lion king the musical Essay

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Lion King: The Musical

     The original Disney cartoon of a lion cub blamed for his father’s death has been remade into a Broadway musical acclaimed all over the world. Seen by over twenty five million people in over 15 thousand performances this intricately designed wonder has taken over 37 thousand hours just to build the puppets and masks. Julie Taymor the director and costume designer was faced with a problem of whether to create humans or animals playing the part and she decided to make masks that show the animal face, as well as, show the human face giving the character his or her personality. As for expressing other animals that are not part of the main cast or to express a certain theme, 2 different
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Young Simba’s costume is not as intricate as Scar’s to show that, Scar has an underlying plan whereas Simba is innocent.

     Banraku puppetry, named for Uemura Bunrakuken begun in Japan in the sixteenth century is used in this musical to let the audience concentrate on the story as well as on the skill of the puppeteers. The master puppeteer, the only one usually seen by the audience is controlling the puppet with the help of others for legs and body while a narrator tells the story. Certain gestures and movements help to achieve a certain goal and get a certain message across to the spectators. At one point puppetry is used to show the grasses of the savanna move as the wind blows creating a magical effect.

     Shadows which can make an object seem larger than it really is and make something scarier than it really is are a major part of this musical. Originated either in Greece or China this now Indonesian form of puppetry is called the wayang kulit and uses flat puppets made of wood and animal hide against a muslin screen. In The Lion King, shadows are used to portray many animals or ones that seem frightening. This wonderful combination of puppets masks and real people makes this a most wonderful sight. There are certain themes that are portrayed such as listen, remember, and learn as they teach us to be part of “the Circle of Life,” remember who we are and where we came from,

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