Cast: James Earl Jones, Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Shah Rukh Khan (Hindi), Aryan Khan (Hindi)
Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson
Music by Hans Zimmer
Edited by Mark Livolsi, Adam Gerstel
Cinematography by Caleb Deschanel
Directed by Jon Favreau
Produced by Jon Favreau, Jeffrey Silver, Karen Gilchrist for Walt Disney Pictures
The Lion King is a beloved classic and the movie as a 2D animation for kids won the hearts of the elders too. It inspired many new writers and directors across the world to come up with their version of the story. We can say that the movie inspired SS Rajamouli to make Baahubali films in his own style too. The story beats resemblance cannot be ignored at all. Such is the impact of the film and Hans Zimmer became a music sensation after scoring for the film.
The same film has been remade as The Lion King in 3D animation after 25 years of it release and James Earl Jones returned as Mufhasa again. With new actors voicing the characters from the classic. The story has no changes and the screenplay is followed beat to beat by the director, Jon Favreau. During Jungle Book, he did try to introduce his own sequences but here he did not touch the original material much.
The dialogues, the scenes are just re-imagined to fit the new actors and they all did good job. Hans Zimmer again delivered with his music and the back ground score is as good as the original animation. The added jokes for Timon and Pumba characters are the major highlights. The voices used for Hyenas are also terrific.
The animation for Lions and other animals is great and VFX overall is stunning with photo-realism. But the lions lack any kind of emotional give other than in words. They don’t show anything on their faces and even though it is realistic, the emotional portions that need to hit us in the feels, fall flat because of that. We feel like watching Animal Planet or Discovery documentaries with our favourite voices.
Jon Favreau should have avoided such ultra realism as that takes away the punch from the story. As the voice actors are good and they could deliver in sync with the characters with some depth, we can feel a thing or two else, the original animation’s emotions are completely missing. If you love the original too much, please keep this in mind before watching this version.
The jokes from Timon and Pumba, the background score, stunning VFX, familiarity with the story and the clever handling of the entire story without deviating from the original will work in favour of the film but the lack in depth of emotion remains as a problem. You can give it a watch once, if you like the original and cast the producers could assemble.
Rating: 3/5 (for VFX and music)