Representation of Communication Stages in The Lion King (2019)

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2363 words

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Cultural Diversity
  3. Remembering
  4. Nonverbal Behavior
  5. Conclusion


Communication has many components that create one to transfer information to another by using a set of skills that makes it either verbally or nonverbally interpreted by the one you communicating to. One topic to consider in the communication stages is cultural diversity. Another topic of interest after the communication stage of cultural diversity is interpreted as Remembering which is part of the listening stage of communication. Both communication techniques correlate with one another which brings in non-verbal behavior. So this essay analyzes how Cultural Diversity, Remembering, and Non-verbal behavior are portrayed by the characters in the movie The Lion King (2019).

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The Lion King (2019) takes place in the Pride Lands; which is in the Sahara desert of Africa. This movie begins with the presentation of king Mufasa and queen Sarabi newborn child Simba who will take over as the king if anything were to happen to his father Mufasa. Rafinki a mandril displays Simba the animals of pride lands to see as they cheer with joy that their new king was born. It’s important for all the animals of the pride lands to be at the presentation of Simba to show unity, and compassion for the king and queen’s new child, but one did not attend; which was Scar the brother of Mufasa, and uncle of newborn Simba? Mufasa says “Sarabi, and I didn’t see you at the presentation of Simba” (Favreau, 2019). Scar replies with “Was that today It must have slipped my mind of course, I meant no disrespect towards his majesty or Sarabi” (Favreau, 2019). Mufasa was discouraged with Scar for not being at the presentation of Simba which later shows in his actions. Simba grows up to be an adventurous lion cub trying to learn right from wrong with the help of his father and his guardian bird Zazu. In the next sequences of events, Simba wants to go on an adventure to a place called the Elephant graveyard was beyond the Pride Lands. Mufasa tells Simba “Anything beyond the pride lands is dangerous especially the elephant graveyard. You are not to go there. Do you understand?” (Favreau, 2019). Simba replies “Okay I understand” (Favreau, 2019). Later to find out that Simba discusses with Scar that Mufasa said not to go to the elephant graveyard. Scar encourages Simba to go which he ends up doing with his best friend Nala. Scar ends up manipulating Simba into going into the gorge where the hyenas end up starting a stampede of wildebeest to flee after him. Scar the runs to find his brother Mufasa’s father of Simba to let him know that Simba was in trouble. Mufasa ends up getting to the gorge on time where he saves Simba and tries to escape himself, Mufasa was successful until Scar says “Long live the king” (Favreau, 2019). Throwing him from the gorge edge killing his brother Mufasa.

Simba runs away after his father dies because of Scar telling Simba to run away and never return (Favreau, 2019). Simba ends up getting found by Timon and Pumbaa where he joins there family until he’s later found by Nala as she tries to find resources to survive. Nala tries to convince Simba to take his throne as king, but Simba refuses. Later Rafinki has a premonition that Simba was alive and grown then finds him in the jungle where he was lurching around the jungle. Rafinki made Simba remember who he was by saying that his father was still alive, and brought Simba to him, where he could communicate to his spirit. This ended up bring Simba back to the pride lands with Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa, so Simba could retake his throne as king. Simba and Scar end up facing off against one another where Scar confesses to killing Mufasa, ending in Scars’ death.

Cultural Diversity

In the prologue, before the movie begins the presentation takes place called the Circle of Life this is when all the animals of the pride lands meet up at pride rock where the newborn king was displayed by Rafinki. Though there is no communication present we could observe the other animals at this moment. The culture diversity displayed at this event shows that animals can live among each other as one. Whitehead, H., Laland, K. N., Rendell, L., Thorogood, R., & Whiten, A. (2019) states, “We define gene-culture coevolution inclusively, as occurring when cultural evolution shapes genetic evolution, often but not always entailing reciprocal interactions between the two. We compare genetics and culture as systems of inheritance and explain the different ways in which culture modifies the genetic selection.” (p. 2). We see this among all the animals of the pride lands, where the communication displayed joy among the king Mufasa, queen Sarabi, and newborn lion cub Simba.

