off of him).
And now Simba’s been converted!
After all — it means no worries, for the rest of your days.
And they teach Simba how to be like them. Munchies and all.
And Timon (clearly high), is trying to tell Simba how great it is being high all the time.
“I tell ya, kid,” he says, “this is the great life. No rules, no responsibilities…”
And here’s where he hits a pot hole, if you will.
“…ooh! the little cream-filled kind!”
He gets distracted by a bug, as high people often do. In the middle of a sentence and, “Ooh, Chex Mix!” That’s a pot hole.
But then he gets back on track, and says, “And best of all? No worries!”
So he basically tells this kid that being a stoner will help him escape all the troubles that plague him in life.
And Simba, needing the escape goes, “Oh well…Hakuna Matata,” and takes his first toke.
We all know that face, don’t we?
Then he gets the dry mouth:
Then he gets really high, really quickly:
Then he realizes, “Hey, this is actually really great!”
He feels his problems melting away quickly. And he starts to lose all his worries. And he starts to think about more important stuff, like — mountains. And — the stars (more on those later). And if a horse can really tell if a midget is riding him.
And then Simba gives in and becomes a full-blown stoner, Hakuna Matata-ing his problems away.
And he continues doing it until he’s all grown up.
And Simba and Timon and Pumba just hang around all day, smoking pot, getting the munchies, without a care in the world.
They even have high conversations with one another.
Remember that picture up there of the three of them, laying in the grass like they’re blazed out of their minds? This is the actual conversation they have there:
(Simba lets out a huge BURP)
Timon: “Ohh! Nice one, Simba.”
Simba: “Thanks. Man, I’m stuffed!”
Pumba: “Me too. I ate like a pig!”
Simba: “Pumba…you are a pig.”
Pumba: “Oh, right.”
(All three inhale deeply. Pumba smacks his lips together because his mouth is really dry.
It’s like what George Thorogood said: “You know when your mouth is dry, you’re plenty high.”)
Pumba (after a moment): “Timon?”
Pumba: “Ever wonder what those sparkling dots are up there?”
Timon: “Pumba, I don’t wonder, I know.”
Pumba: “Oh. what are they?”
Timon: “They’re fireflies. Fireflies that got stuck up there in that — big bluish-black thing.”
Pumba: “Oh. Gee. I always thought they were balls of gas, burning billions of miles away.”
Timon: “Pumba, with you, everything’s gas.”
Pumba: “Simba, what do you think?”
Simba (probably filling another bowl as they talk): “Oh, I don’t know.”
(The two start heckling him to get an answer.)
Simba: “Well — somebody once told me, that the great kings of the past are up there, watching over us.”
Timon: “You mean a bunch of royal dead guys are watching us?”
(Timon and Pumba burst out laughing for a good twenty seconds.)
No, they’re not stoners. Not at all.
So then Nala shows up.
It was at this point in the film that, just by simply watching and not looking for any of this, I said (out loud, to no one in particular), “Wait, so Simba is a virgin, hanging out with these two stoners, and then when Nala shows up, within minutes, they’re going off to go fuck while the two stoners jealously sing about it.”
Because that’s what happens!
Nala shows up, almost kills Pumba, then Simba shows up and the two start fighting.
Then she pins him (like she did when they were kids — if you know what I mean), and suddenly he’s like, “Whoa, I have feelings in my groinal area for the first time ever!”
And then he’s like, “Wait, don’t I know you? Don’t you have groinal feelings for me too?”
And then all these feelings get thrown into the mix, and they went from fighting to wanting to fuck.
More like The Loin King!
Get it? Because there’s stirring in his —
Yeah, you get it.
And then they’re playing around and shit, like, “Oh my god I can’t believe it’s you!” “Oh my god I can’t believe it’s you either!” “I totally want you to sit on my dick right now!” “Oh my god, like, I know, right!”
And within seconds, they’re all over each other.
I understand this dude’s reaction completely.
He’s all like, “Oh, great! So now you’ve found a woman and are totally gonna go off with her and leave us alone, right? I thought we were having a guy’s night out!”
And Simba’s like, “But you don’t understand. We grew up together. We’re just gonna go and catch up on old times.”
And Simba’s like, “I totally won’t abandon you. Look, she’s totally cool. We’re just gonna go talk.” And Timon’s just hating her for no reason, like she just kicked his baby down a flight of stairs.
Because he’s all like, “If you got something to say to him, you can say it in front of us! Right, Simba?”
And Simba’s all like, “Yeah — what had happened was — you guys better leave us alone for a little bit.”
(The best part about it is that, after they go, he has that awkward exchange with her, like, “Timon and Pumba — you’ll learn to love them.” It’s so fucking realistic! Like, “Yeah, my friends never embarrassed me until I had a chance to sleep with you.”)
And Timon begrudgingly goes aside with Pumba. And it’s like them going to wait by the bar, angrily watching their boy abandon them from afar:
And as they’re watching, this is going on over in the other corner of the club:
And Timon’s like, “What the fuck?! He said he was just gonna talk to her!”
