Reviews for Nana Uru Tells a Story
Rosawyn chapter 1 . 1/27/2014
I don't think I've ever read a Lion King fanfic before (unless you count those silly licenced Disney picture books for preschoolers; my kids have one called 'Roar'), but I'm certainly not fandom-blind (though I think most people have seen 'The Lion King,' lol).

I like the image of young Simba that you open with here; it's very reminiscent of the movie.

I have no idea who Kula and Chumvi are – I guess their names were never mentioned in the movie. But you helpfully point out that Kula is Nala's friend and Chumvi is another cub who has a bit of a reputation as a 'bad influence.' I do wonder where Nala is, though; it seems she should be playing with Simba and Kula, since they're her friends.

I don't really understand why Chumvi was hurt when Simba said his dad was “doing king stuff.” That just doesn't seem to follow logically; I'm probably missing something. When Simba says, '“It's kind of complicated. King stuff, you know,”' that seems like a more logical place for Chumvi to feel hurt, but he doesn't even seem to noitice or care, lol.

Heh, I like how Simba's not smart enough to get it either. :)

I would like to point out that Chumvi did not in fact call Mufassa an “idiot” here; he just said that something Mufassa said was stupid – Simba might not see it, but there's a pretty big difference there.

I've never heard of Nana Uru before (other than the title of this fic, I guess, lol).

It seemed to me that Muffassa explained the Circle of Life well enough in the movie, but then I guess I was quite a bit older than Simba is here when I first watched it.

So apparently Nana Uru is Simba's grandmother – is she Muffassa's mother or Sarabi's mother?

It seems to me that the question actually has more to do with Chumvi than it does with Simba.

I can't help thinking of Voldemort when I see “death eaters,” sorry.

I was surprised to see “shined” used here; I'm used to seeing “shone.” Maybe that's a regional thing, but to me it looks incorrect.

I like the description of the world as “darkness and black water”. :) It's very evocative of “and darkness was on the face of the deep” from Genesis in the Bible. I think it fits well, because Nana Uru is telling the lion's own creation myth.

I like the explanation of where the great plains came from. :)

I'm surprised that the leopard doesn't just point out that clearly he's better, since he eats their kind for breakfast (literally).

I kind of wish Simba had said that Chumvi was kind of right and kind of wrong, and said it when Chumvi was there to hear it. I don't think it's at all fair to Kula (or even to Chumvi) to only tell a half-truth like that; how else is anyone ever going to “understand” - the reason we learn as we grow older is because we're introduced to other ideas, not because people keep telling us we're right when we're actually wrong. Of course, Nana Uru is a fictional character, so I guess it really doesn't matter what she thinks. And if I tried arguing with her about it, she'd probably just lie and say she thought I was right. :P
Simbaanaya chapter 1 . 1/12/2014
Just because someone can't wait to be king doesn't make them arrogant! In fact Simba is far from it. You haven't seen arrogant.
Leonidas701 chapter 1 . 12/19/2013
Thanks to you saying that Mufasa just kinda vaguely said something about turning into grass, I will now forever think of him as a stoner. This is not a bad thing.
You definitly got Simba's character down, he;s still the arrogant little turd that he was in the movie. I did like how you had everyone be aware of how stuck-up he is, a lot of people seem to forget that fact.
What is the difference between the meat eaters and the death eaters? Do the meat eaters eat their pray before killing it?
I like how you had Simba be unsure of the answer at the end. It's always nice to see an arrogant person deffer to superior experience.
Overall, this was an amusing diversion. Nothing that I could really take away from it, but I wasn't bored either.
For some reason though, I got a really weird anakin skywalker vibe from Chumvi. Does he turn evil or something?
starlight.moon.princess chapter 1 . 10/18/2013
Warning: So, it seems I'm not as knowledgeable about this fandom as I thought I was - while I recognise Simba and Nala, of course, the others are all unfamiliar to me - just a heads up :)

I really liked the fable you've written about in the fic - it follows in the tradition of a lot of origin stories, where there's a new creature created in order to fulfill an existing lack in the world. I also really liked the way you've referred to the various animals - "death eaters," "meat eaters," "plant eaters." The fact that the lions refer to the other carnivorous animals as "meat eaters" - therefore excluding themselves - is also lovely, because it helps to show that they believe that they're the best.
I loved the way you integrated Anansi into this - he fits in perfectly, and doesn't seemed contrived in the fic at all.

