Remaking memories is what Disney has been trying to do with the last few films that have come to movie theaters. While some have been successful in making that transition, like the “Jungle Book” and “Aladdin,” other films have not been so successful. They are a shadow of what they once were, like the latest version of “The Lion King.”
As in the previous version, “The Lion King” tells the story of Simba, a lion cub who is set to become next king. His uncle Scar murders his father, Mufasa. Simba is then tricked into thinking he is responsible for his father’s death and flees the kingdom. For a while, Simba can escape his past but soon he is required to make a choice. He has to confront his uncle or live in denial for the rest of his life.
Watching the story unfold on screen, it seemed that something was missing from the narrative and, at times, it felt empty. The actors providing the voice for these characters were saying the right words. The scenes were replicated shot for shot. The computer animation was stunning and seeing realistic lions and other animals come to life was incredible.
However, computer-generated effects don’t make up for a story. The filmmakers could not replicate the heart and magic of the original animated movie. I think the animated film will still be the version people will pick to watch and the live-action version will fade away over time. There is something to be said about animation. While it is popular to do CGI films, animation is an art form that is being forgotten, which is a tragedy. It needs to be used more often.
This latter version of “The Lion King” is not a film I would take my nephews or niece to see because I think that it would frighten them because of the realistic depiction of Mufasa’s death and the fight between the lions and the hyenas. While the animated version shows these scenes, they’re toned down significantly.
This movie is also a sign of a more significant problem that continues to grow in the film industry, which is laziness. Rather than take the time to create something unique, studios are digging through their archives. They take successes from their past hoping that, with a few revisions, they will have a win at the box office. I would rather see something new than a reimagined version of history.
“The Lion King” will entertain you but it is like having a box of bran flakes cereal for breakfast. It will give you nourishment and keep hunger at bay but it is nothing exciting. I give “The Lion King” six and a half stars out of 10. It is rated PG for sequences of violence and peril, and some thematic elements. The film runs for 118 minutes.
For more information about “The Lion King,” go to its website at www.movies.disney.com/the-lion-king-2019.