Poll: Which of these 90s Disney films is your favorite? Vote Now!
Author has written 15 stories for Land Before Time, Godzilla: The Series, Star Wars, X-overs, Lion King, Terminator, and Lord of the Rings.
Update 4/18/14: Chapter 30 for Eviscerating the Fourth Wall is now up! I meant to get it out sooner, but I had trouble concentrating because I'm still getting used to my braces. Anyway, in this chapter I pay tribute to the DeviantArt user TC-96 and her Lion King related works. I hope you enjoy, and please review!
About myself- My real name is Anthony, now age 15 (My birthday was on March 26th). When I'm not in school during the day, I spend a lot of my free time online and on my computer, since I tend to do various things around the internet, specifically at this site.
My DeviantArt name is Darthmaul1999. My Youtube channel name is Brickmaster4496, and I was at one point a Lego Star Wars film maker, though more recently I've been experimenting with other things. I love to listen to music on my iPod, mostly consisting of film soundtracks from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Lion King Trilogy, Titanic, etc. Many consider it strange that film scores are my primary interest in terms of music, but I just believe that they're beautiful and epic to listen to, and many of them are relentlessly catchy. Not to mention I am an absolute sucker for chorus/choir music, which is often heard in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I don't know exactly why, but musical scores with a chorus singing something in another language in it, whether it be Duel of the Fates, Neodammerung, Farewell to Lorien or the opening of Titanic, I can rarely ever hate that type of music.
I am a VHS collector, it's one of my hobbies. As of now I have 106 movies on VHS, and it's still growing at rapid rate. In all seriousness, I simply like them better than DVD or Blu Ray. I certainly don't hate DVD, nor do I even dislike it, I just believe that VHS is superior. If you want to know why, nostalgia aside, James Rolfe (A.k.a the Angry Video Game Nerd) has three videos dedicated to the subject.
I also love to sketch and draw in my free time. Anything from large cities to my favorite film characters and locations, I can usually draw it with little to no problem. (But admittedly, I can't draw any of the Lion King characters to save my life). It's another hobby of mine, one I've had since I was in preschool. I wouldn't call myself an art expert, since many of my drawings are certainly not the best things I've ever seen. But many of my teachers and classmates have shown enthusiasm about my skills, so it's nice to know I have some support in what I do.
But most of all, I love to write. I suppose I have this very site to blame for that, but writing my own stories and ideas for others to read just intrigues me to no end. As a writer here, my biggest influence is undoubtadly J.R.R. Tolkien and his works. Even had it not been for fanfiction.net, he would have been the one to make me want to become a writer. His biggest work, The Lord of the Rings, happens to be my all time favorite book(s), and it has heavily influenced my own writing style for the better. The reason I type things out as articulately as I do is because of the way he did, so if you notice that I seem to talk differently than some others, it's because of Tolkien's influence. The film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings (and more recently The Hobbit) by Peter Jackson are also some of my favorite films of all time, and I am not at all ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby at the ending of The Return of the King.
You might notice that I have a common tendency to use Roman Numerals for my numbering as opposed to standard numbers. This is a habit that I picked up in the sixth grade, when I was first introduced to the Back to the Future trilogy. Whenever I wanted to write the films' titles on paper, never did I once write "Back to the Future 2" or "Back to the Future Part 2". I always stuck with writing "Back to the Future Part II" or "Part III." Never once did I see the film's titles on their covers with standard numbers, so I saw no reason to write them with standard numbers. The habit increased dramatically for me when Star Wars became my favorite film series of all time, and all of their numbers were done with Roman Numerals. The habit slowly caught on for me, and over time the use of Roman Numerals spread out to became my standard preference in my other writings as well. So as of today, I actually use Roman Numerals far more than standard numbers, especially when it comes to film titles. The reason being is that I think they look more desirable and polished than normal numbers do. In addition, I find them more interesting and enjoyable to write, to the point where me using regular numbers is a fairly rare occurrence.
When I type out anything in general, I'm not particularly fond of using shortcuts, like "lol", "brb" or "lmfao". Personally, I feel that typing like that is lazy and looks less legible and less intelligent than common speech. If I wanted to tell soneone to be right back, I wouldn't say "brb", I would just type that out fully. I know it takes more time and effort to fully type words out like that, but overall it's worth the effort, and I don't like rushing things in that fashion. Plus, whenever people use shortcuts too extensively, they often get labeled as "illiterate" or "dumb" when most likely, they really aren't. I don't wish for that to happen to myself, so that's why I stick with articulate text.
On a similar note, I am not at all a fan of flaming or insulting anyone here or anywhere else for that matter. Like when somebody says something like "It's not spelled that way you f*cking idiot douche", or "Go f*ck youself you c*t head idiot", or "You god damn noob, I did your mom last night and sh*t". No, I don't do that. I think that kind of hateful speech towards others is rude, disrespectful, unintelligent, and just downright wrong. If somebody makes an honest mistake on something, I won't go all out like some would like mentioned before, I would calmly and respectfully inform them of any problems with whatever media they create anywhere. Fanfiction is no exception for this at all. If I disagree with someone's point of view on any given subject matter (As I'll explain later which ones I disagree with), I don't insult them or call them an idiot for thinking a certain way. I will never say anything like "Get a life you lazy ass" or "Quit being such a f*cking baby and grow up you p*ssy", no I despise that.
If I disagree on something, I will simply let them know that in a calm and respectable way so that we may agree to disagree, and possibly even be able to see each other's points of view on that topic as a result. Also, I make very careful sure not to say I hate someone for anything in particular. Like how I'm going to talk about later on, I will rarely say "I hate this person for thinking that", but rather, I'll say something along the lines of "I hate how they think this" without expressing dislike for the person themself. Hating a person for disagreeing on something, let alone a person you've never met in real life is extremely disrespectful and impolite. So when it comes to criticizing or giving advice on something, I stay as calm as possible on the matter without ever resorting to screaming in all caps with every other word misspelt and spewing cuss-filled insults at the same time.
Now, when I was a young kid, I had dreamt of having a place like this, where you can write and share your own ideas for doing whatever you want with any book or film. So when I found this site by accident one day, I was pretty excited. For the first year or so after I began, I was mostly into The Land Before Time and crossovers for it, since that was my major interest at the time. In fact, my very first story ever posted here was a crossover with that and The Terminator.
But as time went by however, I significantly lost interest in fanfiction for The Land Before Time, and I largely outgrew the films themselves as I aged, save for the original. Presently, I love to read all kinds of fanfics for The Lion King films, which is currently my major fascination.
Since I'm now in high school, I do my best to update my own stories as often as I can while I have the chance. Currently I'm putting all of my effort into Eviscerating the Fourth Wall because of its popularity, and all of my other stories are on temporary hiatus. As soon as EtFW is completed, I can begin work on my other stories as well.
Thanks to a collaboration with the author by the name of senshi05, I would like to announce that I am the co-author of their newest story titled "Kaa's Cub". We have been working together on it, and since I am the assistant on it, I feel it to be only appropriate to provide a link to it here:
Original story credit goes once again to the author senshi05. I strongly recommend reading it, he's been great through the whole thing, and I am honored to be able to assist them.
Upcoming Lion King Stories (Subject to change)
I. The Lion of the Rings: The Return of the Lion King (Lord of the Rings Crossover)
Summary: To be announced.
II. Two is a Crowd
Summary: We all know of how Simba abandoned his life in the Pride Lands after the murder of his father. But in this story, Nala chooses to go with him. How will this affect the outcome of it all? How will it affect Timon and Pumbaa? Will Nala learn to live by the Hakuna Matata life style? And most importantly, how will Simba be able to face his past and become king if there's no one to convince him otherwise?...
III. When Blood Turns Black (Saw Crossover)
Summary: Simba and Kovu wake up one day in a very different place than they expected. They don't know where they are. They don't know why they're there. All they know is that a psychopath is holding them hostage, and has chained them to walls on either side of a mysterious room with a dead, bloody body on the floor between them. The only way to escape is for either Simba to kill Kovu, or for Kovu to kill Simba. If this does not happen by sunset, Kiara, Nala and everyone else they know and love will die. But the true question is, how far will they go to escape without death? How much blood are they willing to shed to stay alive? And just who is responsible for the kidnapping in the first place?...
IV. A Storm is Coming
Summary: I once heard that in the original script for The Lion King II, Simba was actually supposed to be killed by the Outsiders. This will be my take on how that could've happened, and what kind of consequences it would've had on everything. How will this affect Nala? Kiara? Or Kovu, the one who swore to kill him in the first place?
V. The Breath of Life (Silmarillion Crossover)
Summary: Takes place thousands of years before the films, and is a prequel to my Lion of the Rings trilogy. Throughout the lands of Middle Earth, the race of lions were once scattered, divided and leaderless. They were hostile and vicious creatures; savages who had little purpose in the world other than to be cruelly hunted to death. But when their violent nature goes too far, the men of the world attempt to wipe them off the face of the earth forever. Now, their only hope of survival is to band together and fight back against the men and elves who are mercilessly slaughtering them.
VI. The Shadow of Faith
Summary: It's common knowledge that after the death of Mufasa, poor young Simba had fled his beloved kingdom into the desert, misled to believe he was the very one who caused the death. But consider this: What if he didn't leave when Scar told him to? What if he had gone straight back to Pride Rock and told everyone the "truth", despite his fears? Would the reactions have really been as bad as Scar said they would be? And more importantly, how would the true, murderous nature of Scar's actions ever be revealed?
VII. The Shadow of Faith II
Summary: To be announced.
VIII. The Shadow of Faith III
Summary: To be announced.
IX. Our Most Beloved Star
Summary: Even after his reign as king had come to a close, he would still look up to that one single star. His father's star. A one-shot about Simba speaking to his grandchildren one night about the Great Kings of the Past and solemnly telling them the story of Mufasa and Scar.
X. Felicity in the Water
Summary: After Kiara and Kovu have had their cubs, Kiara starts to feel stressed because of how much of a handful they can be every day. So wanting to help relieve the stress, Kovu knows exactly what he can do to help her ease up. Sequel to Passion Beneath the Stars.
XI. The Past Can Hurt
Summary: Timon and Pumbaa had always considered Simba to be the greatest friend they could've ever asked for. But did they ever wonder just what led them to finding him in the first place? A one-shot where Timon and Pumbaa finally ask Simba why he was out in the desert to begin with that day and what happened to him beforehand. The answer will be something neither of them could have ever possibly guessed about their young, innocent friend.
XII. The Great Queens of the Past
Summary: Throughout her childhood, Kiara had heard all about the great kings of the past from her father. But then during another night of looking up to the stars with him, she starts to wonder: Where does a queen go when the suns sets on their time?
XIII. Where There's Life, There's Hope
Summary: When Zira so cruelly offered Kovu as her pound of flesh to her mortal enemy, what if Kovu had personally told Simba how abusive his mother really was towards him when he had the chance? What if he had begged to be taken away from her hurtful ways? And what if Simba felt sorry enough for Kovu to take him in so he would be raised in the Pride Lands? How would his life be different, and would it be for the better?
XIV. Deserved Deception (Suggested by Autobot00001)
Summary: Against her will, Kiara is betrothed to a nasty, abusive lion named Dhambi who always causes her to suffer when they're alone. She is too afraid to let anyone know about the abuse, even her own father. But then one day she comes across Kovu while taking a walk near the Outlands. Unlike Dhambi, Kovu treats her lovingly and respectfully, and Kiara falls genuinely in love with him. But under such circumstances, it's only a matter of time before Dhambi finds out about their secret love. If that happens, he'll stop at nothing to destroy their lives both physically and mentally.
