This film has been a controversial title for weeks at this point. Many believe that the Lion King should’ve been left alone and that a live-action remake couldn’t capture the spirit of the source material. As the lights went down in the theater and I witnessed various animals make their way to Pride Rock my heart became overjoyed with happiness.
As the film begins almost every animal in the plains of Africa come to celebrate the birth of Mufasa’s son, Simba (Donald Glover). Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Mufasa’s brother is not thrilled with the arrival of the future king and begins to mastermind a plot that will allow him to take the throne.
Breathe Taking Visuals
Whether you enjoy this film or not it is impossible to say that this movie is not beautiful. The aesthetics are easily one of the best qualities that this film possesses.
Every animal looks realistic and I wouldn’t be surprised if younger audiences actually believed that they trained wildlife for the film itself.
The locales such as Pride Rock or the Elephant Graveyard capture the essence of the original. They truly look like a live-action version of the animated phenomenon.
Watching Simba interact with his father is another highlight of this story. Personally, I always felt that Mufasa (James Earl Jones) was only used as a plot device and never truly bonded with Simba in a natural way.
The moments they spend together on the screen feel very genuine. Due to their incredibly talented voice actors, it does not surprise me that they work well together.
Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumba (Seth Rogen) are yet another duo that greatly increased my enjoyment of the film. When they were introduced to the viewer the entire theater I was in could not stop their laughter.
Seth Rogen makes an amazing Pumba I prefer him even to the original. Not only is he funny but he plays off of Timon very well. They seriously are my favorite parts of the film I’d love to see it again just for their performances.
In most Disney films the music pieces are very important to the movie itself. Generally, they have something to do with the plot or how a certain character is feeling. The Lion King does not shy in that department of having musical set pieces and it doesn’t fall too far behind the original.
Beyoncé is a welcome part of the cast having her lend her voice towards “Spirit” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” was a great idea. I could sense the excitement in the theater whenever she began to sing. The audience was loving every second of it as well as myself.
Visually as I said before this film is breath-taking. It looks amazing but there are things you can’t do with a real lion that you could do with an animated one. Because of this choice, many scenes don’t carry the same impact as the original.
Sadly I don’t think that they ever could’ve topped the original with the design of this remake. I don’t regret seeing this film and I’m glad it exists. It’s a shame that many are bashing the movie for factors that were out of their control.
While there has been quite a lot of negative buzz surrounding this film it is my belief that the pros outweigh the cons. It’s a gorgeous movie with extraordinary environments along with a stellar cast. The music is a joy to be heard even if some songs aren’t better than the original.
The chemistry between some of the main cast is surprisingly good. Many of them play off of each other well and you’ll believe that they’ve been working together for decades.
Lastly, even though the movie looks great a more realistic take on this classic does take away some of the soul of the original. In some ways, the movie is worse because of the style that they chose.
Verdict 7 out of 10 Stars