Pundits have been scrambling to find the pop-culture analogy that perfectly explains the unlikely political rise of reality TV personality Donald Trump. Until Trump screwed things up by actually winning the election in November, it seemed like Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane was the ideal choice. But writer Tyler Huckabee has another, less conventional idea: Trump is exactly like Prince John in the 1973 Walt Disney version of Robin Hood. In that beloved children’s movie, John is portrayed as a spoiled, egocentric, and immature cartoon lion with the voice of Peter Ustinov. Through his Twitter account, Huckabee lays out his case for Trump being Prince John, point by point.
It’s not about them both being orange, though that is one of the reasons. But the similarities go much deeper than that. Like the laughable lion, Huckabee says, Trump is “both an authoritarian bully and a petulant child.” They both have a fetish for gold and political power, as well. Huckabee draws a parallel between Trump’s belief in “fake news” with Prince John’s reliance upon a fortune teller with a crystal ball. Neither the real estate mogul nor the monarch take kindly to criticism either. Prince John “wildly lashes out whenever he feels like he’s being mocked,” just as Trump has criticized Saturday Night Live for taking potshots at him. Then there is Prince John’s sidekick, the snake Sir Hiss (voiced by Terry-Thomas). Here, Huckabee sees an equivalent of the “spineless yes men” with whom Trump surrounds himself.
Prince John also associates with “fake friends who want to use him for their own ends,” just like the opportunists who have aligned themselves with Trump. The similarities go on and on. Easily manipulated? Check. Ill-fitting clothes? Check. Desire to punish those who speak out against him? Check. There can be little doubt: America has elected a cartoon lion to be its 45th leader.