Kids say the darndest things, or so we are told. Sometimes cakes say the darndest things, especially the birthday cakes of 3-year-olds. Still, there’s a logic to kid-based and cake-based communications that makes perfect sense. Take birthday girl Leona, for example, who demanded a birthday cake that featured one of cinema’s saddest scenes depicted in all its fondant glory. The reason: More cake, obviously.
How does this all work? First, Leona asked for a Lion King-themed cake in what is easily one of the most adorable/ingenious crimes in recent memory. Hakuna matata. Nothing strange about that. But as her uncle, actor and filmmaker Casey Feigh, who tweeted images of the cake over the weekend, tells it, there was a bit more going on than meets the eye.
“My niece turned 3 today,” Feigh tweeted. “She asked for a Lion King cake but specifically the moment where Mufasa dies, because ‘everyone will be too sad to eat the cake and it will be all for me.’”
No lies detected there. There’s simply no way that anyone will be able to overcome their grief at the sight of Mufasa’s lifeless, delicious corpse to eat the cake. What can you say about a kid like this: They know what they want, and they know how to get it. We’re not the only ones fact-checking this. Feigh’s tweet is some 300,000 likes shy of a million, a number usually reserved for teens trying to get some free chicken nuggets.
It stands to reason that this cake hoarding technique could work with other cinematic moments of misery. Who’s going to want to eat a chocolate lava cake with the Terminator’s thumbs up sticking out the top. Well, most, probably. But still, it would give many hungry partygoers pause. Or, in the case of The Lion King cake, it gives them paws (a thank you).
Update [6/2/2021]: Casey Feigh has offered some comments on the viral success of the tweet. Apparently, the cake was weeks in the making, with Leona’s mother leading up to her birthday by asking her questions about how she wanted to celebrate. He writes:
[Leona] loves The Lion King, as everyone should. My sister is great with kids (she works for a non-profit with the mission of keeping kids safe) and does an amazing job of asking Leona questions and giving her options throughout her daily routine. Stuff like, ‘Do you want to go to bed after one more story or two more stories?’ So she had been slowing discussing her upcoming birthday to Leona, and what that all entails. When she asked, ‘What kind of cake do you want?” Leona asked for a Lion King cake when Mufasa dies. My sister asked why that part of the film and Leona explained, ‘Everyone will be too sad to eat the cake and it will be all for me.’ My sister laughed so hard and Leona, who is very perceptive, clocked that this answer got a big reaction. So anytime anyone asked her leading up to her birthday what kind of cake she wanted, she would repeat the same thing, knowing it would get a big response from adults. I got married earlier this month and she was telling all my friends. She also sang a little bit of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” at the reception and brought the house down.
Don’t worry, according to Feigh, Leona didn’t eat the whole cake. She, apparently, “She licked the icing, took a bite of one piece and was full.” It should also be noted, writes Feigh, that Leona is “empathetic and knows about sharing.”