A New King: Live Action Lion King Movie Review

A New King: Live Action Lion King Movie Review

Henry Griffee, Writer

            The 2019 live-action Lion King movie was a long-awaited movie. However, it’s not an argument that the original Lion King was far better than new 2019 live-action version. Rotten Tomatoes gave it only a 53% on the Tomatometer. The original animated Lion King came out April 27, 1994, and almost 30 years later, Disney came out with the new live action Lion King on July 19th, 2019 as a reboot. But like most reboots, it wasn’t as good as the original. 

First, the movie begins with the classic scene that everybody knows from the original movie. “The Circle of Life” is one of the most popular, well known, and iconic Disney songs.  At this time Simba, the new baby lion of the king Mufasa, is being lifted up into the air by a monkey and being presented in front of the whole animal kingdom. As Simba gets older he wants to go and explore, so he and his friend Nala go over to the watering hole, and that’s where the song,  “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” comes in, which is performed by JD McCray, Shahadi Wright Joseph,and John Oliver. Later, Simba falls into a trench and causes a stampede of wildebeests. Simba climbs a small tree to survive. Mufasa sees him and tries to rescue Simba. In the end, Simba is okay, but while Mufasa tries to climb back up, his brother, Scar, pushes him into the trench and gets trampled by wildebeests and passes. Scar tells Simba to go away and never return. Without the king and the king’s son, Scar is now the king of the pride, and starts to build an army with the hyenas. Meanwhile, as Simba grows up, he meets new friends, Timone and Pumba, and starts to face his past. Will he ever feel like part of the pride again and reclaim his spot as king over Scar?

There were a few elements of this movie worth noting. First, the portrayal of realistic animals instead of animated ones was impressive. In addition, the cast of the movie worked well together. Finally, the whole storyline of The Lion King is great no matter what. 

However, that is where the live-action film’s positives end. There were more ideas that were disappointing. To begin, although it was interesting to see the live animals play the parts in the movie, it was difficult to read the facial expressions of the characters. For example, when Mufasa dies, it didn’t seem that sad because the expression on Simba’s face didn’t look sad. It was also hard to tell the characters apart. There were several times in the movie were I thought Nala was Simba’s mother and vice versa. Also, the music was not as good as the original soundtrack because it was just too different from the original. However, some songs  did get stuck in my head for a couple of days after I watched it. Overall, because Disney also hyped up the movie so much, and it didn’t meet expectations, it was a let down. 

Overall I thought this movie was just okay. I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Reboots can be difficult to like since many already know the storylines. However, there is hope that future reboots are to come. Keep an eye out for more remakes!


Works Cited

“Movies: TV Shows: Movie Trailers: Reviews.” Rotten Tomatoes, www.rottentomatoes.com/.