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The Lion King : Movie Review

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Being new to MovieFloss I wanted to bring something a little different to the website.  So this is my Review based on the preview. The idea is I’m going to attempt to write a review  to Disney’s The Lion King (2019) based purely on the previews. Then after viewing the movie I’ll go back and see how far off I was. 

Based off Previews: 

The recent move for Disney to rerelease movies from their vault is not anything new. It is a move they have done generation after generation so that families will renew interest in their favorite Disney characters and in turn invest or re-invest in their films, TV shows and theme parks. While none of them have been in my opinion as good as the original they have definitely held their own at the box office. Also not as timeless as the originals they definitely have been entertaining. The most recent “live action” aka photo-real effort is The Lion King directed by Jon Favreau (Iron-Man & The Jungle Book (2016)) who I hope brings his same level of magic and imagination to The Lion King. Not straying far from the original animated feature he retells the story with photo realistic animals and settings. In watching the previews of the film I thought I might be distracted with the realistic look of animals and having them speak. One of my biggest concerns was how well Tim Rice and Sir Elton John’s lyrics will hold up after all these years with new voices like Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave). I mean who knew Chiwetel could even sing?

Based off Viewing: 

Now that Ive seen The Lion King I have to say that it dawned on me where these remakes are trying to go. In the Animated features we are transported to these magical worlds of imagination. In the “live” remakes they are taking these places of dreams and bringing them into our world. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised that it was easy to get past that level of disbelief (real animals talking) and just enjoy the movie. Which visually is stunning. Taking the very flat traditional animation that we’ve all grown used to and bringing it into the three dimensional world was one thing but to be able to capture the colors and emotions that hand drawn animation is a gift that few have and Faverau excels at. There are scenes where Jon Favreau seems to have used the original movie as a storyboard and its rendered almost shot for shot. Others where he’s added his own license but at no point do you lose the story everyone knows and loves.

The biggest thing I would change about my original review based on a preview were my expectations that the music would stay the same. They did an amazing job at updating Elton John and Tim Rice’s lyrical-soundtrack even though it still felt slightly dated, having Donald Glover really made those older songs new. As for Chiwetel Ejiofor I’m sad to say that the shoes left by Jeremy Irons (the original voice of Scar) might have been slightly too big especially for my favorite song from The Lion King “Be Prepared”. Hans Zimmer even came back to update his timeless score. The biggest miss and really was losing Zimmers most emotional track from the score and having it be replaced with Beyoncé’s beautiful new song which would have worked better as the first track in the closing credits. I don’t know if they were purposely hiding that so there wasn’t some added pressure but the previews give no insight to there being potentially new music. 

I’d be remised to not mention how great Billy Eichner and Seth Rogan are as the voices of Timon and Pumba. Timon and Pumba could have a stand alone movie and it would be hilarious.  Over all I have to say I enjoyed the Lion King and can confidently recommend it to viewers of all ages with the added warning that there are some scenes that are dark and could be scary for a younger audience. 

There are no mid or post credit scenes but stay for the Lebo M deep cuts from the soundtrack you wont be disappointed.

While the world definitely didn’t need a Lion King remake, I think for today we are lucky to have it. In my opinion The Lion King does rule over everything the sun touches.

The Lion King
DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau
STUDIO: Walt Disney Studios
GENRE: Adventure, Animated, Drama
MPAA: PG
RELEASE DATE: July 19th, 2019
AUTHOR: Rich Romero
Skipper Dickrichie ‘Skip’ I love movies good and bad. I have an affinity for Tiki beverages and all things Disney.