Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Lion King Reigns Supreme

Superheroes aside, Disney’s live action remake of The Lion King is (to date) the best film of the year. It is pleasing to know that a film not populated with product placement can still entertain us – even if we already know the story. Director Jon Favreau no doubt used the original 1994 animated movie as the storyboard because the majority of this movie is a scene-for-scene remake.

The cinematography is gorgeous, filmed on location in Africa, with computer-generated characters so lifelike that the technicals would have been impressive if we had not seen the same special effects applied in Jungle Book (2016), also directed by Favreau. So flawless that to even seek defects in the computer animation is futile.

The story remains the same: A lion cub prince is tricked by a treacherous uncle into thinking he caused the death of his father, the king of the jungle, and flees into exile in despair. Running away from his problems and trying to forget the disastrous day proves fruitless when his past returns and in adulthood discovers the responsibilities of assuming the throne. Along the way he makes friends who were considered outcasts, finds love and seeks retribution. There are so many parables in this movie that every child can find a different moral... and that is what makes films like these worth watching.

The movie does contain a number of upgrades from Timon’s personality to the ever-familiar songs performed by today’s recording artists. A humorous tip-of-the-hat nod for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is so obvious that you cannot miss it. The big question, however, is whether a generation that grew up with the immortal story of the Circle of Life will bring their children along and whether a new generation discovers the wonder and beauty that is The Lion King. If you never saw the original movie, I recommend you check this new rendition out before it leaves the theater.

1 comment:

larry said...

It is an enjoyable movie but the animation is way too perfect and sterile.

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