Sean Mack's movie review: "The Lion King"

Hakuna Matata!

July 22, 2019

Well it's finally here...the new version of "The Lion King" debuted over the weekend, easily becoming the #1 movie at the box office.  Acording to reports, it made around a half of a BILLION dollars worldwide. it any good?

The answer is…kind of!  Here’s the deal.  This is basically an exact remake of the original movie, except it’s made with modern animation that makes it look like a real-life Planet Earth episode.  Except, of course, that all the animals speak English and occasionally break into choreographed song and dance routines.

Now I know what you’re thinking…”I love the original Lion King, it had a special place in my childhood, a modern version of the exact same movie HAS to be great…right?”

Again…kind of.  The movie is visually stunning.  You really think you’re looking at real-life animals at times.  But here’s the problem…they are almost TOO realistic.  Again, this is a universe where animals are talking and singing and fighting.  You need to suspend your disbelief to truly immerse yourself in this universe for a couple of hours.  The cartoon version of this movie allowed you to do this quite easily.  This one?  It’s almost like they were trying to make it TOO real.  You can feel the animators saying to each other, “Hey-make that Lion’s mouth a little more real when he is singing about how he can’t wait to be King while all these other animals dance around him”. It’s not supposed to be this real.

The other thing about the cartoon version-it had more heart, more sadness, and more emotion.  This one just felt…cold?

With all that being said, I’m glad I saw it in the theater.  Timon(Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa(Seth Rogan) are the real stars of the film-they feel like the only ones who really captured the spirit of the original.  That being said, you’ll see this one…and then just watch the original whenever you need a Lion King fix in the future.

2 warthogs out of 4.