The reimagining of The Lion King directed by Jon Favreau brought a new, more realistic look to the old 1994 characters that are beloved by a generation that grew up watching the films. In 2019 the film has been re-released with a new coat of paint and very little else.
For those that are watching the movie for the fun of it and want to enjoy a fun, feel-good movie, then enjoy. You’ll get exactly what you’re looking for. For those expecting to see their favourite characters being re-imagined with new life breathed into them, wait for the DVD.
The animators of the movie have done a fantastic job making the characters look as realistic as possible and have recreated a visually spectacular world that is a pleasure to see. However, in doing this and making the animals seem photo-realistic, they have stripped them of all emotion. The words they characters say have the same emotional impact they once did but lose almost all their power when coming out of the stern and nearly un-moving faces. The psychological impact of the old movie has been stripped away and replaced with sensational visuals.
The movie has lost its soul.
What the movie does well is where it has recreated the world and the pride lands. New and young viewers who have never seen the original 1994 movie will love it and the story it brings with it. Fans of the original will enjoy the visuals and the vague nostalgia of their childhoods. However, with songs being cut down and the life stripped from the characters, you may be feeling as though something was missing, that indefinable quality that made the original such a hit and a classic.
The score by Hans Zimmer is still present and as perfect as ever. Some of the songs have been shortened, such as ‘Be prepared’ and the song ‘Can you feel the love tonight’ now takes place during the day, but the bones are still there and will not disappoint.
Voice acting by the main cast is fantastic, John Oliver as Zazu is hilarious, and James Earl Jones is returning as Mufasa is perfect. My only criticism of the casting choice is Donald Glover as Simba. During humorous or musical scenes, he nailed it, although when the time came for seriousness or even threatening moments, he seemed lacking that quality that demands authority.
Giving this movie a 6 out of 10, I wouldn’t discourage anyone from seeing it. If all you want is to sit and be entertained and not compare it to its former glory, then it will not disappoint. But you may want to wait for the DVD.