Disney updates the household favorite "The Lion King" with a live-action rendition. A roaring success, the 1994 classic cartoon film holds nostalgic value in the hearts of many who were young at that time.
However, as of July 21, “The Lion King” remake pounced up a notch with a stellar $270.5 million at the box office. This means the film surpassed its production budget four days after it came to theaters.
Numbers don’t say everything about a movie, though. What also matters is how the audience reviews the movie. That is a whole different story when it comes to this Disney classic. If you don’t want to know more about this remake, now is your chance to turn away.
With hopes set high, one can expect a warmth when watching a childhood favorite. However, the PG-rated “The Lion King” hits viewers with scenes that are rather cold for the target audience.
At the beginning of the movie, we are introduced to the pride lands! Plains on the African continent with raw and breathtaking beauty are occupied by an abundance of diverse animals all under the leadership of the king, a lion named Mufasa, who is voiced by James Earl Jones.
Mufasa and his wife, Sarabi, voiced by Alfre Woodard, lead the lands in a fair and responsible manner. In this way, they teach their newborn son and future king, Simba, who is played by Donald Glover.
With Mufasa’s talks and sharing of knowledge, Simba looks forward to his future reign. On the other hand, Simba feels empowered to do dangerous things beyond his age, especially when under the influence of his envious and vile uncle Scar, who is voiced by Chiwetel Ejiofor.
With his newfound attitude and malicious uncle at his ear, Simba embarks on daring acts, which eventually end up with his father dying. Little does Simba know that Scar has been toying with him the whole time. Although Mufasa’s death is truly the fault of Scar, the shrewd uncle convinces Simba that his dad’s fate was solely because of himself.
Consumed with guilt, Simba takes his uncle’s advice to run away and leaves to a faraway place where he will discover a whole new way of living — escaping what would become a dead land under the rule of Scar. Throughout the movie, you can see the contrast between life in and out of the pride lands. It makes you wonder if Simba will ever find his way back to rescue his home from Scar’s evil rule.
Viewers can expect the treat of seeing Africa’s raw beauty with expansive landscapes and natural plants. In addition, the original soundtrack of “The Lion King” is revamped, which will have you singing and dancing in your seat. The production is also graced with new musical selections sung by Beyoncé, who voices Nala. However, the positive aspects of the movie stop there.
The rawness of the animals and surroundings takes the viewers away from the cheerful vibes of the film and often make it seem a bit scary.
Although the movie is targeted at a younger audience, it often had me shivering and shaking from disturbing roars and physical characteristics that mark your mind for the rest of the film. Scar’s eyes and voice are the type that will keep you up at night.
The production was a good attempt at tapping into the nostalgia of adults who were fans of “The Lion King” when they were little. In addition, the production gives today’s children a chance to explore the world of “The Lion King.” However, the remake can scare anyone watching so it falls short of being child-friendly.
I would not recommend this film for children because it is far too raw and takes away from the fun when watching the original production. The remake seems intended more for those who watched “The Lion King” growing up. A good soundtrack is not enough to lighten the mood of this darker retelling.
Despite the portrayal of great lessons of being brave and honest in all circumstances, the remake has less vibrancy than the original. The once roaring story is now a mere meow on the big screen.