Flash Movie Review: The Lion King

UP UNTIL I SAW THE MOVIE Bambi, the only characters that would perish in an animated picture were the evil ones. The evil queen, the wicked witch; none of the “bad” characters in those animated films went unpunished for their awful actions. Even Cruella DeVil got her comeuppance for what she did to those innocent puppies. When I watched Bambi, I was traumatized by what happened to the mother. I understood death, but I had not been exposed to it on a personal level. Suddenly it was thrust upon me in an unexpected way, an animated movie where an innocent relative does not survive; it was an awful experience for me. I wanted to take in Bambi, so he would not be alone. In fact, I remember feeling angry towards the movie studio for allowing such a thing to happen. In my mind, innocent people were not supposed to get hurt or die; I believed it was a written rule. Little did I know that my introduction to the film Bambi would only be a prelude to what happens everyday in the real world. I guess that is why I am more attracted to fantasy and movies.      SPOILER ALERT: YEARS LATER ANOTHER ANIMATED FILM COMES along where a tragedy befalls the parent of a main character. I at least was better equipped to handle this when I saw the original film of, The Lion King. In the context of the story, there were similarities between it and Bambi. What softened the blow in my opinion were the various musical numbers and the endearing, emotional depth given to the characters. I think a person would be hard pressed not to react to the characters in the movie. From that movie a new industry was created or at least it was new to me. Sitting in a theater, the lights go down and the orchestra begins the familiar notes from the soundtrack; I was immediately brought into their world when part of the cast of the staged version of The Lion King walk down the aisle towards the stage. With the imaginative and colorful costumes, myself and the audience were in awe. The staged show began on Broadway in 1997 and I believe it is still running today. Suffice it to say, it would be a challenge for any movie studio to do something that would top the memories and experiences viewers and theater goers would already have towards this story. However, do not let that stop you if you are curious to see the latest version of a much beloved story.      WITHOUT THE GUIDANCE OF HIS PARENTS Simba, voiced by Donald Glover (The Martian, Solo: A Star Wars Story), must learn for himself what it means to become a king. With Beyonce (Dreamgirls, Obsessed) voicing Nala, Seth Rogen (Long Shot, The Disaster Artist) voicing Pumbaa, Billy Eichner (Most Likely to Murder, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) voicing Timon and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things, 12 Years a Slave) voicing Scar; this animated, adventure drama was visually startling to me. I kept questioning myself on whether some of the animals were real or not. The CGI was utterly amazing to the point I felt I was on an African Safari. Now for the substance behind those visuals, the writers stayed close to the original story with only a few minor tweaks. However, what they forgot to do was keep the endearing emotional quality to the characters. Based on the way the characters acted there was not much variance to their emotional output. The script paled in comparison to the technical quality of this picture. I also was distracted by the musical soundtrack; not the individual songs, but the background music was too over dramatic. One of the bright spots was listening to Seth and Billy with their verbal exchanges. If the script would have been better written I think this would have been a stellar production; instead, I felt I had gone to the zoo during the nap times for some of my favorite animals.

 

2 ½ stars         

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About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on July 22, 2019, in Fantasy/Sci-Fi and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I know exactly what you’re saying even though I’ve not seen the film but only it’s trailers. Thanks!

  2. Even though I despite that Disney movie now, I was glad you weren’t a sycophant about everything. It’s a shame that Disney still hasn’t owned up to plagiarizing Kimba the White Lion and for not dropping the Hakuna Matata trademark. I used to like that movie as a kid, but that controversy and the racist implications of the hyenas made me uncomfortable.

    • Thank you for stopping by to leave your comments and I understand where you are coming from. I wish the movie studio would start doing some original content.

      • No problem. Thanks for seeing some of my thoughts. I used to like The Lion King when I was a child, but getting older I saw how there were problematic elements with the hyenas and discovering Kimba the White Lion was certainly made me not look at that movie franchise the same again.

        Same and I wish Hollywood would come up with more original stuff. Disney isn’t the only one guilty. Inception ripped off the plot and scenes from Paprika and you have The Hunger Games stealing from Battle Royale to name a few.

  3. I really dislike this movie , like borderline hate it. I mean I really admire the technology and it looks stunning, though that is to me also its biggest flaw. I felt like watching one of those 90’s shows where people dub over animal videos. It works but it isnt that powerful.
    What really hurts it though that there is a much better version to watch. Where Alladin, and Beauty etc at least tried some tiny spins, this feels like a duplicate to me and I can’t help but to feel like I am checking out , a technical mircacle , bootleg. With Kimba being out there as well.. a bootleg of 2 classics it can’t match anywhere.

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