Yesterday was the day. The 17th of July: The release of The Lion King! I went to the cinema while wearing my Hakuna Matata sweater. Fangirl much?! This is a completely honest review of Disney’s newest remake of a classic.
To start off: Yes, a remake wasn’t necessary. But in this Disney age where nothing but remakes or sequels are made, this one surely shouldn’t have been left behind. I have read other peoples reviews: People mostly complain about the lack of originality. Would they be happy if it was a totally different story? No. Remaking the movie in a new style while keeping the story was the best decision Disney could have made, regarding this remake.
Overall, I liked the movie. There are lots of good things to say, but also some I didn’t like. I am a huge fan of the original, and I already knew this wasn’t going to top the original. I was quite nervous to see the movie because most of the reviews weren’t that good. While I get some of these reviews, I have to disagree with most of them.
The CGI is absolutely amazing! All of the animals look like real animals, the surroundings really look like Africa (I think, I’ve actually never been there). It’s a huge step from simple animation in 1994 to real animals in 2019. While some people consider this a bad thing, I don’t. What I do have to agree on, is that this movie looks too real. It didn’t bother me, while I think this movie isn’t for little children. I recommend to not taking your 8-year-olds to the cinema to see this movie. Just let them watch the original. More about that, I think (and hope) that the original isn’t going to get forgotten. If I ever get children, they’ll grow up watching the original. My brother actually said that if I ever had children, they would be forced to watch the original The Lion King every day. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it were ;))
The only thing that bothered me about the CGI, was Timon’s weird mouth. Everything seemed to be quite normal when other animals were speaking, but something just didn’t seem right when Timon was talking.
The music is a huge part of this film. I listened to the soundtrack the moment it came out, and to be honest: I was a little bit disappointed. Hakuna Matata didn’t sound like it used to be and I really didn’t like Be Prepared. However, listening to the songs while watching the movie gave me an entirely different view. Still, I like the original Hakuna Matata and Be Prepared more, but the new version just makes sense while watching the film. What I really didn’t like about the new soundtrack is Beyoncé’s new single, Spirit. I’m no fan of Beyoncé, but that’s not the reason why I didn’t like the song. I can’t really explain why, but it was totally unnecessary, an instrumental song would’ve been at least as good if not better.
There’s only one more thing to say, which is probably the most important of all: The story. This paragraph may contain some small spoilers. While the storyline is entirely the same, some changes have been made. Most of the changes are really small, like some sentences that have been changed. Yet I noticed them, having seen the original dozens of times. Some scenes were new, some scenes were changed and some missed. While in the original Timon and Pumbaa are adult-Simba’s only friends, this version has added some more animals in minor parts. The scene in which The Lion Sleeps Tonight is sung is greatly improved by these minor animals. Something I was really looking forward to but what was missing, was asante sana squash banana wewe nugu mimi hapana. I really liked this saying in the original, but it wasn’t there. Another scene that was missing, was the hula scene. But this was replaced by something even better. I won’t spoil this scene, but it a great reference to another Disney movie!
All in all, I liked the remake. It will never ever top the original, but it really isn’t as bad as some people say. Considering I gave the original a 10/10, this one gets an 8/10!
Movie: The Lion King
Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Donald Glover, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Beyoncé
IMDb score: 6,3 (out of 6000 reviews)
Rotten Tomatoes tomatometer: 57% (out of 183 reviews)
Rotten Tomatoes audience score: Not yet available
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