The Lion King

Animation Review

Folks, I just made the biggest mistake of watching “The Lion King” remake, which came out in July, and I will let everyone know how much I loathe this remake.

Disney continues to underwhelm with another botched remake of an animated classic, this time remaking the favorite 1994 classic, “The Lion King” in a CG adaptation just mainly focused on making life-like CGI animals that it forgets to do anything else of value in the runtime.

The remake faithfully retells the story of Simba, a young lion (JD McCrary) who is the son of Mufasa (James Earl Jones), the King of the Pride Lands. On planning to steal the authority, Simba’s uncle Scar, voiced by Chiwetel Ejiofor, kills Mufasa, and makes the cub believe that his father’s death was his own fault. Simba runs from Pride Rock, surviving an attack by Scar’s hyena minions (Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric Andre and J. Lee) before passing out in the middle of the desert. He is about to be eaten by vultures until he is rescued by meerkat Timon (Billy Eichner) and warthog Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) who becomes his friends.

However, his past comes back to him years later when he is a young adult, voiced by Donald Glover, forcing him to remember who he really is and take back his position as the rightful king of Pride Rock.

The story is still the same, as does many of the familiar scenes and the songs (however some of the memorable moments are furiously missing), but the remake fails to recapture the original’s timeless likeability.

Sameen Amer is right when she said in her review, “The animals, though incredibly realistic, lack the expressiveness and emotiveness of their traditionally animated counterparts. The storytelling no longer holds the same impact it did the first time around. The vibrancy and liveliness is gone, replaced by hollow retreading that leaves you yearning for original content instead of this endless string of remakes.”

The voice cast is completely forgettable. Glover and Beyonce Knowles-Carter (who voices the adult Nala, Simba’s love interest – Shahadi Wright Joseph voices her as a cub) – both great actors – are out of place here. John Oliver voices Zazu but he sounds exactly like John Oliver. Amer credited, “The only real exception is (surprisingly) the joyous duo of Eichner and Rogen who effortlessly steal the show, with their characters breathing life into an otherwise dull movie. Also, Jones is (unsurprisingly) impressive as he reprises his part and voices Mufasa majestically.” Alfre Woodard voices Sarabi and John Kani voices Rafiki.

Undeniably, the remake of “The Lion King” is going to make you want to watch the original over this mess. Amer ended her review by saying, rightfully so, “The film just feels like a soulless rehash of its predecessor and proves that no amount of technical wizardry can trump solid, affecting storytelling.”

I’m sorry, but nothing in this movie is going to make me like it. What was the purpose of remaking “The Lion King,” an already perfect movie? The voice cast didn’t act out the characters right, lines and scenes that were trimmed felt missed, scenes that were extended were superfluous, every animal had a blank, expressionless face throughout that you didn’t feel any emotion from them, even when the lines were said, the songs didn’t have that same feel like the original and they stole the first line of Be Our Guest from “Beauty and the Beast!!!” Why!?!?!? What were you thinking!?!?!? Also, what’s the reason for making this nearly two hours long when the original was only around the 90 minute mark and told the story much nicer than this one did!?!?!? If you love the original, like I do, seeing how it might be my most watched Disney movie growing up, avoid this remake at all cost. Seriously Disney, you need to stop with these awful remakes! What’s next? Live-action remakes of the direct-to-video sequels!? Come out with original ideas again!!!

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