Back in 1994 (gosh, this is depressing) when I was a hot-blooded teenager, something happened to me which I least expected. No, not getting attached.
But it's The Lion King. And it made me cry.
At the movies. For the first time in my life.
A cartoon made me cry.
We had very very limited snail-paced internet access then, and of course no YouTube. So the only places where we could catch movie trailers were on TV or in the cinemas. And I hadn't seen the trailer prior to the movie.
I had absolutely NO idea what was in store.
The movie started happily enough, animals prancing & singing together in a circle of life and Simba showing what an irritable little brat he is. Why, he even sings about how he Just Can't Wait To Be King. To me, it sounded kind of like "I wish my dad would hurry up and die so that I can become king."
But I digress.
More importantly though, the stampede scene ripped me into pieces.
I mean, Mufasa IS the king... THE Lion King right? So how can the father die???
For me, seeing baby Simba nuzzling his head under the arm of his dead father is enough to cause lifelong trauma. Of course, that Scar burdens Simba with the notion that he caused his own father's death is just a generous dash of salt in the open wound.
Fast forward to last year.
The wifey and I brought Ash & Ayd to catch The Lion King musical at Marina Bay Sands then. And before that, I had to scour the video shops in the whole of Singapore just to get a copy of the DVD. I just had to prep them beforehand. You know, the don't-wish-that-your father-dies-because-it-just -might-happen bit.
Oh, and of course the death of Mufasa too.
They certainly handled it better than I did. They were quite noticeably disturbed, but recovered fast enough to laugh heartily when Pumba farted loudly in the following scenes.
But this wasn't about them. It is about me. I got emotional all over again when the stampede part came along. AGAIN!
Fast forward to a few weeks back.
The boys requested to watch The Lion King on DVD once again. I couldn't help but join in the viewing as well. And surprise surprise, I cringed again when the same part rolled along. Seriously, you would think I would be adequately immunised by now.
But noooo, the stampede still gets to me. And then it hit me like a pack of Wildebeests.
I understand how Mufasa felt.
He jumped straight into the middle of a stampede, at the risk of his own life, to save his son. He did that, without an ounce of hesitation. Call it parental instinct.
And in the current stage of my life, where I have 3 young-lings to nurture and protect, this scene took on a much deeper meaning for me than ever before.
I am not Mr. Incredible. Just because I can out-run, out-lift and out-think my monkies now, they think that I have super powers. That I am a super hero. But I am not.
I am no Superman.
BUT, I will be their Mufasa. And I will pounce on anything that comes between me and my cheekiemonkies.