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Movie: The Lion King (1994)

Rating: G
Length: 1hr 28min
Psychology Topics: Envy, Death, grieving, self-determination
Storyline: A young lion prince believes he is responsible for his father's death. He runs away from his home, only to return and reclaim the throne when he discoveres his uncle actually killed the lion king.

Teaching With This Movie:

  • Envy
    Read about the work of psychologist Niels van de Ven and explain the difference between benign and malicious envy. How is benign envy and admiration related? Define "jealousy" and describe how it is different from envy.
  • Death and Grief
    Identify developmental milestones of understanding about the concept of death for children a the ages of 3, 6, 10, and in the teen years. Define grief and when do people experience it. Explain how denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance make up the grieving cycle. Identify when and how Simba experienced his grief for losing his father, Mustafa.
  • Self-Determination
    Read about Edward Deci and Richard Ryan's Self-Determination Theory of motivation. Explain the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Define competence, relatedness, and autonomy and explain how they are necessary for intrinsic motivation to exist. Can self-determination explain how Simba was finally able to motivate himself to return to his pride?

Watch The Lion King now through Amazon.

Return to the Master List of Psychology Movies.


November 20, 2019


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