The new “The Lion King” remake is a technological achievement in photorealistic animation — too bad that makes for a soulless movie.
“The Lion King” is nearly a beat-for-beat recreation of the animated original and it just can’t compare with the first film’s magic. The computer-animated realism of the new film is neat to look at, but it also proves to be a real drawback when making an entertaining and engaging film.
You’re better off sticking with the original cartoon “Lion King”, which still holds up to this day.
“The Lion King” is the story of the lion cub Simba, who is tricked by his evil uncle into thinking he killed his father, the king. Simba flees the kingdom into exile, but is eventually convinced to return home to take on his evil uncle for the crown. And all of this is told with cartoon animals from the African Savanna.
The new film is the latest in a seemingly endless line of live action remakes of classic Disney cartoon movies. Unlike “Dumbo” and “Aladdin” earlier this year, “Lion King” offers very, very little that is new or different from the original. The changes that do exist often make the film worse. The dynamic villain song “Be Prepared” from the original is a huge disappointment in the new movie.
The photorealistic animals are both the new film’s greatest achievement and its biggest detriment. On the one hand, all of the animals look incredibly real, and just knowing our computer-animated technology is now at this level is really cool.
On the other hand, making the talking animals photorealistic robs them off the magic and dynamic energy that brought them to life with traditional animation back in 1994.
Simply put: all lions look alike, especially the females. Their faces aren’t built for human expression and emotion, so everything looks flat. Real life can be drab and dark. All of the nighttime scenes in the new film are hard to see because no effort is made to brighten anything up.
If all you want is a nostalgic trip down memory lane, there’s probably a lot to enjoy about the new “Lion King”. It’s the exact same film as before, so of course people will enjoy it. But new “Lion King” is also the best example yet that these remakes are a waste of time when the originals are still so beloved and available.