‘The Lion King’ isn’t just a movie, it’s a cinematic force to be reckoned with. The live-action remake is a stunning visual achievement that’s anchored by a stellar cast that includes Beyonce, Donald Glover, Billy Eichner, and more.
The 1994 version of The Lion King is a classic film. The kids and adults of that generation experienced an animated film that was so powerful it continues to be one of the most beloved films of all-time. So, everyone was surprised when the live-action adaptation of The Lion King was announced. Why mess with a film that’s already pretty much perfect? It’s a big gamble to take but it pays off for director Jon Favreau and his incredible voice cast. Even though the live-action movie is a story we know and love, there’s something uniquely special about this version of The Lion King.
For one, it’s visually magnificent. Favreau has brought these characters to life in a totally new way. The visual effects are breathtaking. The wild animals look so natural, even while they’re moving their mouths to talk and singing. On just the visual side alone, The Lion King is a touchstone film in that regard.
The cast is stacked with major names like Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce as Nala, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, John Oliver as Sazu, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. James Earl Jones returns as the voice of Mufasa because only James Earl Jones can play Mufasa. JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph are delightful as young Simba and young Nala. You just want to take these little cubs home with you. They truly nail each and every scene.
The ultimate scene stealers of the film are Billy and Seth. Hollywood has found its next legendary dynamic duo. Every time that quippy meerkat and adorable warthog graces the screen, you will undoubtedly be laughing out loud. While the movie is mostly an exact replication of the original, Timon and Pumbaa have new jokes that get just as many laughs. Their repartee is spot-on perfection. Please cast Billy and Seth in every single movie together.
Your favorite songs from the original movie are featured in the film. Donald and Beyonce’s version of “Can’t You Feel The Love Tonight” is beautiful. Beyonce’s original song “Spirit” is a powerful anthem during a crucial scene in the movie. Nala doesn’t have a solo in the original film, but when you’ve got Beyonce, you’ve got to let the woman sing her own song. Beyonce puts her heart and soul into this ballad. Just give this woman the Oscar for Best Original Song already!
Regardless of how you feel about remakes, the live-action The Lion King is a spectacular film. Now we have not just one but two versions to enjoy forever. The Lion King will be released on July 19.