The plot is as powerful as it was the first time we visited the African continent where the animal kingdom is ruled by the powerful but caring lion Mufasa.
Even though the 3D craze has waned and audiences have shown they are less than thrilled with the “enhanced” experience of watching a movie in 3D, studios are still trying tofind ways to capitalize on the technology, which typically comes with an increased ticket price. To that end, Disney has released a 3D version of one of its most beloved and successful animated films of all time, The Lion King, to promote the 3D Blu-ray release next month.
When it was released in 1994, The Lion King was a hit for children and adults alike. The story was moving, the songs were extremely catchy, and the animation was magnificent. For that generation of kids, The Lion King will likely always conjure images of a magical experience at the movies. In that respect, the 3D release of the film will be beneficial because a whole new generation of kids will get to experience it on the big screen, the way it should be seen.
Watching the movie again, the plot is as powerful as it was the first time we visited the African continent where the animal kingdom is ruled by the powerful but caring lion Mufasa (James Earl Jones). His young cub Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) is eager to grow up and be brave like his father, but must first learn that bravery means knowing when not to fight. But after Mufasa is killed at the hands of his younger brother Scar (Jeremy Irons), Simba blames himself and runs away. This leaves Scar in charge of the Pride land.
The movie’s characters are as dynamic as ever. The voice casting is truly brilliant and still entertaining. Rowan Atkinson is terrific as the uptight Zazu, Mufasa’s right hand man—er, bird. Irons’ growl as the evil and jealous Scar is still terrifying because Irons is so perfect in pretty much everything he does. The real treat when the film was originally released was the pairing of Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella as Timon and Pumbaa. This is still the case today. Lane and Sabella are absolutely hilarious together, and could easily have a Broadway show together where they just sing and banter back and forth.
The 3D animation really doesn’t add much to the film. There are a few instances in which some additional creatures have been added to give a scene more depth, but overall it’s unnecessary. That doesn’t mean the movie isn’t still fun to watch in a theater with a group of people who remember hearing “Hakuna Matata” for the first time. | Matthew Newlin