The Lion King 2019 Review

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🎼Someday we’ll find it, The Realm of Imagination. The Watchers, The Dreamers and Me. 🐸🌈🎼

It’s been a long time, but what better movie to review after a long break, other than Disney’s The Lion King.

Let me start off by admitting that I am a huge Disney fan, especially the animations. As of late, one after the other the remakes have been rolling out. Aladdin was just ok for me and I really liked Beauty and the Beast. I see we have Mulan and The Little Mermaid on the horizon, fingers crossed. My general position on remakes – DON’T! However, if you must, improve! Furthermore, don’t change the things that made me fall in love with the original. Then if you are going to touch the “favs” don’t ruin it. . Sequels unlike remakes, have the benefit of moving away from the original, as such I’m a bit less harsh. That being said Grease 2 was a travesty. Certainly, The Lion King 2019 couldn’t be worse or even as bad.

While all Disney Animations hold a special place in my heart, The Lion King is especially special. I got to enjoy it’s greatness twice. Years after its original release my 2 year old discovered its greatness and became an instant fan. It was an obsession! I’m pretty sure by the time he was 4 he believed in a tiny corner of his heart that he was actually Simba. It was and still is his favorite movie. The stakes were very high for this remake.

Thursday afternoon my husband, son and I set out to a local dine-in theater. I saw a trailer but had refrained from reading or watching any reviews prior. I knew some of the casting but nothing in the spoiler realm. I was hoping there was nothing to spoil as my expectations/hope was that the content would remain the same and the medium would change.

The Lion King 2019 gets a 10 for the overall nostalgia of the experience of being able to see this remake with my son the summer before he begins college. We giggled, sang and smiled during the movie. We whispered to each other when we noticed changes. We were Statler and Waldorf (the muppet critics if you were wondering). It was a great feeling and memory made.

Visually, I get what they were going for and they delivered. The animals were realistic and the CGI was amazingly done. I believed these were real animals talking and singing, there was no need to suspend my disbelief, I was in The Imagination Realm! However, my first comment as the movie opened was, the color is gone. I did miss the vibrancy that the animation delivers. I missed the personality the characters are allowed by not having to adhere to the realistic characteristics of a real animal. I wanted to see the animal pyramid as Simba sang, I Just Can’t Wait to Be King. For this, I give the aesthetic 6. Great job to production but it wasn’t worth the trade off for me.

As for the content, I was pleased the remake was almost line for line of the original. Almost! While they only made very few changes, the changes they did make were personally huge for me as they were some of my favorite parts. I loved hating the hyenas, they were dumb and funny. Losing the scene where they repeated Mufasa’s name hurt. I was waiting to see how they would look and if the scene would be as funny. Rakiki realizing Simba was alive was also lackluster. I could forgive those alterations, unforgivable though was losing Timon’s hula distraction. The song and scene is easily top 5 funniest moments of The Lion King. I get how difficult it would have been to deliver the dance and movements and that animals don’t actually move that way and the goal was realism, but I didn’t care! I laugh in the face of logical! As such, this results in a 6 for the overall content. Now I will say that I couldn’t stop smiling during the Can You Feel The Love Tonight scene. It was beautifully done and captured the original vibe.

Three things that were pleasing overall, the return of James Earl Jones as the voice of Mufasa, they didn’t over reach with Beyoncé as Nala and the singing was amazing throughout!

Overall, because it was an absolute memory made and despite losing some of my favorite scenes, I give The Lion King 2019 an 8.

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