Disney's The Lion King Wows With Visuals, Is A Family Fun Affair

If you suspend reality for two hours, your summer wait will be worth it

July 15, 2019

Walt Disney Studios


Disney's The Lion King has been totally re-made for 2019 and it is everything I hoped it would be.

But that's coming from a 90s kid who was young when the 1994 movie was on VHS and I could wear out 'Hakuna Matata' as many times as I wanted. 

The 2019, Jon Favreau-directed Lion King isn't for everyone, but kids and families will love it. I personally think it'll also be a great date night movie, if that's your sort of thing. For my generation at least, for the nostalgia factor.

I won't spoil much about the re-make, but if you have seen the original Lion King, the plot plays out pretty much the same. We get to the end the same way, and Simba takes the same path to get there.

It's not as shot-for-shot as the new Aladdin, but The Lion King still hits on all the main points while still being its own movie.

Young Simba (JD McCrary) idolizes his father Mufasa, who is elegantly voiced by James Earl Jones again in a reprised role. Uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) wants the throne and be king of the savanna, and will do anything to take it. You know how the story goes from there

The rest of the cast is star-studded. As Simba grows up, he's morphed into Donald Glover, and Nala becomes Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

My favorites always have been and always will be Timon and Pumbaa, and Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner nailed the warthog and meerkat duo. There are some jokes in there that are embedded into my mind from the original, with some new comedy thrown in as well. Its really quite funny, even as an adult, and you need to see it on the big screen.

Walt Disney Studios

Jon Favreau won an Oscar in 2016 for his visual effects on the remake of The Jungle Book, and he should follow up in 2020 for this version of The Lion King. Is it animation? No, and it's not quite live action either. The animals aren't real, but they sure as heck look very real. Favreau called it 'magic' and I might have to agree. As I was watching the movie, I really felt like I was on an African safari. There is that amount of realism.

Obviously, lions and hornbills and meerkats breaking out into song isn't real, but you are going to watch The Lion King if you're reading this, so you kind of expect that to happen. Just suspend reality for a minute and you will love the added dimension the 2019 version brings.

Favreau’s contemporary approach I think really adds a dimension to this Disney classic. You also get some emotion from Simba that I can't recall we saw from the 1994 version.

Bottom line, you'll laugh, you'll smile, and you'll re-ignite some 90s feelings when you go see The Lion King. At the same time, be prepared to be blown away by the visual effects.

The voices of Glover and Beyoncé during 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight' don't hurt either. Probably my second favorite song of the film, just given their amazing voices.

Go and enjoy with family and friends!

The Lion King opens in theatres this Friday, July 19th.

Ben at the Box Office Rating: 4 out of 5 Buckets Of Popcorn