REVIEW: THE LION KING (2019)

THE LION KING

“Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. While others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give.”

The Lion King is the newest Disney remake, and takes the beloved animation and turns it into what Disney calls “live-action.” Although that definition remains to be seen, The Lion King adheres to the original story of Simba, a young lion cub, who longs to become the king of Pride Rock. But after a horrific incident involving Simba’s father, Mufasa, Simba leaves his home, only to be called back in an effort to take his rightful place as king. It’s a mixed bag of people who actually wanted this movie to be remade into a more sophisticated looking film. But at the end of the day, what did Disney ultimately achieve by remaking this film, other than a huge profit?

If in 20 years nobody acknowledges this remake, let us at least give credit to the people who were behind the technical achievements of this film. The look of each and every one of the animals is absolutely amazing. You can’t deny that the film is aesthetically pleasing. However, it’s like a handsome guy that knows he’s handsome and wants to keep showing you pictures of himself. The life-like environment at the center of this film begins to take its toll as they throw the CGI animals at you every moment they can. That accounts for an overbearing amount of filler scenes, which have no purpose than for a film to toot its own horn. But more importantly, had this been any other film, these technical achievements would have won me over hands down. However, that wasn’t the case here. With a film like The Lion King, the story heavily relies on the emotions that each of the characters exemplifies. That’s where this movie went wrong. Because this newest remake wanted to take the animals and make them into something so lifelike, it strips away at the heart and soul behind each of these characters’ personalities. For instance, during a death of a character, one would think it would be a heartbreaking moment for the viewer, no matter how many times they saw that scene in the original animation. scar-the-lion-king-2019-eaBut watching it play out onscreen, I couldn’t help but snicker as the character’s fate befell them. Not only did this scene not tug at the heart strings, but it was taken shot for shot from the original.

Now I had heard that this film was a bit “copy and paste,” but I thought, how bad could it be. No… it’s almost literally a shot for shot remake. It’s appalling, and rather disrespectful to the viewer, at how little effort was put into this remake. There’s nothing that I can truly say that is positive for this film. I will say this, not everything was terrible about this film. But beyond some of the decent voice acting, it’s hard to overlook all the bad and appreciate the good. Basically, Disney’s love for remakes needs to slow down, or at least put some consideration into what classic animations warrant a needed live-action. For instance, next year’s Mulan looks good from the trailers. And although I might regret saying that once I see it, that film would do great with a live-action remake. But just because you have the ability to remake these animated classics, doesn’t mean that you should.

I found a lot wrong with the Aladdin remake, but after seeing The Lion King, I believe that Aladdin wasn’t anywhere near as bad. I don’t know what I expected from this Lion King remake. To be honest, I just wanted it to be good, like I’m sure so many of you did, too. But as I watched in the theater, I couldn’t help looking at my watch wondering how much longer this movie would be. We need to learn to just leave the good things be. The Lion King was boring and remained a hollow shell of what the original was. It’s clear that Disney has taken classic film after classic film and remade or rebooted them just so they can line their pockets with a lovely profit. But once the profit becomes stale, and only then, will Disney cease to stop flushing out these films in rapid misfire.

The Lion King

Directed by: Jon Favreau

Starring: Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, and James Earl Jones

Rating:

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