‘The Lion King’: Review

Disney’s “The Lion King” (2019)

I finally saw “The Lion King” last weekend and I have thoughts.

I honestly wasn’t prepared for how nostalgic I’d feel going into this movie, but the opening scene and the first note from “Circle of Life” made me feel a lot of things – mostly good. I had to hold back my 6-year-old self from jumping out of 20 something-year-old body and singing along to every word. It was nostalgia on steroids.

According to the internet, a lot of people were disappointed in this remake. This is confusing because if you enjoyed the animated movie, then in theory you should have enjoyed this one as well (because it’s literally the same scene for scene story except upgraded with voice appearances from BeyoncĂ©)

In theory.

I think that the group of movie goers who were disappointed were the ones that expected to feel the exact same childish giddiness they felt when they first watched “The Lion King” (1994). The thing is though, we aren’t kids anymore. The magic of Disney has fizzled out and we’re left wishing and hoping for a little bit of that magic to hit our veins when watching this remake. But that just wasn’t going to happen so we have to accept that and watch this new version with fresh eyes.

There was also some very criticism that the animals looked “too real”. This was a weird take because if we wanted them more animated we could just…watch the animated movie?

I agree that we should just skip the part of the matrix where we’re making live action films featuring talking animals because it absolutely just does not make sense, but we’re already here.

Once you’re past the fact that you will no longer experience this movie the same way you did in the 90s, you might actually like it. Billy Eichner and Seth Rogan were absolutely hilarious as Timon and Pumbaa, James Earl Jones voice acting was just as booming and God-like, and the music was great. Though the “Spirit” scene was a little odd and took me out of the movie for a second. I half expected Nala to break out in song.

Overall I thought the movie was good. Probably just as good as the first one, to be honest. There wasn’t much to critique from my point of view because it was felt like the same movie I’ve seen a bunch of times already.

What actually makes me like the 2019 version even more is Bey’s album to accompany the movie release, “The Gift”.

Pure gold.