Wicked vs. The Lion King: Broadway Shows for Kids

  • By reComparison Contributor
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Difference between Wicked and The Lion King

When it comes to Broadway musicals, children are not usually very high on the list as the target patrons. When it comes to Wicked and The Lion King however, the children are the real target audience. Do not misunderstand, however - both musicals are fantastic at any age and have been popular among every age demographic for years. Still, children are very much targeted with these Broadway classics. How do the two compare, however? Given the choice to take your kids to one or the other, which would you choose? Here are some points to ponder.

Wicked
The Lion King

Storylines

The Lion King is well known to children and adults alike having been one of the most popular children’s movies of the past several decades. The Broadway musical The Lion King is even more popular among those lucky enough to see it. Why? The story is absolutely divine, showing the growth of tiny Simba from a cub to a grown up Lion King. The story is perfect for any child, and the lessons are sound. Wicked, while not the traditional way to reach children, is equally impressive. This story surrounds the story of how the wicked witch of the west and her sister, the good witch of the east, came to be before the story The Wizard of Oz. The subject matter is still perfectly suited for children, and also show the good versus evil so popular in The Wizard of Oz many years before.

The Fear Factor

While the Lion King has some powerful moments involving the evil uncle Scar and Simba, the basic truths and classy way that it is handled makes it only momentarily scary for kids. I would say that it is no more or less scary as the cartoon, with only the youngest children afraid of the scenes. The animals even go up and down the aisles during the production for dramatic effect. Wicked is a bit more dicey, however, as the wicked witch of the west was scary in any setting. Still, the show keeps an innocence that keeps most children captivated and unafraid, as they know that good will triumph over evil in the end.

Musicality and Performance

Like most Broadway musicals, the music and performances are the biggest factors in their success. There is a reason that both shows have been running on Broadway and throughout the world for so long - the music and performances are top notch. Ironically, the shows met with resistance from the critics in the early days. However, patrons had a different opinion. Because of this, the shows are both in the top ten longest running Broadway shows today. Stacked against one another, The Lion King has to take the music title. The Elton John music is second to no Broadway show, and the performers are fantastic. As for the performances, Wicked is a bit better if only because of the nature of the roles. Animals are the stars of the Lion King, so they have less dramatic appeal.

Both shows are equally good for kids, and both would be loved by them all. Given a choice, however, I would say that younger kids would love the Lion King more, and older children would possibly like Wicked better. This is assuming of course, that a child had no built in affinity to one or the other.

Similarities and Differences

Wicked

  • Story of “The Wicked Witch of the West”
  • Top notch story
  • Top notch singing and music
  • Excellent performances
  • Mildly scary for young children

The Lion King

  • Story of Simba and his growth into a Lion
  • Top notch story
  • Top notch singing and music
  • Excellent performances
  • Virtually scare free for most ages

Which Broadway show do teens like better?
  • Wicked
  • The Lion King
 
 

Discuss It: comments 5

  • Guest
  • VegasPal wrote on December 2010

Spechless. No words are enough to describe the beauty of the show, Lion King.

  • Guest
  • VegasPal wrote on December 2010

I agree with the comparison you stated here.

  • Guest
  • Wicked Tickets wrote on January 2011

Of all Lion King is the best show I ever seen.

i had heard great things about this show, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. The music was ahhhhmazing! Couldnt get the songs out of my head. I almost cried! Amzaing special affects, and amazing cast! A MUST SEE for any true broadway lover!

  • Guest
  • Katie James wrote on April 2011

I'm going straight to my opinion; Wicked was amazing!

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