“Lion King” sweeps box office expectations


Natasha McCallister

The Lion King (2019). Photo courtesy of microsoft.com

The beloved story of Simba returns to the big screen in a brand new live-action adventure. Experience Jon Favreau’s remake of Disney’s 1994 classic “The Lion King” as a real-life imaging masterpiece.

Mufasa, voiced by James Earl Jones, is king of Pride Rock and teaches his young cub about the circle of life. Young Simba, voiced by JD McCrary, is a mischievous cub who just can’t wait to be king, but he’ll need the help from his best friend Nala, voiced by Shahadi Wright. More characters are back to help Simba including Zazu, Timon, Pumbaa, Sarabi, Rafiki, and, yes – Scar.

If there is any doubt about this remake because of the lack of facial expressions due to computer generated imagery (CGI), ignore it. With CGI, it is easy to see the whiskers of a meerkat, the softness of a lion’s mane, the wild colors of a thunder storm and the difference in size between a lion and a meerkat. CGI creates life-like images, showing how these animals appear in their natural habitat. Disney brings the African safari to life on the big screen.

Simba may not cry in CGI, but the music in the background tells half the story. No need to worry about feeling like you’re watching an animal documentary as the award-winning music guides you down memory lane. Hans Zimmer, the original composer for the 1994 film, is back to help retell the story with familiar scores and songs such as “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata” and a brand-new song – “Spirit” by Beyoncé Knowles, the voice actor for grown Nala.

Not every movie is perfect, nor will any movie make everyone happy. For those who have watched the animated movie 100 times, there will be scenes in the live-action that you may not like. It is okay to have worries, but do not let that discourage you from enjoying this beloved classic in a whole new way.

The audience will see more glimpses of Nala, including a scene that portrays the power of a lioness. Disney shows the curious nature of young Simba. There is even a little something unexpected with Timon and Pumbaa.

Whether one is new to the story or an avid singer of a favorite song from the original, Disney fails to disappoint as it stays true to the story of Simba and his journey to be king.