I remember in 1994 when I saw this movie in theaters, going into the theater while the rest of my family went and saw “Toy Story”. I can recall what it felt like when the first notes of “Circle of Life” played. When we were first introduced to Simba before the title screen came on. Most of you are going to remember how you felt through all the songs. I watched in amazement, I owned the VHS (dating myself). I remember buying the DVD, wanting to get the Blu-ray. I remember how mad I was when they introduced the new song by Zazu (Morning Report).
So let’s fast forward 25 years, as I went and saw the remake of “The Lion King”. As far as the actors that were chosen, I did not have any issues with except for Beyonce. Disney needed to add another big name and they got the Queen B herself, but she had like ten lines in the movie. I will have to say I enjoyed the duet between her and Donald Glover (In The Air Tonight).
I felt some parts of the movie were drawn out way too much, and other parts of the movie (that were significant) were rushed. The movie itself checked all the boxes, you knew when the songs and probably knew all the words. However, the slaughter of one of my favorite Lion King songs was unacceptable. “Be Prepared” was spoken as a speech, and it was a nice change, however the emotion behind the song was not the same and the did not have the same feeling.
I was looking to get more connected with the characters overall, but only found myself liking Timon and Pumbaa. Honestly when they sang “Hakuna Matata” and “In The Jungle” I found myself attached again to the film.
I do not want to sound like a downer on the film. The iconic moments of the film were kept frame by frame. From the opening to the fall of the King, each scene was kept frame by frame. James Earl Jones does an amazing job (once again) as Mufasa.
Overall though I gave the movie 7.25 out of 10, the movie overall was missing that connection. It could have been I put too much expectations on the movie itself. Maybe if I had scaled back my expectations I would have liked it more. This movie was a staple in my childhood, and I wanted to feel like i got taken back there. Instead I felt like I was let down.