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Movie Review: The new ‘Lion King’ is a copy of the original, but with less soul

by Quinn Roseboom

I only enjoyed watching “The Lion King” (2019) because I haven’t watched the 1994 film since I was probably at most 9 or 10 years old, and even still, I would have preferred to rewatch the original.

lion king

By Quinn Roseboom

The new cast was great, the animation was phenomenal and appeared extremely believable as a live-action film. Unfortunately, realistic visuals aren’t exactly what a story like this needs. With a majority of the musical numbers, I couldn’t help but feel like the soul of the animated classic wasn’t done justice in this form.

lion king

From the iconic green smoke being missing from “Be Prepared” to the mesmerizing patterns of dancing animals in “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” being watered down to a few families of animals marching behind Simba and Nala, quite a few of the previously colorful and memorable scenes just seemed sub-par.

nala

The songs featuring Donald Glover and Beyoncé, (“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Hakuna Matata”) were the best two on the soundtrack, of course. The film also features one new song by Beyoncé called “Spirit,” but it’s not sung by any of the characters and is only played shortly as (Spoiler?) Simba runs to catch up with Nala and is returning to Pride Rock. It’s a great new song and it’s a shame it wasn’t used to its full potential.

lion king

I’ll say pretty much the same thing about this “live-action” remake as I did about “Aladdin”: if you want to watch the classic story in a slightly new way, then go see “The Lion King.” But if you just want to relive some nostalgia, go ahead and rewatch the original.

Disney’s “The Lion King” is in theaters everywhere on Thursday, July 18. There aren’t any end credits scenes, so don’t bother sticking around unless you just want to hear the end credits music.

Check out the official trailer for the film below:

The Lion King Official Trailer

In The Parks:

Full Final Festival of The Lion King show in Camp Minnie-Mickey at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Guests can experience the songs and see the characters of “The Lion King” at the Festival of The Lion King, performing daily at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

Tale of the Lion King - Full Show at Disney California Adventure

At Disney California Adventure, guests can see a new rendition of the songs and story of “The Lion King” with their daily “Tale of The Lion King” outdoor stage show. 

There is also another similar stage show in Disneyland Paris, titled “The Lion King: Rhythms of the Pride Lands.” However, it is closing on Sept. 22 of this year, so go while you still can!

Lion King characters, merchandise, and other content can also be found at every Disney park around the world.

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