Parallel Plot Media Mash Up: “The Lion King” Meets “Hamlet”

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For this assignment I wanted to compare the plot similarities between two different types of media. For example, when you are involved in a rediculous situation and think you might be in a real life version of Seinfeld. Or when you watch a TV show and it seems to follow a similar story to movie you once saw. Maybe you read a book that was later adapted to a movie. I think comparing these similar story lines is kinda neat.

So thats what I’m doing in this assignment. I chose to compare the similarities between “The Lion King” and “Hamlet.”

My favorite Disney movie has always been “The Lion King” because I love its vibrant colors, soundtrack, and story line. In high school I read “Hamlet” and hated it. I did’t understand thier weirdo talk and I was always getting the names of the characters all confused. There were very few time that I understood what was happening. It was a meserible experience. However, if my teacher had pointed out to me that there were some pretty direct parallels between its plot and the plot of “The Lion King,” I probably would have picked up the story much quicker (and a whole lot less painfully for all involved, might I add).

To bring in the mash up element to this assignment, I used the film trailer to “The Lion King,” a ten minute abbreviated plot summary, and a song about Hamlet, and manipulated them to create something new.  I think it would also be neat to do the opposite of this and find a video clip from the movie “Hamlet” and a song from “The Lion King.” Or maybe go back and forth between a movie and audio clips form both. There are so many possible variations on this, all of which would be interesting concepts. Anywho, getting back to my assignment…

I found this really really great song on YouTube entitled “To Be or Not To Be: Hamlet Rap” by Tim Chang. As explained in the clip’s description, this was an assignment for an AP English Literature class. In the post, he even wrote out all of the lyrics. I love it because it’s really creative and tells the entire story of Hamlet. I wish I knew of something like this when I myself was in high school trying to make sense of “Hamlet.”

I think its helpful to use these non-traditional ways of explaining the plot of Hamlet (“The Lion King” trailer, abbreviated plot,  and the “Hamlet” Rap) because they allow someone who is slightly familiar with the two stories, perhaps one more than the other, to relate the two and gain a greater understanding of both.

Blah blah blah, that was a lot of talking to get to this point. Sorry. Here is what I came up with.

“The Lion King” Meets “Hamlet” Mash Up from Emily DelRoss on Vimeo.

It took quite a long time to complete this. Originally I aimed to match up the lyrics of the Hamlet song with the parallel points in the Lion King videos. However, this proved WAY difficult becuase of the fast tempo of the song. Also, the song rearranges the plot line and repeats some scenes (which makes total sense in the song format, but is difficult to pull off in video). So I ended up doing my best to cut down the videos and include only the clips which are referenced at some point in the song. I know I could have worked on this for HOURS more to get it just right, but I finally decided that what I had suited the purpose of the assignment. (So feel free to remix mine and make it better!)

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