MOVIE REVIEW: THE LION KING

Walt Disney Pictures latest live-action photo-realisitc computer-generated "The Lion King" is one that we began asking ourselves a while ago, why? Why do a remake of the 1994 classic that was fantastic. It must be to gain that new audience and make money with a known commodity which studio marketers love and makes their jobs easier than a brand new commodity.
Walt Disney Pictures director Jon Favreau and writer Jeff Nathanson's version sees a battle for Pride Rock and Simba's exile. Simba gets help from new friends, having to grow up to take back what is his. Simba is a young lion who must embrace his role as the rightful king of his native land after his father Mustafa was murdered at the hands of his uncle Scar.

This is a  visual effects masterpiece. The characters are so real you forget it's animation. The computer-generated 2-D animated characters are acted by a star-studded cast including Donald Glover, Beyonce, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Alfre Woodard, John Oliver, and James Earl Jones who voices Mufasa again, as in the first. Nala is voiced by Beyonce Knowles, Simba is Donald Glover, Scar is done by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Pumba is Seth Rogan and Timon is Billy Eichner. Rogan and Eichner have some of the best scenes of the entire movie. The chemistry works with their voices and their voice banter.

Plans for a remake began in September 2016 after Disney's sucessful The Jungle Book which was also directed by Favreau. Much of the main cast signed in early 2017 and principal production began in mid-2017 on a blue screen set here in Los Angeles.

This one is a lot like the original but it begins more backstory than its predessor and sadly the fact that is so realisitc seems to work against it, as the characters do not express enough. The original was lighter and just plain cuter. This one is not that. The animals are so gorgeous and s oreal, that the cuteness factor is gone and the script needs it.  It's a good movie but the first one was a great movie overall.

Update: The film has grossed $531 million worldwide. It now the seventh highest-grossing film of this year.  It received mixed reviews though. Critics priase it for its visual effects, score and vocal performances, but recevied criticism for the lack of originality and facial emotion on the characters.

Sometimes reality is not always best.

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