I saw The Lion King with my wife on Sunday. The second I found out it was being remade into a live action movie, I was all in. For most people around my age bracket, The Lion King was a staple of our childhood. For me, it tops the list of best Disney movie of all-time. The remake certainly did it justice.
It excluded some lines from the original and added more original content to some of the scenes. It was as bad ass as it could get. Much like the original, it captured me and moved emotionally. I cried. I laughed. My skin tingled with goosebumps at certain points such as Simba taking his place on Pride Rock. They knocked it out of the park. Jon Favreau can add another great movie to his already distinguished list.
Anyone who says otherwise needs to Hakuna Matata a little more and relax.
Beginning with the cast, they nailed it. When I saw the cast for the first time, I didn’t have many questions nor issues with who was portraying some of the most iconic Disney characters ever.
The three that immediately jumped out to me was Donald Glover as Simba, John Oliver as Zazu and Seth Rogen as Pumba. All three were fantastic. Then you throw in other great names like Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Billy Eichener as Timon, Florence Kasumba as Shenzi and John Kani as Rafiki, total win.
Oliver and Rogen were obviously both hilarious in their roles. Zazu, while funny in the first one, kind of stole some of the scenes with Oliver’s incessant rambling. It was fantastic.
Glover bursted onto the scene singing Hakuna Matata as he obviously portrayed adult Simba. The second the song transitions and Simba grows to full size, you hear the sounds of Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. It was magical.
In fact, all the remade renditions of the original songs were beautifully done. That was kind of to be expected when you have professional singers in the cast. The only song that was much less of a song than it was talking was Be Prepared by Scar. However, they still hit the power ballad at the end of the scene. Even in the remake, it was still one of my favorite scenes. It was much darker and edgier as is the case with most of the Disney live action remakes.
That brings me to my next point…
You may have noticed I left out Beyonce’ as Nala. I did that for a reason because I personally think Beyonce’ is way too talented to be as try hard as she is. I didn’t love it when I saw she was Nala. In fact, I rolled my eyes much like I do whenever I see her pop up. However, she absolutely slayed as Nala. I will be fair and not say it was a total miscast. It was totally on par and more. She actually had one of my favorite additions to the movie.
(SPOILER ALERT) The stand off between Nala and Shenzi, leader of the Hyenas, was freaking biblical. That added so much more fierceness and bad assery to the final showdown for Pride Rock. It also pitted alpha women against one another much like alpha males with the obvious Simba and Scar showdown. It brought a new layer which was great.
I can ramble on more about this amazing Disney classic turned live action. But I wanted to keep it short and sweet. Overall, for my fellow Disney and Lion King lovers, do yourself a favor and check it out. With added jokes and content, the remake is worth seeing.
Finally, yes. Mufasa’s death scene is just as unbearable. LONG LIVE THE KING!
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