XV. The Lion King: Early Reunion
Summary: We know of how Simba and Nala found each other in the jungle as adults. But what would have happened if Nala left the Pride Lands to find help while she was an adolescent? What if she and Simba met up in the jungle while they were just teens? How would things be different, and would they be for the better? Original story belongs to wolfartist117, and I sincerely thank them for allowing me to have the rights to continue this for them.
If you believe in Jesus Christ put this in your profile and don't just ignore this, because in the Bible it says, ‘If you deny me, I will deny you in front of my Father in the gates of Heaven'.
Favorite video games (In no particular order)
Favorite movies (In no particular order):
Favorite TV and Internet shows (In no particular order)
Favorite Books (In no particular order):
Favorite songs (In no particular order)
The Lion King Meme
(Author's Note: Some of these answers got much longer and far more personal than I intended them to).
Least favorite character?
Characters who never met but you wish had?
Most likable characters?
Character you wish got more development?
Character you used to hate but now love?
Characters you used to love but now hate?
Which TLK character do you relate to?
Favorite outside-the-movies character?
Favorite deleted character?
Timon's father could've had an interesting role, plus taken Timon off the long list of film characters who have an unexplained missing parent. Here's what I mean by that: What do Timon, Nala, Kovu, Anakin Skywalker, and Andy from Toy Story all have in common? For each of them we see their mothers for sure, but not a one of them have their father shown on-screen, or even so much as a vague explanation as to where they are or if they're even alive for that matter. (And in Anakin's case, he never even had one to begin with). So keeping Timon's father in the film(s) could've eliminated this problem for him, and he could've had some genuinely good and warm moments with his son as well.
Binti, who was supposed to be Zazu's girlfriend and/or mate would've been nice to see done in the final film. I'm not sure how she would've fit into the grand scheme of things plot-wise, but just try to deny that it would've been cute to see Zazu find love. Go ahead, I dare you to deny it. As long as she was designed nice, was written well and had good chemistry with Zazu (in the same way Kiara and Kovu had extremely believable compatibility), I would've loved to see her get together with Zazu in the end, and maybe help him to lighten up his mood a little as well. And if by some chance they were supposed to have kids at the end, I'm officially sold.
Favorite deleted scene?
Favorite area in the movie?
Anyway, I find it exceptionally difficult to narrow down a single piece of background music that surpasses all the rest, so I'll give my favorite part from each film.
I. This Land (Mufasa's spirit scene).
Least Favorite Quote?
Favorite group? (Pridelanders, outlanders, etc.)
Favorite TLK video game? (besides the Pride Lands levels of KH)
Which of the trilogy is your favorite?
Do you consider the sequels and/or TLK6NA canon?
I sincerely don't wish to come off as whiny for this next part, and before I start, I'd like to say that I am tolerant of other people's opinions, and opinions on movies no less, are never something I judge a whole person on. But with that said, I absolutely despise seeing The Lion King II: Simba's Pride criticized the way it is, and this is something I've wished to get off of my chest for quite a while. I hate when people draw or write ways they think it could've been better or how it should've been. I abhor how people think Kiara is terrible because she isn't as boy or isn't Kopa. Seriously, why would her gender matter in terms of whether or not she's a good character? Last I checked, that is the textbook definition of sexist. And overall, I detest how people say that The Lion King II is inferior or just straight out bad. I hate with a burning passion how some claim that it isn't realistic or enjoyable. But most of all, hate how it's always the original film that gets every ounce of the vast, intense glory while Simba's Pride is always left out in the cold to rot. I believe that it just does not receive enough of the love that it truly deserves. I truly wish that The Lion King II had the original's love shared with it.
And just one more thing I'd like to get off my chest. I recently found this absolutely detestable DeviantArt entry that complained about how marriages in The Lion King and Disney films in general were unrealistic, accompanied with this horribly depressing picture of the three main couples in marital anguish. The first two were bad enough, but the third one was what made me add this part. They claimed that Kiara and Kovu were the weakest pairing in the films, and that they disliked them. Normally I wouldn't care much, but then they gave this horrible, detailed analysis as to why they thought Kiara and Kovu were destined for divorce, and how they thought their love was unrealistic and it wasn't meant to last. When I saw this, I was enraged.
I felt as though I wanted to just scream from the top of a mountain out of anger, because that one entry alone is what almost solely made me lose faith in DeviantArt. And the worst part about it was that they thought they were looking at it from a logical perspective. Really? They claimed that Kiara and Kovu were the weakest couple to the point where they outright disliked them, but if he were really looking at it with the "logical" perspective he claimed he was, he would see that they were the strongest. They had the best chemistry, the most amount of screen time romance-wise, and they are not meant to divorce like he said. How would he know they were 16 in human years? What in the right mind made him think Kovu leaving Kiara would have no real impact? And what could possibly motivate Kovu to do such a thing anyway, especially after how close he was to Kiara and how strong their bond was? He never covered why Kovu would ever leave Kiara. The entire post, both the drawing(s) and the text were enraging, coming from a guy who thinks he knows everything about what he's talking about, and talking like some sort of show off type snob, thinking he can apply that kind of logic to children's films.
I apologize if I went off on such a tangent there, and I sincerely don't mean to insult the user who wrote that DeviantArt post. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it just came off as mean spirited in a way, especially how he gave my favorite Lion King couple the harshest treatment. See, this is a strong example what I'm talking about here. In general, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride just isn't shown enough love around the fan base, and it's always unfairly neglected mercilessly and unjustly while its predecessor receives all the praise and love. Don't get me wrong, I love the first Lion King just as much as most others, and it deserves the love and respect it has. All I'm saying us that its sequel, nay, both of its sequels are deserving of equal shares of that same kind if love and appreciation, and it just sickens me to hear it blasted like that, especially when it comes to it's characters (And don't worry, I'll get to one in particular in a later question). I think it's more saddening than enraging, really. This could be just me, but whenever I hear or see The Lion King II (Especially Kiara) criticized or hated, it just puts me in a genuinely sad, depressed, upset and disheartened mood. In total honesty, I am not sure as to why I feel this way about this particular film when harsh criticism of other films I love mean nothing to me.
When the Star Wars Prequels get regularly blasted, I don't care. When the Matrix sequels are commonly roasted, I could care less. When The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is popularly bashed, it doesn't affect me much. So I myself don't know why criticism of The Lion King II gets to me so easily and so deeply. If may be because of how high of regard I hold it in, or because I'm so deeply involved in the fan base it is a part of, but all the other films I just mentioned, I actually love more than any of The Lion King films. So why does this get to me? Honestly, I don't have an answer. And for the most part, the same thing applies to The Lion King 1 1/2, even though with that one, I can more easily see why some hardcore fans would be offended by it.
When I say I get easily offended at criticism for The Lion King II, I don't mean that I rage on everything disliking it or doing what I can to get it removed. No, I don't do that. I can handle other opinions that differ from mine, I'm just trying to express as best and as thoroughly as I can how I disagree with those opinions. When I get offended at criticism for it, I don't take it out on the ones who say that. I control it and just keep the feelings to myself is what I mean by all this.
Now just to clear things up, I'm not necessarily saying that the second film is superior to the original, but nor am I saying it's inferior, either. I'm saying that it is generally equal to the original in terms of quality and story; not better, but not inferior either. The three films (I, 1 1/2 and II) are all on the same level of brilliance, but each for different reasons, which is what I'm trying to get at here. If you liked or even loved The Lion King II but still think it isn't as good as the original, I can respect that, and to an extent I can often understand where one comes from in saying that. I only wish that more people could share this opinion.
Simba's Pride simply isn't shown enough love when it deserves it. I won't go into much more detail on the matter, since this is getting far longer and far more personal than I intended to, but I wish that the film could get more respect and appreciation like it deserves. I know it has a lot of fans, bit there just isn't a high enough quantity to achieve the level I'd want there to be. With both fanfics and fan art, the amount of material for the original film has never not dwarfed the amount for the sequel, which always makes me feel bad. I know that I'm just one person in the grand scheme of things, and there isn't much I can do to change this. Also, I don't want to come off as whiny or immature here, because I am attempting to present my opinion(s) in the best manner that I can. If you do hate Simba's Pride, I hold nothing against you. If you're one of the confusingly large amount of Kiara haters, I hold no personal grudges against you. I just wish from the bottom of my heart that there could be more fans to help share the spotlight of the first film's glory more, for that's what the greatest animated trilogy ever made is entitled to. But as I said before, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. This just happened to be mine.
I've never been able to find any of the Six New Adventures books, so I can't say anything about them just yet.
What do you think of the Kimba controversy?
Pet peeves you have? (one for each movie)
Now for each of them individually. Before I give these, I'd just like to say that I don't consider any of these flaws to be serious or significantly damaging to any of the films. Keep in mind that I still love the trilogy with a passion, and they're each still monumental works of art in the medium of animation and I'm confident that they still will be for years. But with that said, I can acknowledge that none of the three are 100% perfect. No film of any kind, animated or not, is totally without flaw. It can be easy for someone to say something like "This movie is so perfect" or something, especially with something as sublime as The Lion King films. But all movies have flaws of some kind, it's completely inevitable for everything on this planet made by man, so it's okay.
As small or trivial as some problems in great movies may be, they're still there. Even the only two franchises that I love even more than The Lion King trilogy (Star Wars and The Matrix) aren't totally without imperfections of their own of some kind. Anything at all made by human hands is going to have flaws of some kind, so it's okay that The Lion King films would be flawed as well, since none of the three ever had a chance at being completely 100% perfect to begin with, because that isn't possible for man to achieve with any film of any kind. They can still be great, they can still be impactful, memorable, exceptionally animated, intelligently written, exquisitly acted, etc. And they are, that much is undeniable for a fan of the franchise such as myself. But if you're getting what I'm saying by now, I see no reason to really hold The Lion King trilogy as any kind of exception to the principle of imperfection for all things made by man. It's important to acknowledge their problems because something totally without flaw just isn't human, and can't be connected by a person in any way since it won't feel to be of this world. To be imperfect is to be human... or in this case, lion, I should say.
The Lion King:
When Simba says Mufasa's death was his fault, Scar is forcing him to the edge of Pride Rock and the fire starts up from the lightning, I wish one of the lionesses (preferably either Nala or Sarabi) could've stood up for Simba and said something about it instead of just standing there watching, or said something like "Wait, maybe he should explain himself, maybe this isn't what it looks like". I mean, imagine what could've happened if Scar didn't reveal he killed Mufasa right there, and Simba had died because no one stood up for him or asked him about the details.
The Lion King 1 1/2:
In the scene when Rafiki tells Ma about what he said to Timon, I wish he could've explained what he was doing there to begin with. What was he doing at the meerkat colony's home in the first place? How did he know where it was, and why would he suddenly leave the Pride Lands to go there when a tyrannical massochist like Scar had just taken over at the time? It would've been nice to have an explanation for his sudden appearance there, at least maybe a scene with him deciding to go or something.
The Lion King II:
I mentioned how I really hate to see the second film criticized in this way, but I'll play devil's advocate here just this one time in keeping in line with what I said earlier. In the scene at the end where Simba goes down the cliff to save Kiara while Zira's hanging over the river, I really wish Kovu were the one to end up going for her and not just standing there watching from above. It would've been a lot more emotionally powerful from a character standpoint to show how loyal his love for Kiara really is, and Simba would've seen firsthand right in front of him that Kovu was sincere in loving his daughter and wanting to be a Pride Lander.
Crack pairings you've heard of?
