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  • Nicholas Heywood

The Lion King Review

The Lion King has once again graced our screens with a retelling of the classic story 25 years after it's 1994 debut. The story follows Simba, a lion cub who hopes to someday rule the African kingdom of the Pride Lands. Although not all is at it seems - he learns life lessons, builds friendships, and encounters obstacles during his journey from cub to lion. This spoiler-free review covers the key highs and lows of the film, while considering the differences compared to the original.

Breathtaking Visuals

The use of computer-generated visuals breathe life into Pride Rock with photo-realistic environments and characters with natural-looking, realistic animations. The environmental detail can be mind-blowing because they're so realistic-looking that we sometimes forgot they're CGI! Although it slightly deviates from the original's vision, the realism in animations brings a more natural feel to the film. The visual quality will certainly set a new bar for future animated films, especially in immersive 3D/IMAX.

Mixed Soundtrack Reaction

The soundtrack is a bit of a mixed bag, while most songs outperform/match the originals, others don't quite live up to the impact. Some also stray from the originals by improvising in places, but this works really well with most of them. Nonetheless, we enjoyed their renditions and believe audiences old and new will too! Hans Zimmer returns to compose the film's score, contributing once again to the emotional impact of every scene. His talents build on the mood of every scene and elevate it so that crucial scenes stay with you long after you leave the cinema.

Excellent Storytelling

The story closely follows the original, there are some missing scenes, but they're compensated with additional footage. They build further context and flow into areas initially overlooked, that lightly refreshes the story-telling and contributes to character development. Nala is one example as we see more of her perspective and emphasis of her crucial role in Simba's journey. Chiwetel Ejiofor delivers a cunning yet slightly underwhelming Scar, despite lacking Jeremy Irons' malevolence, his character is unique and memorable.

8/10

The Lion King is a highly enjoyable experience for fans old and new alike. What it lacks from the original, it makes up for with spectacular visuals, strong story-telling, and ample character development. The Lion King is out now worldwide on Disney+!

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