Owen’s review published on Letterboxd:
This film was never going to work for general audiences. Unlike most classic Disney films, you can’t really fuck around with The Lion King. It’s too classic a story, too treasured an icon. The sad thing is that everyone is getting mad for nothing. Because in all honesty, I like this much more than the original. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s better. That’s right, I said it. Everyone is afraid to admit it, but the original has a lot of issues. And that’s okay, but I find it problematic that the hate train was so strong when the movie wasn’t even out yet. In this, the acting, pacing, dialogue, and script are all much better and refined. The movie flows better with that extra half hour added. Scar is more menacing. The ending is more satisfying. The plot feels more distinguished and believable. The only thing that isn’t as good are the songs, but they’re all so iconic that of course they wouldn’t be as great. But yeah, this movie was amazing and it felt so much like both a tribute and an incredible epic stand-alone in its own right. A literal mesmerizing spectacle.