Do you want another sequel? (if so, involving what?)
Many have said that they want to see a prequel to the first film involving Scar and Mufasa's past, and maybe show how Scar got his scar, how he met the hyenas, explain where Zira and the Outsiders fit into the grand scheme of things, etc. And although I want to see that as much as anyone else and I think it would be an incredible addition to an already sublime franchise, I'm still not too sure if a prequel would be the best route to take. Hear me out for this. As some of you might recall, people once said the same exact thing about the Star Wars Prequels, how everyone wanted them to happen and how they were so sure they would be great classics like the original trilogy. Well, if you've used the Internet even sparingly in the last decade, you probably know that a vast majority of the Star Wars fan base hated the prequels, an absolute deluge of hate and ridicule befell them, and and that most people were disappointed with how and why many things went down, and many still are even to this day.
What does this have to do with Lion King? Well, maybe I can elaborate. If a prequel involving Scar and Mufasa were to be made, I would really hate to see that same kind of ridicule and revulsion enter the fandom I'm most heavily involved with as of now, and I don't doubt that others feel this way too. I already know that there would be a deluge of people saying they hate how Scar got his scar or how it's not how they imagined it. People are going to say they ruined their personalities, created plot holes and that it didn't make any sense. If one day they did release a new Lion King film entailing those past events, I already know complaints like that would flood the message boards and fanfics around here. I would never want to see that sort of thing happen.
Even if they managed to pull the movie off successfully and at least the majority of the fans were satisfied with it, it would still, in my personal opinion, take away some of the magic of the original trilogy. For example, take the opening sunrise shot of the first film. If you're starting off a great movie series like this, it's practically Newton's fourth law that you cannot create a prequel opening that can top that. It's downright timeless. It rivals 2001: A Space Odyssey, Citizen Kane and Star Wars for the greatest opening to any movie ever made. If one were to watch the prequel before the original film, the sunrise and the music just wouldn't have quite the same impact or 'wow' factor as it did before, because one would know what to expect now that they've seen the Pride Lands before, so it's not nearly as special.
The reason the opening was as great as it was was because it was the world's first glimpse of the Pride Lands we'd get to know for three movies, and it was the initial introduction, hence why everything seems so huge and beautiful compared to some other shots where we're used to it by then. With a prequel, regardless of how good it is, it would take away some of the impact of that intro, since we'd have already seen those lands before and we know what to expect in terms of what the place looks like.
Also going back to what I said previously, if by some chance they were to actually mess up with the story, I fear for what the reaction would be to Scar's reasons for turning evil. I feel that at least a good portion of fans would be disappointed with why he was corrupted or why he joined with the hyenas. Look at Anakin Skywalker: nobody was satisfied with his reasons for turning to the Dark Side of the Force, everybody said it ruined his character in the later films, and I don't want to see that same thing cross over to The Lion King.
The reaction to the origin of his scar is something that also worries me. I know that people are going to say "That was so lame" or "That was so anticlimactic", or "Disney ruined my childhood", it's inevitable no matter how it's done. In short, I don't want there to be an outrage of fans saying they "ruined" Scar's past, and I don't want people to claim that his reasons were weak or invalid. Not to mention if it were to go that way, it's inevitably going to be compared to the Star Wars Prequels, with everyone saying they told a story that should've remained a mystery. Well for the moment his past still is a mystery, so I think we're at the point where we're least likely to have a large-scale outcry like there was with Star Wars. I don't want people to be disappointed with Scar's reasons for turning evil, especially if it had anything to do with love. So in order to prevent that, I think it's best that we keep Scar and Mufasa's past shrouded in shadow for at least for a while longer.
Now to make sure you don't get the wrong idea, I'm not saying I don't want a prequel at all. On the contrary, I already said I too want to know what happened between them, and the idea alone has mountains of potential. But the main problem is that there's an equally mountain-sized risk in making it and releasing it to a very large-scale, dedicated and oftentimes sensitive fandom. The reaction to such a prequel would be completely unpredictable until its release, and odds are expectations might not be very high because of, once again, the Star Wars prequels and how they "tricked" everyone into thinking they would be good. I'm just saying that if a prequel to The Lion King were to be made, Disney would have to put the same amount of noble and passionate effort that they did with the original trilogy into the writing, the animation, the characters, the revelations, etc. And really, the same could be said for if they decided to make a Lion King III as well. They would need to be as careful as they can to satisfy as many as they can and avoid an outcry. Great care needs to be taken in revealing a mystery as large as Scar's past, especially if it involved a romance of any kind.
Now for the moment, there aren't any plans of making a prequel such as this from Disney, so for now these are just my concerns on the risks involved if they announced a new project like this. I'm confident that a Lion King prequel can work, and I'm confident that Disney can provide satisfactory answers to all the questions: How Scar got his scar, how the hyenas got involved, what Mufasa's point of view on his brother was, and maybe have something in there for Zira too. I really am. But still, there's no denying that there's a lot of risk involved with making a prequel for a film series that has a far more wide and expansive fan base than for any other film that they've ever made in their 80 years of creating animated movies. I think these risks should be considered if they were to make one, and that they would need to be as careful as they humanly can to prevent another Star Wars prequel situation.
Could Scar really be Kovu's father?
Could Vitani or Nuka be Scar's?
Is Kovu emo?
Do you think Zazu is obnoxious?
Do you believe the Timon/Pumbaa thing?
Was Simba too overprotective in the sequel?
But like I mentioned before, I do strongly believe in the theory of Kopa's death (Or at least Simba believing him to be dead until his return), so I would say that was Simba's main reason. Needless to say about that, he would obviously not wish for the same incident to happen again with Kiara, especially since the very one who "killed" her brother is still out there, so it makes perfect sense that he would make a much stronger effort to keep her out of danger this time. But even had it not been for that, I still wouldn't believe that he was too harsh because, in addition to the reason mentioned before, Simba's overprotective nature still shows the long term psychological effects of Scar's mental repercussions on him, and what kind of damage he really caused him even after his death.
And an additional reason to add to this for good measure: Simba was attempting to make it so Kiara would avoid the problems he went through as a child. See, when his mother let him and Nala out to go to the water hole, they nearly got themselves killed by the hyenas, and the only reason they didn't get slaughtered was because Mufasa had to save them. Now, fast forward to years later when Simba has a cub of his own: If he were to give Kiara that same kind of freedom, it would show that he had learned absolutely nothing from past experience, and that he would be doing absolutely nothing to better himself from his past mistakes and make his daughter's childhood an improvement from his own safety-wise. Granted, Simba's mother did send Zazu to watch him and Nala during the incident, but Simba also must've considered this: If Kiara is anything like he was during childhood, obviously she would try to pull some sort of stunt to escape him like he did, and if Simba could escape him without a whole lot of problem, then Zazu was definitely no longer an option to watch her anymore. Simba considered that Timon and Pumbaa would have a better chance at keeping her out of trouble than a single hornbill would.
So taking into account what happened during his own childhood and how much he was mentally tortured and scarred by Scar, it would be exceptionally stupid for Simba's character to not be like this, with or without Kopa. It's the only way he could've realistically been in the film when you get down to it. Many fans find his overprotective nature in the sequel to be too distasteful for their liking, and I respect their opinions on the matter. I can understand why they would think that from their point of view, but I wish that more would be able to see it for what it is and contemplate it from another point of view because the change in between films is a very natural and understandable one for him to undergo, and is a very realistic way for him to be after enduring so much emotional trauma beforehand.
Many like to cite things like "Simba was a dick" or "He was so mean", I feel that they aren't fully understanding the situation for what it is, and they rarely consider why he is the way he is when the answer is screamingly obvious throughtout literally the entirety of the first film. No child as fun-loving, innocent, curious and energetic as him so suddenly having that bad of a psychological strike is going to go through that much trauma and that much psychological damage without having some kind of negative long term emotional repercussion on them in their later years. It irritates me that few people are as understanding or forgiving on the situation as they really should be, and blame him for being a dick when they should know why he's that way to start with, and why he's entirely justified in being so in every way. So no, I don't think he ever crossed the line at any point.
Is Kiara truly a ditz?
What exactly did she ever say or carry out that ever indicated that she was even remotely close to being a "ditz" or an idiot? It is a subject matter that I have dwelled on multiple times, and I just absolutely cannot think of anything that could possibly make anyone draw the conclusion that she is an idiot or a Mary Sue. I'm sorry, I mean I'm usually calm when it comes to other aspects of The Lion King, but the accusations of Kiara being a bad character is what just infuriates me to absolutely no end! I loathe how she's treated! This is the only part of the entire fandom that can truly set me off, in fact. Out of every question here, this is the one that enrages me the most, and I hate the fact that Kiara is so mercilessly detested or even generally disliked at all by so many with every fiber in my body. It's horrible! Every time I see something detracting or criticizing her even minorly in the slightest by calling her stupid, bratty or a Mary Sue, I just have his inner infuriation constantly build within me, and I resist the urge to scream. It also takes every ounce of self control and dignity I have not to rage upon the posts and/or art pieces that suggest or say this. I'll repeat: I'm absolutely furious with the cruelty towards her. It is horrible! What did she ever say, think or do that made her deserve any amount of hate at all, let alone the vast amount she has? Just why?
And this is tragically reflected in a lot of the fan (or should I say hate?) art about her, portraying her as some kind of retard who's too stupid to live, both as a cub and an adult. It's disgustingly insulting to have so many art pieces with her done like this. It's not even limited to the art, either. There's this one view topic on mylionking.com called "funny captions" which seems simple and innocent enough for one to do, but Christ almighty is the ridicule for Kiara there relentless. I mean, they just do not let up on her for even a second on EVERY single image of her that appears, especially in the later pages. Whenever they try something for laughs, it's always mean spirited as all hell. Almost all of the other characters hate her and call her an idiot as such, even Kovu! Saying crap like "I may be stupid, but I'm not dumb" or "Wow, our daughter's really going to be that dumb, huh?", "Fine! I'll just take a nap in this fire!", "She's gone, Nala! Now we can think about having Kopa!", or even worse, things like "Their romance wasn't as good as ours, so we can't let them have their wedding be better than ours". And to top it off, there's a point where they outright kill her off when Kopa is born, and everyone freaking celebrates it! They are actually happy Kiara is dead, and as it turns out they're the kind of people who treat Kopa like he's Jesus H. Christ just because he's not Kiara! (Found on page 104 to be exact).
Pardon my french, but that is just fucking mean! The whole view topic is! I'm not usually one to curse about such things, but here I just can't hold it back any longer. That is the absolute meanest, most insensitive and heartless thing I have ever seen from any fandom to date! What the hell was going on through the minds of the people who wrote that crap?! Cruel is barely able to cover it at this point, for they are absolutely brutal towards her, and they NEVER give her a break. Seriously, not one person there shows even the littlest amount of appreciation for her, no one stands up for her at any point, and no one even suggests that maybe the hate and ridicule is unwarranted. And it goes on for more than 150 pages too! But the worst part of all is that not only is the ridicule so unrelenting there, but people actually find it funny! Freaking funny! HOW?! I am astounded at how unusually relentless it is on that particular view topic, and frankly I couldn't possibly be more disgusted at it. It's horrendously cruel with all of the later pages in particular with everyone hating her and celebrating her death, even Kovu, the one who's supposed to love her more than any other! Goddamn, that's the most abominable and inhumane humor you could possibly have for anything, and the fact that people find that crap funny is one of the most infuriating things I have ever had to endure in this fan base or the Internet in general. I've seen a lot of hate for Kiara on the Internet, but the view topic is the goddamned epitome of it! I'm sorry if I'm dwelling on this but I'm sorry, I just cannot accurately put into words how much I despise that view topic, and I can't say anything that can wholly do it justice for myself with so many people making such mean spirited humor towards her and finding it funny. It's horrible and infuriating!
