Toot and I had the pleasure of seeing The Lion King this past Friday together. I was truly anticipating witnessing one of my favorite Disney animated films come to life on the big screen.
My expectations were high with such an amazing cast and the beautiful images from the film trailers.
We got a small popcorn and a small drink, took our seats in the large, reclining seats of the Regal Cinemas and prepared to be blown away by the most anticipated Disney film of the year.
There is no taking away that this film is beautifully created. Jon Favreau, who also worked on the recent adaptation of the Jungle Book, blew me away with his work on The Lion King.
You could not tell me, the animals in this film weren’t real, that’s how good it was. The landscapes were incredible and were true to Kenya.
To some fault, the characters look so real, that it does seem to take away from the emotion of some of the scenes. There are no facial expressions really and when they are belting musical notes, it looks like they have their mouths wide open for no reason. But this was a super small thing that didn’t take away from the movie in its entirety.
The beautiful images of this movie outshine everything else, in my opinion.
Prepare for all the nostalgic feels throughout this film. The musical score was familiar and fun. Much of the theatrical score remained true to the original and there were a few additions that fit in perfectly.
Danny Glover and Beyonce’s rendition of Can You Feel the Love Tonight was mesmerizing, although the scene fell flat on screen; which leads me to my next point.
Please don’t come for me, Beyhive, but Beyonce’s voice acting did not come across powerfully enough on screen as I had hoped. Nala, in the original production, exemplified grace and phenomenal strength. I wasn’t getting those vibes from the recent film with this character.
Danny Glover portrayed the “lost” Simba as a worry-free lion running from his past. I think he did an excellent job, but it were the other characters who made the most impact, in my opinion.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar was undoubtedly one of the best. I felt his jealousy and rage clearly. I also enjoyed the other tidbits of his story that were brought out in this version. I won’t give those away!
Young Nala and Simba, Shahadi Wright Joseph and JD McCrary, did amazing, JD’s voice is beautiful! I Just Can’t Wait to Be King was one of my favorite songs.
Hands down, Timon and Pumbaa together were incomparable. Their dynamic was so fun and gave the movie the comedy we loved most about the original characters. Portrayed by Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner, they were given much more creative freedom than their fellow cast members, and it shows. They were fresh, fun, and were in some of my favorite scenes. There’s an easter egg from another Disney film that was super fun. Let me know if you catch it!
The hyenas! Although slightly different from the orginial, the collaborative effort of Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, and Eric André paid off well.
It was amazing to have James Earl Jones return to be Mufasa one final time. He and Alfred Woodard as Sarabi were enjoyable and beautiful on screen.
There were some other fun voices, one being Chance the Rapper. I wonder if you can pick out which character he is. I also love Rafiki and all the African vibes that came along with his character.
The Lion King is a beautiful movie that brought me back to my childhood and I was so grateful to share that moment with my son who now wants all the Lion King toys possible.
Overall, I was pleased with how well the film came together. The scenes and most of the dialogue stuck to the original. Almost makes you wonder what was the point?
I look forward to watching it again with my children for years to come, much like I did with my mom growing up.
If you’ve seen it, what did you think? Would you watch it again?