After 25 years, Disney released the live action version of my childhood favorite movie, The Lion King. This cartoon movie shows real life lessons, such as taking the responsibilities of your father and in translation, being the man of the house; but in Lion King terms, being the king of Pride Rock. The movie also portrays family jealous and disloyalty. It shows falling in love with your childhood friend (but really Nala’s his sister, but that’s a story for another time). So many life lessons in an animal talking cartoon movie can be accounted for in real life. The original movie grossed over $700 million worldwide, it was translated in 44 languages and made $9 billion on Broadway. Now let’s get to the movie review.
As we all know, Beyonce plays older Nala and Donald Glover plays older Simba. I was hoping that Beyonce wouldn’t over sing her parts and speak her parts wrong, (because let’s be realistic…she can’t act that well) BUT……….. she didn’t disappoint. I feel like James Earl Jones (Mufasa), could’ve been more passionate. I love how Simba (JD McCrary) improvised his lines such as “I got this” to make the film seem more modern. Nala (Shahidi Wright Joseph) played her part well and has a beautiful voice just like JD. Zazu (John Oliver) could’ve been more comedic to me. Rafiki (John Kani) was more of a serious wise character instead of the energetic, silly, semi-crazy wise character in the original. Scar sounded less intimidating but looked just as scary in the real life depiction.
Donald Glover played older Simba well, so well that he almost didn’t sound like himself during the fight scene. The hyenas weren’t comedic like they were in the original film. I expected Keegan Michael Key to be more funny buuuuuuuuuuut he wasn’t. I will say that Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) held the standard for their roles and were indeed funny.
What I Didn’t Like
Of course the film was good but it wasn’t GREAT! I didn’t like how some of the characters weren’t as passionate in the original. One of the factors of that is…the characters don’t have facial expressions. Since this is a real-life depiction of The Lion King, it kind of reminded me of a show on Animal Planet. There is little mouth movement which is understandable for the film but it’s still weird.
What I did like
The music! The new versions of “Hakuna Matata”, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”, “Circle of Life” and “Remember” are EVERYTHING. The best characters throughout the movie are of course Simba, Timon and Pumbaa. I like how it is 70% the same as the original. I love how authentic everything looked. I respect the effort and time it took to create such a realistic film.
The Power of CGI!
The fact that the scenery, animals and even the skyline looked like I could physically be there, was amazing!! John Favreau did a damn good job on that. I watched Can You Feel The Love Tonight Special With Robin Roberts earlier in the week and John, and the cast, talked about how they used virtual reality gear to depict the actual scenery.
I would go see the movie again, just in case there were things I didn’t catch the first time. I would rate this movie a 7.5. It is a classic film but it was as realistic as we wanted it to be.
What are your thoughts?
Comment them below and let me know!