Bleats

The Lion King's Original Ending Would've Traumatised You As A Kid

It's as if Mufasa's death wasn't traumatic enough,

For an animated kid’s movie, The Lion Kinghad its share of surprisingly disturbing scenes, like Mufasa‘s death at the hands of Scar, the Nazi-esque hyena rally during the “Be Prepared” sequence, and Scar getting eaten alive by hyenas at the end.

It’s actually a wonder that kids weren’t rendered into blubbering messes after watching the film.

Having said that, The Lion King would’ve served up a guaranteed dose of trauma to you and anyone else who watched it had Disney decided to stick to the original, horrific ending.

You know it’s bad when Mufasa’s death is the second most traumatising thing of The Lion King.

In this original ending, everything unfolds roughly same way up until Simba faces off Scar for the final time at the top of a fiery Pride Rock.

After Scar knocks Simba on his back and about to finish him off, Simba manages to push Scar off, causing the older lion to fall off Pride Rock. But Scar isn’t dead as he is still clinging on the edge and begging Simba to save him. Telling Simba that letting him fall will make him no better than his murderous uncle, Simba decides to help.

However, Scar is able to grab hold of Simba’s mane and throw him off the edge to his apparent death. The elder lion manages to climb back up just before the flames engulf him. Since he doesn’t see Simba, who survived the fall thanks to a perfectly placed tree that broke his fall, Scar laughs maniacally in victory just before he gets consumed by fire and burned to death.

This original ending ultimately wasn’t properly completed and only exists in storyboard form, which is for the best because those alone are trauma-inducing enough and seeing the scene fully finished would’ve been way too much to handle.

As for why the original ending was deleted, Disney rightfully thought that it was too horrific for a Disney film and thought it was more interesting (and somehow less graphic) for Scar to be mauled to death by hyenas.

This makes sense on a character level given Scar’s association with the hyenas but the “too horrific for a Disney film” reasoning is an interesting one given how the studio went with graphic deaths for some of its other animated masterpieces.

There’s Ursula being impaled and electrocuted in The Little Mermaid, Frollo falling into molten copper in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Clayton getting hanged in Tarzan, and Gaston falling to his death in Beauty and the Beast.

So while Scar’s final death worked just fine, his original death wouldn’t have been too out of line when put alongside other Disney Renaissance films.

Perhaps having Scar laughing evilly while being roasted alive was just one step too far for a film that was already dark enough as it is.

And besides, The Lion King had already already used its “traumatise the audience” card with the death of Mufasa and playing it twice would’ve probably scared too many folks away from what was supposed to be an animated film about lions.

The Internet Wants Two Of TV's Most Meme-Worthy Chefs To Snag Parts In The Little Mermaid

Please let this happen.

Casting news has been coming in hot and fast for Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

We’ve got the talented Halle Bailey as our Ariel, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina as Founder and Scuttle respectively, and Melissa McCarthy in talks to be Ursula.

These are the only confirmed roles so far (well except for Ursula) but fans have been buzzing over who else they want to see in the film. While there have been some great suggestions (like Idris Elba as King Triton), the internet did its usual thing of taking a good thing and cranking it to 11.

Since it’s not been confirmed that McCarthy will be Ursula just yet, some fan suggested that the sea witch should in fact be celebrity chef Guy Fieri.

Look, that’s… not a bad suggestion actually. Seriously, just look.

The resemblance is uncanny.

I mean, he kind of looks like Ursula already when he’s in his natural state so it won’t take much work from the make-up department to get him looking like a purple sea witch. Just slap some purple body paint on and he’s good to go.

Fans began to really dig this idea, so much so that Fieri himself caught wind of what’s going on and gave it a ringing endorsement.

Fieri wasn’t the only celebrity chef whom fans had in mind for a part in The Little Mermaid. Some folks decided to run with the idea and one genius came up with the idea of casting Gordon Ramsay as Prince Eric’s angry chef, Louis.

Look, Fieri was a pretty funny joke but Ramsay? Please let it happen because he would be perfect as that weird cook.

For what he’s about to make, may the lord make us truly not vomit.

They’re both chefs, both have anger management issues and both have weirdly broad shoulders. It’s perfect. Just stick a fake twirly moustache onto Ramsay’s face and you’re set.

And can you imagine this classic meme but with Sebastian between the slices of bread instead? That alone will be worth the price of admission.

At this point, we couldn’t care less who ends up playing Prince Eric. Just cast celebrity chefs in all the funny supporting parts because that’s an instant win right there.

How China Is Deciding What You Get To See At The Cinema, And Even Disney Is In On it

No, it's not just you noticing all the Chinese pandering going on in Hollywood blockbusters.

The world collectively freaked out when Disney dropped the first trailer for its upcoming live-action adaptation of Mulan. Despite the lack of Mushu, no “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You“, or any indication that it’ll have musical bits, it was a gorgeous trailer that highlights just how much of a badarse Liu Yifei’s Mulan is.

However, one can’t help but feel something is “off” with the trailer and the character of Mulan. Compared to all the joy and emotion found in the 1998 animated classic, this new take just seems… cold.

The Guardian‘s Jingan Young says that this version of Mulan appears to pander to China’s nationalistic agenda and they’re not wrong in that assumption. The 1998 animated film flopped in China upon release so it’s pretty clear that Disney are trying to avoid that problem again by making it more appealing to Chinese audiences.

Some would say this is selling out a film’s creative vision in order to make more money and, well, they’d be completely correct. In fact, Disney are far from the only Hollywood studio to pander to the Chinese market with its blockbusters.

The Chinese film industry is absolutely booming right now, with experts putting it a close second to the US in terms of projected box office earnings for 2019 (about $12 billion vs $11 billion). In fact, these experts are predicting it to topple America as the biggest moviegoing audience by 2020.

As China emerges as a moviegoing market equal to the US but with potential for far more growth – there’s well over 1 billion moviegoers in China compared to the mere 300 or so million in the US – Hollywood studios are making big moves in order to get a slice of that Chinese movie pie.

This is why we’ve seen increased marketing in Asian markets, different edits of films and more big name actors going to Chinese cities to plug movies in recent years: there’s a LOT of money to be made there.

For context on just how increasingly important China is for a movie’s bottom line, about $600 million of Avengers: Endgame‘s $2.7 billion box office gross came from Chinese audiences alone. Yeah, that’s a lot of dosh.

It goes beyond PR stuff as we’re starting to see more Chinese influence on the creative side of things due to an increasing number of American/Chinese co-productions or production partnerships of some kind, like The Meg and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

This all looks like Hollywood is selling what’s left of its soul for some extra moolah in China and that’s a pretty accurate assumption. But the numbers don’t lie and it all makes sense from a money-making perspective, even if it means sacrificing things like creative freedom for a touch of Chinese pandering.

And business is booming.

It remains to be seen how this all plays out and how movies will ultimately be affected but don’t be too surprised to see more Chinese influence – for better or worse – on your cinema choices over the next decade or so.

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