In The Lion King (2019) (Favreau, 2019) the process of cultural diversity among the animals proved to be present in living in unity with one another, which was displayed in the Circle of life. For example, Simba befriends Timon a Meerkat and Pumbaa a Hog; which was different from him being childhood friends with Nala was in his ethnic enclave? When Timon and Pumbaa find Simba they say “You know what you can change? The future, that’s our specialty. To change the future you have to put your past behind you” (Favreau, 2019). Timon and Pumbaa, then tell Simba “Hakuna Matata which means no worries” (Favreau, 2019). Though Simba was ethnically different from Timon and Pumbaa they didn’t look at his race, or past background when embracing Simba into their family. The cultural diversity of all the animal’s changes from the beginning to end, due to Scars take over as King of the pride lands.

Although Simba was in a culturally diverse atmosphere in the jungle with Pumbaa and Timon, the diversity back at the pride lands was in shambles, because of Scares take over. Simba did not understand until the presence of Nala about what was going on back home. Nala states “Simba we have to leave. Scar has taken over with the hyenas, you have to take your place as king. We have to go home” (Favreau, 2019). Nala then says to Simba “Simba, Scar has decimated the pride lands there’s no food, no water” (Favreau, 2019). Scar dispersed the other animals from the pride lands leaving just the Lions, Hyenas, and Zazu the majordomo to the king.

Whitehead, H., Laland, K. N., Rendell, L., Thorogood, R., & Whiten, A. (2019) states “In a stationary, or slowly changing, unimodal fitness landscapes, learning typically slows evolution by reducing phenotypic differences between genotypes”. Even though Simba leaves the pride land after the death of his father caused by Scar, Scar changes the dynamic of cultural diversity in the area, by bringing in hyenas that were removed from the pride lands, because they were a threat to other animals.


Remembering is an important part of keeping information that has been stated. Kocsis, B. (2016) states “Memories are retained, where and in what form depends on a long afterlife of the acquired information in the brain”. In The Lion King (2019), Simba remembers being in the gorge where he witnesses his father Mufasa’s death after falling off the cliff of the gorge down to the stampede of wildebeest. Simba would remember this for the rest of his journey of finding himself and his purpose. Rafinki the mandril had a premonition that Simba was still alive and all grown. Rafinki finds Simba in the jungle where he was lurking to remind Simba about who he was. Rafinki says “The question is. Who are you?” (Favreau, 2019). Rafinki leads Simba to an open patch of terrain where Mufasa appears in the night sky communication to his son Simba saying “You must take your place in the circle of life. You must remember who you are the one true king. As king, I was most proud of one thing. Having you as my son. No Simba that is forever. I never left you and never will. Remember who you are. Remember” (Favreau, 2019). Simba replies to Rafinki “I’m Simba son of Mufasa” (Favreau, 2019). Simba now realizes his purpose, having communicated with his father above, helped him remember who he was, and the role he has to fulfill as king of the pride land.

According to Kocsis, B. (2016) “Detailed knowledge including the rhythmic coupling between the hippocampus and other structures (prefrontal cortex and amygdala) that are involved in different aspects of memory processing, for diverse types of neurons enabling spatial and possibly “mental” travel — provides a template for future progress”. When Simba remembers that he is Mufasa’s son he figures out that he has to take his throne as king from Scar. It was like a trigger went off in Simbas gateway of memory which is located in the hippocampus of the brain. This communicated to Rafinki that Simba remembered who he was with the help of him, and the spirit of his father. Further said Simba now had a duty to fulfill for the animals of the pride lands and that was being kinged. As earlier discussed the cultural diversity within an environment can change the way of communication that takes place with one another. In an environment that is slowly evolving takes animals a long time to adapt as if it were already thriving with cultural diversity. Unfortunately, for Simba, Nala, and Sarabi this was the case that they were facing in the pride lands. The cultural diversity was devastated from scars take over only leaving the hyenas and Zazu, and the lions living among one another.

Nonverbal Behavior

Many sources can contribute to Nonverbal behavior within animals. In The Lion King (2019), one clear common source of nonverbal behavior was the stampede that took place in the gorge. According to Corucci (2016) as cited in Evolutionary Developmental Soft Robotics As a Framework to Study Intelligence and Adaptive Behavior in Animals and Plants (2017), “Time-dependent environment-mediated developmental processes are modeled within the system, based on distributed sensing and control. The inputs and outputs of these control loops can be selected by evolution itself, along with the quality and magnitude of the developmental adaptation (adaptation rates)” (p.4).

