Absolutely phenomenal is the first thing that comes to mind. As I’m sitting in my seat watching the opening intro feeling 1000% nostalgia suddenly the entire room fills with thunderous applause and cheers as that classic song echoes through the Dolby speakers. It’s almost as if for that specific moment, the audience was reliving their childhood all over again and the younger generation was experiencing something special for the very first time.
If I even have to so much as write the words SPOILERS then you know you’ve gone too far ahead and need to stop right now and probably go watch the movie. Now I know what you’re thinking…how much spoilers can there really be in a live action Lion King movie? We all know what happens. Well that’s exactly what I thought too but despite the film staying true and I mean REALLY true to it’s animated version, there were some things as expected that were slightly altered and some things that were added to help tell a much fleshed out story than the one we saw years ago. It was more like an extended version of Lion King with deeper and more powerful scenes. I’ll even go as far to say it was definitely a much darker version of the movie.
Scar and the hyenas had a lot to do with that given that their characters were written a lot grittier and uglier than their animated versions. It gave you a different view of Mufasa’s malicious brother even while singing his signature song “Be Prepared” you can fee the bad intentions pouring through his voice. And if you think you were going to make it through this movie a second time around without balling up like a little cub during Mufasa’s death then you’re sadly mistaken. We all knew the heartbreaking scene was coming and man did Disney really nail it. The theater room was silent and I tell you there must’ve been allergies in the air or something because you can hear everyone suddenly come down with the case of the sniffles.
But of course let’s not forget this is a Disney movie and not only that, but this one of their most beloved classics that’s being brought to life here. So it goes without being said that there was bound to be some comedy and feel good moments. Timon & Pumba I don’t think could’ve been casted any better in my opinion. Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express, Superbad, knocked up) and Billy Eichner were spectacular as the dynamic duo. Some of the best “bust out laughing” scenes came from those 2 alone. It had the same magic as the original with a little twist of its own. From the “in the mighty jungle” sing along all the way to the iconic hakuna matata song, Lion King will have you singing along in your seat. The chemistry between Nala and Simba that was brought to life by the talented Beyoncé Knowles and Donald Glover was stupendous.
What more can be said about Lion King that you don’t already know? You expect to be drawn in from the start and taken for a ride and you will be. You expect to cry, laugh, sing, dance and just flat out be entertained and you will be. Probably the most anticipated part of the movie was the final showdown between Simba and his family against Scar and the Hyenas which was EPIC to say the least. Obviously we know how it ends with Simba defeating his uncle and regaining his rightful place as king of pride rock. I have to say that one of the best things about watching this movie is that you know it has a happy ending but you still want to see how it plays out just one more time. It was truly a magical experience at the movies, this is definitely one for the whole family to enjoy whether you’re 5 or 65, I really don’t see how anyone can watch this movie and not come out feeling like a kid all over again.
It is currently sitting at $531 million worldwide after its first weekend at the box office. I guess you can say Lion King proved that when it comes to early rotten tomato scores and critics, the best way to go about it is simply…Hakuna Matata.
Lion King is playing in theaters everywhere.