I think most of us can openly admit by now that Disney movies are still as great today as they were when we were much, much smaller. Re-watching these nostalgia inducing gems can provide a deeper sense of appreciation as adults, for we're now old enough to clock the subliminal messages and jokes which passed us by as kids.
However, some Disney films slip in darker, more complicated narratives which completely fly over the heads of viewers like me, who still enjoy watching with an innocent hat on. According to Redditer 'omglollerskates', The Lion King 2 is one of these movies, and it goes as follows.
It's guessed that the narrative picks up shortly after the ending of the original movie, with the presumption that Nala becomes pregnant shortly after her reunion with Simba, as the sequel opens with a lion cub presented to the kingdom from Pride Rock.
The story then circulates around a conflict between King Simba and the Outsiders, a group of Scar's followers who refused to adhere to Simba's reign and were thus banished from the Pridelands. Their leader is a lioness who goes by the name of Zira and has three cubs, Nuka, Vitani and Kovu.
Although The Lion King 2 is seemingly a childhood tale of good vs. evil, could it be that this Redditer has actually unearthed a much more sinister subplot?
1. Nuka and Kovu are Scar's secret children
Throughout both Lion King movies we never see any other black and brown male lions, other than Scar, to whom Nuka and Kovu sport a striking resemblance. Additionally, the Outsiders are a matriarchy, so who else could father these cubs if not Scar?
A point this theorist further reinforces:
'When a new male lion takes over a pride, he will kill the cubs fathered by the previous pride leader. Of course, since the rules of lion-ing are bent often in these movies, it's a sensible guess to me that the lionesses who refused to submit to Simba (he killed their childrens' father, after all) were banished and took their cubs with them.'
The Lion King 2 stresses that Kovu is not Scar's son, however Scar choosing a non-blood related cub as successor seems unlikely. Could this have been a ploy by Disney to avoid questions surrounding romantic family ties?
I feel that this was added in for kid-friendliness since Kovu eventually ends up with Kiara, who would have otherwise been his cousin.
3. Vitani is the daughter of Nala & Scar
For years, Nala presumed her true love, Simba, was trampled to death by a stampede, so it's plausible that the young lioness formed a connection with someone who shared a strong bond with him. And that person would be Scar. Could it be then that within this relationship Nala went through 'an unwanted and unjoyful pregnancy,' resulting in passing the cub off to another?
'Once she finds Simba alive and watches him head for Pride Rock to challenge Scar, she realizes she now has an out, and the chance to become Queen to a more prosperous ruler (and the lion she always loved). She conceals her daughter from Simba, and gives the cub to Zira to raise."
"Or perhaps when Simba was clearing out Scar's cubs, Nala never spoke up to claim Vitani as hers, and Zira, realizing what was happening, stepped in to mother the cub.'
The Redditer then goes on to source the video used to support their fan speculation, a 3 second exchange between Nala and Vitani. Scroll to 0:32 for English:
'Up until this point we have been given no indication that Nala and Vitani even know each other, and then Vitani delivers this one line just dripping with subtext. Tell me you don't hear some sense of betrayal when you hear it.Yeah, your PRETTY daughter! You got a pretty and perfect life by denying me, because I wasn't worth it to you. A stretch, maybe, but of note they are the only two lions in either movie to have blue eyes.'
What do you think?