” [Simba roars] “Review by Lewis Goodall
I’m going to do the same as I did with my Aladdin review and I’m not going to be comparing this to the original. I’m sporting this as it’s on entity which is super hard to do considering this film is pretty much identical to the original but I’m gonna do it. No comparisons, just solid opinions on this alone. So let’s get to it.
Everyone knows the story of Lion King but if you’re one of the 26 people in the world that doesn’t then the story goes a lil something like this. Mufussa (played by James Earl Jones who also played mufassa in the original, little fact for you there) is the king of everything the light touches, land and animals alike. His Son Simba (Played by JD McCrary when he’s and cub and Donald Glover when he’s older). Must learn the ways of being a king for when he takes over the throne. After Mufassa is murdered, Simba flees the kingdom to safety. From there Simba must learn responsibility and bravery as he discovers what it truly means to be king.
So this is the latest of the Disney live action remakes which as a concept is a major yawn. See my opinions about that in the Aladdin review. But as this is all animals which are all animated then it’s not so much a live action remake as it is just a patch for the original Lion King with a 4k update. Although saying that, the Animation was so incredible that I honestly couldn’t tell if something was animated or not, I even had trouble processing it when the animals were speaking to eachother. Its baffles me that computer animation is this good and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here. The Animators of this film deserve most of the credit to be able to create such a beautiful, lush African landscape and fill it with the animals that inhabit it with just the most insane amount of detail. At points I wasn’t sure if I was still watching the film or it switches over to an episode of ‘Planet Earth’. The whole film was stunning and seeing all the individual hairs on simbas cute little face rustle in the wind was just overwhelming. The animation is bitter sweet though as it’s actually brought about my biggest jip with the film, it was too real. W w w w what do you mean?? I hear no one ask. Yeah it was too real. They worked so hard to make them look like lions that it makes them lose character. This is me probably being racist but I honestly couldn’t tell the lions apart, apart from their voices. They had no facial expressions and it feels weird to look at the character not react the same as what they are saying which was kind of off putting. Also it was reeeeally strange when they were singing, that really freaked me out. Other than their faces the music and the singing was genuinely great and easy to bob along to, I felt everyone did a great job with the singing, but when you have Beyonce in the cast then the singing is bound to be above par.
The story itself is great and the performances of the characters were great as well. I honestly couldn’t single out anyone in the film for having a bad performance and I felt everyone did their part fantastically. Although I can single out the 2 that I felt were the best out of everyone. I really enjoyed Seth Rogan and Billy Eichner as the comic reliefs playing Timon and Pumba but my favourite comic relief was John Oliver who played Zazu. The kings winged royal advisor and his comedy timing was on point. The script itself wasnt too funny, alot of the humour was pretty forced but John Oliver did a fantastic job of turning lame jokes into a laugh. He was great but I feel the one who stole the show was Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. Mufassas evil brother, and you can tell he’s evil because he has the scar across his eye. Which also doesn’t make sense to me, is it a nickname? Was he born with the scar or did his parents just know he was going to get the scar? Either way the boy has a scar and the boy stole the show. He was incredible as Scar and playing the bad guy and I really felt like scar is one of the most evil bad guys in the whole Disney universe. Chiwetel really brought out my hatred towards the character with his performance and it was weirdly a pleasure whenever he was on scene, even though it was usually devious.
Overall this film I gorgeous, its probably the best and most realistic animation I have seen in a film and that itself is enough for me to recommend you go see this film. Everyones performances were great and the songs are just as catchy as ever to have you singing “THE LION SLEEPS TONIIIIIGHT” all the way home. But with the script having forced unhumourous humour and the animals faces not changing during the whole film (apart from raising their eyebrows), that does knock it down in my books because it was just wierd when Simba’s face stays the same. Neutral. whether it’s him laughing because he scared Zazu or when he’s sad and curling up to his dead dad.