My Favorite Movies #33 – The Lion King

Lion King - PosterThe Lion King

1994

Directed by Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff

Quick synopsis… The highest-grossing animated film of the 20th century follows a young lion cub named Simba (voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Matthew Broderick) who can’t wait to be king. But his uncle (Jeremy Irons) craves the title for himself and will stop at nothing — even killing his own brother — to get it.

  • One of the greatest animated features of all time.
  • Can you believe that a lot of Disney’s animators didn’t want to work on it?
  • They thought it would be the lesser of two animated movies that the studio was working on simultaneously.
  • Yeah, most of them wanted to work on Pocahontas, thinking it would be the bigger hit.
  • HA!
  • Just look at the way The Lion King begins…
  • So majestic… so inspiring… “Circle of Life” being played over an epic opening sequence.
  • How could The Lion King not be the bigger hit?
  • This movie beats Pocahontas in every category: music, animation, story… I mean, at least The Lion King doesn’t take historical figures and fictionalize their story to the point of unrecognizability.
  • I didn’t like Pocahontas… Can you tell?
  • Seriously, y’all… I watch this movie and I question the decision to do the “live action” remake.
  • No, I get it… Disney played on everyone’s nostalgia and made a billion dollars.
  • I didn’t like the “live action” remake of The Lion King… Can you tell?
  • But if you’re interested in my thoughts on that, you can find that post here.
  • It’s hard not to compare this version with last year’s remake, though, with the remake so fresh in my memory.
  • Like I said regarding Pocahontas, this movie beats the remake in every category…
  • I mean, except story, since that’s exactly the same.
  • But you can add the category of voice acting.
  • Even James Earl Jones, the only actor that reprised his original role, was better in the original than in the new movie.
  • It’s like the new version’s voice actors didn’t try that hard.
  • “Well, this movie’s gonna make a billion dollars no matter what we do. So… yeah…”
  • Jeremy Irons is perfect as Scar.
  • He’s devious, deceptive, and pretty much pure evil.
  • It helps that he actually sings his lines in “Be Prepared”.
  • And Scar looks so concerned when he and Mufasa look down into the gorge and the stampede.
  • The look on Mufasa’s face when Scar sinks his claws in and says, “Long live the king,” knowing, at last, his brother’s true intentions.
  • I still tear up.
  • Oh… sorry… spoiler alert.
  • In fact, I’m sure I’m more emotionally affected by the scene now than I was as a kid.
  • But that’s because I’ve been through the loss of a parent.
  • No, my dad wasn’t trampled by wildebeests, but I know the pain that Simba goes through.
  • Including the need to run away to try and forget his pain.
  • Nathan Lane and Leon Carosi Ernie Sabella are perfect comic relief as Timon and Pumbaa.
  • And how can you not sing along during “Hakuna Matata”?
  • Kids, it’s such a beautifully made movie.
  • I would find it hard to believe that there’s anyone out there who hasn’t seen this original animated version.
  • But if you haven’t, do so as soon as you can.
  • If you have Disney+, all the better.
  • The version on there is the original theatrical release, without all that “Morning Report” nonsense.

Come back next week for a movie that was 65 million years in the making. That hint should give it away…

What do you think of The Lion King? Which version do you prefer? Let me know down in the comments!

3 thoughts on “My Favorite Movies #33 – The Lion King

  1. This is legit on my “to watch” today! It’s a holiday and I have time for lots of Disney!! And thank you for telling me it’s the original version! I hate that added new songs in a few of the Disney movies. So lame. Love this movie!! Excellent choice!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My avatar probably betrays my love of this movie! I actually enjoyed the remake, but perhaps because, as an adult, I get the nuances they were employing, and because I saw it through the lens of the original.

    Like

  3. Pingback: My Top 100 Movies | The Confusing Middle

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