The Lion King
The circle of life this summer brings to the big screen another live-action of a classic Disney animated movie. The tender story of brave Simba gets an endearing makeover, featuring spectacular CGI and a poignant revised soundtrack. With some addition to the original 90s story, The Lion King‘s plot flows better, or at least it works seamlessly for this genre of movie: less fairytale style, more on the grounds of animals behaving like humans, thus with logical consequences.
Simba, the newborn son of King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi, raises jealousy and new disappointment regarding the long-coveted throne in Scar, the king’s younger brother. Pushed down the line of succession and ferociously disagreeing with the type of reign extended by his sibling, Scar plots with the hyenas to take power and get rid of the cub prince. Fooled by his uncle and overwhelmed by guilt, Simba runs away, finding new friends in the sparkly duo Timon and Pumbaa. But Pride Land is not safe and luxuriant anymore, demanding its goodhearted heir to return.
The visual effects are nothing short of impressive. Looking like they are filmed for a documentary, the characters speak their minds as real actors would, but with the movements proper to their nature and a posing that has barely any hints of the artificial. The fur, the bright-eyed expressions and the fighting interactions belong to the savannah.
James Earl Jones, returning as the mighty Mufasa, assumes a very God-like demeanour, reaching an acme with the scenes of his voice coming from the sky. Donald Glover plays the small and grown-up Simba as pretty childish, pairing well with a more thoughtful Nala. Simba’s best friend is voiced by Beyoncé, whose new song, Spirit, fits perfectly in the middle of the film, running smoothly in the background and blending well with the orchestral theme so far.
The beginning is a crafted reenactment of the animated movie, with introduction into the animal world through cute cubs and a neat distinction between good and evil. What turns out to be a wonderful moment is the entrance of the Hakuna Matata duo. Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) and Billy Eichner (Timon) work wonders, giving to the warthog and the meerkat the comic spirit viewers expect from them, and stirring up quite a bit of the whole story.
Jon Favreau’s The Lion King is an enjoyable remake and harmonises warm feelings and splendid tech effects for a story that continues to inspire.
The Lion King is released nationwide on 19th July 2019.
Watch the trailer for The Lion King here: