The Lion King – A Movie Review

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MV5BMjIwMjE1Nzc4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDg4OTA1NzM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_The voice cast is amazing. The music remains some of the best ever composed for an animated film. The story continues to be compelling.

Why are many so worked up about The Lion King.

After hearing the mantra of “who was asking for this movie” on Solo: A Star Wars Story, I wondered why many care so much. My theory: if you do not want to see a movie, do not see it. Why some seem to get personally offended by this kind of thing is very, very far beyond me.

2019’s The Lion King is a perfectly charming return to the 1994 original. While it is not a beat-for-beat recreation of the classic, it hews very closely to the source material which results in a comfortable, easy experience. The movie is not a revelation. It doesn’t uncover a ton of new ground. Rather it puts one at ease as it entertains. That seems just fine to me.

The cast (no one save James Earl Jones is a holdover from the original) brings gravitas and star power to their work. Billy Eichner and John Oliver are particularly good in their roles as Zazu and Timon, respectively and, while Chiwetel Ejiofor cannot sing a lick, his Scar is an impressive creation. Beyonce and Donald Glover are wonderful as the adult Nala and Simba and the new song Beyonce composed for the film fits seamlessly into the narrative.

Some of the themes are a bit updated and the circle of life gets a visual shout out in a new scene that illustrates the power of the life cycle. Director Jon Favreau knows what he is going for and he pulls it off.   

Much more appealing, to this viewer anyway, than a re-release of the original would have been, The Lion King took me back to a place and time in my life decades past while charming me with new images and energy and a new interpretation of the story.

I am still trying to figure out what is wrong with that. 

THE LION KING receives THREE PASSING CRAZES out of a possible FIVE

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