Set your sights on adventure — Plucky England are through to the next round of the World Cup. In Port Elizabeth Fabio Capello's side recalled how to play football, just like when Simba remembers who he is and resolves to take back the Pride Lands.
Call England the Three Lion Kings from now on – or certainly until the next psychological meltdown brings you to the cruel realisation that this victory was merely pain deferred.
For now, the first law of footballing optimism dictates that this 1-0 win over Slovenia entirely negates a most dismal of starts to this World Cup.
The signs looked bright from the start. In the dugout before kick-off David Beckham had rolled up his sleeves – the sort of exquisitely unreadable gesture one expects from England's talismanic player liaison officer, but which is thought to indicate that England had rolled up its sleeves.
As they got down to business, even the pitch of the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium recalled the green, green furrows of home turf at Wembley.
Those grasping for the obligatory second world war metaphor will hope that the victory will be a turning point akin to El Alamein. "Before El Alamein we never had a victory – after El Alamein we never had a loss," or so Churchill liked to claim with hindsight after the war. There will certainly be plenty of opportunity to refine the references when England meet Germany in the next round.
Having drawn their first two group games, and lost a rebellion competition with the French (that should go down as an official Fifa result), England managed to shake off what is always reverentially acknowledged as "the weight of expectation" – a weight somehow shouldered by players of other football-crazy nations, but there we go.
The Slovenia who held the US to a spirited 2-2 draw last Friday were as absent as the England who managed that excruciating 0-0 with Algeria later that evening. Perhaps they were playing in some parallel universe of a World Cup – though England supporters will have been thrilled to be without tickets to that one.
In this universe, the crowd was adulatory, despite having been told off by Wayne Rooney for having the temerity to voice their displeasure in the absolute dying seconds of the Algeria game in Cape Town.
For their part, England produced fewer of the endlessly frustrating passages of unconvincing play that the fans love to see in an England performance. On second thoughts, perhaps love isn't the right word — certainly fewer of the endlessly frustrating passages of unconvincing play that the fans expect to see in an England performance.
Still, when an evidently displeased Wayne Rooney was taken off to be replaced by Joe Cole, the latter's arrival was greeted with delight by fans, suggesting the backlash against the backlash against John Terry is already in motion.
As for Terry, England's Stanley McChrystal lived to fight another day in post, whatever that post might be (he explained the other day that "I am here as captain of Chelsea").
A nagging question is to what extent the culture wars at England's training camp this week are now a distant memory. Orwell said of the goose step that it is "only possible in countries where the common people dare not laugh at the army", and that it was not used in England "because the people in the street would laugh". As a man who has expressed great admiration for the organisational legacy of Franco's fascism, Fabio Capello clearly likes things done a certain way – but it is fair to say the strictures at his pitiless boot camp have not found a perfect mesh with English sensibilities.
Nor would they with other national sides. Walking along a deserted stretch of Port Elizabeth's Humewood beach earlyish yesterday morning, I chanced upon a dozen or so of the Slovenia squad standing at the edge of the water, smiling and chatting in their tracksuits as they looked out to sea.
That a couple of them were smoking is neither here nor there, really, except for the contrast their carefree air pointed up with the cooped-up, miserable England of the tournament thus far.
Had England lost today you can be sure the camp would have leaked like a sieve within seconds of the final whistle, with players, agents, and even support staff keen to reveal how Capello's rigid and spartan regime had sent them quite round the twist. Of course, now that we have a scoreline of Boot Campers 1, Smokers 0, that might well be all it takes to convince any disgruntled players that Fabio knows best – an acknowledgement which might in turn mellow him into allowing them the odd extra piece of steamed fish or 20 minutes of Joe Cole.
It is, as Simba's pa might say, the Circle of Life, so we can only await the Three Lion Kings' next adventure with nervous anticipation.
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