The ending was lovely, the way Simba keeps the peace between the cubs, but also manages to gain the lesson that Nana Uru was trying to teach him.

This was lovely - well done! :)
TheEgyptianOwl chapter 1 . 10/17/2013
I love this story; it's very descriptive. I've not read a Lion King fanfic before (or I don't think I have) and I am adding it to my favorite stories.
I like this line: "I don't know, doing king stuff," he mumbled, feeling bitter.

It is cute and you use good descriptive words like "chimed", "bitter" and "playfully" throughout the story.

I also like this line: Simba hesitated. "It's kind of complicated. King stuff, you know."

Aww Simba, don't be superior, lol.

This made me smile: ""Pfft, that's stupid. Everybody knows lions are way better than plant eaters."

"I think you're just saying that because you don't understand," Chumvi teased. He poked Simba in the shoulder. Simba swatted at him in annoyance.
This was sweet; I liked the playfulness and the humour between the cubs.

From what I can tell, there is only one spelling mistake in the story and it is here: "They three cubs found Nana Uru relaxing on a shady rock." It should be "the," not "they."

I'm going to add this story to my favorites list. You did an excellent job with the story, well done!
persevera chapter 1 . 10/12/2013
This is such a magical fable. One can actually imagine it as part of the Lion King story.
The timing on some of the action might be a little off and I wish I could copy/paste it to better explain, but...You have the Great Spirit coming down to find out what the argument's about then you lay out the positions of the plant, meat and death eaters, then all of the animals run to the Great Spirit. Maybe the passage that explains the argument should be moved to when the animals run to the Great Spirit.
I love that she used golden grass to make the lions and that she used a lot more on the male, explaining the mane. It's good that even the male cubs recognize the superior hunting abilities of the females.
The small hints you give about Nana Uru's deterioration are really sad. It gives the impression that even if Mufasa had lived and they'd all stayed at Pride Rock, she wouldn't be with them long.
SunnyStorms chapter 1 . 7/21/2013
The interactions between the cubs were adorable, especially Simba with all his insistence over "king stuff." *laughs* I commend you on characterizing them well - they sound very much like the young, inexperienced cubs that they are with their simple, childish manner of speech down to the way they insult each other and insist that they're right. And Nana sounds like the wise lioness that she is.

Is the creation myth here entirely your own creation (aside from Anansi)? I'm not all that versed in African myth lore to know for sure, but if it is your own, great bit of creativity on your part in coming up with it. It makes great sense and sounds like it could plausibly be a real myth. I particularly loved the explanation for the male lion having the mane and the lioness being the huntress for the pride.

/"If we spent all our time arguing about who is right and who is wrong we would never stop fighting. Sometimes its better to let a stubborn animal think he knows best. Chumvi's not hurting anyone. When he's older, he'll understand. We just have to set a good example for him."/
-I loved this bit of wisdom from Nana. It's quite true for real life actually, hah.

Overall, I found this a cute and enjoyable little read. Nicely done.
The Real F'n Scorp chapter 1 . 7/11/2013
I've only recently begun reading Disney related (in fact, this is my second one) fandom fics and I really liked this one. I especially loved the story that Nana Uru tells, it really gave me the sense of being an ancestral story that one might hear while sitting around a fire with a tribal elder. Nana Uru has a unique and distinct voice to me here and is my favorite character in the piece, but considering my love of archaeology and folklore that really was not much of a surprise. I thought you captured the cubs well and gave them distinctive voices and individuality to differentiate them between each other. I also loved the banter between Simba and Chumvi-I could easily see them as being male adversaries (maybe not seriously, but competitive-wise) when they reach maturity.

Some lines I really loved:

(("Pfft, that's stupid. Everybody knows lions are way better than plant eaters."))-I got a serious chuckle out of this and could totally imagine a cub lion (or kid period) saying this to another one.

(("That's not exactly true," Nana replied patiently. "The mysteries of the Circle of Life are difficult to understand, even for adults. This is why our ancestors gave us stories - to help us understand our place in the world. Now listen closely..."))-I love Nana Uru's voice here. I get the sense that she is an older female with time hanging on her shoulders. I also love the taking of having her be a storyteller, which is very key to a lot of tribes and bands of indigenous people. Really makes the character jump to life here for me and gives me an image in my head of not just an older, wiser lioness but of a grandmotherly/tribal elder type as well.

