Pride Lands Online
The Pridelands

Version 1.1 - The 'complete' script, Part 1.
This version incorporates many minor corrections and revisions. It also introduces possible songs for 'Etiquette'. 'Despair' has been replaced by a new version 'Faith and Love'. 'Salvation' has been written and added after the end credits. The way in which a main character is introduced has been considerably revised.
Written by:
Chris Boyce, Summer of 1996.
Mayfield, Newport Road, Godshill, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, UK. PO38 3HR

Comments to:

Based on and with acknowledgements to Disney's The Lion King.
All original characters, situations, plot and dialogue (C) Chris Boyce.

To Sala and Tana, two Golden Lost Souls killed for a crime they did not commit, and to Mary and Eleanor, who may never know they were once to have been Nyala and Zenani.

*** Introduction ***

________This document is in two parts. The first is in the form of a film script, or an approximation to one, the second is a set of notes and character sketches. Much of these notes concern the plot development and similar background information and are meant to be read in conjunction with the script itself. Much visual stylisation is contained in these notes and when read with the script, will hopefully allow the Pridelands to come alive. All of this was written with no reference to any other official or unofficial sources of any kind, it is just a pure extension to The Lion King and so characters here will have different names to those others may have used for similar characters before, with one exception: I have taken up Ahadi as Mufasa and Scar's father. I had called him Simba the elder though he is never referred to by name. Thus here our Simba's son is called Thembi though he plays a very small role - we've had all that prince stuff before. So what is The Pridelands? Well, firstly let me state what it is not. It is NOT The Lion King reworked. It is however perhaps a more adult story, that's to say its for adults from 3 to 103 just as TLK was for kids of all ages from 3 to 103. Simba is now a 'responsible' father, he and Nala are the parents of three cubs, who can never be replacements for young Simba. Indeed in The Pridelands Simba is still very much the lead. The 'adult' content comes in the issues addressed and in some of the events that unfold, though 'adult' here implies a degree of maturity rather than violence or sexuality, this is suitable for general release and can be watched by all ages safely, though the occasional awkward question could be raised from the under tens which could probably be answered in some non-embarrassing way due to ambiguity. The central theme is the ebb and flow of the relationship between Simba and Nala and how fate influences them. This is observed both directly and through their cubs, the less 'adult' adults will, hopefully, identify with them and see that adult relationships are not always easy, and certainly not 'happy ever after' and have to be worked at. While Simba and Nala love each other deeply, this is not enough to keep them together. They are eventually reunited, but not under the circumstances we all expect. Nala has to decide to love a lion, not a Lion King. Against this serious background are set the cubs and, of course Pumbaa and Timon, though one of the more serious plot turns results in the apparent loss of Timon, indeed it is, in part, this event that sets the main plotline in motion. Meerkats can't last forever, but he eventually returns, though leaving trouble in his wake. Other events unfold in a most unexpected way that allow Simba to be at peace with himself at last. Along that way we gain a couple of lionesses, Sala and Tana, a double act and no mistake - Tana is a 'mane chaser'... All this would have given a few technical difficulties, later compounded by the dramatic and uplifting spectacle of three generations of Priderock lion side by side, as they must all be instantly recognisable. The Circle of Life is now seen from a different angle to be, perhaps more of a spiral. The sun still rises and sets as before but now on a changed pride of lion; the scars of the past literally and metaphorically wiped clean. Ok, so all this sounds so very serious; but it is not really and through it all runs the lightness of touch, inherent to Simba, which was so loved about The Lion King, this leads to bitter-sweet moments that are interpretable in many ways at the same time. All this is of course played out against the breathtaking backdrop of the pridelands, and its surrounding region which we find does have a human presence, indeed it is this presence that allows the most magical plot turns, though the humans are anonymous and are on for as little time as possible, their presence is felt almost throughout. A lot of time is spent in the notes explaining the reasoning behind this presence, they have a purpose.... The musical tone would have been less heroic, but richer and more intimate, but still with moments of pure fun. The opening song sets this tone as Simba, the king, declares his love for Nala the huntress while we see the lionesses hunt for their supper, to support the pride, to ensure the continuing survival of The Pridelands....

*** Prologue ***

{ It is late afternoon, The grassland shimmer in the diminishing heat of the day. Zebra, Wildebeest and other antelope graze peacefully in the middle distance forming patches of gentle movement over the savannah. Occasional flashes of movement flare up and die down as quickly as minor disputes and frustrations show amongst the herds. Another day is ending much like any other, yet the end of the day does not bring peace and quiet, it never does. For predators are more active by night, none more so than the Pride of the Pridelands who have been quiet lately, allowing others, particularly the hyenas to roam and hunt more freely. But the feeling is that this is the lull before the storm, every prey animal knows it may be their time soon. This does not generate fear, just tension and heightened alertness to the rustle of long grass and the flicker of black close to the edges of the herds. Something is happening, it could happen to any, this is the price of living on the lush grasslands of the Pridelands. However on Priderock this tension is totally lacking. The pride sleeps easily and securely in the shady open area of the protrusion of the rock; the cave is too stuffy. The hyenas have been getting sloppy recently and have provided easy pickings, the lionesses have not had to hunt seriously for a week. But now most of the pride have not eaten for a day or two. It is time for the Queens of the Pridelands to show their skill. To the northern side of the rock a single lioness is awake and sits, sniffing the faint breeze for traces of the herds on the plain below. She is in shade and is not visible from below. After a few moments as we wonder what is about to happen she breaks the silence, calling to a nearby companion... }

