Movies & TV

Movie Review: “The Lion King”, A Stunning Modern Remake Of A Classic Tale

The Lion King: CGI magic

“Hakuna Matata! It means no worries.”

In case you haven’t noticed, Disney has been busy reviving their most popular animated classics with live action remakes. From Cinderella’s iconic blue dress to Aladdin’s magic lamp, our childhood fairy tales have been coming life on the big screen once again. However, one remake in particular has fans on the edge of their seats: The Lion King.

The Lion King follows Simba (JD McCrary & Donald Glover), a young cub who is heir to the Pride Land throne. Simba and his father Mufasa (James Earl Jones) have a loving relationship as the cub prepares to rule his father’s kingdom. But Mufasa’s brother, Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), has other plans in mind.

After murdering Mufasa, Scar makes poor little Simba believe that he is the culprit. The cub shamefully flees to a faraway land. One day, Simba must summon the courage to return home and rightfully claim the throne.

Released as an animated musical, The Lion King originally came out 25 years ago. Almost reaching a worldwide gross of $1 billion, it still remains in the top 50 highest grossing films of all time. But with Disney’s new cutting-edge technology, will its remake outshine the original?

via Walt Disney Pictures

Here’s The Rundown


Don’t expect any drastic changes to the storyline. In fact, many critics believe that the remake flops in the character and storytelling department. But let’s be real. Where Disney lacks with innovating the story, they make up for with CGI technology. Did you know that in the entire movie only one shoot was filmed? The rest of it was created entirely using virtual reality!

According to WIRED, “all the locations you know from the original—Pride Rock, the elephant graveyard, Rafiki’s Ancient Tree—exist, but not as practical sets or files confined to an animator’s computer. They live inside a kind of filmmaking video­game as 360-degree virtual environments, full of digitized animals, around which Favreau and his crew could roam.”

The Lion King: CGI magic

via Walt Disney Pictures

Unlike the original, Disney’s upcoming Mulan remake reportedly isn’t going to be a musical. But fear not! This is absolutely not the case for The Lion King. If you’ve watched the original animated version you know how iconic the soundtrack is for the film. The Lion King isn’t complete without  Hakuna Matata and The Circle of Life.

With vocal powerhouses Beyoncé and Donald Glover, be prepared to be blown away by their duet of Can You Feel The Love Tonight. Beyonce also released Spirit, the first song from her upcoming album. Fans are already speculating that the star is prepared to win an Oscar for her performance.

The Cast: 

Get ready to hear some familiar voices. Donald Glover (aka. Childish Gambino) is the voice behind Simba. Meanwhile, the one and only Beyoncé voices Nala, Simba’s childhood friend.

Let’s not forget to mention the comedians behind the hilarious meerkat and warthog duo. Seth Rogan takes on the role of Pumbaa. On the other hand, Billy Eichner voices his furry sidekick, Timon.

But wait! There’s more! John Oliver’s recognizable voice is also in the film. He is behind Zazu, the red-horned bill who serves the royal lion family. Just like the 1994 original, James Earl Jones’ deep and soothing voice is behind Mufasa.

Although the cast has many familiar voices, this is the first Disney live-action remake that has absolutely no human faces. As realistic as the animations look, viewers may feel a bit disconnected with the characters. Vanity Fair says that there is a “strangeness of hearing animals emote vocally when their faces are pretty much limited to moving mouths and blinking eyes—no eyebrow action, no subtlety, no liveliness.”

Watch The Lion King’s Official Trailer Here:


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