Somewhere in the past few years we have fallen under the rule of a mouse, just like we did as kids. And now it seems as though Disney controls all of our entertainment. In a way to test their rule they have been re-releasing movies that are already staples in so many people’s lives and are reintroducing them in a new form for a new generation. There appears to be no end in sight and while things started off on the right foot things lately have been taking a few backward steps, which of course is never a good thing. Enter Jon Favreau with what many would say is the King of Disney live action adaptions, so things have to be looking up right?
It seems the thinking is, why ruin a good thing, so not much is different, but for those new to the party here is what The Lion King is about. Simba (Donald Glover) is born and with that he will one day inherit everything that is in the light. His father Mufasa (James Earl Jones) is a good king, but in every family there is a bad apple and in this family its name is Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and he is what you call a sore loser. Scar can’t beat Mufasa, so he tricks Simba and with the help of some hyenas an accident happens and Scar takes control of the pride. Simba meanwhile disappears and meets Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) and Timon (Billy Eichner), who live a no worry kind of lifestyle. Pumbaa and Timon raise Simba to be a kind King of the Jungle, but when his childhood best friend Nala (Beyoncé) shows up, it makes Simba question who he really is. Simba does remember who he is and with that he goes back to his home to take his rightful place in the circle of life.
When you have something that is great and a bonafide classic, the question becomes how do you make it better? With The Lion King the film looks amazing and that opening scene with the animals all coming to see Simba is still breathtaking. The problem lies with the film feeling like it is all beauty and no substance and while you are enjoying the eye candy it just feels like something is missing. That isn’t the only thing that seems lacking, as the music, while they are the same songs, don’t feel like they have the same impact as the original. For me it is simple what I thought was missing, this version is lacking a soul, which you really want in a movie you have seen before. It was captured in Pete’s Dragon and in The Jungle Book. Even without a soul, this version is fine, it is just not what the original was, which was such a great film that if you think about it the only way to go was down. I used to be more into what Disney was doing, but now I am starting to side more and more with this being a mistake. I will always have the originals so I am fine with what they are doing, I just wish they were making original magic still instead of trying to re-capture lighting in a bottle.