Overview of the themes featured in the film's score

Overview of the themes featured in the film's score

Postby Captain Cupcake » December 1st, 2014, 11:36 am

Because I was bored, I went and made a list of all the major and minor reoccurring themes that appear throughout the movie's soundtrack. While this isn't anything as extensive as some other analyses of the film's score, nor have I listed every single time each theme is utilized, I just did this little quick overview for funzies:

Themes

Simba's theme - The first main theme of the film. Introduced at the beginning of "We Are All Connected" with a stately choral rendition before the film moves on to Rafiki working on his image of Simba in his tree, where we then get a solo flute rendition of the theme. This motif is used a lot throughout the score, mostly featured with understated and small renditions. As Simba comes closer to taking his rightful place as ruler of the Pride Lands, more victorious and grandiose variants of the theme begin to present themselves. The first of which is featured at the end of "Kings of the Past" when Rafiki learns of Simba's survival, and the most famous of all plays when Simba ascends Pride Rock and becomes the new king.

Mufasa's theme - The second main theme of the film. Introduced in "We Are All Connected" at around 1:46 in, this noble leitmotif is weaved throughout a good bulk of the score, and serves as a musical reminder about Simba's responsibilities after his father's demise. We get a militaristic variant during "The Rightful King" when Simba battles Scar, and it makes one final, ethereal appearance(with an added choir in the Legacy Collection's new mix of the score) before Simba climbs Pride Rock. This theme serves as the basis for the Rhythm of the Pride Lands piece "Lea Halalela" and its Broadway equivalent "Shadowland."

Busa theme - The third main theme of the film. Another idea introduced in "We Are All Connected" right after the opening renditions of Simba's theme, It serves as a secondary motif for Simba and his future kingship. While reflecting his childlike innocence at first, it evolves into exuberant African chanting at the conclusion of "Remember Who You Are" and at the beginning of "This Is My Home" as the protagonist, having fully grown, seeks to take back his rightful place as ruler of Pride Rock. This idea reaches its peak after Simba officially becomes king and the land is restored, and we get one final rendition that closes out the score after the end credits begin. This theme received its own expanded arrangement on the Rhythm of the Pride Lands CD, with softer renditions in "Nala, Is It Really You?" and "Remember Who You Are" inspiring the "Lala" track as well.

Friendship theme - A minor but soothing motif used during a few scenes with Simba conversing with Nala, and/or Timon and Pumbaa, appearing in "Kings of the Past," "Nala, Is It Really You?" and "Remember Who You Are." It tends to follow the Busa motif.

Scar's theme - Introduced in "Didn't Your Mother Tell You Not to Play With Your Food" and gets more attention in "Hyenas in the Pride Land," this sleazy and slimy theme is first played on sax and gets some more subtle and darker arrangements as the film progresses. Some of this material is cut in the final film and replaced with silence, but we still get a few doses of Scar's material in later pieces like the "Elephant Graveyard" and "The Rightful King."

Rafiki's theme - A minor motif that's peppered throughout the middle sections of "Remember Who You Are," when the character appears before Simba. It was originally to be used in "We Are All Connected" during that scene of him in his tree before being dropped in favor of that flute rendition of Simba's theme.

Timon And Pumbaa's theme - First introduced at tail end of "If You Ever Come Back, We'll Kill You," this small motif makes a few fragmented appearances in later tracks before returning to some of the action sequences in "The Rightful King."

The Hyenas' theme - Introduced in "Elephant Graveyard" at 1:27 after a chilling rendition of Scar's motif, this theme is arranged in a sleazy and waltz-like manner, but erupts into some quite intimidating chase music halfway through in its initial track, with a similar arrangement reappearing at the end of "Mufasa Dies" when the Hyenas attempt to kill Simba. It returns in its more laid back fashion in "We Gotta Bone to Pick With You."

