Feeling unimportant in this conformity system, he accidentally meets beautiful Princess Bala, who has a similar problem on the other end of the social scale. In order to meet her again, Z switches sides with his soldier friend Weaver. By doing this, he ends up crossing the path of General Mandible (Bala's fiance), who wants to divide the ant society into a superior, strong race (soldiers) and an inferior, soon to be killed race (the workers). But Z and Bala, both oblivious of the dangerous situation, try to leave the cruel system by heading for Insectopia, where there is no such system and all insects coexist in harmony.
In the movie The Lion King, directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, a young lion prince is born in Africa, making his uncle Scar the second in line to be king. Scar plots with the hyenas to kill King Mufasa and Prince Simba, in order to make himself King. The King is killed and Simba is led to believe by Scar that it was his fault, so Simba leaves the kingdom. After years of exile he returns back to the kingdom to take back what was once his father’s, and now his. After watching both of the films, there seemed to be a political message in both of them.
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In the movie Antz, it seems as if they are trying to show a totalitarian government. According to the American Heritage dictionary, totalitarian is defined as: being, or imposing a form of government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the state, and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed (American Heritage). In other words, General Mandible runs a totalitarian government in order to make the army ants superior than the worker ants.
He wants to take full control of the ant colony by marrying the princess and trying to kill the queen in order to make himself king. The one ant, Z, tries to promote individualism so it can be the remedy for the totalitarian government General Mandible is trying to run. Individualism is defined as: belief in the primary importance of the individual and in the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence (American Heritage). He tries to tell the other ants that they don’t have to work if they don’t want to. The work they do is the reason why their society is becoming larger.
In the movie The Lion King, it seems as if it shows a dictatorship. Dictatorship is defined as: Absolute or despotic control or power (American Heritage). Despite this, Scar, the inferior brother to King Mufasa, tries to take control over Mufasa and Simba and rule the lands. King Mufasa and the animals of Africa are the protagonists. The antagonists are Scar and the Hyenas, who want to control Africa. Some critics have said that Scar is portrayed as Hitler, who leads the hyenas (Nazis) to overthrow King Mufasa and the rest of the animals (Europe) (IMDB).
When Scar does take over, everything starts to deteriorate (such as the Nazis did to Eastern Europe). It seemed as if they were running concentration camps. When Simba returns, everything returns to normal-the trees grow back and the grass turns bright green again, symbolizing the relief ceased (The Nazi fall). In a way, these two films are similar. In each movie, both of the antagonists are depicted as evil and angry. They try to take control of the whole colony or kingdom. When they see an obstacle in the way, they try to eliminate it so they can obtain an easy path to the throne.
In the movie Antz, individualism is represented as a great value. Z, the individualistic ant, tries to confront General Mandible for his wrongdoings. He tries to stand up for himself and what he believes in, and soon after the rest of the colony starts to follow his ideas. Seeing that Z has now won over the colony with his beliefs, General Mandible gives out a compelling speech about how the colony needs the workers, and that they have their place in helping build a better colony.
He goes on to tell his soldiers, “Gentlemen, now you can see how dangerous individualism can be. It makes us…vulnerable. ” (Antz, General Mandible). This is why he wants to destroy the working ants. He knows that if the ants all become individualistic, that he will be overrun and not be able to pursue the superior race that he greatly wants. Later on, Z goes on to tell Princess Bala, “…he just died in my arms. I don’t think that once in his life he made his own choice. ” (Antz, Z). Here he is talking about one of the soldiers, who told Z not to follow orders all of his life.
This scene depicts the reality of the ant colony; unfortunately, the entire colony, especially the ants, were always following commands and following orders-they had no choice. On the contrary, The Lion King does not depict any degree of unhappiness under the rule of King Mufasa. All the animals are living in harmony, doing as they please; therefore, their individualism is not threatened by King Mufasa’s power. Once Scar comes into rule, he begins to dictate and change everything about the kingdom. He gave the hyenas superior authority over the lions and the other animals.
Soon, the rest of the animals start to leave the area and the kingdom becomes infested solely with hyenas. With the dictatorship of Scar, the animals’ freedom and sense of individualism was diminished. The political power in each film is exercised in a similar matter. Both movies contain a monarchy, which contains a queen in the movie Antz, and a king in the movie The Lion King. In the movie Antz, the queen ant has a daughter who is the princess. Soon after the Queen dies, the princess will take her place and so on.
In order for General Mandible to take control of the whole colony and become king, he must marry Princess Bala. He takes advantage of the monarchy, and turns it into more of a totalitarian government. On the other hand, The Lion King, has a different approach to its monarchy. King Mufasa expresses to his son that they follow the “Circle of Life” (Allers, Minkoff). In the “Circle of Life”, King Mufasa explains that, “When we die, our bodies become the grass, and the antelope eat the grass. And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life”. (Allers, Minkoff).
The kingdom in which they live, is not about exercising a control in one’s power, but rather, it is about respect. King Mufasa does take pride in being king, but he does not command and tell the other animals what to do in every aspect of their lives. Scar was second in line to the throne, being King Mufasa’s brother, but Simba’s birth made him the direct heir to the throne, thus pushing back Scar to third in line. And as the story goes, Scar becomes furious and turns on his own family because he is greedy. He then goes on to kill his brother and he tries to kill Simba but with no success.
Simba returns from going away for a while, and goes back to being king and completing the “Circle of Life”. In each of the films, it shows us what a government should do in a situation where it endangers its people. In Antz, after General Mandible takes the soldier ants out of the colony, and closes in the working ants, the worker ants come together and help each other out. The people (ants) of the government (ant colony), need to stick together and not be against each other. In the end, General Mandible says, “I am the colony”, and soon after tries to kill Z but ends up killing himself.
The colony came together and stood up for what they believed in, and took down the tyrant who was trying to make the colony “better” by turning it into a totalitarian government. In The Lion King, the government (jungle) does not really put up a fight against Scar. They let him control the lands and do whatever he pleases with the hyenas. Only when Simba comes back, the other lions are motivated to fight. In a point in the movie, Scar is cornered and blames everything on the hyenas and is soon after pushed over the cliff by Simba.
Although Scar killed King Mufasa, Simba did not want to kill Scar. Instead justice was served when the hyenas attacked Scar because he had turned his back on them after false promises. You can see that all over the world, there have been dictators, such as Fidel Castro or Hitler, that have fallen. They have fallen not only because of their decisions, but because of the people. Like the aforementioned, there is more to a movie than you think. Before doing this paper, I just thought these movies were just animated films that were made for children.
But the truth is that they have a meaning towards the adult viewers also. I believe that in Antz, the ants try to overthrow General Mandible’s totalitarian government in order to achieve a full sense of individualism. In the movie The Lion King, I believe that there is a dictatorship when Scar is in command. He does not rule the lands like King Mufasa, who gave everyone an equal right to live and be happy. Despite the antagonist’s attempts to rule, their justice is served, and in both movies the protagonists get what they want. All in all, always find the true meaning behind a film.
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