The Lion King (2019): Review by @Kush_Hayes
Its pretty amazing how far technology has come in the last 25 years. Back in 1994 animation, especially Disney Animation was as advanced as it could be coming off Beauty and the Beast 3 years prior when computers became integrated in the creation process. They took a lot of time to make the animation of that now Disney Classic look as pristine as possible.
Photos Courtesy of Disney
Fast forward 25 years and we now come to Jon Faveraus return to the photo-realistic style he showcased three years ago when he was tasked to remake The Jungle Book. I somehow missed that in theaters and would come to regret it upon seeing it on a 4k TV once it released on home media. Whereas I wasnt a fan of the original Jungle Book of the 1960s, I was taken aback by how good that 2016 movie looked. So when it was announced that Faverau was going to remake The Lion King, it felt like a simple layup.
2019s The Lion King is not just a layup but I would actually categorize as a slam dunk. Everything about this new movie is stunning, a vibrant and hypnotic, putting this podcaster on the edge of his seat the entire film. The visuals of this movie demand you see it on as big a screen as possible. I would see this movie on a simple digital screen, but the argument could be made to upgrade to premium and see this on a Dolby or even IMAX screen.
This is normally where I get into performances and story development and that feels kind of self explanatory. Nothing of the story from 1994 has been changed. We are witness to the birth of the new king. We watch him grow up. We see his Uncle betray The King, we see him banish Simba, etc etc etc… Top to bottom, its the same story of 25 years ago. There are no new scenes added. I think we might be short a scene even (Mufasa and Simba discussing the stars).
The voice acting is all fine. I want to say “Donald Glover redefines and reshapes the character of Simba.” but honestly all the emotion is coming from the CGI animals body language as opposed from the voice actors. And while it could have been the sound system in my theater, when ever James Earl Jones is being heard, his voice is muffled. I noticed the same thing in his small cameo for Star Wars Rogue One. In this case of The Lion King, I wonder if they just recycled his old dialog or is Mr Jones is merely an elderly man now.
This is a beautiful movie. It deserves to be seen on the big screen. I even foresee this movie winning Best Animated Film at the Oscars in 2020. I look forward to seeing what Jon Faverau and Disney do together next.