Reading this title may raise some questions whether you are a “Hamilton” fan, a “Lion King” fan, or a mix of both like myself. However, seeing that these two films/Broadway productions are my favorites, why not connect the dots leading to the circle of life? If you think about it, it is a small world after all.
For starters, the opening song for both “Hamilton” and “The Lion King” sets the tone for the whole show and allows the audience to either get a sense of the impact that will soon unfold or make them worry about the possible emotional damage they did not sign up for. Both opening numbers talk about how life can bring us to one poignant moment that defines a legacy.
“The Lion King” talks about how we are all connected in a circle and although “Hamilton” talks about one person, it still comes back full circle showing life’s circular fashion. In addition, the songs in each film give the audience an insight and introduction of each character through song such as “The Schuyler Sisters” and “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King.” Each song respectively showcases Angelica, Eliza and Peggy’s distinct yet sassy personalities and young Simba’s flaunty and bratty attitude.
One can say our protagonists are tragic heroes because of their unfortunate upbringings. Not only that, but they experience a humbling moment that brings them back to reality. For Simba, the death of Mufasa forced him to run away from home, only returning years later. His waking and humbling moment was when Rafiki came and found Simba and showed him that Mufasa lives in him. Let us not discuss the Mufasa ghost scene because I will cry, scream and throw up on the spot.
For Hamilton, his waking and humbling moment was when his son Phillip died. Throughout the show, Alexander Hamilton is shown to be in the moment and non-stop. That causes him to drift away from his wife Eliza and his family. He becomes treasurer of the new United States, has a few rap battles with Thomas Jefferson and even has an affair with Maria Reynolds.
As a result of one speech delivered by George Eacker, Phillip decides to take matters into his own hands and challenges Eacker to a duel for degrading Alexander’s name. What looks to be Alexander giving fatherly advice turns for the worse when Phillip is shot. Finally having a quiet moment to reflect his life so far, he starts to value what he took for granted. Again, let us not discuss “It’s Quiet Uptown” because I will cry, scream and throw up on the spot.
Then, there are the compelling and complex villains of the story. Scar and Aaron Burr are so different yet have similar traits. They both can be manipulative, clever, power-hungry and even vulnerable. I say this because if you look back at Scar’s backstory, he was always in Mufasa’s shadow and got to the point where he felt like he had to steal the spotlight by force for people to notice. Does that not sound familiar?
Aaron Burr felt overshadowed by Hamilton and his philosophy was to just wait for it. However, neither Scar or Burr could wait any longer and decided to take control of their destiny. Nonetheless, it bit them in the butt in the end. Scar led his own demise by tossing the blame to the hyenas, his so-called friends, but they returned his snake nature by probably having their first full meal in a while.
Burr did not do the one thing he claimed he would do: he did not wait for it. In fact, his immediate shot changed the course of history. It was several times where Burr considered Hamilton a friend, but his bottled-up jealousy over the years poisoned him. The world was wide enough for him and Hamilton, but it does not matter because all the world will see him as now is a villain.
Lin-Manuel Miranda must have gotten inspiration from the best Disney movie and best movie in general because the connections are connecting. Both films have a special place in my heart and they have cemented themselves as part of my identity for the rest of my life. Until we find our place, I will forever be in the room where it happens in the circle of life.