I'm terribly sorry, I just had to let that out. I'll try to finish this without going on another rant like that. Getting back on track, the hate art about her that insults her intelligence, makes her look dumb, and in some cases shows other characters hating her is horribly ignorant, wrong and sickening to put it mildly. I mean for the love of God, people, give her a break already! Oftentimes I'm tempted to just ask every Lion King author I encounter through Private Messaging what their opinion on Kiara is, to see just how many do hate her. However, I also do know better than to do that, because I don't want to seem intrusive on the subject matter. It would be very rude of me to do so, and the one time I actually did it ended up pretty badly, though I'll get to that in a bit. So whenever a new story about her appears, it's just a guessing game as to what the author truly thinks of her unless they have it on their profile or they've said it somewhere beforehand. I dread the idea of an author who had good writing abilities and yet still shows distaste for her.
Honestly, why do people think this? I just don't get it. It does not make sense in the slightest to me. And I think it is absolutely horrible, shocking and depressing that this appears to actually be a widespread opinion about her. It is maddening, tragically sad and disheartening for me to ever hear such things about her, but at the same time it is also more confusing, erroneous and preposterous. I've read all the posts about her, I've heard the complaints, I've listened to the rants, but even after considering all that they said, it still doesn't make sense at all. If anything, trying to find a reason for this hate made things even more confusing for me.
Concerning the scene where she thought Kovu was in the grass, I say they're the idiots for thinking she was serious in thinking that. She didn't actually think Kovu was in that grass patch, she was just so hopeless and tragically desperate by that point that she wanted to believe he was there even when she knew he wasn't, because that's how much she wanted Kovu back. That's sad, actually, to get to the point where she has to give herself false hope that he'd be there, and I can't believe people think she meant that sincerely. The ones who express dislike for her constantly and unceasingly take what little character problems that she has and completely blow them out of proportion, amplifying them to the point where they make them out to be so much worse than they really are. They're absolutely nothing short of melodramatic and histrionic. I mean, lighten up people. It's not like Kiara was a slutty, emotionless pessimist who thought having her boyfriend intently watch her as she slept was romantic, and then proceeded to jump off a freaking cliff just to get said boyfriend's attention.
It increases my great personal irritation for this immensely because of the fact that this is even a widespread opinion about her. Sure, Kiara does have a few problems, but answer me this: Don't all of them do? Literally every character from The Lion King films, from Simba to Zira to Mufasa himself even, have their own problems. Having character faults and imperfections is what prevents them from being Mary Sues, and really the same could be said for most characters in fiction for any medium, not just Lion King or even the art of fictional characters in film in general. This goes back to what I said about all things made or thought up by man will have flaws of some kind, and fictional characters of any medium whatsoever are absolutely no exception to this principle. But concerning Lion King, none of the characters are perfect, and little to no one complains about their faults. So why is this particular case any different? Why should it be different?
Here's another thing I don't get: How is it that Kiara has to be the scapegoat for this fan base when, from what was seen, she acted very similarly to Simba as a cub, the one who gets all the love? Simba went off to the Elephant Graveyard putting not only his own life at risk, but Nala's as well since he took her along with her when she was just behaving herself and wasn't planning on getting into such mischief beforehand. Not to mention he actually lied to his mother's face about where he was going, Kiara didn't do that. And also, Simba and Nala went to the Elephant Graveyard on purpose, intentionally going out of their way to get a rhino to flatten Zazu so they could escape him. Kiara never did anything like that. She never meant to break the rules on purpose like her father did, she simply wandered out too far out of curiosity, and plus, she didn't bring a friend along to endanger someone else's life as well.
Granted the adventurous aspect was still there, there's no ignoring the fact that she did wander out against her father's will, which is what makes her similar to her father. But the dishonesty and recklessness levels are different for them both. So if anything, Simba was actually far more reckless and dishonest than his daughter would be, and yet everyone just loves him so much while Kiara gets the hate and unfair harassment for being more careful and less dishonest about everything? Just... huh?
(I'm not saying I disliked Simba as a cub at all, I actually did really like him there, but still). Simba as a cub had just as many, if not even more of a daredevilish attitude than his daughter did, and yet he gets all the praise for doing something worse than Kiara did, and for the matter, less intelligent. This is what I mean when I say I don't get the hate.
Many detractors like to cite the "You will never be Mufasa" line as proof that she is a spoiled brat, claiming it shows how she only wants things to go her way and she gets pissed if she doesn't get that way. It'd be easy for someone to call her a jerk for saying such a thing, but I feel that this couldn't be farther from the truth. We're all entitled to our own opinions and interpretations, so here's my take on it: this scene is just misinterpreted too often. She didn't say that out of anger (much), she meant it in a way that said Simba was trying too hard to be like Mufasa by exiling the adopted heir of his killer, whereas Simba in honest retrospect could not be Mufasa. He could only be Simba. He couldn't live Mufasa's life, he couldn't actually be him as he was tying to do. He could only be himself. That doesn't at all mean he can't ever be as good of a king as Mufasa was, but he just couldn't be him in a state of mind or body. He could even somehow be a far superior king than his father was and the statement would still apply.
That line from Kiara wasn't in the least meant to be hateful or insulting at all towards her father. Quite on the contrary: She was really trying to get something through to him, and frankly I think she chose just the right words to do so. She didn't want him to change because that's what she wanted personally and for herself, she desired him to change because she still loved him and wanted things to change for him because she cared for him and knew what he was doing was wrong. The same could be said for her entire pride; she loved them all as family, and wanted things to be better for them because of her care for each and every one of them since it was the right thing to do in terms of uniting the prides. (Not that she or Simba knew about this, but it helps that this was what Mufasa's spirit wanted as well as a form of forgiveness towards the Outsiders). And while we're on the subject, even though I do tolerate opinions on this scene that differ from mine, I still really wish more people would understand this and be more forgiving on the subject matter.
One could make the argument that Simba was just trying to protect his family by exiling Kovu, and I'm not saying that's completely wrong. He was in fact doing what he thought was right. But here's the thing: Kovu wasn't the killer he thought he was. Kiara had actually gotten to know him better than anyone else, hence why she fell in love with him. I'm not implying that anyone at all was stupid or unintelligent about the situation, but she was the only one smart enough (Hint, hint!) to see past Simba's prejudices against him and the Outsiders and see him and his pride for who they truly were: Poor, misguided souls led by Zira who, by any chance, would not be the way they are had it not been for their leader.
Kiara wasn't a brat for running away either, nor was she stupid for it. She wasn't doing it just for the sake of being a rebel. She actually had a valid point to prove in doing so: That Kovu wasn't responsible for the ambush and that he was innocent. Some might call her naive or stupid for thinking that and claiming that she "chose Kovu over Simba". It really pisses me off when people say this, because she didn't "choose" him over her father at all! Most who say that rarely consider this: Even if she weren't in love with him, even if by some one-in-a-million chance the whole movie was just going for a friendship route instead of a romance route with her and Kovu, she had still gotten to know him the best out of them all and had spent the most time with him.
Whereas Simba had only one extended conversation with Kovu and then the ambush happened through a misunderstanding, Kiara and Kovu had known one another since childhood. Even if that was the only time they'd see each other until years later, the memory/impact of each other remained for all that time, hence why they recognized each other after the fire rescue. So it wasn't completely out of love for him. That was undeniably a significant part of the reasonging behind it, but it was also because she actually knew him the best. Remember when she said "You don't know him"? There was a lot of truth to that. Simba had talked to him one time beforehand, while Kiara and Kovu grew close over time with some very believable chemistry involved as well, whether it was romantic or not. So even if the two had only been close friends and were not romantically involved in any way by that point, I fully believe that she still would've gone after him to prove his innocence.
To address the complaints of those who have called her naive, first of all why is being naive such a bad thing? Why does that have to be a detriment towards her at all? All of us are naive about something at some point or another, so why hate on Kiara for it? What makes a trait like that a negative thing, exactly? And second, let's just imagine for the sake of argument that Kovu did plan the ambush and that he did intend to kill him, and that Simba was in fact entirely justified in exiling him. At the very least, Kiara would have snuck off to ask him about it, maybe to get any details that she could or, at bare minimum, ask him why he did it. (You know, the way the lionesses should've done when Simba was hanging over the fire right after his return, after believing he was dead and missing him dearly for years in the first film. Instead of just watching him there as though he deserved to die or something). Kiara wanted to confirm that he was innocent even if she somehow got the answer she did't want, not only because she was in love with him; but also because she knew what was right when no one else around her did until after the ending. Even if he actually was responsible like Simba believed he was, she still wanted to at least ask him about it because she cared about him for who he was. Remind me how I'm supposed to buy the arguments of her being selfish or an idiot again?
To reiterate, she did not "choose" Kovu over Simba. If she did, she would've ran away with him like he offered and forsaken her father's kingdom altogether without a second thought, but more on that later. She wanted to prove Kovu's innocence to him and reunite the prides, benefiting Simba so he would no longer have to live with the pressure or the bleakness of utter the prejudice against them for the rest of his life and give him closure for the situation. So in retrospect, by running away and showing up during the battle and reuniting the prides, she was benefiting Simba a hell of a lot more than herself. Sure, she got to be with Kovu as a result and she knew it, but thanks to those actions she simultaneously helped to ease up her father both physically and mentally now that he no longer had to live with an entire pride of enemies on the other side of his borders, not to mention literally giving said pride a new home away from the hell that they had to live in before. How the hell is that "choosing" Kovu over her father?!
Many have called her stupid for assuming the other Outsiders had good in them just because Kovu did, and that they could've very well rejected the 'we are one' moral and killed her right there because of how corrupted they were. But do you want to know my take on this? First of all, think about what must've been going through the Outsiders' minds after she said "What differences do you see?". They realize that if not only Kiara, but Kovu himself is willing to risk their lives just for the sake of reuniting them, they must've at least considered to some degree that they had some sort of point. When she said "What differences do you see?", she didn't mean that with appearances. She meant that from a much deeper level than that. She knew that no one is ever born evil, so here's where my point of view and beliefs starts to come into play: If there was ever a time that the Outsiders were not evil, I fully believe that whatever light was once there was reawakened and unearthed within them by these words. Hell, I think that for real people too: No one is ever born mean or evil. They have to become that way by some means, so if there was a point in their lives where they weren't evil, I think that it cannot ever be fully destroyed. Corrupted and damaged for sure, but never truly gone. There is always a chance for an evil person, no matter how horrible they are, to reform if the rights things are said and done. Goodness in a person is never truly vanquished, it just becomes hidden when someone is corrupted. But they can always, always find it and take it back given the correct circumstances, which is a precise example of what happened to Kovu thanks to Kiara: The light and innocence within him that was around at the time he first met her, which had been covered up by Zira for years, had been reforged and rediscovered because he fell in love with her over time, proving that innocence and goodness can't ever be wholly destroyed. In fact, I think I can firmly say that if either Scar or Zira had lived long enough, the goodness in them that was once there could've been fully reawakened as well, and their light would've been rekindled like it can for all living beings. I truly do think that.
