Thoughts on The Lion King

I saw the Lion King on Monday and I thought I would share a few thoughts about it, a little bit of a review.

Right I am gonna start out with saying that I have read other reviews since I saw the film, so some of the ways of putting into words what I am feeling are highly influenced by those, I am trying to be as original as possible, but there is a good chance I will word it similar to those.

First off the bad stuff, I like to finish these things on a high, especially as The Lion King is one of my favourite Disney films.

The length, it’s just a touch too long, the original source material, is rather barebones, there’s not a lot to it, but in the original, that works, because it’s very compact and well timed. But in this the thinness of the material is laid bare because it’s been stretched out a bit too much.

Beyoncé’s singing style, I will be honest, just doesn’t suit the film, she is an incredibly talented singer, but her warbley style just doesn’t fit anything else and it stands out badly. Donald Glover has adjusted his singing style to be closer to the original and you can tell, but Beyoncé just sings like Beyoncé.

I am not keen on some of the changes to the story they made, Be Prepared is one of my all time favourite Disney songs, and they utterly butchered it, that really made me upset.

And the loss of the line “they call me Mr Pig” is a miss, but I get why they took that out, my parents would have got that reference, but I guess fewer people in my generation would, which is a shame as In The Heat Of The Night is a classic. But replacing it with an anti-bullying message is pretty good.

Also the hyenas are poorly served, they have had a lot of their lines cut and don’t stand out at all, which is a shame because they have some great actors in the roles, just criminally underused.

Also James Earl Jones, well his voice just doesn’t have the same power as it did in the original, it’s feels more fragile, and I guess given his age this is inevitable, but given his performance in Rogue One just a few years ago, the decline in power is worrying.

Ok so what’s good then, well the actual CGI and animation is incredible, it’s so realistic you could be forgiven for thinking that these lions are actually talking, it’s simply mind blowing.

Some changes to the story make a lot of sense, like the way Scar leads Simba to the gorge, the explanation of his taking him there is a lot better.

The casting is amazing, not one choice is bad and they all make the roles their own rather than trying to imitate the original actors, Donald Glover stands out as per usual and Seth Rogan and Billy Eichner are amazing together, I would love to see them team up in more stuff.

The music itself is great other than Be Prepared and really gets the nostalgia pumping.

Overall, I am gonna give the film 6 out of 10, as I said I love the original, but this feels almost soulless and doesn’t stand on its own feet.

It just feels like it was done for the sake of it, rather than for any real passion, which is a shame because the amazing cast deserved better.

I came out of the cinema, and I didn’t feel the same joy as I felt with the original, it doesn’t spoil the original for me, but it’s a film of wasted potential.

Anyway, I saw it with Megan, Lindsay and Paul at the Odeon Gallery in the Metrocentre, which is always a treat for the nachos, popcorn and drinks which are unlimited and the very nice seat, and thanks to both me and Paul having CEA cards it only cost us £8.88 each!