Was Nala afraid of the Elephant Graveyard?

Was Nala afraid of the Elephant Graveyard?

Postby Panda-chan » November 11th, 2016, 1:53 am

I looked everywhere for a similar topic and found none. So I'm making this. :P

It always occurred to me that Simba seemed more excited during the Elephant Graveyard scene than Nala did. I guess in my own head I've always pictured Nala as the older, more mature lioness cub who gets dragged into messy situations by the mischievous Simba.
During the bath scene and all of IJCWTBK, Simba and Nala seemed equally thrilled to ditch Zazu and go explore the Elephant Graveyard. Yet once they find themselves there, their reactions are completely different:

1.jpeg

Simba is the first to step forward and his face goes from D= to =D while Nala retains her shocked expression.

Again during this panning shot, Simba is smiling, Nala is not.

2.jpeg

3.jpeg

See that? She is frowning, as though doubtful. Simba, on the other hand is thrilled.

Enough screengrabs, lets look at the dialogue.
Nala: It's really creepy.
Simba: Yeah... Isn't it great?

And then Nala chuckles, and reminds Simba that they could get in "big trouble," but Simba's response is LOLYUP. Nala seems to be the one who better understands the gravity of the situation, another reason supporting my theory that she is the more mature of the two. And, in my opinion, it does sound like a feeble attempt to get them to turn back.
Next, Nala sees an elephant skull and laughs "I wonder if it's brains are still in there." But Simba is the one who walks forward and suggests checking it out. Simba ridicules Zazu for being scared. And Simba walks boldly forward and declares that he laughs in the face of danger. We don't get to see Nala's reaction to any of this.

Finally, notice this exchange by Simba and Nala in the sequel:
Nala: Simba. Who does she remind you of? Hmm?
Simba: Huh? What? Who?
Nala: She's just like you were when you were young.
Simba: Exactly. Do you realize the dangers we put ourselves in?
[She tackles Simba and puts him on his back.]
Nala: You mean the dangers YOU put us in.

So anyway, what do you think? Am I misunderstanding that bit in the Elephant Graveyard scene, or is Nala really just hiding her nervousness and going along with Simba's antics? :P
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Re: Was Nala afraid of the Elephant Graveyard?

Postby Mikokat » November 11th, 2016, 8:25 am

Simply put, I think the writers were trying to paint (Animate?) the picture of Simba as the more mischievous and rebellious of the two while Nala was made to look like the more sensible and level-headed one. Hard to say for sure though, but that's my theory I thought up in the couple minutes it took me to read this post. :P
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Re: Was Nala afraid of the Elephant Graveyard?

Postby Elton John » November 11th, 2016, 9:00 am

Simba was naive and arrogant. He thought that going there would prove he was brave.

Nala was...adventurous, tomboy-ish... more level headed... but still went with Simba because it looked like fun.

Nala's plan to escape zazu involved an elaborate song and dance number that included visuals so trippy it's like she altered reality.

Nala is a wizard, unlike the muggle Simba!

.......

But seriously, both got in way over their heads.
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Re: Was Nala afraid of the Elephant Graveyard?

Postby PrincessKiara » November 12th, 2016, 11:03 pm

Interesting topic, Amanda! :)

I would have uploaded some screengrabs of my own to show Nala`s facial expressions, but Photobucket is not cooperating tonight.
Anyway, I agree with you that Nala seems like a more mature and level-headed cub. I personally don`t think that pointing out how they could "get in big trouble" is an attempt to convince Simba to go back, but rather a way to show Nala as "the voice of reason," which is the role she plays to Simba on several occasions, both in TLK and SP.

It`s true that when the cubs first arrive at the graveyard that Simba seems excited while Nala appears shocked and startled - I feel she gets over this quickly, though. When they are looking out across the graveyard, Simba appears to be ready to dive in and explore, while I feel Nala is more reserved and aware of the danger they`re in. The cubs both seem aware that they`re doing something dangerous and forbidden, but Simba is the one who acts more boldly, like you said.
When Nala mentions the elephants brains and Simba wants to "go check it out," we see Nala standing behind him, smiling as Simba moves forward. To me, she seems at this point at ease and eager to explore.

It would have been interesting if we`d gotten more time with just the cubs - before Zazu or the hyenas showed up - to see how things would have played out. Would Nala get scared/worried enough that she`d tell Simba that they should go back, and if so, how would Simba have reacted?
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Re: Was Nala afraid of the Elephant Graveyard?

Postby Simba_Lion » November 15th, 2016, 10:40 am

Well, yes, in the first picture she's truly looking scared.
But when she's saying "We could get in big trouble.", her expression looks like she's relishing her naughtiness, to me.

Image

I guess she needed time to calm down a bit, and when she's saying " I wonder if its brains are still in there.", her expression looks naughty again.
But when they get cornered by the hyneas, their reactions are different again:
Image
This photo may confirm your theory that she was afraid all the time, and now as they really got in trouble, she was not ashamed to admit that.
We should ask Nala xD, she is the only one who could asnwer this question.

I wonder whether this is because she's a girl. How would she have acted if she had been a boy?
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Re: Was Nala afraid of the Elephant Graveyard?

Postby Elton John » November 15th, 2016, 3:11 pm

Remember, the movie was written with a early 90's mindset. Female characters were often damsels in distress. Girls didn't hang out with boys as friends. To a boy from that era, hanging around a female was seen as a sign of weakness. Outside of rare instances like Ellen Ripley or Sarah Connor in American media there were no brave female fighters.

The Lion King was progressive in that Simba and Nala were friends of different genders. Simba never thought less of Nala because she was a girl. They roughhoused. Nala was adventurous, which wasn't a trait seen often in female characters. She wasn't a girly girl nor was she without traits seen as more feminine.

She could overpower Simba. Could Jasmine beat Aladdin in a fight? Could Belle use physical strength to best the Beast. No and no. The first Disney female lead to fairly win a fight against the male lead iirc.
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Re: Was Nala afraid of the Elephant Graveyard?

Postby Simba_Lion » November 15th, 2016, 8:47 pm

The Lionvengers wrote:The first Disney female lead to fairly win a fight against the male lead iirc.


:hey4: Haha, yes. Simba got pinned by Nala a few times, except the "Can you feel the love tonight?" scene.
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Re: Was Nala afraid of the Elephant Graveyard?

Postby Squeely » November 17th, 2016, 4:49 am

I'd say she probably was feeling fear on some level. She grew a little more comfortable after they had been there a minute, though. And her curiosity, sense of adventure, and rebelliousness were stronger than the fear she felt, at least until the hyenas showed up.
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Re: Was Nala afraid of the Elephant Graveyard?

Postby SilverSimba01 » November 27th, 2016, 7:48 pm

I feel like she was more shocked than scared, well, it was the first time she as well as Simba were in such "creepy" place for the first time.
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Re: Was Nala afraid of the Elephant Graveyard?

Postby SimbasGuard » November 28th, 2016, 6:01 am

Simba_Lion wrote:I wonder whether this is because she's a girl. How would she have acted if she had been a boy?


I don't think Nala's fear in the face of The Hyenas had anything at all to do with her being a female. I doubt very much that Simba would have been so brave in that moment if he did not have Nala to be brave for.
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