(("If we spent all our time arguing about who is right and who is wrong we would never stop fighting. Sometimes its better to let a stubborn animal think he knows best."))-This line is a line of absolute wisdom. I love it and think it defines the character of Nana Uru the most in its simplicity. Good job.

A couple of minor critiques:

(("No it's not!))-I think you need a comma after No to slow down the comment and place emphasis on the no as being singularly important to what is being said here. Just my feeling though.

((Simba chimed,))-I think you need the word 'in' here to smooth the line out.

(("Good morning, Nana," said all three cubs at once.

Kula explained the situation quickly.))-Between here you need a line from Nana Uru saying good morning back and asking the cubs what it is that she can do for them. It kinda just jumps from point a to point d here without it and seems a bit rushed in a way. Again, just a suggestion.

In all, I really enjoyed this little piece and may give more Disney related fandoms a try. Excellent job!
Green Phantom Queen chapter 1 . 7/8/2013
First off, I am a sucker to myths. I love reading about these creation myths and African ones are the most interesting. I imagine the humans and strange animals living together, free and wild. I imagine savannahs and a scorching sun. The story was amazingingly written and it wasn't afraid to be so kid-like. there is a reason for this circle and for why animals are connected via chain.

I also love how you added Anansi to the mix and how he is like the serpent that made Adam and Eve get kicked out of the Garden. However, sometimes evil is needed for good to transpire. The brighter the light, the darker the darkness. Actions need to be in equallibrium in order to work out.

Last, I didn't know about the book series. This is so cool that we have such interesting characters (the books came out in 1994!). I also love how Nana states that Chumvi isn't stupid, he just believes in what he wants to believe. he's only a kid after all. And that's right, if people keep arguing, we would never stop fighting and nothing would get done. It reminds me of those youtube arguments-everyone argues while ignoring that they're watching a video of something good or of interest. Nana Uru is also such an interesting character-I wish I had a grandma like that with interesting stories.

thank you for writing. I love your Lion King fics and I hope Heart of the shadowlands gets an update soon.
zanganito chapter 1 . 7/8/2013
I liked the Circle of Life/lion origin story, especially the part with the spider as the “trickster” who makes the other animals fight so he can build his web undisturbed. lol. He was the only one who profited through the argument since he ended up with a web full of flies.

I also really liked the twist at the end, with Simba at first agreeing with Chumvi’s misinterpretation of the story, but then finding out he picked up quite a lot from the story.

I especially liked Nana Uru’s line: If we spent all our time arguing about who is right and who is wrong we would never stop fighting.

This is a well-written, insightful, and clever story, and I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for posting!
MessengerOfDreams chapter 1 . 7/8/2013
Congrats on passing 100k words! I don't remember when I did that, I just realized that I have 350k myself. It's amazing how much simple ideas can overtake us, bit by bit. So this is a fic that is the cause of celebration, and I will see it as such!

It can be really hard to take a fic that has a large cultural influence and try and add to that. To add to my ignorance, I'm not sure if the story you're telling through Nana Uru is one commonly told or if you pulled it out of a hat of tricks, but that is to the credit of your writing- your story-within-a-story doesn't come across as contrived and/or mumbo-jumbo, and I like the moral behind it. In fact, I do remember as part of a writing group I attended, an African storyteller visited, and your story reads a lot of like the ones he spoke of.

Outside of the story-within-a-story, the way you illuminate Simba as a child that even as he doesn't quite grasp what is in store for him as king, you know that he's heading there. His take on the subject, and his take-away, shows that even as a youth he has the wisdom needed to be a just king. Well lampshaded, that.

And it's also really tricky to write children's dialogue without sounding contrived, but you do that excellently as well. A wonderful story overall, with the message being timeless yet somehow very timely.

MoD
StrawberryDuckFeathers chapter 1 . 7/8/2013
.For the Reviewathon. (I don't know much about the fandom)
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From what I remember from the first moview, your chracterisation of Simba is great, thinking he can take on things that are bigger than him. I love how he tries to a be little tough-guy kicking that pebble along the ground as well. :P

I really love how much of a childlike element there is to this story. When Simba starts to talk about the Circle Of Life, the other cubs are incredibly curious, kind of like when one kid mentions something new and the others are all like 'ooh, what's that?', and I also like how you've made Simba protective of his dad and his ideas. It's so cute! I also like the idea of the children learning a life lesson from one of the older lions, since it's got that real child-like story feel to it. :) I like how this line reflects that: [This is why our ancestors gave us stories - to help us understand our place in the world. ] The other thing that adds to the children's story feel is this moral: [If we spent all our time arguing about who is right and who is wrong we would never stop fighting.]

