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Nicole Frank RHET 1302-020 1 November 2011 Everything the Light Touches The video clip Everything the Light Touches is from the Walt Disney movie The Lion King. This one minute and ten second long video clip is essential to the movie, since it sets the tone for the rest of the motion picture and identifies the theme of the coming of age. The coming of age is the central idea of the film and is illustrated by Simbas journey as he struggles to find his place in the world. This single clip contains deep meanings that contribute to this theme. Through the use of visual analysis, foreshadows and correlations between visual elements and the argument of the movie can be discovered. In order to most adequately analyze this clip, it is best to separate it into two segments; the first segment occurring in scenery slightly different from that of the second segment. In the first segment of the video clip, Simba (an African lion cub) and his father, King Mufasa, have ascended the great rock that overlooks Mufasas territory. It is known that this rock, known as Pride Rock, serves as a home for all of the members of their lion family. As father and son sit at the highest point of the establishment, the sun is rising and the day is beginning. Mufasa explains to his son that everything the light touches is [their] kingdom (Everything). At this point, the camera views the backs of the lions as well as the great expanse of land and sky that they are gazing upon. The view of the land at this point is somewhat colorless due to the powerful light and yellow-orange color of the rising sun; however, its beauty and enrichment of nature are still evident. It is dotted with trees and has a long winding river making its way through the expanse. The sky is dominated by the color of the rising sun and seems to work with the colors and movement of the land in order to create one grand scene.

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Simba then begins to wonder away from his father and observes the dark shadowy place (Everything) that lies beyond the region of Mufasas land. This area is much smaller and more contained than the land of the kingdom. Mufasa explains to Simba that he is prohibited to enter that area since it is beyond [their] borders (Everything). In the second segment of the clip, Simba and Mufasa are walking through the flowing land and rolling hills of the kingdom. They are roaming the land that they were looking out on in the first segment of the clip. While they wander, we still see many of the visual elements that were presented at the beginning, such as the spotted trees and the river. However, at this point, the land has become more colorful and seems to demand our attention more than it did when it was being observed from afar; it has come to life. This is evident since we can now see other animals enjoying the beautiful land. At the start of the clip, Pride Rock is presented as a safe zone that Simba and the rest of his family reside. Pride Rock represents Simbas sheltered childhood; it is the place that he has called home since birth. As Simba and Mufasa scale up the rock and reach the top, it shows Simbas desire to learn about what lies outside of his safe zone; it proves that he is counting on finding [his] place in life (Minkoff and Allers) as soon as possible. When the two lions are overlooking the kingdom, the expanse of land and sky relate to the world that Simba wishes to explore. His childhood is ending and he is eager to find out what waits for him in his adult years. When Mufasa tells Simba that the sun will one day rise with him as the new king (Everything), it presents the idea of looking forward to what the future holds. From the view at this point of the video, the land and sky are outstretching and seem to be endless. This resembles the possibilities of the future for Simba; it illustrates all of his hopes,

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dreams, and wishes. The somewhat colorlessness and blending of the land with the sky gives the landscape an unfocused and maybe even mysterious appearance. This shows that although Simba has desires for what he wants to accomplish in years to come, what the future holds is still a mystery. Even though Simba expects that one day the kingdom will all be [his] (Everything), nothing can be certain. This part of the scene foreshadows the unexpected later rise of Scar (Simbas evil uncle) as king. When Simba leaves his fathers side to observe the dark area of the land, it shows his curiosity toward danger and adventure. The fact that he walks away from his father while observing the ominous area, suggests that his curiosity may soon lead him to stray from his fathers wishes. This foreshadows Simbas exploration of the forbidden land despite his fathers warnings. Pride Rock, the expanse of land and Simbas curiosity about the shadowy place are all significant. Through analysis, it is evident that they support the animated film as a classic coming of age story (Minkoff and Allers). Each element illustrates Simbas excitement toward the knowledge and opportunity that he will soon gain. Due to the end of his childhood and the new beginning of his adulthood, he will finally be able to explore the world that he cannot wait to sink his paws into. At the beginning of the second part of the clip, Simba and Mufasa are roaming the land they were once looking down on from Pride Rock. In this scene, the breathtaking natural beauty, mysticism and diversity of the African landscape (Wilmes) is clearly presented. The vibrant and lively color that the land has acquired since the beginning of the first clip relates to the knowledge that Simba is gaining. All that he has looked forward to since he was a child is being brought to life with every word of wisdom that he is receiving from his father. He learns

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that even though he is expected to, one day, rise as the new king, he must always respect all creatures; from the crawling aunt, to the leaping antelope (Everything). As Mufasa continues to share his own knowledge of the world and of life with Simba, he tells his son that all creatures are connected in the great circle of life (Everything). At this moment, Simba is merged into the land. What he was once observing from afar, he is now experiencing first hand. Simba joining the land that he before was only able to observe, resembles his inevitable immergence into the world. This illustrates that, since Simbas childhood is now coming to an end, he will soon find himself in the adult world and perhaps dealing with issues that he never thought existed; such as the many responsibilities of leadership (Minkoff and Allers) that will come when he assumes the throne. Since the clip shows Mufasa as the first to take Simba on an exploration of the kingdom, it gives the viewer reason to assume that Simba is expected to follow in the regal paw prints of his father (Wilmes); it identifies Mufasa as Simbas mentor. As Mufasa leads his son through the land, it refers to how Mufasas reign as king is meant to lead Simba into his own reign. With Simba following close behind his father and mimicking his every move, he will also inherent the same values, goals, and leadership manners that he has witnessed Mufasa possess throughout his ruling. In a story of a heroic young lion struggling to find his place in natures circle of life (Wilmes), this video clip is crucial in establishing the argument of the movie. In this short clip, there are many visual elements that contribute to the main idea of the entire Walt Disney animated film. Through analysis, it becomes evident that the directors of the film hoped to illustrate the idea of the coming of age. This can be seen through the hope that Simba has for his

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future and his desire to find his role in the world. Although struggles cross his path and interfere with his plans, Simba continuously pushes for what he desires and is able to find his place in life.

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Works Cited Everything the Light Touches. Dir. Rob Minkoff and Roger Allers., 1994. Web. 31 Oct 2011. <>. Minkoff, Rob, and Roger Allers. "Q&A with the Directors of Disne'ys The Lion King!." Interview by Victor Medina. 02 October 2011. Web. <>. Wilmes, Josh. ""The Lion King"." Lion King. N.p., 25 May 1994. Web. 30 Oct 2011. <>.

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