Serious/Sad theme - This piece is introduced at the beginning of "I was Just Trying to Be Brave" and serves as reoccurring motif during more somber scenes, with similar variants utilized later in "If You Ever Come Back, We'll Kill You," "Remember Who You Are," and the beginning of "The Rightful King."

Death theme - This motif is introduced at the beginning of "Mufasa Dies" and serves to represent not only his death, but the tragic state of the Pride Lands later on in the film. It receives two subtle renditions during "Remember Who You Are" at 1:44 and 5:00 to reflect Simba's inner turmoil, and makes a final appearance in "This Is My Home."

Battle theme - A militaristic action motif that takes up the bulk of the middle portions of "The Rightful King" after we get a taste of some tense and dramatic material akin to later parts of the "Stampede" cue beforehand.

Possible Stampede allusion - The material accompanying Nala chasing Pumbaa seems derived off of the choral motif from 1:54 in "Stampede," possibly to emphasize the heart pounding event.

Song references

While Hans Zimmer opted to utilize original themes disconnected from the songs throughout his score, there are a few short references here and there.

Around 56 seconds into "Didn't Your Mother Tell You Not to Play With Your Food," Be Prepared gets a quick and foreboding reference. This isn't featured in the film.

Following the first rendition of the Lala theme in "Hyenas In the Pride Land," we get a short rendition of "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" near the end of the track, foreshadowing Simba and Nala's romance later in the film. Some slightly bouncy material akin to "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" can be heard, easing listeners into the oncoming song.

"Nala, Is It Really You?" closes with a rendition of CYFTLT. The film version of that track ends earlier and doesn't utilize it.

"The Rightful King" features the closing notes of "Be Prepared" at around 8:09 when Scar meets his demise.

I think that's it. If I've missed anything, I'll be sure to make some future edits to rectify any mistakes or omissions. :P
Last edited by Captain Cupcake on August 22nd, 2019, 8:33 am, edited 8 times in total.
Image
Captain Cupcake
Hnnng...

User avatar

Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership

HNNNGGGG!!!

Posts: 188
Joined: May 11th, 2014, 2:00 pm
Nickname(s): Master
Gender: Male
Pride Points: 11

Re: Overview of the themes featured in the film's score

Postby Elton John » December 1st, 2014, 11:45 am

:(

and here I was working on my analysis for my topic....

at least you've saved me a bit of time and effort.....

and now that i've read yours, mine feels less than adequate.
Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves back up again.
Elton John
I’m with you

User avatar

Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership

Till the end of the line!

Posts: 9674
Joined: October 29th, 2014, 9:28 am
Location: USA
Gender: Male
Pride Points: 239

Re: Overview of the themes featured in the film's score

Postby Captain Cupcake » December 1st, 2014, 12:03 pm

I'm sure your project will be perfectly fine. It's always worth looking at people's different points of view concerning this film's score. This is merely just a list of the key themes used throughout the work, and it definitely cannot overshadow a person's full blown analysis of the music. Any review of it is good and worth checking out. :)
Image
Captain Cupcake
Hnnng...

User avatar

Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership

HNNNGGGG!!!

Posts: 188
Joined: May 11th, 2014, 2:00 pm
Nickname(s): Master
Gender: Male
Pride Points: 11

Re: Overview of the themes featured in the film's score

Postby Elton John » December 1st, 2014, 12:28 pm

[quote="Captain Cupcake"]I'm sure your project will be perfectly fine. It's always worth looking at people's different points of view concerning this film's score. This is merely just a list of the key themes used throughout the work, and it definitely cannot overshadow a person's full blown analysis of the music. Any review of it is good and worth checking out. :)[/quote]


Well, i'm still going to work on it when i'm in a better mood. I still have what I have done so far saved to MS word.
Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves back up again.
Elton John
I’m with you

User avatar

Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership

Till the end of the line!

Posts: 9674
Joined: October 29th, 2014, 9:28 am
Location: USA
Gender: Male
Pride Points: 239


Return to The Lion King

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron