tonight we strike

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It’s mandatory yeen viewing time.

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I’ve been asked several times what I think about The Lion Guard. I have to admit that I got curious and, despite my old-ass age and despite it being a cartoon airing on Disney Junior, I watched the whole season. My opinions are a bit conflicting, so it’s better if I explain myself in terms of pros and cons.

Pros: first of all, I loved the design. All of it. Characters and sceneries. Ah, the good old 1990s 2D animation! Of course, the quality doesn’t reach that of the original movie, but nonetheless the background paintings and character design were great – we know, after all, that when it comes to character design Disney is the best. The voice acting was great, too! Then, what a lovely bunch of bad guys! I liked how Janja wears his spiky mane backwards like a true gangster, I liked how Cheezi bears an amazing resemblance to Ed, I liked the jackal couple, the cunning committee of vultures… And, not surprisingly, the villains songs are the best. And then, Jasiri! I think she’s the best character in the show so far. Her design is beautiful, her tough and mocking attitude balanced by her good heart make her downright adorable, and the message she carries (Sisi Ni Sawa) is one of the most important things to preach to children. Also, I thought that making up the Guard with different animals was not a bad idea in this sense. Another thing I appreciated was the accuracy as far as the animals’ behavior is concerned (the aardwolves being shy and nocturnal termite-eaters, the honey badger being a little pest and his immunity to snake venom, the zebras being the predators’ favorite dish, the cheetah’s strong sense of independence, etc.), and the fairly more significant presence of other species than what was shown in The Lion King movies and in the Timon & Pumbaa TV show: I found all this potentially edifying for kids, and I hope the producers and writers will continue on this line. Last but not least, I loved the usage of that awesome language that is Swahili: maybe the catchphrases were a bit too much repetitive, but surely the choice of names was damn clever.


Cons: “After all, hyenas are scavengers…” Again. We know it’s not always true; actually, accredited research has shown that this behavior is most of the time attributable to lions. Speaking of hyenas and their enduring bad image in the human mind, it’s shocking how this cartoon criminalizes this species. Okay, it’s a cartoon and bad guys are needed and who better than hyenas, jackals, and vultures if the protagonist is a lion? I get that. But the blind, senseless racism against these species, no. That, I don’t like. Despite the sporadic positive messages like Jasiri’s, the selective racism – or classism is predominant and it is also expressed in the settings: the sunny, luxuriant Pridelands versus the barren, dark, creepy Outlands; the beauty and wealth are reserved to ‘good’ animals, while the ‘bad’ ones (the POOR, the STARVING) are exiled in the ghetto without any clear reason. The song from the pilot, “Tonight We Strike!”, is about a fair rebellion of the outcasts against the privileged Pridelanders, yet it is represented as a vicious, despicable act, without specifying the fact that who is excluded from the sharing creates chaos as a natural reaction. In the same way, that ridiculous Kupatana thing was nothing else than a pathetic, fake pietism towards the outcasts. This leads me to the question of the Circle of Life, which is rightly depicted as the natural balance for survival and preservation of life; but the Guard also has a fanatical attitude towards it, as if it were a goddamn Reich! Like, “You, filthy hyena, you’re ugly and evil, no I don’t care that you have to eat and survive as well, you don’t respect the Circle of Life so you’re out!”, and “You, beautiful zebra, you’re every carnivore’s yummiest dream, I can save you from the hyenas and you can live in the Pridelands, and no don’t worry about me getting hungry and chewing up your stripy ass, it’s the Circle of Life!” To quote Fuli, see what I mean? I know, I’m almost 30, I have an education that has given me the skills to read between the lines, and all this may sound like a bunch of philosophical details kids will never catch. Maybe. But some of these ideas should be rethought, because kids do acknowledge the message, at least subconsciously! Never underestimate the kids’ powers of reception, guys. They notice everything. Their little minds are huge containers and their memory is fresh and amazing. We don’t want wrong stuff to get to them, do we?


That would be all. This is not the first time Disney subtly expresses such ideologies, after all. Anyway, as a cartoon freak and artist, I’ll gladly watch the next season. I think I’ll watch cartoons as long as I’m alive.

25) Tonight we strike!

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LOOK WHAT CAME IN THE MAIL TODAY! @crappycornus

I must say, the illustrations are pretty good and nice colored! And it seems the artist respected the characters’ proportions more than ROR did (aka Simba is a lot bigger than Kion and he doesn’t look so “chibi-fied”). It’s a bit sad that there wasn’t a page portraying the “Tonight we Strike” song, with the saturated colour palette tho xD

In case you haven’t noticed, I am a BIG dork when it comes to TLK/TLG <3

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:) Tonight We Strike

Kalon

The ship haven’t had a heading for awhile now, we were running low on supplies and we couldn’t make port without knowing where to go on shore, my compass had never really failed on me before like it did the last weeks, if it weren’t months by now. But then one night, with my crew asleep in their chambers and I laid wide awake on deck observing the constellations in the sky, my compass suddenly pointed north, pointed straight to her, and we could finally sail again. But I didn’t know then that she would change my life forever from that night on. I smiled somewhat amused by finding my crew looking all surprised when we already stood in the harbor by sunrise and we could finally stack up our supplies again and with supplies, the men were aiming more for rum than the ammunition of our cannons. “We strike tonight, keep a low profile and enjoy yourselves until then.” I reminded my men before I dismissed them and I stayed behind to watch the ship and study the routines of the soldiers guarding the town intently.

“Now! And remember, no hostages.” I hissed underneath my breath and sent them to raid the villages and take out the reinforcements while I’d break in the mansion and raid whatever valuable belongings there were to be found there. I climbed up in a tree and jumped on a balcony from there, quietly sliding open the doors while sneaking inside and tiptoed my way around the room in the dark, I’d already caught sight of a form sleeping in the bed, so I tried to steal whatever content there was in the drawers as quick and slick as possible. That was when I turned my back on the bed for just a fraction of a second that I felt something sharp pinching my back and I slowly rose my hands while looking over my shoulder at the petite brunette aiming a sword at me. “Do you even know how to handle one, love?” I asked while slowly turning around and put my finger on the blade to lower it while drawing my own sword with my other hand. “Are you challenging me for a duel?”