Amazing, entertaining, breathtaking, and captivating were all the words used to describe Disney’s animated classic, The Lion King, and now they ring more true for its latest live action remake! Mufasa, Simba, Nala, Scar, Timon, and Pumbaa are all back and REAL. The story is still largely the same, but our characters have more depth and soul thanks their all too realistic hair and skin. Simba (Donald Glover/Childish Gambino), a young lion cub and the rightful king of The Pridelands must overcome the fear and demons of his past to save his kingdom and stop his treacherous uncle, Scar, from destroying the Circle of Life and his late father, Mufasa’s, legacy.
Disney has definitely been on it with its live action remakes, but The Lion King, in particular holds a special place in the hearts of so many. Remaking it only would prove challenging with bringing this animated world to life, while re-captivating the magic of the original animated film. The voice actors for the characters truly accomplished this by combining elements of the original film, the Broadway musical, and new layers to characters like Nala (Beyonce) and Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and Shenzi; (Florence Kasumba) and expanded roles for Sarabi (Alfred Woodard) and Zazu. Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) are as hilarious as ever, in many ways reminding us of now grown fans of the film just how sarcastic we have become when it comes to the world. This is truly a film your entire family must see and bond over. Selfless duty, nobility, justice, and responsibillity are just a few life lessons The Lion King has to teach a new generation. Be the kings–and queens–we know you all are and support this film!
What We Liked
-The computer generated characters are so realistic we felt as if we were watching a scene from National Geographic Explorer!
-The expounded roles of various characters. Learning why Scar hates Mufasa and wanted to be king, seeing how and why Nala bravely left to find help, and even Zazu proving to be a brace and loyal servant.
-The atmosphere and setting of the film truly bring the Motherland to life. You feel as though you are right there in the savanna, desert, and jungle with the characters.
-Meeting new characters in Timon & Pumbaa’s jungle. They were so cute and funny; and made those bugs look delicious. “Slimy, yet satisfying!”
–Beyonce is pretty good as a voice actress. She brought a sweetness coupled with sheer toughness to Nala’s expanded role.
What We Loved
-“Can You Feel The Love Tonight” is just as magical and romantic as it was when Elton John first wrote it. Beyonce and Donald Glover definitely did it justice.
-The exquisiteness of the detail in every scene and every movement of the characters. This is indeed breaking edge cinematic technology. There should definitely be a live action remake of The Lion King 2 with Kiara and Kovu’s story.
-Mufasa is still voiced by James Earl Jones. We could not imagine this iconic Disney character being voiced by anyone else.
-Scar’s design. He was ugly and looked like a scrawny, diseased ridden lion.
What We Hated
-“Be Prepared” and “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” are lackluster in this rendition. Here the original animated scenes fared far better.