The Lion King ★★★★½

There are undoubtedly those who consider the original 1994 version of The Lion King sacred and would refuse to see this new version as a result. However, it is probably best to view this new version of The Lion King as a modern upgrade than a full-on remake. Even though the film does essentially retell the story shot-for-shot, the film is not a carbon copy of the original, as the story is somewhat expanded, resulting in the film being a full half-hour longer than the animated film. Then there are the scene-stealing performances by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, who utilized a lot of improv in their voice work, which results in some very funny comic-relief moments.

Ultimately, if there is a reason to see this new version of The Lion King, it is to see the very impressive photorealistic visuals. While there are a few instances of the mouths not moving quite right, The Lion King is probably one of the most stunning films I’ve seen this year. Along with the score by Hans Zimmer and the songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, the film hits all the right emotional notes. While the original animated film will always be there for people to enjoy, this new version of The Lion King greatly succeeds in updated the film, without taking away what makes the story special.