The Lion King Review
Walt Disney Pictures
What’s It About?
A young lion, destined to become king, is forced to flee, while his evil uncle Scar assumes the throne.
Who’s In It?
Donald Glover (Community, Solo: A Star Wars Story, The Martian, Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Beyonce (Austin Powers In Goldmember, Dreamgirls, Obsessed)
Other notables include:
Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Bad Neighbors, & more recently Long Shot)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things, 12 Years A Slave, Doctor Strange)
James Earl Jones (Star Wars, Coming To America, The Lion King 1994)
Director: Jon Favreau (Elf, Iron Man 1-2, Chef, The Jungle Book)
The 1994 Lion King is a cherished piece of cinematic history – and rightly so. The song, the characters, the old school animation, the Shakespearean tragedy – it hits the spot on so many levels. So inevitably there is going to be trepidation from fans around the world at this latest Disney remake – following so soon after Aladdin, and more relevantly The Jungle Book.
Once again, they have entrusted this jewel in their crown to Jon Favreau, and once again he has delivered a sumptuous piece of cinema, which looks every inch as good as the much lauded Jungle Book.
Once again Favreau, and Disney, have gathered an incredible array of vocal talent to play the characters from Donald Glover, Beyonce, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogen and James Earl Jones (once more) – and unsurprisingly they do not disappoint although no one can perhaps have let the bitterness drip so beautifully from their mouths as Jeremy Irons’ Scar once did.
And finally, they have not really tinkered with the storyline. A song here and there, but in essence, this is a shot for shot remake which sees a young lion, destined for the crown forced to flee following a terrible tragedy and the evil machinations of his uncle Scar, who covets the crown for himself. So what’s not to love?
Well on paper, we should love it. And perhaps we would if this were the first time we were seeing it, but nostalgia certainly and perhaps the fact that it is lacking in any surprises (understandably) render this beautiful film nothing more than that. A shrug of the shoulders, and acceptance that it looks great, but this is immediately followed by the thought that it is no better than the original. And therein lies the problem, with the result that one is left wondering what the point was of remaking this classic?
In A Nutshell:
A wonderful, visual feast of a film, but will be knocked for it is a shot for shot retelling and therefore lack of originality.
Seth Rogen & Billy Eichner
Understandably, nothing has changed so there are virtually no surprises.