Naaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh silvayahhhhhhhhhh, babbbaaa nee saaaahh ya yaaahhhh!!! Do you know how awesome it was to hear that in the theater again!
I saw the original animated classic on the big screen in New York when it was released in 94, so of course I was in for this revision. Although this version didn’t hit me the same way the original did, it was satisfying, like the grub Simba ate. For me, the best part of the film was the CGI. Everything looked amazing. Very pleasing to the eyes. The attention to detail is wonderfully on point. The animals looked real, and the recreation of Pride Rock was quite the spectacle. The opening scene wowed me. Rafiki presenting Simba to the kingdom once again put a smile on my face. I was singing “The Circle of Life” in my head, while tapping my foot. I had to! I love that song. As far as the story goes, it’s pretty much the same as the cartoon, but there are some slight changes here and there. A few of those changes gave the some of the characters added depth. I was comparing and contrasting while the movie was going, and for the most part, I didn’t mind the differences. I was so glad that James Earl Jones reprised his role as Mufasa. NOBODY else can voice Mufasa, and that’s that! Seeing him die again was very emotional! I didn’t cry, but darn you Scar! DARN YOU! Speaking of Scar, it would have been great to hear Jeremy Irons again, but Chiwetel Ejiofor was a nice casting choice. Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and John Oliver as Zazu were perfect in my opinion. Their voices are fitting for those characters. I’ve been seeing numerous complaints about Beyonce voicing adult Nala, even to the point of a meme saying she “ruined” Lion King, but I can’t get down with that. I’ll tell you who I didn’t like though. I was NOT feeling Donald Glover as adult Simba. His voice was off, and it didn’t sound right to me. Most of the songs sounded good, but Glover and Beyonce singing “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” put a frown on my face. Big time woof! Yes, I was singing along, but I was not happy! Elton John….should have been you!!! Okay I’ll stop ranting now. Another area that was well done was showing the mannerisms of the animals, and even insects. The production most definitely got the lions and hyenas down pat. The hyenas were more scary and less comic relief in this version. I liked that aspect.
My recommendation is to go see The Lion King. I saw it in Dolby presentation, which was nice because it brings out the visuals and the music, but I’m not saying you should see this in a premium format. I’m torn on recommending spending that extra money because the story probably won’t blow you away, especially if you came up with the original version. Your eyes won’t be disappointed if you decide to go with IMAX, Dolby, RPX, etc etc. It was a nice piece of nostalgia for me, and enjoyable for a family outing to the movies. I loved how 2019 Pride Rock got saved by a turd. A literal turd!