The Lion King (2019)
PG | 1h 58min | Animation, Adventure, Drama | 19 July 2019 (USA)
Synopsis: After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.
Review: I need to start by saying that I have seen the original, animated version of The Lion King once. Though a powerful story I was not so over the moon about the new version. I was in the camp of, “why do we need it?”. After seeing it on the big screen I have not packed up and moved camp. I am still not sure that we needed this new rendition even though it is a beautiful film. Director Jon Favreau brought us a masterpiece for sure.
Luckily I saw it with my wife who, unlike me, has seen the original enough to quote it. She was able to explain to me that other than maybe 3 or 4 lines – and the original Beyonce song – this one follows the original script step by step. So fans will appreciate that they can share the power of the story on the big screen with new family members or relive it again. Of all the Disney films The Lion King has one of the most compelling and inspirational stories. Having the lines delivered by a-list actors through the most lifelike and beautiful animals does elevate the emotion.
There are so many awww moments when the young lion club frolics around. The drama of Mufasa and the remainder of the story is engaging even more so thanks to the cinematography and breath taking scenery. It is not a slight to the original cast to say that the new voices are recognizable and bring a fresh and relevant layer to the characters. Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen, and Chiwetel Ejiofor lead the pack. It goes without saying that no one could voice Mufasa like James Earl Jones so having him back in this version was such a smart choice.
Bottom line is that there is nothing wrong with this one and fans of the original need to see this on the big screen. There is nothing new but that is a good thing. It is a beautiful film and even a must for non-fans like me. I am glad I made the choice to see it.