The Lion King

The Lion King ★½

Yikes. I really wanted to like this. I went into the theater with wishful thinking, rather than going in with the mindset of wanting to hate it. But unfortunately, it turned out to be so much worse than I ever could’ve imagined. 

Unlike most people, I didn't grow up with the original and don’t really have a strong love for it like most people seem to have, so maybe that’s why this remake just didn’t connect with me at all. I found it to be a completely pointless remake, not adding anything worthy to the already solid story from the original. It’s really a shame. What could’ve been a brilliant reimagining of a beloved classic, turns out to be a safe cash-grab that loses everything that made the original so special to many people. I will admit, however, that this film is a monumental technical achievement. Everything is immensely detailed to achieve the photo realism that Disney wanted and it’s quite impressive to watch on the big screen. However, the story is quite lacking. It follows the story of the original so closely that you come to expect the same levels of emotion and awe that you got from the original, but because of the “photo realism” you’re not able to achieve that level of beauty or emotion. I think what made the original so special was that it was a magical experience in which kids were able witness the beauty of nature, so when you strip away that magic and that beauty from the environments and the characters, you’re left with a bare bones film that doesn’t achieve much at all: leaving me bored out of my mind. The character models don’t emote anything at all, making every scene in which they express emotions look completely unnatural. The musical sequences are strange to watch and feel extremely forced. It almost felt like Favreau’s orignal vision was to make a drama that included none of the music and Disney forced him to include it, so he just shoe-horned those sequences in: that’s definitely not the case, but it just felt that way to me. Even with talented musicians/actors such as Donald Glover and Beyoncé, I still felt nothing.

In the end, Jon Favreau’s The Lion King is a lifeless, pointless remake that suffers the fate of the other 2019 Disney live action remakes, which really sucks cause I thought this one might be the one to actually achieve something new. For now, the only plausible explanation as to why this was made, was for Disney to make heaps of cash and, sadly, they’re going to get their way. But hey, at least I got to hear Seth Rogen as a warthog.

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