The Lion King is a musical adventure drama film directed and produced by Jon Favreau. The film is a photo-realistic animated remake of Disney’s The Lion King (1994). The film is based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but set in the kingdom of animals. The film follows Simba (JD McCrary and Donald Glover), a young lion, who runs away from his native land after his father, Mufasa (James Earl Jones), gets murdered by his uncle, Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor).
It is the second time, when Jon Favreau is directing Disney’s live-action film based on the animated original, after The Jungle Book (2016), which earned a lot of praises. But the major difference in these two films is that, in The Jungle Book, it had an actual human lead character, which helped in feeling for him and rooting for him. But in this film, there are no human characters which can exactly express their inner feelings, all the characters are animals, and as it is a live-action film, you can hear the voice actors and feel it but you may feel the disconnect of emotions on their faces (As a human being, we cannot say that what a particular animal is thinking or feeling, just by looking at their faces; It is our drawback). But still, the makers have succeeded in trying their best to remove that little disconnect.
When I went to watch this film, oh my god, more than half of the movie theater was full of kids; And it felt like childhood has just come back, it was a complete nostalgia. From start to the end, the film is beautifully shot, every scene was just so vibrant and real. And even more epic background score just elevated the overall experience. All the voice actors have done a great job, specifically, John Oliver as Zazu, Billy Eichner as Timon, and Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, have added the exact amount of humor to the story it needed. James Earl Jones as Mufasa has reprised his voice, his voice literally gave me goosebumps, it felt like the Darth Vader has reborn on screen in the form of The Lion King. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, the treacherous and menacing brother of Mufasa was able to frighten me once again with his terrific voice performance. The visual effects were outstanding, Disney is spending so much on producing these high standard CGI films. In the whole film, it never felt like I’m watching a CGI film.
The film is a remake, and story-wise, it is almost same as its original; I mean, It’s been 25 years that the original film got released, and there will be no chance that anyone hasn’t watched it yet. So, while watching this film, comparisons are going to happen with it’s original, there’s no escape from that. But, in my opinion, if you truly want to appreciate and see the efforts that the makers and the voice actors have put in to make it alive on screen, then you’ve to keep aside the original and enjoy this one. Surely, all those cartoony and funny moves are not possible in the live-action adaptation, I mean, this kind of film just can’t have that liberty to do the impossible and unreal things with the character. And I must say, without having that liberty, the creators have done a really good job of encompassing as much as they can from the original. This film is half an hour longer than the original one, and I can see that they’ve elaborated some of the scenes and tried to add some extra plot lines to the story and dialogues to make it a solid one.
Finally, this film is not about whether it lived up to the mark of its original or not, But I look at it as the excellent approach to the Disney’s classic with beautiful direction, stunning visual effects, great background score, and wonderful voice performances. And as it is remake the story is captivating as we already know it. Once again, the film was able to pull my emotional strings with its compelling father-son relationship story, the story of friendship, responsibility, and bravery.
Verdict : The film is a must watch for all the age groups. Just go for it, and enjoy the most out of your weekend.
Rating : 4/5
Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TavVZMewpY&t=1s