The Lion King 2019 Movie Review, CGI Live Action Remake

Posted 2019/07/181210

Read The Lion King 2019 Movie Review. Plot : In the African savanna, a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Some Best The Lion King 2019 Reviews

A CGI live action remake of Disney’s 1994 animated classic The Lion King featuring an all-new cast, save for a returning James Earl Jones.

Mike Ryan – Uproxx

The Lion King’ Is One Of The Most Visually Stunning Effects Movie We’ve Ever Seen

Jon Favreau’s reimagining of The Lion King is probably the most visually striking effects-heavy movie I’ve ever seen. And it’s not even necessarily the main characters that fully achieve that seemingly hyperbolic first sentence – but it’s more this all-encompassing world he and his team have created. For instance, there’s a scene featuring a dung beetle pushing a ball of giraffe shit across the desert and I was mesmerized. People will argue if a remake of The Lion King is “necessary” (we’ll get to that), but putting that aside for a second: The Lion King is a monumental achievement of technological advancement. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

Look, I was also one of those people who thought the imagery all looked kind of weird after watching the trailer and some television commercials. But I also knew Favreau pulled off something similar with 2016’s The Jungle Book and, yes, he knows what he’s doing. The problem is, in short snippets, the imagery does look a little weird.The actors aren’t mocapped, so it’s just real looking animals who speak English. Yes, this will probably be divisive. But when I watched the full-length movie, it gradually brought me in and immersed me in this insanely beautiful CGI (or photorealism, or whatever they are calling it) world. And the results are stunning.

But, the original The Jungle Book doesn’t have the cultural importance in 2019 that the original The Lion King still has. This makes sense, because basically anyone in their 30s (or even early 40s) right now saw Watch The Lion King Online Free, 25 years ago, at an influential age. And those people are very protective of the original movie and what it means to them. Which has led to an outcry of the “is this necessary?” argument. (For the record, I have very little The Lion King nostalgia. I am The Lion King agnostic. I was at the age where I felt too old to be going to Disney animated movies, yet not old enough to realize it doesn’t matter and I should have gone to the Disney animated movie. I eventually saw it on VHS.)

“Is this movie necessary?” is kind of a strange argument. What happens is someone will present this question on social media, then other people will just kind of keep repeating it without really thinking about what they are asking. This happens all the time. It reminds me of the scene in Planes, Trains and Automobiles when Del Griffith and Neal Page are driving the wrong way down the interstate as two Samaritans try to warn them. Del tells Neal not to worry about it, because how would those people know where Neal and Del are headed? Neal gives a satisfying nod, “Yeah, how would they know?” – before seeing the oncoming vehicles. But that moment where Neal accepts Del’s argument always reminds me of these kinds of social media talking points when a talking point makes no sense.

Because in a given year, how many movies are “necessary”? It’s a pretty small number! Was Spider-Man: Far From Home necessary? Was The Shape of Water necessary? Looking around your apartment or house, how many of the items that you own are “necessary?” When I saw the new The Lion King there were a lot of kids with their parents. I bet in their minds, both the kids and the parents, at that moment, it felt “necessary.” (The kids were really into this movie.) Anyway, whatever! (Also, Disney’s shareholders will probably also find it “necessary.”)

So, as I said before, I’m The Lion King agnostic, where I do not at all have every beat of this story memorized. And, to be honest, I came into this movie pretty indifferent. And it won me over incredibly fast. It’s funny – Billy Eichner’s Timon and Seth Rogen’s Pumbaa will, deservedly, get a lot of headlines, but don’t sleep on John Oliver’s Zazu – sad (yes, that scene), and Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Scar is terrifying. Also, JD McCrary as young Simba is an absolute delight. (Also, not surprisingly, Nals get a little more screen time here because, well, if you cast Beyoncé, you’re sure as heck going to make sure Beyoncé has a good amount of dialogue). Though, because of the nature of what this movie is going for, the musical numbers are a lot less grandiose and playful, which is something I did like about the original.

But, my goodness, to hear James Earl Jones’ booming voice return to the role as Mufasa is just fantastic. Jones is 88 now and it’s not quite the same voice – it’s still wonderful, but there’s something maybe a little more fragile in there. And when Mufasa explains to Simba that, yes, he does get scared, there’s something really powerful about that hint of fragility.

