After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.
The King Has Returned.
I really didn’t give a fuck about this remake. I’ve never been the most die-hard Disney fan anyway and The Lion King wasn’t one of my favourites. When it was announced, I didn’t feel excited and would happily have skipped it. However, my husband is obsessed with the original and well, the things we do for love.
I’m glad we did. For a moment there I was almost relegated to a different row, he was so worried I’d ruin it with my negative reaction. But I enjoyed myself, honestly and was very well-behaved.
The film is beautiful, I’d be lion if I said otherwise. The attention to detail is stunning, with lots of fun little side characters peppered throughout. The first half of the movie, in fact was delightful. Baby Simba is a peach and you’d have to be inhuman not to be moved a) by James Earl Jones‘ treacle toffee voice and b) the father/son relationship. It’s even more bittersweet as we all know what’s coming.
I cried a lot, even before ‘that scene’ which I expected to do, I’m a big baby. But I didn’t expect to be as affected. When I was a kid I had a genuine internal worry that I wasn’t ‘normal’ because my heartstrings never seemed to react in the way Disney wanted them to.
For me it started to unravel as soon as we meet grown up Simba (Glover). I’m not crazy about the voice choices for him or for adult Nala (Bey) – both artists I like, particularly Glove – and I hated their songs. Their rendition of Can You Feel the Love to Night is dreadful. Thank God for the genius of Timon and Pumbaa (Billy Eichner and Seth Rogan) then. Rogan was born to play this role and everybody’s favourite characters really shine together. They also get the best songs.
Meanwhile, Rafiki and Scar are also very good. The latter in particular seems even more menacing and his hyena army are terrifying. I felt myself sympathising with Scar toward the end which is odd as there really is no good in him. Perhaps it’s just the concept of a sad, old lion being exiled from the pride that is hard to deal with.
All in all I had fun. I enjoyed it more than Beauty & the Beast and The Jungle Book. Lots of people have been mean about the lack of facial expressions on the animals and I get it, though what do you expect? If you make something realistic, you can’t then expect it to react like the cartoon does. Duh.
Look, we don’t really need any of these movies remade but who am I to begrudge super fans more time with their faves? God knows we need as much joy and happiness as we can get in this confusing world.