Ed. note: Once again, Idolator intern Kate Richardson scours the video sites, looking for the best fan-made music videos. In this entry, she looks at two very different takes on The Lion King:
The Lion King has some of the best–or at least some of the most memorable–music in recent Disney-movie history. But the tribute-video community has never taken to heart the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Today’s clips demonstrate the consequences of combining one’s favorite song with one’s favorite movie, relevance be damned. The joy of victory? The agony of defeat? It’s always a little bit of both when you bring together mid-’90s philosophy pop and Lil’ Jon.
Song: “One of Us” by Joan Osborne
Concept: The Lion King as one lion’s struggle to come to terms with God and his own mortality after the death of his father.
If God had a name, what would it be? Simba? Rafiki? This video skates by mostly on the novelty of its concept. Basically none of the images, except maybe the nature scenes, particularly mesh with the song, and I’m deducting major points for the clip’s emphasis on the tragic Mufasa death scene. It’s almost like subtle, calculated emotional torture: having to listen to this droning song while watching one of the saddest scenes Disney has ever conjured. Plus the editing is really draggy and uninspired, making the whole thing feel kind of flat. I guess I can see the idea behind it–apply some deeper meanings to a heavy part of The Lion King–but all in all, the clip just doesn’t really work.
Best music-to-image sync-up moment: The last minute of the video when Simba talks to the God-like Mufasa in the clouds. It’s definitely the most appropriate scene for the song,
Silliest music-to-image sync-up moment: At 2:15, when Zazu is comically smashed against the side of a rock by Scar as Joan Osborne sings, “Yeah, yeah, God is good.”
Song: “Lovers & Friends” by Lil’ Jon & the East Side Boyz featuring Usher and Ludacris
Concept: The Lion King as passionate story of an ambiguous relationship.
Never before has the sensuality of lion love been explored so thoroughly. Kudos to this video for taking a seemingly irrelevant song and employing it to make characters in The Lion King uncomfortably sexual. Is it the silky-smooth beat? The ever-so-subtle innuendo of Ludacris? I can’t put my finger on it, but the combination of this song and the Simba-Nala flirtation footage is inexplicably successful and completely bizarre.
Best music-to-image sync-up moment: There are many well-crafted moments in this video, but my personal favorite is near the beginning when Usher sings “Take a shot of this here Patron and it’s gon’ be on” as Simba and Nala are drinking from a pond. A pond of Patron!
Silliest music-to-image sync-up moment: A little over halfway in, when Lil’ Jon comes in and it looks like Simba is singing to Nala.
Verdict: Though the Joan Osborne video is noble of spirit, the Lil’ Jon & co. clip is better-assembled, generally more entertaining, and sexier by far, making it the king of Pride Rock and winner of this week’s match-up.
Bonus: I couldn’t bear to subject myself to multiple viewings of this Rammstein/Lion King video, but I felt that it couldn’t go completely unmentioned. It’s got some great editing and a few truly inspired moments.