Movie Review: The Lion King

Movie Review: The Lion King

Some movies just hold a special place in your heart. Whether it reminds you of a specific person or a moment, or it just makes you feel something inside when you watch it. Movies have that power. And for me, The Lion King is that movie.

I talked about this before in a post about my grandmother’s passing. My grandmother and I used to watch The Lion King all the time when I was small. Even when I got older, she would sometimes laugh about the memory of me as a child begging her to rewind the VHS so we could watch it one more time.

My first ever copy of The Lion King was a VHS (shout-out to all the 90s babies out there!) I had “borrowed” from my aunt who baby sat me often. I say “borrow” because she never got the copy back. But we watched it all the time together. Anyone who baby sat me during that time watched The Lion King with me. It was my movie, and it continued to be my movie throughout the rest of my childhood.

Currently, I am 24 years old and own four copies of The Lion King (three DVDs and that old VHS still lives in my closet), one copy of Lion King 1 1/2, and two copies of The Lion King 2 (which has a completely underrated soundtrack. Go give it a listen.) Its still my movie. I still watch it from time to time. I still know every piece of dialogue and lyric to every song. I still get emotional and goosebumpy during the opening scene. It still has a profound effect on me all these years later.

So naturally, ya girl was hella excited about The Lion King reboot.

Initially, I had a few reservations about the reboot. First off, the all star cast. As impressive as the lineup was, I worried that the famous voice actors would take away from the characters themselves. I’ve known these characters my entire life, I couldn’t bear to see anyone mess them up.

Secondly, I was concerned about the animation. I’ve never been a fan of movies that featured lifelike animals talking. I’ve never seen a movie where the movement of the animals mouth looked natural. So, with this being a movie of entirely CGI animals I prayed they wouldn’t mess that up.

And y’all, they didn’t. Like, at all.

I don’t say this lightly, but The Lion King reboot is one of (if not the) most beautiful pieces of CGI movie magic I have ever seen.

I just can’t say enough about this movie. I have zero complaints. My concerns were obliterated within the first ten minutes of the movie.

The movie almost mirrors the original. And if you’re someone like me who is extremely familiar with the original version, you will greatly appreciate that. The movie opens with a new version of “Circle of Life” by Lindiwe Mkhize and Lebo M. that is a perfect homage to the classic. I still got the goosebumps that I always get when listening to this song. In fact, the entire soundtrack is beautifully classic while also giving a unique spin on these familiar songs.

Even though the soundtrack features many famous and accomplished musicians, it didn’t feel like a cover album at all. Even though I knew I was listening to Beyonce and Childish Gambino, not once during “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” was I taken out of the moment by the familiarity of their voices.

That goes for the entire movie. We all know this movie is chalk full of famous voices. Beyonce, Donald Glover, and Seth Rogen, are just a few of the celebrities who lend their voices to this film. Like I said before, this was a bit of a concern for me. I worried I wouldn’t be able to get past the fact that Nala’s voice was the same voice who sang “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.” I didn’t want the characters to loose their authenticity because their new voice actors had familiar voices from other projects. Well rest assured, the new voices matched the characters perfectly! I felt like the characters new voices didn’t take away from what I had known for so many years. In fact, I thought Billy Eichner and Seth Rogan did a fantastic job as Timon and Pumba!

Also, thanks Disney for not trying to replace James Earl Jones as Mufasa. No one else is Mufasa. Period.

As far as the CGI goes for this movie? Next. Level. I’m serious, you guys. You have not seen anything like this before. Nothing like this exists. Remember how we all felt the first time we watched Avatar? I felt that way watching The Lion King because the effects are that good.

Disney is doing something with The Lion King that has never been done before. They gave animals facial expressions in the most natural way I have ever seen before. I can’t get over how flawless it was. How flawless it all was. The animals moved naturally. The water moved naturally. Every tree, animal, bug, and rock all looked so freaking real. At times, I forgot I was even watching CGI. It felt like I was watching Planet Earth or some Disneynature movie. It’s out of this world, folks.

To sum this all up, The Lion King was a major win for me! I give it five stars and then some! Have you seen The Lion King yet? Let me know what you thought about the movie!

Until next time, folks!