Hello, Movie Buffs!
After being anointed as the next king by the baboon shaman Rafiki (Robert Guillaume), young lion prince Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) is every bit as eager to his take his father Mufasa’s (James Earl Jones) place as king. However, this makes Simba’s evil uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons) jealous and thus prompting him to kill Mufasa and framing it on Simba, who miraculously survives the attack. Simba flees from his past and along the way meets Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumba (Ernie Sabella), who teaches him to live the rest of his life by the philosophy “Hakuna Matata” which literally means “No Worries.” Years later, Simba’s (Matthew Broderick) past comes back to haunt him and the young prince is left with a big decision. Will he face his past and become the king he was born to be? Or will he remain an outcast and forsake his father’s legacy?
Directed by Roger Allers (Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, The Prophet) and Rob Minkoff (Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, The Haunted Mansion), and written by Irene Mecchi (Brave, The Lion King 2019), Jonathan Roberts (Monsters, Inc., The Lion King 2019), and Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast live and animated, Maleficent 1 & 2, The Lion King 2019), The Lion King (1994) is a fun family film that is loosely based on the William Shakespeare tragedy Hamlet but with so much more going for it. While some films are not as good as you might have remembered them, The Lion King is one of the rare few that gets better with age and is part of an even smaller few that could almost be considered as an epic animated film. The story is incredibly heartfelt and touching with its symbolism, morals, and a great message about facing your responsibilities and not run away from them. But regardless if you consider it as an epic animated film, The Lion King is definitely one of the most quotable animated films of all time with breathtaking animation of the African plains and Oscar-winning music by Elton John and Tim Rice that is unforgettable.
The voice performances bring the characters to life. The legendary James Earl Jones (Star Wars, Lion King 2019) evokes a lot of emotion that makes his short performance as Mufasa, unforgettable. Jeremy Irons (Justice League) was the perfect person to voice Scar with his uniquely deep and slightly alluring voice that made Scar one of the most memorable Disney villains to date. The rest of the actors gave great voice performances like Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Out) as Simba, Moira Kelly (One Tree Hill) as Nala, Nathan Lang (The Producers) as Timon, Ernie Sabella (Mousehunt) as Pumbaa, Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean, Johnny English) as Zazu, Whoopie Goldberg (Sister Act) as Shenzi, and Robert Guillaume (Benson, Big Fish) as Rafiki.
Overall, The Lion King (1994) is one of those rare films that gets better with age and as one of Disney’s more quotable animated films, it is no wonder why it is a Disney classic. The film’s story is incredible and its message about facing your responsibilities and to not run away when things get too hard is sure to stick with young audiences members for a while, even if they don’t fully understand the importance at first. The voice performances were wonderful all around with some more notable performances from James Earl Jones and Jeremy Irons. The Lion King is one of those Disney films that you have to see if you have not already and if you plan on seeing the recent live-action version than I urge you, even more, to check it out.
Final Vote --- 8 of 10 stars
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Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Brother Bear (2003)
The Emperor’s New Grove (2000)
Frozen 2 (2019)
Lion King (2019)
Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil (2019)
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937)
Snow White and the Huntsmen (2012)
Treasure Planet (2002)
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