Sarabi: Sarafina? {no response, except a movement and a low growl off camera, she tries again more forcefully, but still trying not to wake everyone} Sarafina, are you awake?

{ the camera zooms out a little to reveal the source of the growl, a sleepy lioness who opens an eye, lifts her head slightly from her front paws, tries to look at the source of her name. She yawns to stress that she has been woken prematurely and is not best pleased. }

Sarabi: Are you awake?

Sarafina: {in a slightly annoyed fashion} No, Sarabi, I'm not.

{ she lets her eyes close again and her head falls back on to her front legs. }

Sarabi: Come on, get up. We've got work to do, I'm hungry.

Sarafina: Good, go and catch something then. {she pauses, still only half awake and still trying not to open her eyes. For a moment she succeeds, then realising what Sarabi has said, opens both eyes suddenly, quickly realising this to be a mistake} Sarabi! What's this we thing?

{ As Sarafina rises stiffly to her feet and stretches her forelegs slowly out in front of her, her forequarters and head dropping down to follow. The stretch follows through to her front paws as she splays her toes, momentarily extending her claws. }

Sarabi: I see everything's in working order, now where's that daughter of yours?

{ Sarafina is just getting back on to all fours, she shakes her tail in an involuntary twitch. }

Sarafina: Oh, she's with the KING again.

Sarabi: Go and get her then, I'll wait here.

{ Sarafina dislikes Sarabi's presumption and she says so in a way no other lioness, or lion even, would get away with. }

Sarafina: You go and get her yourself! {yawning toothily} I'm still not entirely awake!

{ Sarabi, muttering quietly, moves off picking her way carefully and precisely around and through the still sleeping mass of the pride. }

Sarabi: {to herself} She's your daughter, she's only my daughter in law, it was never like this when Mufasa was king...

{ the daughter is sleeping lightly by her mates side, her paws and tail twitch rapidly, she makes slight noises - totally unintelligible - under her breath. She momentarily becomes still. Sarabi takes this as her cue and pushes her head gently with her nose. }

Nala: {brought partially out of sleep, calls out} I'll catch you next time, Pumbaa!

{ Sarabi recoils anxiously, moments later Nala fully wakes and looks sleepily at Sarabi, reminiscent of the way in which Timon looked at Nala when she woke him. }

Sarabi: Time to go to work, Nala.

{ Nala looks round to her still sleeping mate, who is on his side, legs away from her. She turns back to reply to Sarabi but she has already moved off. She shakes her head, eyes closed and struggles to her paws. Her mate makes no move and sleeps on, probably she thinks, for some time. She moves away with little of the accuracy of Sarabi and treads on a young dozing lioness who wakes and, seeing Nala on the move, gets up and follows. The three, following a practised routine, gather at the back of the overhang and, without a word move off down the rocks and off onto the plain. They are followed by the fourth lioness who falls in beside Nala, herself between and slightly behind Sarabi and Sarafina. They walk purposefully and single-mindedly through the grasses towards the distant herds. There is no hint of malice, no hint even of real feeling. They are doing a job, making a living, they are true professionals - this is what they do - they kill for a living. Meanwhile, on Priderock, the king is stirring not much but just a little. He, missing the comforting warmth of Nala at his back, rolls over; legs in the air in an ungraceful, slightly undignified manner; expecting to fall on Nala. Instead his paws hit the rock heavily. He starts, jumps up and blinking looks around. His mate has gone, Where? He looks toward the tip of Priderock and sees the herds beyond, blinking a second time he stares at the few pride members lying in front of him and following a couple of paces clears them in a single bound, running on to the end of the rock. He stops there and scans the plain below impatiently. For a few moments he (and we) sees nothing but grass and bushes then a glimpse of black moving away, then another and a third, all moving steadily towards the unsuspecting herds. He sits back relieved, for there she must be out on the plain - shopping... The camera follows his gaze out over the parched plain to the north east where the lionesses are positioning themselves for first contact with the herds now only 50m-100m distant. They spread out down wind (i.e. the Priderock side) all four slinking, low to the ground, painfully slowly forward through the long grass, which makes almost ideal cover. The camera switches from a rear to a low level forward viewpoint from the other side of the herd, with Priderock and the sun in the background. }

[Intro][Part 1][Part 2][Notes]

Text version of The Pridelands Intro & Prologue.

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