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Unread Mar 18th, 2012, 05:19 PM   #1
Blitz Rogue
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King of Beasts

So, this is something I'm ripping from a thread on another TLK forum that I visit every now and again. It's a veeeery early draft of the Lion King script, titled King of Beasts.

Thought it was super interesting (though I haven't read through the entire thing yet; it is fairly lengthy), and that you guys might wanna give it a read-through. Admittedly, I haven't checked through the archives to see if this has been posted yet. However, I'd say it's a pretty safe bet that if it has been posted, it wasn't posted in the last couple of years at least.

Even without reading too far into it, I can see various reasons that a lot of the content from this draft didn't make it into the final product, but I'll let you guys decide for yourself.

Just some questions to stimulate discussion: What do you think of this version? Is it better or worse (in your opinion) than the TLK we know and love today? Are there certain parts you would've liked to have seen made into the animated film?
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Unread Mar 20th, 2012, 11:19 AM   #2
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Starting to read. Even from the first scene, its different. Feels utterly amazing.
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Unread Mar 20th, 2012, 01:44 PM   #3
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This is an interesting find, the movie would have been very different if they'd used this script. I prefer the finished product though c:
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Unread Mar 22nd, 2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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The first page made me LOL, TOTALLY Bambi.
-reads on-
this is really cool!
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Unread Mar 30th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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I read the whole thing in one sitting. I would actually have preferred to watch this than the original Lion King (I shocked myself with that revelation). But, understandably, it isn't what disney was looking for by any means.
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Unread Mar 30th, 2012, 09:34 PM   #6
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Okay, so I finally finished reading the last 75% of the script (which I shamefully left unread the first time I started reading). Personally, I have mixed feelings about it.

**Warning: Spoilers Ahead**

I will say that, overall, I liked it better than the storyline of the final product, but it was abundantly clear from the start why it was drastically changed for the Disney release (it's hardly what I'd call family-friendly material).

Some things that bugged me though: first and foremost, Rafiki doesn't exist in this version. This fact makes me sad. Second, the pacing of the story seemed to commit textual suicide about half way through the script. The time from Simba's exile right up to his return seemed like it was put on fast-forward for no real reason. It would be like trying to cram several important plot points into the scene of the film where Simba, T & P are walking across the magical-log-of-aging.

Once Simba and Nala made it back into the Pridelands, the pacing mostly came back into a good flow. But the whole middle section being rushed distracted me quite a bit.

As for actual plot that bothered me, the only thing I can think of was the fight scene between Simba and Scar. From what I can tell, Simba was only gone a matter of days, maybe a week or two. He didn't have time to grow or vigorously train himself to fight more effectively (there was no 80s training montage or anything!); all he really did was practice the move that Mufasa showed him 64 times (yes, exactly 64; Simba counted). And on Zazu, not an actual lion.

So, what, are we supposed to believe that the rage of seeing his father killed and a couple weeks in the desert, practicing "the move" on Zazu, was enough to transform Simba from a lanky adolescent into a fighting machine capable of defeating (and for much of the fight, downright embarrassing) the lion who dwarfed Mufasa? I dunno about that one.

I just had a really hard time placing how big, how muscled, how powerful he was really supposed to be in those final fight scenes. It was kind of disorienting.

And finally (this one's really pretty insignificant), while I can appreciate what they were trying to do with Simba repeating certain lines that Mufasa had recited to him earlier on, I do think they went a little far. Near as I could tell, every single line that Simba could have jacked from his dad, he did.

Some good things: the dialogue. Oh my good golly-gosh ness. Zazu especially had amazing dialogue. And I read each and every line in Rowan Atkinson's voice. It was glorious. I've always loved Zazu, but this script only made him better. Also, "I think you're fat. And useless. And deserve to die." I lost it when Simba said this. It was awesome.

Another part I really liked was when Mufasa first taught Simba about how to fight other male lions. It reminded me a lot (and I realize that this came first) of the scene in the first Warriors book when Bluestar starts training Firepaw to fight. It's just a very nice teacher-student dynamic.

Also Nala. Near the end, she was awesome. Didn't like her as much at the start, but I think that was partly due to the random rivalry they set up between her and some anteater or something. It was... odd.

