As a child of the 1990s, there’s probably one cinematic moment that stands out above the rest: The death of Mufasa in The Lion King. For many of us, it was the first time we had seen an impactful and powerful death on screen, made even worse by Simba’s simple and traumatic, “You gotta get up.”
So, so sorry if you’re crying right now thinking about it.
If you think that somewhere, in some happier alternative-universe, Simba grows up with his father by his side, you’re wrong. Mufasa was always going to die, because Mufasa had to die — for The Lion King filmmakers, it was a rite of passage into adulthood.
Over the course of production, many things changed while making The Lion King, as they do when making any movie. Songs were swapped, jokes were changed, but one thing always stayed the same: Mufasa’s death. But, not only that, the circumstances surrounding Mufasa’s death were never altered. It was always going to be a stampede, and children in the ’90s were always going to grow up a little hesitant of wildebeest.
And thus, a lifelong fear of large hills and fleeing animals was born for those born around 1994. You can relive this moment — along with all the good, happier moments — with The Lion King, now on DVD, Blu-ray, and HD Digital.