Lion King 2019 Review: A Faithful Remake That Delivers

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Have you been working on your roar? You will want to after you have gone to see The Lion King. I must start this review right off the bat that it is an exceptionally well done, faithful adaptation of the animated movie that we all grew up on.

Scenery

After watching the movie I have to ask why any film cannot successfully create as beautiful of a picture as Lion King has. The graphics in this film were unlike anything I’ve seen. Leaving the theater I heard someone say it was like watching the discovery channel. And they were right. Everything looked so real. So beautiful. From the landscape to the animals themselves. Great care was taken to make sure that each animal behaved essentially how they would in real life. From the lions bumping each other to Timon sifting through Simba’s hair each time he pounced on him.

Side note: Simba and Nala were so cute as cubs; I literally wanted to squeeze them. As well as baby Pumbaa and the baby cheetahs.

Music

Before I really get into the review, I also have to touch upon the music. Because it’s the first thing we experience in the movie. The soundtrack was exceptionally done. I think I literally teared up during the opening act. I really enjoyed being able to recognize each song and loved the way each one was sung. If I had to throw out one or two criticisms it was that “Be Prepared” didn’t strike me as powerful as it did in the animated series. And the film didn’t necessarily need Beyonce’s original song. It was fine and didn’t take away from anything, but it was also not needed.

Review

If you’ve seen the animated cartoon, you know the story of Lion King. As I said before, it’s a faithful adaptation. It followed the storyline of the original movie. Perhaps because this was “live-action” you didn’t get as much emotion from the facial features as you had in the cartoon, but the voice acting made up for it. I really have to say that everyone gave a wonderful performance.

As a side note, I have to say that I was getting some serious Loki vibes from the story here. Saying father is dead and mother is ashamed just to banish you and take the throne for yourself? Loki certainly took some pointers from Scar.

I also have to revisit and see if Rafiki is in the original as little as he was in this one. I would have liked to see more as his and Simba’s relationship is a vital one.

If you were concerned if seeing this movie in live-action format would have a negative impact, have no fears. If you’re wondering if it’s a shot for shot remake and there’s no point to seeing it, have no fear. Or should I say Hakuna Matata? That brings me to say that some of the best aspects of this movie are Timon and Pumpaa. Billy Eicher and Seth Rogan’s performances had me crying from how hilarious they were. Absolutely fantastic. And please tell me you catch that Easter Egg that involves another popular Disney film.

JD McCrary voiced young Simba and Donald Glover voiced the adult Simba. Both did wonderful jobs in driving the emotions home. As for Scar (voiced by Chiwetel Ejiofor) and the hyenas, they were absolutely terrifying. I have to give a shout out to Florence Kasumba, who voiced the hyena Shenzi.

Of course, it was wonderful having James Earl Jones back as Mufasa. I cannot imagine anyone else voicing him and giving us the emotions that he’s able to. And yes, the scene that made us all cry as children is there.

Rating: 5/5

I would say that Jon Favreau, Disney, and all the voice actors and musical composers outdid themselves. This Lion King was a great adaptation for those who grew up loving the original. And it’s a way for a new generation to know the story and grow up loving it as well. Make sure you go see Lion King, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss.

SynopsisSimba, the son of Mufasa and the Prince of the Pride Lands, hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps. Mufasa’s brother, Scar, plots to betray Mufasa and take over the Pride Lands, forcing Simba into exile, where he meets Timon and Pumbaa. Simba must fight his past and rebuild himself fully to take what is rightfully his.

The Lion King (2019) features Donald Glover as Simba, Seth Rogan as Pumbaa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, Billy Eicher as Timon, John Kani as Rafiki, John Oliver as Zazu, Beyonce as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Florence Kasumba as Shenzi, Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, and Eric Andre as Azizi.