Oh! I also disliked how the head hyena seemed to figure things out so quickly. Obviously he was supposed to be the quick-witted villain of the story (what Scar was in the movie), but there were times when it was just unrealistic how easily he read things and saw through plans. I think that contributed a bit to the problem I had with the pacing at times.

Jeebus, this is getting long... >.>

So, yeah. It was epic 'n stuff. I liked it.
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Unread Apr 26th, 2012, 08:58 AM   #7
takashari
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(I know this is a bit of an older thread, but I didn't think it was appropriate to make a new one...)

I finally had a moment to sit down and read the script in one sitting...
I wanted to take the characters from the movie, just their looks and voices, and put them into the situations that were brought forth in this version. There were things I really liked, and things I didn't care about so much.

Possible spoilers ahead!

First off, I really really enjoyed the traditions and spirituality that was in this script. I wished that there was more of it in TLK, which I can understand why it was not... I also really liked that Rafiki wasn't in this version. With the current spirituality present, I can see why there was no need for him.
The traditions of meeting with the other Pride, and other prey animals was really nice. I enjoyed the visit with the meerkat colony a lot. Timon's character was actually enjoyable. Mufasa teaching Simba of these traditions was fun to read about.
I LOVED how the pride had a name. I loved how the lionesses had names and the other animals had names. I loved that and I wished Disney would have kept it... I also enjoyed how Mufasa's character was a bit more distant at first. The whole pride dynamic really kept to a RL pride, and I would have liked to see that in TLK as well.
I really liked how Scar's character was portrayed. It was really different to imagine him the way this script depicted him. Being a rouge that imposes himself upon a pride kept it more like how it would happen in RL. Seeing his character in a totally different light was really enjoyable to me. Especially when you think back to his original design. I can easily see how his first design could easily be a formidable threat to Mufasa and the lionesses.
The hyenas were entirely new characters, and I really liked that. Their demeanor and style was so sly and cruel that it was difficult to not appreciate them in this way.

Zazu's speech was just awesome. I also liked how the other king had his own version of Zazu. They seemed to serve more of a purpose than the move gave them...almost like a living history book.

The timeline of this script was a bit weird in the middle, where Simba was on his own...but I kind of pretended it was going to be embellished upon, and the parts in the script were bits of this that the viewers would see. Practicing "the move" on Zazu was a bit funny, though, even if it was far fetched.

The ending "overthrow" almost seemed a bit rushed, but for what it is, it's not bad.

After reading this script, and seeing it indulge my desire to see the pride portrayed in a more realistic tone, I would love to have seen a blend of TLK and this as a final result. Obviously, Disney did not...but it's really just awesome that at one point someone had the desire to do so.
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Unread Apr 30th, 2012, 05:29 PM   #8
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I'm glad someone else posted in this thread. Since I'm not super active here, I didn't really want to bump it XD I was thrilled to be able to read this excellent script, thanks for posting it, Blitz! Of course, I love the film the way it ended up, but it's awesome to imagine seeing this early draft animated. So, a rather ambitious idea that I've had in the back of my head (I can't even begin to entertain it until this week of finals is over) since reading the script, is turning it into a web-comic. I would be doing it mainly for my own enjoyment, but I would love some feedback from you guys! Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? Is this something you would be interested in seeing?
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Unread Apr 30th, 2012, 09:03 PM   #9
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I can't speak for anyone else, but personally, I'd love to see this made into a web comic.

If you feel like it's something you want to do, I say go for it!
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Unread May 1st, 2012, 03:11 PM   #10
takashari
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I'd love to see the script turned into a comic!
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Unread May 1st, 2012, 10:59 PM   #11
Kitty Doom
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Thanks, guys! I'm glad to hear it. I'm hoping to edit it a little, mostly to help with the pacing issues. The end especially was super rushed and I'd like it to flow a bit better. Do you guys have any suggestions as far as that goes?
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Unread May 2nd, 2012, 01:38 AM   #12
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Well, a definitive amount of time between Simba's "exile" and his return, and something in addition to practicing "the move" repeatedly during that time would be a good start.

Aside from that, just use your imagination. It's your comic, after all.
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