There is one Disney story from my childhood that still makes me laugh to this day. When I was a teenager, I used to go to a theatre competition every year. You would perform a selection from a “junior” show, shortened and edited versions of musicals intended for young performers. A couple of years into going, The Lion King Jr. was released so that children could finally participate in a shorter version of the hit Disney Broadway musical. The number of white children wearing kente cloth leggings I saw that weekend was innumerable. Naturally, so many theatre troupes wanted to put on The Lion King Jr. that to stand out, a group had to do something unique to wow the judges. I will never forget that one group literally had an infant playing baby Simba for their rendition of The Circle of Life. This child was about nine months old, and his parents trusted some teenage boy playing Rafiki to hold up their child in a desperate bid to win a trophy. I never have and never will see a more memorable theatrical gimmick than that.
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