Disney’s The Lion King – Budget of $250 million – 1 hour and 58 minutes
Simba, the Prince of the Pride, is presented to his kingdom on Pride Rock. His parents, King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi are proud to have an heir to the throne. Yet for Scar, Mufasa’s brother, Simba’s birth means he will never be king. A position he believes should be rightfully his. Mufasa has always been strongest but Scar knows Simba is Mufasa’s first and only weakness. After Simba is warned to stay away from the shadows, Scar tells him its an elephant graveyard. He plants the suggestion that Simba should go. Simba convinces his friend and future queen, Nala, to come after losing their majordomo and protector Zazu. In the shadows, they are confronted by lawless hyenas. Led by Shenzi, they are happy to eat the noble bloodline. Simba tries to roar to scare them away but his roar is weak. When he attempts to roar again, something louder comes out. It’s his father. He saves Nala and Simba from the Hyenas and uses this moment to teach Simba a lesson. Putting himself in danger, to prove his bravery, does not help the pride. A king’s job is to protect the land and not possess it. Seeing Simba is still alive, Scar comes up with another plan. He tells Simba the gorge is the place all lions practice their roar. If Simba wants to get it right, he needs to practice in the gorge. While Simba practices, he hears a rumble in the distance. It’s a stampede. Scar runs and tells Mufasa that Simba is in danger. Zazu spots Simba hanging on to a tree. Mufasa saves Simba but falls back into the stampede. Simba sees his father climbing up the mountain but Mufasa falls to his death. He cries and lays by his father’s side. Scar tells Simba he will be blamed for his father’s death. Simba doesn’t know what to do. Scar tells Simba to run and never come back. Then, Scar sends the hyenas after Simba. The horrific truth is Scar saw Mufasa hanging on the edge of the cliff and pushed him off. Now, Scar has reported the King and the Prince dead. He is king and the hyenas will be his army. As they lay waste to the Pride’s land, Simba must find his way back to the throne and save his kingdom. It will take fur, an old friend, and two new friends to get Simba back on track.
Based on the Disney Classic, The Lion King, this movie has the iconic scenery and songs you remember. The overall story has remained the same and the graphics are second to none. Every strand of fur and every majestic movement was created with pure precision and mind-blowing attention to detail. If you take out the music and words, this movie feels like a National Geographic or Animal Planet special. With so much attention to making them look like real animals, the emotion conveyed in the first movie disappeared. Animals with human characteristics have driven Disney movies to success. If you take out that element, the voice actors must be able to convey every possible emotion the to viewers. While some performances rose beyond expectations, some fell flat. Also, the song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” was performed midday, so it felt out of place. The movie still has a strong sense of humor with Timon, Pumba, and Zazu. And the combat scenes stay true to the original. Seeing this movie in IMAX and/or 3D is a plus. And keep your ears open for a Beauty and the Beast nod.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
Everybody is a somebody. Even a nobody – Rafiki
It belongs to no one but it will be yours to protect – Mufasa
Ok, you’re gone – Zazu
Run. Run away. And never come back – Scar
I wonder how all that bravery will taste – Shenzi
Now, I think you’re doing it on purpose – Kamari
Slimy, yet satisfying – Simba
That’s no lion. It’s a fury bird – Timon
I will never be your queen – Sarabi
Chubby? Did you just call me chubby? – Pumbaa
I win – Nala