#REVIEW: “THE LION KING”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
This Remake of the 1994 Disney classic is a royal feast for the eyes.
Just like the original, young Simba (JD McCray) is set to follow in his father, Mufasa’s (James Earl Jones) footsteps and one day become King. This news doesn’t deliver kindly to Simba’s uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who hatches a plan to leave both of them defenceless in a stampede. After Simba survives, Scar makes him believe that his father’s death was his fault. The guilt is too much for the young lion cub and he runs away from his home, the Pridelands, abandoning the throne. It’s there that he meets his new best friends, Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen), who nurture Simba (Donald Glover), but will he be able to claim back what rightfully is his?
This is a shot-for-shot Remake, however that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with fresh new elements. Why ruin a winning recipe? Director Jon Favreau recreates these scenes and characters with a renewed vision. He uses cutting edge filmmaking technology to bring this timeless tale to a new generation of filmgoers. And for the fans of the Original, the gorgeous Cinematography and breathtakingly-real animals are worth the price of admission. Plus, you can never go wrong with that iconic Soundtrack and Score by Hans Zimmer.
Favreau knocks it out of the park with casting, particularly with the more comedic characters such as Timon, Pumbaa and Zazu. Eichner and Rogen make a hilarious pair as Timon and Pumbaa respectively and their voice work fit the characters perfectly. John Oliver moves his wings and soars as the all-seeing Zazu. Chiwetel Ejiofor nails Scar with frightening command and he makes him his own, as evil and scorned as ever. Then there is Glover and Beyoncé who both have amazing voices who help make those unforgettable songs sound new again, plus a new contribution from the latter, Spirit.
Fans of The Lion King will find plenty to take delight in and their hearts full with this Remake.
Walt Disney Studios Canada release THE LION KING Thursday, July 18, 2019.
Editor’s Note: Be mindful that some younger viewers should be prepared for some of the Film’s darker moments.