Look, I’ll admit, maybe it’s my lack of overwhelming familiarity (basically where I don’t remember every single beat) with the original that led to my reaction of, “Holy heck, what a movie!” But I think a lot of people will be in my situation. (And, honestly, I know what it’s like to lose a father now, so that aspect hit me pretty hard this time around, as opposed to 25 years ago. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit this plays a role.) And, look, there will be plenty of reviews out there from people who love the original who may feel similar to how I do, or may feel differently. But if you want that perspective, The Lion King die-hard perspective, those are readily available. But The Lion King was a movie I had kind of forgotten about, and now it all came rushing back in Favreau’s new version and I was immersed. I tried to resist, but it got me.

Seattletimes

The Lion King’ review: Hail to Disney’s powerful, visually stunning remake

How do you improve on a classic, which the 1994 animated Disney movie indisputably is?

Indisputably, Disney has done it with this remake, coming to theaters July 19.

The original is visually stunning, deeply moving, splendidly acted. The new version, a half-hour longer than the 98-minute original, likewise.

Director Jon Favreau and screenwriter Jeff Nathanson have wisely retained all the elements that make the ’94 picture — directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, and written by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton and a host of story contributors — so powerful and narratively complex. Also, all the great songs from Elton John and Tim Rice have been retained.

Many of the scenes in the remake are shot-for-shot re-creations of passages from the original. Cub Simba placing a tiny paw in the big footprint of his father, Mufasa? Big shoes (er, feet) to fill. It’s there. Young Simba gazing at his reflection in a pool of water, seeing the image of his father and thereby understanding his destiny to be his father’s living legacy? You saw it once. Now see it again.

Why mess with success?

The new version amplifies and deepens all that is good in the original. The key is in the visuals. Photorealistic computer-generated imagery renders its African landscapes and animals with astonishing realism.

Favreau and the studio’s production team did the same thing with the 2016 remake of “The Jungle Book.” Their work in “Lion King” is even more impressive.

From the movie’s opening moments — sunrise over the savanna, animals of all species converging on Pride Rock to celebrate the arrival of baby Simba, held aloft by the mandrill Rafiki, accompanied by the triumphant cry that introduces “The Circle of Life” anthem — the power of the imagery takes the breath away.

In a later scene when Mufasa (voiced as in the original by James Earl Jones; why mess with success?) stands atop a high promontory with cub Simba by his side and explains how the vast veld that stretches before them is the lions’ kingdom, the vista is indeed remarkably expansive and magnificent.

A change from the original is the presence of primarily African-American and African actors as the voices of key roles. These include Beyoncé as the voice of Simba’s betrothed, Nala (Shahadi Wright Joseph voices Nala as a cub); Donald Glover as the grown-up Simba, taking over from Matthew Broderick (young singer-actor JD McCrary voices him as a cub); and Alfre Woodard as Simba’s mother, Sarabi.

Most significant is Chiwetel Ejiofor, who supplies the voice for the villain Scar. Where Jeremy Irons delivered Scar’s lines with silky malevolence in the ’94 version, Ejiofor infuses his delivery with a roughened rage.

Great villains often make for great stories, providing great challenges for the hero to overcome, and Scar, scuffed-up and mangy-looking in this incarnation, is an apex bad guy.

Fueled by his resentment at being denied the throne by the existence of his brother Mufasa’s son, he murders the father and insidiously guilt-trips Simba, making him believe he is the one responsible for his father’s death. Scar’s recruitment of the hyenas as his enforcers deepens the evil. And the CG hyenas, slinking and predatory, are vile as vile can be.

Offsetting the evil are the clowns in the piece, Pumbaa the warthog (Seth Rogen) and his buddy Timon the meerkat (Billy Eichner). Their comic byplay — Pumbaa, ever overeager, and Timon, vainglorious and slyly mocking of his pal — are delightful scene-stealers, and their singing of “Hakuna Matata” is a giddy high point.

With its message of reverence for the interconnectedness of life (it hits “The Circle of Life” theme hard and repeatedly), “Lion King” is a deeply moving experience. All hail this “King.”

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