So, my take on the movie was that it set the standard for movies to come. We might even be able to blame our Rafiki principle on it. What's that? You've never heard of the Rafiki Principle? Well, it goes a little like this.
Mr. Protagonist decides he doesn't want to do something, whether it's returning to the Pride Lands or finishing flight school, or whatever. Girlie Friend tries to talk Mr. Pro into it. But he can't be swayed by Girlie Friend! He can't do what needs to be done for love, he has to do it for himself! But he can't just sit there and decide to do it for himself without voicing it out loud for the audience to hear! That's where Rafiki, or Viper, comes in. They hit the hero over the head with their walking stick, and the hero goes back to claim his place as king.
And then you lean over to your movie-watching-buddy and say, "Bam! You've been Rafikied."