Going by this logic, I think this is exactly why Kiara thought the Outsiders had good in them the same way Kovu did: No living thing can ever be wholly corrupted to the point of no return, and she was willing to believe that with Kovu's pride. Even if it was just a bit of a gamble, so were many things that went down both in the film and the other two as well. When Simba confronted Scar, that was a huge gamble. When Nala left to find help, that was a huge gamble. When Kovu was ordered to save Kiara, that was a huge gamble. And when Zira hoped that Simba would accept Kovu, that was an especially huge gamble. You get the idea, so Kiara taking a risk for the Outsiders' goodness within them to be unearthed wasn't so big of a stretch compared to some of the other risks which other characters have taken that could've gotten someone killed, and few ever bitch and moan about them. So why is Kiara's case any different?
If by some chance that wasn't enough, allow me to provide a more basic explanation, or idea if you will. In the time that passed when Kiara said "If we run away, they'll be divided forever" to the time they found out about the battle, it's very possible if not certain that Kovu could've talked to Kiara about his pride since she was going to reunite them, and maybe informed her that they were the same as him. So maybe she didn't assume that to begin with, maybe Kovu told her about it. There was a decent amount of time in between the two events, so it's extremely possible that he could've at least said something to her on the matter. I don't buy for a second that both of them were silent the entire time and didn't speak at all for the whole duration of the period about the matter, so something had to have been said that inspired Kiara to think that the Outsiders could be reformed the same way Kovu was.
And if that's still not enough, allow me to provide yet another idea: Maybe the Outsiders just weren't as loyal to Zira as they seemed to be. Maybe they were all only following her out of fear and really hated her, and that Kiara's words and inspiration was when they saw their chance to finally break away and escape the sadist that had been controlling them all their lives. Considering how sadistic and insane Zira was, it's reasonable to assume two things: One- that the pride secretly feared her and only followed her because they were afraid that she would kill them if they disobeyed, leaving them no other choice but to follow her orders against their will under threat of death. Similarly, the second thing one could assume with this setup is that Zira actually knew about how her pride was afraid of her and secretly loathed her, so maybe she threatened them all with death if they showed any signs of wanting to join someone else at some point. Either follow her or die- that could've been the reasoning.
If that was the case, then when Kiara and Kovu intervened with the battle and made it clear that they wanted to reunite the prides, perhaps that was why they decided to join with the Pride Landers so soon: Because they never wanted to follow Zira in the first place and were happy to have a new leader who treated them as living things instead of objects. Because when you get down to it, that's what Zira did: She never treated anyone in her pride like a living, breathing lion, not even Kovu. She was only using them all to get to her own desires, which were to kill Simba and Kiara and to avenge Scar. The only one she ever showed any genuine love for was Nuka when he died, and even then I'm wondering if that was only because he was Scar's blood son. If I were one of those lionesses, I wouldn't exactly be Zira's biggest fan either with those circumstances. But if she threatened me with death saying she'd kill me if I didn't follow her, I wouldn't have much of a choice either, now would I?
Plus if I saw someone come in front of me and say they want to bring us together and have at least a chance of having a good leader for the first time in my tortured life, I'd definitely want to take the chance too. In short, what I'm suggesting is that the Outsiders joined with Simba's pride so quickly because they were afraid of Zira and wanted to find any way they could to escape her ways, and having Kovu and Kiara say straight out that they were going to do that is what gave them their chance to do so, and to ultimately be happy for the first time in their lives and live in some place above the tenth level of hell. And that was all thanks to Kiara giving them the opportunity to do that, which they gladly went for. I fail to see what's idiotic about that.
And this fits quite well with the point I made with Kovu most likely telling Kiara more about the Outsiders on their way to the battle site: Maybe he told her that the Outsiders were secretly terrified of Zira, and that she knew that when she said what she did. Perhaps Kiara was intentionally giving them the chance to break away from her if she knew they were afraid of her, and that the idea wasn't originally hers. Or for that matter, remember the scene where the two of them are out in the field looking up to the stars? Maybe Kovu said something about it to her there. He wouldn't have had to say it straight out or directly to Kiara, but maybe he said something that just implied that his pride was afraid of Zira and that was the only reason they followed her. She could've very well asked why Kovu left them to begin with, and maybe there he could've answered with something that implied the prospect even if it was only very subtly with the plan and all.
So to recap: All of that was my take on Kiara thinking the other Outsiders were good just because Kovu was. Even though it can be easy to claim she was stupid and/or naive of her to think so, I am completely convinced that there was more to it than meets the eye. All it takes is a little thinking and interpretation on her actions and words to get to a conclusion such as this. And out of all the main points about it, I feel that every single one of them had a part to play in the whole situation. It wasn't just one thing that did it: It was a combination of them all that resulted in the conclusion Kiara reached about the pride, and ultimately her gamble paid off. Now answer me this: if Kiara is really as dumb or idiotic as they say she is, would she have been able to come anywhere near to such a conclusion? Dumb characters can't think like that or see things that intelligently, and if Kiara could, then where the hell do people get off on calling her stupid as such?
When I think of animated characters that actually are "dumbasses" as some would put them, Kiara is most definitely not one of them by any stretch of the imagination. I tend to think of characters like Patrick Starfish, Homer Simpson, Cosmo (Or generally anyone from the Fairly Oddparents at all), Peter Griffin, the South Park version of Al Gore, you get the picture. None of them can even spell their own names half of the time, and I'm supposed to believe that Kiara of all people is supposed to be on the same level of stupidity as them? Anyone who's even watched the same film as I have can tell you four things: First, Kiara never seriously thought that mayonnaise or horseradish were playable musical instruments. Second, she never mistook a major trial in court for a bowling alley. Third, Kiara never got hopelessly drunk just so the Statue of Liberty would take her clothes off. (That sounds more like something Timon would do). And fourth, she never said "super cereal" instead of "serious" or believed that a three way human, bear and pig hybrid could ever realistically exist. When I hear a fictional character (anyone at all) being called stupid, those are the examples that come to mind, not Kiara. And no matter which conceivable way you look at it and no matter how firmly one would believe she is a "ditz", there's absolutely no denying that regardless of what Kiara ever did or said, she is light years more intelligent than any of the characters I just named. Think of someone like Cosmo or Peter Griffin compared to Kiara and you just try to say that she is anywhere near as dumb as them.
And here's another question I have: Why is it that fans regard Kiara as an idiot when half of them think Kovu was Scar's son? Who's the idiot there, huh?
Then there are those people who immensely exaggerate her other actions/words and cite that she is a "crybaby" or a "spoiled brat". I find these claims to be incredibly false as well, and at this point I'm just thinking that people are going out of their way to try and find things wrong with her that were never there to begin with. Allow me to explain. By dictionary definition, a 'crybaby' is someone who sheds tears frequently or readily. Anyone who's even watched the same film as I have can tell you that Kiara hardly cries at all. She gets upset a couple of times, sure, but no physical tears from her eyes were apparent on any of those occasions. The one and only time that she did actually cry, not only was it because the one she loved had just been exiled by her father and ridiculed by every Pride Lander in the kingdom right in front of her (A damn good reason to cry in my book), but also, she doesn't even cry for a full thirty seconds about it.
No, scratch that, actually. She barely even cries for a full ten seconds over something anyone else could've spent hours moping about. She sobs for ten seconds exactly (I timed it) before she stops, looks up, and breaks out of the back of Pride Rock with a determined look on her face. That was ten seconds of crying throughout the entire 81 minute run time of the film, and these people are trying to say that she's a crybaby of all things?! If anything, Kiara handled the situation a hundred times better than someone else probably would have. She could've spent hours being all depressed and sobbing to herself about Kovu's exile and constantly weeping about not being able to see him again without so much as considering doing anything herself to fix the problem, hoping that someone would do it for her. Then the claims would be valid. But no, she actually toughened up on her own accord and her own accord alone, running out to fix the problem herself since Simba clearly wasn't going to. That's the complete opposite of a crybaby! It shows she's willing to actually get things done herself in tense situations instead of complaining to have solutions handed to her, so she's incredibly far from a stereotypical princess who always wants her way and no one else's.
A spoiled brat would whine about no one trying to do this for her and then rottenly point fingers at everyone for going against Kovu. But she actually took the stronger route and went to get it done herself, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for other Disney sequel characters. She knows that a solution isn't going to happen on its own, she's not expecting it to be handed to her and complaining that it won't be. She knows that the whole situation won't be solved with ease, and she's willing to take whatever crap comes her way just to prove an outsider's innocence to her father. And they still have the audacity to say she's a spoiled brat?!
I will now address the fan complaints that Kiara is "whiny", as they put it. Let's take a look at every scene most frequently cited for this, shall we? First off, they point to the scene where she leaves the den at the start and "whines" about having heard the safety rules many times before. For one thing, Kiara was only a young child and was eager to be out on her own likely for the first time in her life, so obviously she'd be impatient about hearing the same thing over and over again. That wasn't whining, that was just an indication of being a young, energetic kid right there. It's completely normal for kids her age to have that kind of impatient and hyperactive nature, you can't expect them to be perfect ladies and gentlemen right off the bat, especially if they're lions. Simba was just like that as a cub, and no one ever calls him a whiny brat for it. So why should Kiara's case be any different?
Second off, there's the part where she "whines" about not wanting to be queen when Simba talks to her after the first meeting with Kovu. Well, think back to the scene I just mentioned before with Simba telling Kiara about the safety rules and how uptight he was about her well-being. Growing up around that all her life, she got the impression that being ruler wasn't such an enjoyable idea with how overbearing and strict her father was about every little thing. If I were in her position and I only had Simba's behavior to go by as to what being ruler would be like, I wouldn't be too excited about the prospect either. He was always so serious and overprotective around her, and that was all she had to go by as to what it'd be like, naturally she wouldn't look forward to it since she (like any cub) loves to have fun and believes being queen will take all of the enjoyment away from her life. I don't blame her, really, at least not at that age where she isn't supposed to know about all the specifics of it just yet. And speaking of that, she never explicitly repeated any distaste for being queen as an adult, so for all we know she could've very easily warmed up to the idea over time. I personally believe she still wouldn't be very excited about it, but still, it's anyone's guess as to what her point of view on it was by the end.
Third, we have the scene where she discovers Timon and Pumbaa were following her on her first hunt and she "whines" about it, running away to go out on her own. This one is the most frequently cited from what I've seen, and frankly I don't think it deserves it. In my opinion, Kiara had every right to be upset towards the situation. Really think about what led up to it for a second: Simba had promised directly to her that he'd let her do the hunt on her own, but then she finds Timon and Pumbaa in the middle of the savannah stalking her on the king's accord. She realized there that her own father had literally lied to her face on the matter and naturally became upset. That's a genuinely good reason for a child to be irritated at a parent: to find out that they actually lied to their face about something they so dearly and ardently promised to them beforehand. Kiara had every right to be as dissatisfied with him at that point as she was. When she ran away, she simply did it out of frustration because if it were her first hunt, there had to have been a lot of preparations and encouraging from the lionesses to prepare for the event, in the same way a kid gets a lot of encouragement and anticipation for their first day of school. In doing that, she very much looked forward to trying the hunt on her own for the first time, but since she found out that wasn't even the case halfway through, reasonably she'd try to get away from Timon and Pumbaa stalking her. (It doesn't help that they had been baby-sitting her for her entire life too). With those two there, she realized she wasn't on her own after all, and was smart enough (Hint hint!) To figure out that they were lying about the "shopping" and knew Simba sent them there. If she ran away from them, then she could be on her own and finally receive the opportunity her father had promised.
