When it comes down to it, all the animals in the animal kingdom are basically the same. And thus, movies about those animals have pretty much identical plotlines. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters today, about a breed of apes who take over the world after humans are wiped out by a virus. The movie is fantastic, the visuals are stunning, and the motion capture which Andy Serkis and the rest of the actors used to make those apes come alive is unreal. But let’s get to the actual facts here—it’s basically a fancier, more high-tech version of The Lion King, but with monkeys instead of lions. Here’s why:
1. The leader has a sidekick. You know how Mufasa and Simba have Zazu, the adorably annoying little bird? King Caesar’s right-hand man is Rocket, who, while not quite as talkative as Zazu, certainly has his fair share of opinions.
2. The mother gives birth to a cute little animal that you’ll want to adopt. Early on in The Lion King, Sarabi gives birth to a cute, adorable, tiny little Simba. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar’s wife Cornelia births the couple’s second son, and the little monkey is the cutest thing you ever did see.
3. The father/son relationship is at the center of the movie. Apes’ main storyline, underneath all the sci-fi, is about the father/son relationship. Caesar imparts words of wisdom onto his son, Blue Eyes, and there’s even a human father/son pair in the film that mirrors the apes’ relationship. And of course, the greatest thing about The Lion King is Simba’s relationship with his daddy Mufasa, whom he admires so dearly.
4. The bad guy tries to steal the kingdom from the good guy. One of the final scenes in Apes is nearly identical to the one in The Lion King. You know when Simba throws Scar over the edge of the cliff, just like Scar had done to Mufasa earlier on when he died? That happens again here with Caesar and Koba, the Scar equivalent, except I won’t tell you if there’s a death involved this time. Spoiler alert, hello.
5. There’s a stampede. Unfortunately for the animal kingdom in The Lion King, Mufasa dies in a stampede of hyenas that was a doing of his evil brother. Luckily there were no deaths by stampede in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, though the humans did get bombarded by an ape stampede when they first came onto the apes’ territory.
6. There’s a mantra. “Hakuna matata” was Timon and Pumbaa’s
wonderful phrase quote to live by—it means no worries, by the way. The apes’ mantra is “ape not kill ape.” Both teach very valuable lessons to us human folk, clearly.
OK! or OMG?!: Did you not get anything we just said? Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a fancy version of The Lion King. So yes, obviously that means it’s amazing.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is out now! And don’t forget to read our very informative interview with Andy Serkis about how he brought Caesar the ape to life. Are you going to see the movie? Will you look for its Lion King comparisons? Tweet us @OKMagazine.