So how does the Lion King Motion Picture compare to the original?
We jumped on the opportunity to see The Lion King in the Imax theatre this weekend. If you’ve ever seen the original animated movie, or even the Broadway play for that matter, then you already know the story of Simba. Whether or not you’re a fan of the Disney franchise, this movie has been tugging at the hearts of children and adults alike for over 25 years. It starts almost instantly when the familiar sounds of Circle of Life transport you to directly into the African safari. With a moving story, vibrant visuals, and an outstanding score, the new Lion King Motion Picture is sure to sweep you away.
The plot of the Lion King movie is truly a timeless and majestic story of a natural coming of age. It features several prominent themes that carry incredible weight amidst the youthful overlay. The delicate balance of life and nature, accepting tragedy and facing your problems, and of course love are all deep messages conveyed through the portrayal of an animal kingdom. Having seen the original (and the play) several times, I already knew what to expect. Even still, the story felt refreshed as it was delivered with such incredibly artistry. I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried several times.
What makes this movie extra special is the superb animation. At times I forgot I was even watching The Lion King, and instead it felt like I was watching a Planet Earth documentary. I swear – everything felt so real. Specifically viewing the giant screen in the Imax theatre, I was absolutely blown away by the level of detail in every animal character. The first time you see Mufasa standing on pride rock, seeing his majestic mane swaying in the calm winds, you can truly feel his regal presence. It is remarkable how far modern technology has managed to turn classic movies into masterpieces.
Regarding the music, all the great songs that you probably know by heart are included as tracks. For the most part, they are largely unchanged from their originals. We were gifted a special treat with having Beyonce herself in the cast. True to the original, she sang as Nala in ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’. It was clear Disney wanted to get full value, so they wrote a new song, SPIRIT, which gave her the opportunity to belt out some beautiful notes. The non-vocal scores for the in-between scenes were tremendous as well. Very few other organizations are able to capture the emotion in music quite like Disney. My one disappointment in the music, however, was the song Be Prepared, which happens to be one of my favorite Disney villain songs. I personally didn’t care for the “spoken-word” version of the song that they chose to use. I much preferred the original. Still, letting this one slide, I would say Disney did an incredible job re-mastering a classic soundtrack.
All-in-all I found The Lion King to be a beautifully remake of a Disney classic. The animation was breathtaking and brought a new life to something I’ve already loved for many years. I would happily recommend the movie to anyway. I am looking forward to whatever Disney classic they decide to remake next. Because you KNOW they won’t stop until they’ve finished recreated the “vault”. Go out and see it and let me know your thoughts.