And he gets so upset that he starts to cry:
And Pumba (clearly the power bottom in this relationship) is like, “It’s all right, honey.”
And Timon continues to bemoan the situation, telling Pumba that Simba is clearly gonna go and fuck this girl and fall in love with her, and is gonna leave the two of them all alone.
And they start singing about what’s going on (with Nala and Simba “aloone”, as Timon puts it):
“I can see what’s happening.”
“And they don’t have a clue!”
“They’ll fall in love, and here’s the bottom line — our trio’s down to two.”
And then we segue into “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” as Simba and Nala go off to have sex.
This is my favorite part of the movie. Because — when you watch this thing carefully — it actually is a sex scene!
And not just any sex scene — a realistic one, at that.
It starts with the two of them going over by a waterfall (uh huh):
And then what happens is — she moves on ahead, and tells him to come hither:
And he follows:
And they meet up underneath the waterfall, and have that moment where they almost kiss:
And, just as he’s about to attain his prize, she moves away again:
And it’s another come hither look:
Oh yeah. She’s gonna feel his love tonight.
So they go off together. (We’ve all left many a frat party like this, haven’t we?)
Which leads to this:
She starts seductively lapping at the water (because lions can’t hold ice cream cones). She starts getting into it, using her tongue. And Simba’s like, “Oh Jam… Imma fuck this bitch.”
And then she looks up at him like, “I want this.”
And when you watch the film, it’s this long, slow look up, like — oh yeah, she wants it. (I wish I had a GIF of this.)
(Also, just to pause — or paws. Zing! — for a moment. To those that are gonna bring up the obvious argument here: I don’t care what the lyrics are saying. Film is a visual medium. What are these visuals telling you?)
Come the fuck on! (Note: Ha ha.)
You’re gonna tell me that’s not a clear sign of, “Let’s go fuck”? That’s totally the “I’m ready” look.
Even Nala knows it:
Like, “Oh you ready to do this now?”
And then he goes and swings from the vine into the pond, which, to me, is the equivalent of him getting on the bed and sexily taking off his shirt.
But even if we stick with the water thing — how many times have you seen this in a movie? The scene where one half of the couple is in the water? What always happens? The one pulls the other in too:
And what happens after he pulls her in? This:
Uh huh. Don’t even need words, do you?
Chicka chicka chow.
And then she playfully bats him away too:
She’s all wet.
And then we cut to them frolicking in the forest:
And here’s where the really graphic part kicks in…
They run through the forest (foreplay) and then get up to embrace each other like this:
This is like Avatar.
And then as they do that, you can see Simba (clearly with a plan in mind), slowly use his momentum to topple her backward onto the floor:
And he gets her into position:
I swear to you, I am not altering these images in any way. These are the exact order in which they appear in the film, and these exact moments happen. Watch the movie if you don’t believe me.
So then we see an image of them rolling down the side of a hill — a little roll in the hay, huh, Inga? — which leads to this shot:
The best part about it is — it looks like them having sex for the first time. At first it’s all fun and new:
Then there’s that awkward moment of him putting it in:
And then there’s the glance up. This is the clincher for me. Once it’s in and he starts going — everyone knows that glance. Look at this and tell me this is not a sex scene:
She’s literally putting her paw around his head to bring her closer to him.
OH MY GOD!
And then — as she pulls him close to her, in the most intimate of moments one person can share with another person — she does this:
I knew Nala was a freak.
Even Simba’s like, “Did she just do that?”
That shit throws you off your game when you’re new. And he looks down at her, and she’s like, “Bring it on.”
And Simba’s like, “Oh, I can’t do nothin’ about that look. She knows she’s got me about to do whatever she wants.”
And then he’s like, “Game on.”
Then there’s the afterwards, which is the quintessential movie moment — the two shot kiss:
And then the song ends with Timon and Pumba crying — because keep in mind, this whole thing is these two lamenting the loss of their friend to nookie.
How messed up is that? A legit sex scene in The Lion King. Didn’t remember that being there when you were six, did you?
Kinda like this:
Oh, but there’s just a bit more. Take a look at what happens post-coitus:
Simba’s laying around, totally satisfied, like, “I have a question — what are you still doing here?”
And then they start acting like a regular couple. After the sex, they start arguing.
It’s mostly plot-related stuff that they argue about, but the look on Simba’s face the entire time (which you can see in the screenshot up there, in the hammock) is like, “Hey man, it’s cool. How about we go again?”
And she’s trying to talk serious, and he’s pulling his dick out, like, “Come on, just a quickie!”
And she’s getting upset and he’s like, “No, no, don’t worry about it. Hakuna Matata.”
He actually tries to block out her argument by saying Hakuna Matata.
But look at all the subtext (and the blatant sex scene!) in The Lion King. Weird how we never caught that, huh?
And the cherry on top of all of this? Their argument concludes with an exchange that features this:
Simba: “Now are you satisfied?”
Nala: “No. Just disappointed.”
Can’t please ’em all, Simba.