These are of course only my own, personal TOP10 reasons for loving it. :)

1. It's very unlike your standard Disney cartoon. It's dark and psychologically deep and complex story and doesn't sugar coat anything. Even the dead stay dead. Apart from Mufasa's ghost coming to guide Simba, but he was still dead! And unlike usually, the "resurrection" actually works for the story instead of being there to make kids happy. I mean, without the ghost scene the story would've been very different.

2. It bases on Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' mixed with a bit of the story of Moses from the Bible. That makes the story and character psychology awfully fascinating.

3. Simba is a wonderful hero character. Again, not Disney's typical, misunderstood, innocent person who becomes the hero. He actually has flaws that make him not appear as a potential hero, and he has character development.

4. The main villain isn't made into a clown. In fact he is a highly intelligent and ruthless and cunning. Also, his obsession, selfishness and greediness doesn't just exist, it actually affects his surroundings. And yet his very first line implies he hadn't always been that bad but that it was Simba's birth robbing him off the last chance to reach his dream, that had the poison spread. I consider Scar one of the best Disney villains ever, and certainly my personal favourite.

5. The theme and moral of the story is complex and relatable to each and every human being. (Circle of Life: Life and all the changes that can happen it it as we search for our place in life, and how no matter how much those changes may scare and hurt, we can not run from our responsibilities forever. It is only by facing the past, ghosts and challenges and being brave that we may find true happiness.) link (<-- Fan video I made some time ago.)

6. Beautifully animated + aiming at realism by the creators studying lions and their habits closely.

7. Elton John & Tim Rice kick butt. The lyrics and music are perfect. Just as loveable combination to Disney as Bryan Adams is. The beautiful instrumental by Hans Zimmer only adds to it.

8. It is truly a family movie because it's targeted at older audience but enjoyable for young children too. (The merchandise is targeted at kids but the story is actually mature, very dark and complex.)

9. It's about lions.

10. All the above mentioned reasons make it a timeless, epic film I don't know how anyone could hate. :)