That Nomad Shad – Disney’s The Lion King is arguably one of Disney’s most beloved films of all time. Its successor was destined to have a tough time living up to the expectations of a generation. While the film might not replicate the exact magic of its predecessor, it does an amazing job of getting the audience feeling nostalgic. It’s a near shot-for-shot replication of the original, which if nothing else will remind you what made the original great.
Jon Favreau’s take on the Disney classic is a stunning visual feast. The photorealistic animation is jaw-dropping, I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone confused this for a BBC nature documentary. The Pride Lands feels like a place one could visit; it’s a stunning feat of animation. It’s actually a little frightening to think how far visual effects have come in the past few years alone. The Battle for Pride Rock is a spectacular feat of animation and is on the rare instances I felt the remake surpasses its predecessor.
The film also cranks out some amazing performances with JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph as a young Simba and Nala respectively. Both actors bring a youth vigour necessary to their characters. However, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogan truly steal the show as Timon and Pumba. They truly capture the essence of the characters but also add their brand of nihilistic humour to the mix. Florence Kasumba, John Oliver, and Donald Glover also have to be praised for their work too.
The film is not without its flaws. Despite its groundbreaking visual, something is lost in the emotion of the characters. Be honest, did you think a lion had a wide range of expressions? This also limits the range that the actors are able to express themselves. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Scar is a prime example of this, Scar being more reserved and less boisterous than his Irons counterpart. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great performance, but it’s not the Scar we grew up remembering.
The music of the film is also great but still feels like a shadow compared to the original. Most of the musical scores are only slightly tweaked for this remake.
The Lion King is a great film, which doesn’t quite live up to the exceptional highs of its predecessor. Its great tragedy is that it will always be in the shadow of the original. Despite all odds, the film delivers a stirring visual extravaganza which will take you down memory lane.
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