I like how, whilst the others go off to play, Simba stays, because he knows Chumvi is wrong- and I like how it's Simba who knows that, as if he knows best, and this might refer to how he will be the one who is next to become king- as if he has more knowledge than the others. :D

I also like how you've made Chumvi's personality to be, as well, as if he's the oblivious one. I like that you've set the other two apart from Simba, but you've still given Simba his child-like views on things sometimes. :)

I have no critique/suggestions for this! Just keep up the good work! :D
riaser chapter 1 . 7/7/2013
I really liked this. The way that you portrayed everyone was very cool. I don't usually read for lion King, but that's irrelevant, and I've seen the movie once or twice, so I think I can remember everyone.

However, I am familiar with creation myths and stories, as well as African History, to some extent. I think that you mixed and blended them very effectively throughout Nana's story.

Although, for a lot of it, the creation story didn't really seem like a story, but a different part of the fic all together, because Nana wasn't telling it. You just jumped in, which probably proved more effective to get the actual story across, but maybe not for characteristics.

the other interesting thing about this story is that you made the great creator female. At first, I thought you were going to echo some of the bible creation story, but you really changed it up on me. Of course, in other cultures, the greatest power is female, so I think that this was good.

And oh, Anansi! You even took traditional folklore. Excellent. I've always liked Anansi.

The characterization of all of the lions was very well done, I could get a clear picture, even if, well, I've never heard of most of these characters.

Overall, awesome job! I liked it a lot!
Wendy Brune chapter 1 . 7/5/2013
I'll admit that I'm really surprised at how much I ended up liking this piece. To be honest, the first part seemed a little rough to me. The whole scene where the cubs are discussing the Circle of Life and then go to Nana was too much of a set-up and not enough of a story, if that makes sense? I think you could have cleaned up this section and given it more details to make me feel like I was reading a story, not just a recount of something that once happened.

Oh, but the fable! That was truly excellent. I can't believe you made that up all on your own. First, you really captured the spirit and nature of old creation tales. I seriously had to look it up to see if it was a story that already existed that you adapted. It clearly isn't, and I am so much in awe of how well you capture the tone and creativity of these kinds of myths.

Then, of course, I really enjoyed the little details that you include for why things are the way they were. For example, why male lions have manes and why females don't was quite clever. You also do a good job of connecting to your source material - the Lion King - in the myth by foreshadowing the hyenna's feelings of being under appreciated. That was probably the most impressive part to me. You took something that could have stood on its own - the myth - but brought it back in to the canon so that, in the end, I didn't feel like I was just reading someone's homework placed on fanfiction for reviews.

I also enjoyed the ending, as I think you did a good job of developing Simba's character. It's more than just him realizing that being King is important. The fact that he still was afraid to say differently in front of his friends really connects with the Simba in the movie who was afraid to go back to the Pride because he didn't want to be blamed for his father's death. We've got a glimpse of the wise, heroic Simba, but we also recognize his flaws that will eventually drive the movie.

Overall, I was really impressed with how quickly this story turned around. If you tighten up the beginning and make it seem like it fits in the story and isn't just there to give us a quick set up, you'll have something that's absolutely brilliant. As it is now, though, I think it's extremely creative and worthy of praise. Added to the archives.
Aiko Isari chapter 1 . 5/18/2013
I had a sudden urge for lions. XD

"I don't know, doing king stuff,"-Pfft, that sounds about right. Doing king stuff. Hahaha, poor Simba.

You're just not smart enough to get it,-Kids arguing is ridiculously cute. I'm not sure why, but even baby lions make this cute.

I bet she knows all about the Circle of Life.- I think they should ask Elton John, actually.

That's a complicated question for a young cub- Well, this is Lion King. They all ask difficult questions in Lion King.

Great Spirit looked upon the cold emptiness with sad eyes- So this is the OTHER creation story.

Her desire to create living beings was so strong that tears spilled from Her eyes.-Aw.

For a short time the world was perfect.- Those words are always foreshadowing bad things happening... and I was right.

The animals unanimously agreed.- I love how the Great Spirit just walks around and gets involved like: ohai, I'm here to keep the world going now.

"See? I told you, lions are the greatest!"-ahahaha, that is so cute and funny.

If we spent all our time arguing about who is right and who is wrong we would never stop fighting.- That is so true it hurts. Don't diss the grandma. She knows all.
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