Fourth, some fans like to point to the scene immediately after Kovu rescued Kiara from the fire and she starts to "whine" at him for saving her life. To begin with, I interpret that as simply a part of how stressed she likely was right then. She had very nearly burned to death minutes before, passed out hoping to God she wouldn't die right then and there, and all of a sudden she wakes up realizing that her first hunt, something she had looked so forward to and was so eager to try had officially no chance of success as of then. If I were her, I wouldn't exactly be in the best of moods either. She was just frustrated about the hunt going as awry as it did, and that frustration just came out when she found Kovu had to save her. Some claim that she was too overconfident in thinking she had everything under control despite things clearly having gone beyond her direction. But you need to take into consideration that Kiara at this point was not a completely grown lioness just yet. Past her teen age and well into her young adult years for certain, but still not quite the fully grown lioness Nala was in the first film. If she's younger, it's reasonable to assume she would handle the situation a different way, especially since she was less experienced with such a thing with how intently Simba had sheltered her for her entire life. Plus it's not like Kiara's irritated attitude about the whole mess lingered any further than that one scene. She actually does thank Kovu for saving him later on, which just proves my idea that she just needed some time to cool down from the near death experience. We all have moments like that. Times when we're incredibly upset about things we shouldn't be, and then we have time to relax and let everything settle, where we calm down and look at the situation with a new, less sharp perspective ultimately letting it go. It exposes our humanity a little bit with moments like that, showing we aren't perfect by any means. And this was precisely what Kiara went through at that time: She was irritated at first, but then calmed down about it and came to terms with her first hunt failing and Kovu saving her that night, ultimately thanking him for it in the process and letting her frustration go. A selfish, whiny brat on the other hand would have just shrugged Kovu off as an afterthought and continued to complain about the hunt's failure to everyone around her. That fits the definition of a whiny brat, not what Kiara did. Not by a long shot.
So as you can see, the complaints that Kiara is whiny or spoiled can be attributed to the same reason almost every other thing fans rip apart about her has: They blew it out of proportion on scales I'm baffled even exist in this fan base. The four scenes I just talked about are just the main ones that most detractors like to point out as "proof" that she's a brat. But even though they're certainly entitled to their own opinions, once again, this just happened to be mine.
I am also very tired of hearing complaints that she "replaced" Kopa, and that he should have been the second film's protagonist. I do support Kopa as much as the next guy and fully believe him to be canon as such, but I find it extremely unfair to hate on Kiara simply and solely because she wasn't him. I mentioned that I've never read the books he was in, but recently I looked into it more extensively, and apparently Kopa was ten times whinier and more bratty than Kiara is ever claimed to be. I heard one account where he cried his eyes out because a cub named Afua (Correct me if I'm wrong) started hanging out with someone other than him, and another time when he was too frightened to cross some sort of gorge. Really now, is it honestly worth crying over not crossing a gorge of all things? Would Simba, Nala or Kiara have been like that? Frightened maybe, but outright bawling and running away? For those who think Kopa should have been in The Lion King II, does that really sound better than Kiara was?
This goes out to everyone who arrogantly prefers Kopa over Kiara and/or disgustingly
and close-mindedly thinks Simba and Nala should've had a son instead of a daughter*cough*CSIMentalistTLKlover*cough: Why the hell do so many fans praise Kopa like he's God in the first placy? What did he do in the books to get himself so much love like that? He sure didn't stop a war, I know that much. Seriously, I want to know. Why do so many fans love Kopa as much as they do? Why do they always prefer him over Kiara? It's infuriating how he's always celebrated while Kiara is despised. The view topic on mylionking.com is the perfect example of this: Every single one of them hugely favor Kopa over Kiara. They practically worship him while constantly kicking Kiara into the dirt like she's a sack of crap. What the hell did he do to deserve such love?! Is it just because he isn't Kiara and they'd be willing to take anyone as long as it isn't her? If so, that has got to be the meanest thing I've ever heard. Although I still support him, I think Kopa is overrated on a monstrously massive scale and it pains me to see so many people favor him over Kiara for no real reason at all. Hell, he only appeared in a few obscure books that weren't even officially licensed by Disney, so... what the hell?
The one, count it, one time Kiara cried, she had a damn good reason behind it and didn't even do it for that long at all. 10 seconds tops as I said before. And besides, while I looked into it, I found out that the makers of Simba's Pride actually had no knowledge of Kopa's existence while making the film, for little to none of the animators ever read the Six New Adventures books. So answer me this: How could Kiara have pushed Kopa off of the drawing board when he was never on the drawing board to begin with? There was literally no one to replace, Kopa was never even considered for the movie to begin with. That situation doesn't exactly fit the definition of replace, now does it?
And on another matter- I've heard an uncomfortably high amount of complaints that Kiara is terrible because she simply was not a boy. Not just about not being Kopa, but not being a boy in general. Oftentimes they cite things like "Simba and Nala should've had a son in the movies". (Sadly, an author by the name of CSIMentalistTLK lover is blatantly guilty of this). I don't think that there is even a word in any of the hundreds of human languages that currently exist that can even begin to describe how sexist that is. How would being a boy make her better? Why does Kiara have to suck solely on the prospect that she's female? That's just wrong on so many levels, I can't even fully contemplate it because it boggles my mind so violently. Why is Kopa so widely celebrated and loved like he's the Messiah just because he's their son and not their daughter? Are they seriously and non-sarcastically implying that a boy is superior to a girl here in this case? Really? I'll be damned if that isn't the very textbook definition of 'sexist'. It's enraging to see this type of thing, especially in this day and age where women are meant to be equal to men.
Honest to God, I can't even count how many fans I've encountered who say they greatly dislike Kiara for no other reason other than the fact she is female, and she isn't Simba and Nala's son instead. Seriously, some claim that to be their only reason, and that they have nothing against her other than the prospect she's female, and that's the only reason they hate her. Come on, they're making Twilight look less sexist than this by comparison! (And that's no small feat, either). Concerning the thought of Simba and Nala having an heir at all, fans who would want to see that story in any form told should be open to it no matter what the gender is! If it's a boy, fine. If it's a girl, fine. They should be open and accepting to either a male or a female offspring without regarding one or the other as terrible because of said gender! It wasn't their choice to be a boy or a girl, so why fault them for it? You can hate on them as much as you want whether they are a boy or a girl for other reasons like with certain other characters.
If there actually is something legitimately wrong with them, fine, go all out. I've heard people say some nasty things about Kovu before, but none of them say he should've been a girl or that he sucks because he's a male. That would actually be a problem in the total opposite direction. If other characters can be criticized without their sex being a part of that criticism, please just keep it like that with Kiara as well. Keep the gender of Kiara, Simba and Nala's heir and offspring out of the hatred issue instead of favoring one (Kopa) over the other (Kiara) solely because of the heir's sex, regardless if it's male or female! However, there are times that I suspect the books themselves could actually be responsible for this and that the whole thing's just a typical case of nerd rage from the movie not following the book (I've seen plenty of that from Th Hobbit, recently). If for the sake of argument the situation was switched, Simba and Nala did have Kopa in The Lion King II, but they had Kiara in the Six New Adventures books, I would bet every cent I have that the response would be completely reversed: People would hate Kopa for being male and that Simba and Nala should've had a daughter "like in the books", and that he "replaced" her. I wouldn't doubt that in the slightest. I'm sorry if I'm dwelling on this, but this issue really does upset me in a lot of ways because I completely support all forms of equality between men and women for everything, and it's absolutely shocking and horrendous that this is running rampant throughout the fandom.
Now just to be clear on the matter, I'm not saying or even implying that every single person out there who dislikes Kiara is sexist. I know there are people who hate her without citing her gender as one of the (petty) reasons, but this part was mostly directed at those who do think so. Hating her because she wasn't a son is sexist and ignorant, and for that matter it is insulting for that kind of hate to exist in this day and age, where tolerance between men and women are meant to be equal. Like I said before, fans who want to see the story continue after the first movie and want to see Simba and Nala have an heir at all, they should be open to a female protagonist just as enthusiastically as they would if they were male. They shouldn't be liked less or more because of gender, that's the kind of thing I'm getting at here. They shouldn't say a girl sucks because she isn't a boy, that's what makes it sexist.
If by some chance Kiara was a boy, I wouldn't like her more, but I wouldn't like her (him?) less either. I would still defend Kiara as I am doing now even if she were a boy. Being male or female shouldn't hinder the likeability of any character, not just with Kiara or even Lion King in general, but with any character in all of story-telling media that currently exists at the moment. The sex of a character shouldn't change one's opinion on them, they should be judged on their own merits aside from that: personality, actions, beliefs, likeability, impact on the story, etc. Those are what makes good characters, not their sex. There are exceptions, but this is most definitely not one of them. If Kopa were female, I wouldn't care. If Kiara were male, I wouldn't care. I just don't understand in the slightest why she has to be disliked by some because she isn't Simba and Nala's son. That is incredibly ignorant for this day and age in my opinion, and the character of Simba and Nala's heir should be judged on their own merits like any other character usually is, not their gender. I just sincerely wish more morbidly Kopa worshipping fans who treat him like he's Jesus Christ would be able to see it that way.
In general, gender issues aside, Kopa should not be so worshipped as he is. How about everyone just tone down the love for him and tone up the respect for Kiara more? I don't see why we should have to choose one over the other for any reason at all. Why can't they just be equally appreciated? Half of everywhere I've been people are always choosing sides between the two, either worshiping Kopa or appreciating Kiara. Why the hell can't we pick both? Kopa is not Jesus Christ guys, and yet so many fans treat him like he is! They act like he's the greatest character ever conceived for the entire franchise when he wasn't even in any of the freaking movies! I mean come on, lay off the worship! Stop acting like Kopa is God and acting like Kiara is the Antichrist at the same time. I'm not saying Kopa should be hated by any means because once again, I do support him as a canon character. But I think there's a limit to how much love a single character should get for anything, and the Kopa fans have COMPLETELY crossed that limit in every conceivable way. I mean good lord, they're making me want to hate Kopa just because of how rabid some are for him and then treat Kiara like she's the devil. (Hell, I even saw a picture depicting that)! Tone down the love for Kopa, and tone up the love for Kiara so we can make them equal and not treat one or the other like a sack of crap! They're both good characters, so why can't more see it that way? Why can't it be like that!? It should be that way instead of everyone cheering at Kiara dying and cheering even more that Kopa would be taking her place, plus finding that same event to be funny of all things. (I will never get over how freaking cruel that was!)
In fact, that's actually something I've noticed with a lot of fandoms lately; female characters are always hated more than the male ones, I'm beginning to think that this is just another ordinary example. (If it is, I am genuinely concerned for the future of gender equality). I'm willing to bet that if Nuka or Kovu were female, everyone would complain about how he (she?) is a stupid, terrible, pointless Mary Sue. It would make about as much sense as this whole thing does. (i.e none at all).
Speaking of that, I also find the claims that Kiara is a Mary Sue to be absolute rubbish. By definition, a Mary Sue is a perfect character who has absolutely no flaws and has everything go her way, always succeeds in everything they do, etc. Last I checked, Kiara didn't exactly succeed with her first hunt, nor did she succeed with helping Simba to see the good in Kovu at first, nor did she succeed in trying to help Zira live. That's not to say she fails at everything, she certainly does accomplish significant and meaningful things, but the "Mary Sue" claims are, as mentioned earlier, blowing them hugely out of proportion on an absolutely baffling scale. Not only that, but she couldn't hunt either, but I'll address that separately. That sounds like a pretty big flaw for a lioness like herself if you ask me.