“In which evolving this ability enables robustness to change environments and the generalization of an evolved behavior to previously unseen conditions”. After Simba is lured into the gorge by Scar and the stamped of the wildebeest begin to flee the hyenas racing towards Simba; Scar sprints with no hesitation to Mufasa were he says “Mufasa quit stamped in the gorge Simbas down there” (Favreau, 2019). We’re able to witness the fear in both Simba and Mufasa without them having to communicate anything to one another. “It is known that animals can form lasting memories of specific individuals simply by observing subtle emotional expressions that they exhibit on their faces” (Proops, L., Grounds, K., Smith, A. V., & Mccomb, K. 2018, as cited in Animals Remember Previous Facial Expressions that Specific Humans Have Exhibited, 2018, p.1428). Remembering effects the nonverbal behavior In The Lion King (2019), between Simba and Scar, Simba, and Nala, and with Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa. Nonverbal behavior drastically appears towards the middle to end of the movie when things hit the climax.

Another example of nonverbal communication is when Simba and Scarface off against one another. When Simba returns and approaches Scar at pride rock, Scar says “Mufasa is that you. It can’t be” (Favreau, 2019). Scars’ reaction was in shock his body language changed to how it was prior when he was communicating with Sarabi, Simba’s mother, to motionless, scared behavior of what he saw. “Cultures can quickly accumulate adaptive features and introduce novelty into phenotype space, generating diverse selection on genes. Yet, cultural systems are not typically well-captured by standard population genetic or quantitative genetic models of trait evolution, but instead require dedicated theory” (Whitehead, H., Laland, K. N., Rendell, L., Thorogood, R., & Whiten, A. 2019, p. 2). We know the cultural diversity accepts the nonverbal communication, by seeing a chance in the animals when Scar announces “I must assume the throne as your king. I must admit I may not bear this burden along and I will need some help to ensure the safety of the pride. From the ashes of this tragedy, we should be a dawning of a new era” (Favreau, 2019). Then the hyenas approach pride rock. The fear of the lions that were present and their body language was now changed. The hyenas growled after Scar gave his announcement to the lions on pride rock. The hyenas gave off bad nonverbal communication, by walking in large packs onto the pride lands; as though they were better than the lions present. Simba, Scar, Nala, Sarabi, and the hyena’s nonverbal communication changed from the beginning to the end of the movie.


In conclusion, communication involves all aspects of knowledge. Cultural diversity, remembering, and nonverbal communication play a huge role throughout this movie. Whitehead, H., Laland, K. N., Rendell, L., Thorogood, R., & Whiten, A. (2019) suggest that through eliciting change in behavior, often across an entire population, culture can transform the social environment, whereas cultural activities (e.g., foraging) also modify ecological circumstances. Culture thus encompasses a range of temporal scales, pathways of information flow and impacts on a selection. All the animals were affected by Scars ruling as king. It kicked the cultural diversity out of the pride lands and left only two main groups of animals present which were the lions and the hyenas. Without the strength of a culturally diverse population, the communication between the lions becomes scares, which is likely to draw the lions to settle somewhere else, as the other animals did. This is shown throughout all the animals in The Lion King (2019).

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According to researchers “Our attempt to incorporate biologically plausible developmental dynamics into the system have been discussed, which take into account time and environmental stimuli”. It seems as though Simba took a while to remember who he was if it wasn’t for the help from Rafinki who told Simba “Your fathers still alive. I’ll take you to him” (Favreau, 2019). His behavior and perspectives changed. This intended to increase for all the characters as Simba returns to the pride lands to take back his throne as King. The goals in The Lion King (2019) achieved their goal of proper communication skills from internal and external surroundings.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Response toThe Film Adaptation of The Cartoon “The Lion King”. (2023, January 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 1, 2023, from
“Response toThe Film Adaptation of The Cartoon “The Lion King”.” GradesFixer, 14 Jan. 2023,
Response toThe Film Adaptation of The Cartoon “The Lion King”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 1 Oct. 2023].
Response toThe Film Adaptation of The Cartoon “The Lion King” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Jan 14 [cited 2023 Oct 1]. Available from:
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