Disney’s blockbuster event of the summer ‘The Lion King’ was exactly what it was supposed to be. A re-imagination of the already classic animated film. While it didn’t add any new flavor or give a new interpretation to the story, the film was exactly what it was set out to be.
A Live-action version.
Director Jon Favreau relies on nostalgia more than adaptation to play with your heart-strings and have you indulged in memories of when you first watched the film. Add that to the fact that you get to hear Donald Glover and Beyonce Knowles sing for just under an hour? As a fan of the beloved story, you can’t ask for more.
Regardless, the film begs us to ask the question: should a classic be re-imagined? Should we touch what is already perfect? To no fault of its’ own, ‘Lion King’ makes an intriguing argument against re-adapting classic films. Not because it wasn’t enough or because you don’t fix what ain’t broke, but because in the mind of the viewer, nothing (and I mean nothing) will ever beat the original.
It’s just how life goes. Toy Story — will never beat the original. The Incredibles — same thing. The Lion King? I’d assume most people would give the same verdict.
One thing I will say that was appealing, at least visually, was the live-action quality. The CGI and the movement is absolutely unbelievable. Pumba actually looked like a Warthog and you could see each follicle of hair on the lions. It was like watching the discovery channel but with a musical theme behind David Attenborough’s voice. Absolutely incredible.
Seth Rogen was great as comedic relief with Pumba. The scene with Mufasa and Simba still brings tears to the eyes of the movie theatre and Scar is still just as intimidating and frightening. The Hyenas are on point. But there was just something missing.
I can’t quite put my finger on it but it failed to do what the original did. But that’s okay. It was never meant to be better than the original film in 1994. Just a re-imagination. If you’re like me and love to live in nostalgia then you will love ‘The Lion King’.
Oh and another thing. This isn’t it for Disney. At the end, you get the feeling that they’re gearing up for Lion King 2. So be ready for more of these re-imaginations.