Plus, as mentioned before, Kiara wasn't selfish. She didn't want things to change for herself. Quite on the contrary, actually. She wanted things to change for the good of not only her own pride, but for Kovu's pride as well to give them a better place to live and help them move on from the hell-hole that they call a home, so don't bother trying to pull up the argument that she's selfish or irresponsible. In fact, that's incredibly selfless and noble of her to want to do, and it's absolutely wonderful that she'd care for the Outsiders like that and to want to help them have a better life, all while gaining almost nothing for herself in doing so. That is admirable! Heroic, even! So let me get this straight; they claim that she is a Mary Sue, and yet it's common knowledge that she is not a very skilled hunter, something most lionesses like herself know how to do. You make your own conclusions as to what to call that.
People saying that her hunting sucks is another thing I'm officially sick of and confused about. Yes, she failed her first hunt. Yes, she had to be rescued by Kovu. But let's back up a bit here. She was on her first hunt. First hunt. If she had never done it before, obviously she wasn't going to be great at it right off the bat, especially when she was alone. Not to mention she was still in the early stages of adulthood, so one could expect her skills to be iffy at the start. I mean how is it at all fair to judge her entire hunting career off of only one performance, and her very first no less? It's the same thing as if a human tries to go hunting for deer for the very first time, they don't have much experience in it, they aren't able to shoot one, and then literally thousands of people insult and ridicule them saying they're always going to suck and it's a reason to hate them as a person. It was their first freaking time, and it shows a lot of unrealistically high expectations on their part, which is exactly what I can say for insult Kiara's hunting abilities: Their expectations are too unrealistically high too unrealistically early. Hunting takes time to learn, you can't expect her to succeed the first time and then ridicule and hate her because she failed at something that's going to take a very long time to learn no matter what species she is, lion or not. There's always the notion that Kiara will get better at hunting, especially with Kovu most likely being the one to teach her. Give her a break! Or better yet, give her some time. I have absolutely no doubt in the slightest that Kiara will become a good, if not great hunter after the second film's ending: It. Takes. Time!
People say she should've been good because she was the daughter of Simba and Nala, but that's completely invalid. I don't care who she's the daughter of, she isn't going to be a great hunter on her first time. Then there's the fact that her hunt was sabotaged by the fire caused by Nuka and Vitani, something she obviously didn't expect. Whether or not she would've caught anything had it not been for the fire is up to you, but I digress.
I've heard people complain (read: bitch and moan) about how she should've also been good because Nala was an expert hunter, as were Sarafina and Sarabi. But are they even considering what kind of comparison they're making with that? First of all, we never saw Sarabi or Sarafina hunt at all, so how can they compare Kiara's hunting skills to the likes of those that were never even seen? What's there to even compare with that case? For all we know, Sarabi and Sarafina could've been terrible hunters. I'm not at all saying that was actually the case, in fact I'm very confident that they were both skilled in hunting, but we're just never shown any real evidence indicating that.
And second, even if you were to bring up her mother's hunting skills, that wouldn't be much better. It's like if a young film student makes their very first ever movie, and then thousands of people around the world complain and hate it because it isn't as good as the works of Orson Welles or Francis Ford Coppola: It's just unfair of a comparison to make. If that weren't enough, she was still around her very late teen to early adult years at the time of the hunt, obviously she wasn't going to be great at it the first time. Give her a break already. I mean, what did you expect? You wanted her to be a perfect huntress right off the bat, which would actually make her a lot more like a Mary Sue? You unjustly hate on her for being a "Mary Sue", and yet you want her to be great at hunting on her first try, making her more of one?... just... what??
Also, I really tried my best to avoid calling out anyone in particular here, but I won't have full closure on this until I address it and get it off my chest. An author by the name of CSIMentalistTLK lover (Whom I mentioned earlier), the one who wrote the exceptionally well done You Take the Good With the Bad trilogy, is a Kiara deprecater that I never even knew who was one until I decided to look back at the first story they ever published, titled An Unexpected Surprise. I don't want to rip on it because I know it was their first fanfic, and I know they've learned since then, but it was... unpleasant. That's really the only word I have for it- unpleasant. The only other words I can think of to describe it would be horrible, distasteful, sickening, incredibly mean spirited, and overall I can't remember the last time I've hated a fanfic so dearly, at least for one relating to The Lion King. In fact, I've never hated a fanfic so deeply before, and if someone were to ask me what I think the worst Lion King fanfic ever written is, I would have to point to An Unexpected Surprise. It pains me to say that because it came from a genuinely good author that I still like, but I still feel dirty from ever even deciding to read it, and it's detestable that that one had to be their first story and the one that introduced themself as a writer here. Personally, I can't think of a worse way to introduce oneself here than with something so cruel, heartless and mean spirited. What makes it even worse is that it got extremely popular too, with many of the reviews calling Kiara a "witch", a "brat", among other things outright unleashing hatred for her not just from her actions in the story, but just her whole character in the movie in general. I truly felt nauseous from many of the reviews condemning her for little to no true reason. I'm sorry, but I just can't stress enough how putrid I feel towards it, and I have an incerdibly difficult time coming up with the right words to really do it justice for myself. There are so many things wrong with it, I can't even comprehend the idea of there being a place I could possibly begin with it.
The story dealt with the most implausible premise, too- Simba and Nala have another cub after the ending of the second movie, but that's not the implausible part. Despite their advanced age at that point, I'm willing to let at least that much slide. Things start to get bad, however, when Kiara actually turns evil and tries to kill him, all because he is to be ruler instead of her. And it ended with Kiara being killed in a rather disrespectful way, too, and then none of the others, not even Kovu are upset in the slightest by it. Not only does this take the phrase 'out of character' to a completely new level, and not only does it shatter what could've been a very nice and touching premise, but recently I've heard that there are two sequels to the story, somehow incorporating yet another one of those horrible Kovu/Nala pairings. I haven't read either of them myself, but I have absolutely no plans to. For one thing, Kiara was born first, so that should've retained her birthright to the throne. The whole thing was written just to kill her off and make her look bad, and I couldn't be more infuriated towards it. The ending of the story could've been saved had Kiara seen the error of her ways and apologized for everything, but no, they bring down the ending that officially made me decide it was my least favorite Lion King fanfic. But like I said, I really feel terrible for saying that, because that same author wrote the You Take the Good With the Bad trilogy, and I really don't want to insult any of their works like this. Upon Private Messaging the author, they revealed that they did in fact hate Kiara, as I feared.
Truthfully, I didn't know how to feel. I mean, I respect their opinion on the matter, but their reasons for hating her were just so infuriatingly petty and insignificant. One of them was the absolutely deplorable "Simba and Nala should've had a son" argument that's practically the bane of my existence at this point. In fact, An Unexpected Surprise even reflects this on their end: They get rid of the daughter and utterly replace her with a son in the end. I think that mentality is horribly selfish, close-minded, sexist, and incredibly ignorant. I already went over how having Kiara's gender being even one of the reasons to hate her is so wrong on so many levels, so I won't delve back into that again in such detail. But still, the principle that being their daughter and not their son was even one of their reasons to hate her is sickeningly despicable.
I mean, coming from an author who wrote a great AU trilogy, and never expressed even the remotest dislike for her... well, I felt horrible. I felt like a close friend had just turned on me in a way, and it really did pain me to hear their opinion on her. It hurt. it really, really hurt for me. Imagine if a great book author you loved and followed for months came up to you and said they despised something you truly love and feel sensitive about, and then proceeded to write a whole book expressing their distaste for that subject when their reasons for it are petty and melodramatic, making them out to be so much worse than they really are. And as a result, I actually lost interest in their work for a while because their reasons, once again, were some of the weakest and strangest I'd ever heard. Even the three stories I did like from them started to take on a whole new meaning for me, and not at all for the better. Since Simba and Nala have a son in that and Kiara isn't even their daughter at all, that's suddenly taking on a much darker meaning for me now that I know she didn't like her for being their daughter.
Even if it weren't for that, here's one of my largest issues with the whole thing: CSIMentalistTLK lover claimed that their reasons for writing it were that Kiara was "just so whiny and annoying", along with the deplorable "should've been a son" complaint. Ignoring the gender issue, let me ask this: Even if Kiara was as whiny or annoying as they made her out to be, even if by some chance she was as bad a character as they and everyone else said, is that really worthy of death? Is being something so petty as "annoying" worthy of brutally killing her as well as making her death so disrespectful and in vein to have her die without so much as a hint of hope for redemption or reformation in any way for the situation? Really? The nonexistent crime does not fit the punishment here! They did too much to her when she did little to nothing to deserve it. No matter how annoying or whiny any character is in anything, I never want to see them die because of it. For example, in The Land Before Time, I find the character Cera to be rather annoying and whiny. But despite the fact I'm not her biggest fan by any means, I wouldn't want to see her die. I don't want to see her turn evil and then die in an incredibly insensitive way that's just skimmed over like it's a petty detail. Like with Kiara, the punishment would not fit the crime. And to reiterate, I don't find Kiara either whiny or annoying at all, so it's even worse because it's like CSIMentalistTLK lover was punishing a completely innocent character who never did a thing in her life to willfully harm anyone or cause anyone in her life any kind of grief. And I truly, truly hate to see innocent characters of any kind being tortured in such a manner, so that's one of my main personal issues with An Unexpected Surprise.
Making someone go so far out of character just to justify killing them off and replacing them with someone else just because they don't like her, gender issues aside, is one of the worst things you can do with fanfiction in general in my opinion. Not just with An Unexpected Surprise or even with The Lion King fandom in general, but with any kind of fanfiction for any fandom at all. It physically makes me sick to my stomach. I'm aware it's easy to exaggerate things like that about a lot of stuff, but here, this is no exaggeration at all- An Unexpected Surprise makes me feel physically sick to my stomach every single time I so much as think the title to myself (Which has made watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey a hell of a lot harder for me to watch lately). It's not only an insult to Kiara, not only to her family, not only to the entire Lion King fandom itself, but to even the films themselves and everyone who worked on them. Coming from someone who said they still liked all three films including the one Kiara was in, it's really sad and shocking that An Unexpected Surprise is what the film inspired them to do. That's how hateful and despicable I feel the story is.
Not to dwell on this longer than I should, but the story is easily one of the worst things, if not the worst thing I've ever read in my life, and certainly my least favorite fanfic of any category. Sure, it doesn't have the atrocious spelling errors of My Immortal. Sure, it doesn't have the painful childishness or ludicrous nature of Legolas by Laura. But at least with those two, as awful as they both still are, I can at least get a good laugh at their massive scale of incompetence in a sort of 'so bad it's funny' kind of way. But with An Unexpected Surprise, what makes it so bad is that it was written by a competent author who didn't drop out of school in the first grade, the text was legible, the thing was told in a coherent matter, and aside from Kiara herself, most of the characters were still recognizable at least for the majority of the time. So there isn't even a 'so bad it's funny' factor to the story. That's what makes it so baneful for me: It wasn't just some random scribbles you could find in a first grader's notebook done in an hour. If it were that, I wouldn't pay any mind to it. But it was instead written by an actually literate, intelligent person with a coherent beginning, middle and end, and yet still managed to be so deplorable. In fact, it's not even enjoyable or satisfying to make fun of like Twilight is- it's just that painful. So bad, it's not even amusing to make fun of. Not even Twilight had that trait.
And, like how so many unfortunate depricators have done before, they took what minor problems she had and blew them completely out of proportion, making them out to be so much worse than they really are. Letting just a few moments of screen time and just a few lines of dialogue dictate the likeability of a whole character just seems so rude to me. Also a minor note here- they later said that even though they hated Kiara, they still overall liked The Lion King II. I don't know, Kiara was literally the main character for that film in the first place. I mean, liking every character in it except her and only her... that just seems so dry to me, and it leaves just this huge gap that dries out everything I love about it. I can say the same for anyone who dislikes Kiara but still likes the film she was in: That's just too depressing for me to like every other character only to toss her out in the cold and exclude only her like that. Something about that seems oddly lonely to me, and once again I find it depressing and wrong.
