The Lion King (2019), 7.6/10, is the latest photo realistic animation from Disney. As you know my opinion on Disney’s chain of re-releases already, I immediately thought there would be no way of topping the 1994 original. And I was right. However, this film will have you sat back in awe of how far technology has advanced to apply a spellbinding face lift to a much loved classic.
In a film where everything has been computer generated as far as the light touches, you will find yourself questioning whether or not Disney actually just hired some professionally trained animals. It’s only when the animals break into song that you are truly put out by what you are seeing. But on the contrary to everyone else’s opinion, I think by the second catchy musical number your toe tapping soon makes you look past this slight hang up.
I will not go into the plot as if you don’t know it then you surely have been living in the Elephant graveyard for 25 years. I would however like to comment on the voice acting of this version, I think both young Simba (played JD McCray) and older Simba (played by Donal Glover) captured Simba’s youthful naivety and proved this is the animal kingdom’s coming of age movie. Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner delivered a show stealing performance with Timón and Pumba, they had me laughing out loud with their observational, fourth-wall breaking comments. Beyoncé’s performance as Nala sadly brought down the overall film somewhat. Her delivery was dryer than the Sahara and conveyed virtually no emotion. Ultimately her inclusion felt more like a marketing tactic to draw in her existing fans rather than what was actually best for the character.￼
The Lion King is definitely my second favourite of the remakes. It doesn’t offer anything further to the original in terms of narrative structure but does vibrantly polish up on it’s visual appearance. It was also quite enlightening to revisit some of the philosophical comments that were wasted on me as a child. The moment that broke our hearts 25 years ago still carried the same emotional weight as it did before. However my opening comments on Disney churning out rerelease upon rerelease is still the same. Why couldn’t they have taken this phenomenal example of how far photo realistic animation has progressed and applied it to a new concept?
Entertainment (of its genre): 7/10
Overall rating….. 7.6/10