WARNING: There are spoilers inside.
I saw The Lion King today. I can’t believe that it’s been 25 years since the original one came out. I was a senior in high school. Because the movie held important memories for me, I knew that I needed to go. I saw it with my best friend, Melanie, (RIP) way back in 1994.
I have to say, I was very disappointed. It took me until the end to figure out what it was that bothered me the most. It was the eyes of the animals. They lacked emotion and passion. They were lifeless. I do realize that we’re dealing with computer generated images here, but I just expected more from a company like Disney.
I wasn’t a fan of the changes made to the score. Again, it felt like something was lacking. Some of the songs were changed to more of a spoken word feel, as opposed to an actual song. There wasn’t the light heartedness found in the original.
There were definitely some changes to the characters, most noticeably the hyenas. The three main hyenas’ rolls were pretty much eliminated. Ed, the goofy one, was totally gone. Given things I saw later in the movie, I think it was for political correctness. I thought Zazu’s and Rafiki’s characters lost almost all of their playfulness and personality.
The insertion of “moral lessons” felt tacked on. There is the scene with Simba, Timon and Pumba where they talk about the circle of life and Timon and Pumba say it’s a line. Of course they come around to the idea of it really being a circle later in the movie. In the scene where the hyenas call Pumba fat in the original movie, they change the word to “chubby”. That felt strange for some reason. Heck, I’m fat. Please don’t sugar coat it by calling me chubby. There is a line where Pumba says something like, I don’t stand up to hyenas, but I stand up to bullies. That felt really gratuitous and not belonging.
As compared to the original movie, this version felt more violent. I don’t know if it was actually more violent. However the realism of the graphics certainly made it feel that way. I certainly would think twice about taking a little kid to see it. Although given some of the stuff that’s out there today, it probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
I don’t want it to sound like it was all bad. The graphics themselves were amazing. They were extremely realistic. There was a greater variety of animal life. The Elephant Shrew (a little rodent with what looks like an elephant trunk) and the Dung Beetle were really cool.
James Earl Jones reprised his role as Mufasa. He was extraordinary, as always. I don’t think anyone else could do that voice because he IS Mufasa.
There were two new songs for the remake. Spirit, sung by Beyoncé was stunning. The lyrics, so powerful. I’m not a Beyoncé fan, but I did enjoy this. Never Too Late, sung by Elton John was quite the toe tapper. I’ve always liked his music, and this song is no exception. I liked it better than “Spirit”.
All in all, I didn’t enjoy the remake. It lost a lot of its personality and fun. I’m sure if I were seeing it for the first time, I would have liked it. But, after experiencing the original, the 2019 version can’t hold a candle to it. I give it two paws down.
My name is Kathryn. I live in suburban Cleveland. I have 2 cats, who are my kids. I work in early childhood education, specializing in infants at a local childcare center. I’ve also worked with preschoolers and school aged kids there. I used to be an ESL teacher in South Korea.
I love to bake. My coworkers get to be my taste testers. I enjoy coloring, and I even participate in a coloring Meet Up group. I’m a fan of all kinds of music, but country is my favorite. My kitties, Gidgette and Ivory, are my favorite models for my photography. I play around with photo editors to create what I call “Works of Art”. I’m not very good at it, but I do it anyway.
Please visit me at Mighty Kool Kat. You can find my links to social media there.