Initially released in 1994, ‘The Lion King’ is one of Disney’s most recognizable, magnificent and celebrated classics of all time. The re-release allows the film to be seen with an added dimension, never before seen, allowing it to remain as gripping and powerful today as it was then.
‘The Lion King’ tells the story of Simba, a young lion cub born to Mufasa and Sarabi and heir to the throne over the African Pridelands. Mufasa’s brother, Scar resents Simba, as he ensures Scar will never reign over the pride. Disgusted with his place in the circle of life, Scar and a group of hyenas, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, plot to murder Mufasa and Simba – as the plot unfolds, Scar assumes the throne and blames Simba for Mufasa’s death. When told, “run away Simba, run away and never return,” the balance is disrupted and the future is left uncertain.
Many are already acquainted with the story of ‘The Lion King,’ but the way the story unfolds feels as fresh and current as if it were made for viewing within the past year. The added dimension adds nice effects to Zazu’s entrance in the beginning (which honestly feels like something flew from behind), the stampede and the final encounter between Scar and the returning, adult Simba. It’s a colorful, memorable, epic motion picture that garnered many successes and much critical acclaim.
‘The Lion King’ boasts impressive vocal talents of James Earl Jones (Mufasa), Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Young Simba), Matthew Broderick (Adult Simba), Jeremy Irons (Scar), Jim Cummings (Ed), Whoopi Goldberg (Shenzi), Nathan Lane (Timon) and many more. It also boasts some of the most memorable film songs ever recorded, “Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” performed by musical icon and legend Sir Elton John.
‘The Lion King’ is a brilliantly constructed story possessing one of animation’s most iconic and emotionally affecting moments in Mufasa’s death, offering up one of the first times Disney killed off the father in an animated film. Of course, it’s fitting given the nature of lion hierarchies in real life.
Personally, ‘The Lion King’ is one of my all-time favorite films because of my love and passion for animals. Since I was a child, I have had a fixation with the animals and wildlife found inAfrica. I remember how excited I felt when I first saw the animated giraffes and elephants in ‘Dumbo’ and even more excited when I saw them featured not only in the beginning and end of ‘The Lion King,’ but also in the musical number, “I Just Can’t Wait to be King.” To me, ‘The Lion King’ represented a semi-accurate representation of life and its biodiversity upon the African plains. It polished the presentation of the vicious lifecycles and never explores the gore that often plagues the Serengeti. Most importantly, films like ‘The Lion King’ inspired me to learn and fed my appetite for knowledge about these animals, but it provided a sense of purpose for the circle of life.
Tonight was a special night (much like the opportunity presented with ‘The Lion King’ being re-released). Seventeen years ago, my Mom and I went to see ‘The Lion King,’ she drove the car then – tonight, I drove and we saw it again. I recommend seeing the film in 3D if for nothing more than to experience an ageless classic once again on the big screen, with some really unique and well-translated moments. It’s allowing a new generation of children to see this and hopefully be inspired like I was – inspired to learn about things like the competition between lions and hyenas, migrations and herding – and maybe, just maybe its subtle conservation message will reach a new generation of people who will be responsible for protecting many of the endangered species featured. It’s a brilliant story perfectly illustrating the circle of life that will remain as timeless in the future as it has over the past nearly two decades.
‘The Lion King’ runs 89 minutes and is rated G.