We have a soft spot for clutch moment characters. These are the men, women, and animals who come through just in the nick of time, just when the story (or the protagonist) needs them most. The first prime example of the unsung savior is Nala from The Lion King.
Nala begins the story as a friend of Simba’s, one who went with him on adventures and helped him sing his ever-epic “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King.”
While they’re little, she does demonstrate her ability to be totally fun yet totally bold and strong. (Remember when she says “pinned ya again”?)
But then, when Simba is forced out of the Pride Lands, he leaves her behind. And meets Timon and Pumbaa, who tell him that he needs to adopt a Hakuna Matata attitude and live life without worries.
But then, when the Pride Lands are in jeopardy because Scar is being Scar (he’s the worst), Nala sets out to find food and runs into Simba.
But then, when she says she’s going to tell everyone where he is, Simba isn’t having it.
Then there’s the “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” moment.
After this point, Nala lays down the law. And tells Simba that he’d better step up and take his place because Pride Rock needs him.
But she won’t let him. She tells him about responsibility and the fact that he’s not the Simba she remembers if he’s going to act this way.
Rafiki certainly plays a part in the next sequence of events, but sufficed to say: Nala’s speech and connection to Simba’s past sends him back to the Pride Lands to fight Scar and take back the kingdom that’s really his.
And then, of course, they fall in love and here’s the bottom line: the Circle of Life begins again.
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