Lion King, the (1994)

June 29, 2011 By Mike B
Movie Review

What Worked?

This film is one of the defining pieces of cinema of my childhood, and probably everyone else who was a kid in the 90s. It’s truly an inspiring story of family and identity with simple messages told through a story that runs on pure, golden heart that can’t be denied. Directors Roger Allers andRob Minkoff constructed a film that has become a timeless Disney classic that will rank in the top 10 even every time, even way down the road for your children’s children.

The animation is simply gorgeous, and at times breathtaking. The scene of the newly born Simba being brought out by Rawfiki to be shown to the kingdom of animals with the background of a golden sun breaking through ivory clouds while “Circle of Life” is playing is truly astonishing. The film captures your heart from that scene and never lets go. The animation is beautiful, and the camera angles add vitality to the picture.  The songs are incredible as well, giving the film another layer of greatness.

The voice acting in this film is solid all-around. Mufasa is voiced by none other than the classy James Earl Jones, lending his baritone voice of leadership and courage, that also projects the kindness of an ideal father. Scar, Mufasa’s brother, is menacingly portrayed by the talented Jeremy Irons. Finally, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, playing a younger Simba, and Matthew Broderick, playing the older Simba, do a fantastic job voicing the main role as he evolves from playful youth to carefree drifter and finally to a fearless King. All the other voice acting is spot on and memorable as well.

The Lion King teaches children the importance of family, and reminds adults about that very same lesson they seem to forget from time to time. It also exposes audiences to multiculturalism and the development of your identity, in that you are who you want to be. The film is simply a royal gem among the many Disney classics.

Potential Drawbacks:

It may be a little short for some, and have too many biblical and Shakespearean references.

Film Recommendations:

Jungle Book

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