Director: Jon Favreau
Genre(s): Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Animation, Musical
Runtime: 118 min
Starring: Alfre Woodard, Amy Sedaris, Billy Eichner, Beyoncé Knowles, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Eric André, Donald Glover, Florence Kasumba, JD McCrary, James Earl Jones, John Kani, Keegan-Michael Key, John Oliver, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Seth Rogen,
Movie Facts: A CGI remake of Disney’s 1994 animated classic The Lion King featuring an all-new cast, save for a returning James Earl Jones.
Review and Summary:
The 1994 Lion King and 2019’s remake take the lion Simba on the same exact arc. Simba is a future king born in the African savanna. He idolizes his father, King Mufasa of Pride Rock, takes to heart his own royal destiny, and spends his savanna days boasting about royalty status. However, not everyone in the kingdom celebrates his arrival. Scar, King Mufasa’s brother, former heir to the throne, has his own plans. His ego and gullibility leave him vulnerable to the manipulation of Scar, and his father’s death thrusts him into the jungle, in which he embraces “hakuna matata,” a Swahili language phrase that came from East Africa, meaning “no worries” or “no problems”. His friend named Nala helps him see the light: Being a king is earned and it can be achieved by shedding privilege and taking a brave step forward.
The battle for Pride Rock kingdom is ravaged with tragedy, drama, and betrayal, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from his newfound friends, he will have to determine how to grow up and take back everything that is rightfully his.
In the animated classic version, the rightful king’s return is a triumph. In the photorealistic one, it’s a self-own. Ripping shots, leaning hard on the original score of Hans Zimmer, and owing everything to the legacy of Disney, The Lion King of 2019 is an arrogant successor with no roar.