Disney’s The Lion King was my childhood ever since it was first released in 1994, and this year’s remake is a near-perfect tribute in just about every way. I said to Mom and McKenna, “This hits me in the childhood”, and it couldn’t be more true.
The CGI animals combined with the breathtaking live-action shots of the African savannah (some locations were CGI for sure) alone were stunning to see, especially in the opening sequence which perfectly mirrored the cartoon, frame by frame. I was almost moved to tears, seeing my favorite childhood movie brought to life. The dialogue and the music were also taken right from the original, which I, personally, really appreciated. This adaptation was, in a word, faithful.
We heard some negative reviews before going to see this but after seeing it, I declare that those reviews are, in a word, wrong! I could find little to no fault with it, neither with the casting nor with the characters’ roles, such as Nala being given an apparently-stronger role compared to Simba. Personally, it didn’t seem that way to me, AND, in the wild, the females in a pride actually do more of the work such as hunting and cub-rearing. Also, you can’t go wrong with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa!
I must also point out that the animals themselves do match the look of the cartoon but that is because this is a live-action remake, and as such, the animals are made to look as real as possible. The color in the lions’ manes and of Timon and Pumba are not red, but naturally-colored. This I also actually liked about the movie and the characters.
All in all, this year’s remake of The Lion King is a remarkably stunning and faithful adaptation of the 1994 original cartoon film. The locations were breathtaking, real and CGI, the story was spot on, perhaps improved in some ways, and the voice casting, contrary to numerous reviews, fit the characters very well in my opinion. My advice? Go see for yourself. You be the judge. Yet I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. Hakuna Matata!