The story certainly was an unexpected surprise alright. Unexpected in the sense that I never would've guessed such a thing could come from an otherwise good author who knows how to tell a good other story, and a surprise in the sense that I'm shocked such cold feelings towards Kiara could come from that same author too. As histrionic as this may sound, is the bane of my existence. That's a term I know is thrown around a lot and as such is one I don't use very lightly. I know full and well what its definition is, which is a chief annoyance or distress in life. As much as I really don't want to say it, it's true: The story is the bane of my entire existence because of how shockingly hateful, disrespectful, unpleasant, insensitive, mean spirited and wrong it is.
I don't mean to come off as too uptight about this, nor do I want to come off as rude or disrespectful. I still do respect CSIMentalistTLK lover a great deal, and I can still recommend at least those three stories stories to just about any Lion King fan, but it really was (And still is) painful for me to find out that an author I really admired (still do, even) happened to so deeply hate on a subject I'm genuinely very sensitive about. It may just be me because it's easy for me to get offended at criticism towards Kiara in general, but it was like they had personally turned on me in a way. The whole affair just felt wrong. I'm certainly aware that they've written other stories that do feature Kiara and don't kill her off in a painfully and utterly disrespectful way, and I'm confident that more may be done by them in the future. But the problem there is that I still go into them with the knowledge that they don't like her, so it gives her portrayal in her stories a new meaning, and not entirely for the better. If they do manage to portray her in a respectful way, it'll still feel utterly passionless knowing that they loathe her. I know that writing in a character you don't like for anything makes it more of a chore than a passion, so where's the passion in that? I'm not saying I don't want her to write Kiara into her stories at all, especially when her portrayals will be better than what was in An Unexpected Surprise. But the fact remains that she doesn't like her, and that can suck a lot of enjoyment out of the stories for me. It's really an unsolvable problem when you get down to it. And that's genuinely very sad and immensely disheartening for me. And in a lot of their other stories, I can't believe they go out of their way to avoid having Kiara in them in favor of making Simba and Nala have a son instead. I will not reiterate what my feelings for that are.
I'm not at all trying to change CSIMentalistTLK lover's opinion on the matter. I don't want them to apologize for the story or anything since it is their work, and ultimately I respect all opinions on it. I just have my own personal issues with those opinions, and ironically I'm only expressing my point of view on that too. Freedom of speech is a right, so I believe we're both entitled to voice our opinions on it. Concerning the issue of Kiara as a character, I understand the story was just their own way of expressing themselves and their point of view on her, and well, this extended answer to the simple question "Is Kiara Truly a Ditz?" is my way of expressing myself on the matter. So as long as they can respect my opinion, I can very easily respect theirs still. As offended by An Unexpected Surprise and its popularity as I still am and as disrespectful and distasteful as I may find it, I am not at all suggesting that it's so offensive that it's worth taking action against. It's their work, so I have no right to control them on what they do or think. If they're still proud of the story, fine, let them be. I'm not trying to get it removed or even get the author to do that themself. No, not at all, I don't think I hate it that
much. I am simply and only presenting/voicing my opinion on said work, nothing more. I am not insulting the author as a person in the slightest, I said before how I hate when people do that to others over the Internet. This whole thing is directed strictly to the fanfic and the fanfic alone. I'm very confident that CSIMentalistTLK lover is an incredibly nice person in real life, and for the most part they were in fact rather polite when I talked to them. So as a person I'm certain that they're very pleasant and personable.
If by some chance CSIMentalistTLK lover ever reads this, I want you to know that I hold nothing against you as a person for hating on Kiara like you do, I just wish from the bottom of my heart that we could see more eye-to-eye on the subject matter. I don't want to start another PM conversation because I feel we went through the matter enough already. It's just truly horrible and upsetting to me that someone as talented and nice as you would suddenly reveal something so harsh that I never would've guessed beforehand. But ultimately, despite how offensive and sickening I find An Unexpected Surprise and how much the very idea of it coming a good author such as you from you still makes me cringe, I can ultimately forgive it. I am not a fan of holding grudges against anyone, and I pardon this. Especially considering the fact that I know it was indeed your first ever fanfic and that you've learned since then. I know, and I understand that. And frankly, I suppose that an apology for my harshness towards it is in order. Since it was your earliest work, I won't hold it over your head at all, and you have done nothing but improve since it. I don't mean to change your opinion on the matter of Kiara in general, nor do I intend to with any of the haters. But I kindly and sincerely ask you in the nicest way that I can to consider this- are the problems that you mentioned about her really so bad that they should judge her whole character? Are you positive that you aren't overreacting to them, or blowing them out or proportion like so many others have? And if they really are that bad to you, ask youself why. 'Why does this particular problem bother me with her in particular more than it would if this were someone else?' 'What makes this problem so bad that it ruins her whole character?' And 'Isn't it possible for me to overlook and/or forgive these problems?'
Once again, I'm deeply sorry, and I don't wish to start anything up again. You still are a decent writer, and I still do look forward to what you write next, even if I can sadly never hope to see any good stories about Kiara from you with true passion for writing her in. (Though on a more positive note, thank you so much for at least admitting that she was better than Bella Swan).
In fact, I say on the contrary: In my opinion, Kiara is a beautiful, high spirited, energetic and friendly character, and repeating an earlier point I made, she was a wise and brave lioness that was smart enough to be able to see past Simba's prejudices of the Outsiders and see them for who they were- poor, misguided souls being torturously brainwashed by Zira. This was why she fell in love with Kovu- she saw him for what he truly was when Simba couldn't. She wasn't just a stereotypical princess who loves a man solely for his looks or how handsome he is. Kiara didn't even mention Kovu's looks as a reason to love him, and for that matter Kovu didn't say anything about Kiara's appearance either, so she still would've fallen in love with him had he looked much different. She fell for him for the same reasons a romance really should be about: It's not about their appearance, it's about their personality, and she was able to both see and accomplish this beautifully. While I have no doubt that his looks were very handsome to her, she saw this as little more than a bonus and truly wanted him for his personality and because he saw the good in himself as a result, the way that love should always be and should always be based around- not with looks, but with personality. (Considering how many human fans actually come out and say Kovu is "hot" or "sexy" of all things, one would think that one of his own species would've been all over him just for his looks. And yes, there are actual fans who really do say those things). And once again they both accomplished this exceptionally, which is one of the reasons they're my personal favorite canon pairing in the films. What's to hate?
And when she and Kovu were reunited after his exile, she willingly went back to try and make peace with Simba even though she knew almost for certain that she would be punished for running away, and that there was a chance she wouldn't get anything out of it for herself. That's because she wasn't thinking of herself, she was thinking of Simba and the two prides being one again because it was the right thing to do. Not to mention she also still went back even after all that'd happened: Her own father had sheltered her for years, treated Kovu like crap when he came in up until the day before, exiled him against her will, and then acted very harshly towards her immediately afterwords unjustly. If she was willing to look past and forgive all of that, this shows Kiara is a very compassionate and merciful character who has a genuinely caring and forgiving heart, so this invalidates any claims that she is 'irresponsible' or 'abandoned her kingdom'.
I feel this is also demonstrated exceptionally well when she, for lack of a batter term, 'takes the bullet' for Simba when she jumps in front of the way and fights off Zira, where they get knocked over the cliff. There Zira is, hanging on for her life with Kiara standing right above her. She clearly has a better position, and could've just climbed up to safety without giving a second thought about Zira. Had she done that, then the claims about her being irresponsible would be somewhat valid. It would've been easy on Kiara's part to just let Zira die because of the hell she put Kovu through all his life, and tried to kill her family on at least three occasions. But instead, Kiara is able to forget and forgive all of that, and actually tries to help her, mercifully proposing to save her life both physically and emotionally. If that isn't selfless, I don't know what is. Referring to an earlier point, a ditz would have run off with Kovu without a second thought about Simba or his kingdom to start their own pride, and this could've easily happened due to her frustration with Simba at the time. But she did just the opposite of this, and referring to a pervious point, she just needed to cool down and relax from the exile affair, and ultimately she did and got over it since she knew Kovu was also willing to unite the prides. That's a very selfless act of kindness if you ask me. And not to mention she looked as though she genuinely felt bad about failing to save Zira, so she really did want to help her out. To say all of that is an antonym of responsible and mature is practically an insult to the words themselves.
Plus there's the fact that she literally saved her father's life in the end so he wouldn't get slashed, of course after running across treacherous terrain in a vicious storm and even got him to see the good within the Outsiders' misguided hearts as they truly were while simultaneously helping the Outsiders to see the good in themselves, and realizd the error of their ways and malicious beliefs. She actually stands up to Simba with damn good reason behind it. Plus as a bonus, here's some more insight on the ending scene: she directly saved the freaking king's life when Zira attacked and they fell over the cliff, showing no concern for her own safety in order to selflessly defend her father's as a result for no other reason than to save him because she loves him, and simultaneously showing that she is brave enough to directly take on a demonic, bloodthirsty, war-hungry masochist who had tried to kill them all at least one time each. In addition, this is showing that she is fully capable of strongly fighting for herself when the time would ever call for it and is willing to bravely fight instead of just cowardly backing away from it (Which indicates that her hunting skills are certain to vastly improve afterword, hint hint). Kiara made the two prides one again, and showing that Kovu was not the evil being Simba thought he was, therefore allowing him to let go and forgive the past with the Outsiders. She (Along with Kovu, of course) was the reason the prides even became one at the end, where that never would've happened had it not been for her, therefore resolving the conflict that started before she was even born.
No ditz would've ever been able to do that.
What do you think happened to the hyenas after LK 1?
What did you think of the Timon and Pumbaa series?
Do you believe in the Shenzi/Banzai theory?
Do you think it could ever tie into other Disney movies (if so, which ones)?
What's up with Nala's eye color?
Thing the makers changed that you wish they hadn't?
Have you seen TLKoB (if so, did you like it?)
Do you like anthro/human/AU's?
Voice actors you loved?
Did you know Jim Cummings (voice of Ed) covered for Jeremy Irons (voice of Scar) at the end of "Be Prepared"?
Do you consider Scar/Zira to be an official pairing?
What do you think happened to Sarabi in the second movie?
Do you think Scar is Nala's father?
Do you think Ed is mentally challenged?
Own any TLK merchandise?
Were the hyenas' actions justified?
Were Scar's actions justified?
Were Zira's actions justified?
Why do you think the Outlanders were still loyal to Scar?
Crossovers you like?
Do you find Timon and Pumbaa enjoyable or annoying?
The best king or king-to-be?
The best queen or queen-to-be?
Timon or Pumbaa?
Kiara or Kopa?
Scar or Mufasa?
Simba or Kovu?
Scar or Zira?
Simba or Zira?
Simba or Scar?
Kiara or Nala?
Mufasa or Simba?
Zazu or Gopher?
Shenzi, Banzai or Ed?
Ma or Uncle Max?
Sarabi or Sarafina?
Rafiki or Zazu?
Simba/Nala or Mufasa/Sarabi?
Shenzi/Banzai or Shenzi/Ed?
Scar/Zira or Scar/Nala?
Sarafina/Scar or Shenzi/Scar?
Kovu/Kiara or Vitani/Kopa?
Describe the movies in three words
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