Saturday, February 16, 2013

Nala: Queen of Pride Rock

 Nala. Such a pretty name, huh? It means "gift" in Swahili. I am naming my first daughter Nala. Because babies are gifts from God! I've got so many names lined up.
  1. Nala, "gift" in Swahili
  2. Kiara, "day/bright" in Italian
  3. Sarabi, "mirage" in Swahili
  4. Sarafina
  5. Laura, meaning "Laurel"
  6. Savannah
  7. Moira Kelsey
  8. Mirabelle
  9. Joseph
  10. Aden
  11. Lebo
  12. Carmen
  13. Jeremy (like Jeremy Irons)
  14. Heidi
  15. Heavenly
  16. Ariel
  17. Karen "Kay Kay" (like my aunt)
  18. Megan
  19. Kiersten
  20. Rosemary
  21. Megara
  22. Jane
  23. Phillip
Tada! Within ten minutes of typing, Hope has already managed to get off-topic! Is there an award for that?

Maybe there isn't. 

However, today we are going to talk about my favorite Disney character ever.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you... NALA!!!!!

Yes, today we are talking about this lioness. She is the girl that most of us female Disney lovers aspire to be. Smart, persistent, curious, beautiful. In a word (or four), queen of Pride Rock!

Then again, who wouldn't wanna be Simba's wife?

But. I am getting ahead of myself. Now, I'm ready to start.

Simba and Nala were the best of friends when they were young. They were like "little seeds of romance blossoming in the savannah." I don't know if I'm the only one who noticed, but I think they began falling for each other long before the "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" sequence. You can't fall in love with someone over night. Not true love, anyways. I can see small hints. For example, the way Nala's face brightens when she speaks to Simba. The way they wrestle (not perverted, I swear). How they made sure no one was left behind when they were being chased by the hyenas. And honestly, they didn't seem all that disgusted when they found out they were betrothed. This is true love, but maybe not romantic.

This is friendship.

They were the best of friends even before they became lovers.
I think that is what matters the most. When they actually did fall in love, it was a slow and steady progression. Just the way it's supposed to be.

The video above is a highlight of their moments as cubs up until Simba's "death." Notice, Nala is the only lioness who is literally crying. I mean, think about it this way. The day before she was hanging out with her best friend and getting in trouble with him, and now he's suddenly gone. Now she has no friends, no real king, and no man. Forever alone, literally.

So you'd imagine seeing him again would be like he rose from the dead.
When she finds Simba again, she is full of several emotions at once. Sadness, happiness, love, excitement. I mean, seriously. Your best friend is supposedly dead and then after the equivalent to, say, seven to ten years, you randomly stumble upon him while hunting (mm... who else is in the mood for some warthog?). She barely remembered him at first. Why, when she was a young lioness (when I was a young lioness!!!!!) he disappeared and then suddenly appeared again. Doesn't make sense. Once again, her life changes over night. No wonder one minute she's like, "WHOA!!!" and the next she's all like, "I've really missed you." It's an emotional roller coaster ride.

These two share a bond that many do not because they are most importantly, friends. No one knows you better than your oldest friend. They can see when something's wrong. How many times does Nala try to get to the bottom of things?

"He's holding back, he's hiding. But what? I can't decide. Why won't he be the king I know he is, the king I see inside?"

SIMBA: "No one needs me."
NALA: "Yes we do! You're the king!"
SIMBA: "Nala, we've been over this. I'm not the king, Scar is."
NALA: "Simba, he let the hyenas take over the Pride lands. Everything's destroyed. There's no food, no water--- Simba, if you don't do something soon, everyone will starve!"
SIMBA: "I can't go back."
NALA: "Why?"
SIMBA: "You wouldn't understand."
NALA: "What wouldn't I understand?"
SIMBA: "It doesn't matter. Hakuna matata. Look, sometimes bad things happen..."
NALA: Simba!
SIMBA: "...And you can't do anything about it! So why. worry."
NALA: "Because it's your responsibility!"
SIMBA: "And what about you, you left."
NALA: "I left to find help. And I found YOU. Don't you understand? You're our only hope."
SIMBA: "Sorry."
NALA: "What's happened to you? You're not the Simba I remember."
SIMBA: "You're right. I'm not. Now are you satisfied?"
NALA: "No. Just disappointed."
SIMBA: "Y'know, you're starting to sound like my father."
NALA: "Good. At least one of us does."
SIMBA: "Look! You think you can just show up and tell me how to live my life? You don't even know what I've been through!"
NALA: "I would if you'd just tell me!"

Several, several times has Nala attempted to get it out of him. It never worked. Ever tried to get someone to open up to you but they just wouldn't and still you were relentless until you got to the bottom of it? You are a lot like Nala, then. Betcha no one was feeling the love tonight during that scene.

Nala is a crucial character (in the first movie, anyways) because she believed in Simba. She sees in him what he could never see in himself ("The king I see inside..."). Maybe she doesn't always know when to shut her mouth ("Good. At least one of us does"), and knows how to push his buttons, but if she weren't like that, he would have never returned to Pride Rock. She knew that he was using "hakuna matata" as an excuse to run away from his past and she tried to show him that he was needed. Eventually he had a change of heart, thanks to Rafiki.

When he returned to the pride lands, she was close behind him. She was willing to fight with him.

SIMBA: "It's my kingdom. If I don't fight for it, who will?"
NALA: "I will."
SIMBA: "It's gonna be dangerous."
NALA: "Danger? I laugh in the face of danger! Ha ha ha ha!"

And this is why we all love this girl. She seriously is Simba's better half. I mean, he's one of my favorite Disney characters, too, but he definitely needs someone like her. She sees the best in him. She reminds him of who he is (like when speaking of Kiara: "Simba, who does she remind you of? Hmm? She's just like you were when you were young"). She keeps him in line. She loves him more than anyone ever could. She is willing to fight for him. They are the perfect pair.

Any questions as to why she is my favorite Disney female?

Nala's best lines (some of which are from "Simba's Pride")
"So where are we going? Better not be any place dumb."
"The water hole? What's so great about the water hole?"
"Hey genius, it was my idea!"
"Pinned ya! Pinned ya again."
"I wonder if its brains are still in there."
"We could get in big trouble!"
"I thought you were brave."
"Wait until everyone finds out you've been here all this time. And your mother... what will she think?"
"What else matters? You're alive! And that means.. you're the king."
"It's like you're back from the dead. You don't know what this will mean to everybody. What it means to me."
"I've really missed you."
"He's holding back, he's hiding. But what? I can't decide. Why won't he be the king I know he is, the king I see inside?"
"I left to find help, and I found YOU. Don't you understand?"
"What's happened to you? You're not the Simba I remember."
SIMBA: "You're starting to sound like my father." NALA: "Good. At least one of us does."
"I laugh in the face of danger!"
SCAR: "They think I'm the king." NALA: "Well, we don't. Simba is the rightful king."
"So how are we gonna ditch the dodo?"
"Simba, who does she remind you of? Hmm? She's just like you were when you were young."
"Simba, you want too much to walk the path expected of you. Perhaps Kovu does not."

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