The Orval-all picture: ‘The Lion King’: What is the problem here?

Orval Howard

After viewing the remake to the 1994 classic, The Lion King, I couldn’t help but wonder what everybody’s problem was with this film. I understand the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” type of mindset, but I didn’t see a problem with this film. I actually quite enjoyed what the filmmakers accomplished.

The Lion King is almost a shot for shot remake of the original animated version. There is some new dialogue with some of the characters, however much of it is kept the same. It felt like Jon Favreau, the director, wanted to keep what made the original so good while putting his own modern twist to it.

The animation is absolutely beautiful to watch. As this is considered a live action remake, all but one shot of the film is computer generated. This makes for an interesting experience because the CGI is great. The animals cannot communicate facial expressions because they are so realistic, so they rely on movement. This worked for me because realistic animals (if they could speak) would have to communicate this way because they do not make animated facial expressions.

I also loved the design of the characters. A lot of reviews of this film gave it a lot of heat for how dark and bland they are. But, I thought they were great for a realistic take. Scar’s features are so threatening compared to Simba’s pleasant, more heroic look.

My favorite aspect of this film is Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner as Timon and Pumba. These two actors stole the show. From what I have read, they were given an opportunity to improvise much of their dialogue and it really pays off. They are hilarious together.

The only nit pick I had with this film was the voice actors. There were times where I couldn’t help but compare the delivery of lines to the original animated feature, and the simple fact is that the original had more life in the line deliveries.

I was sitting in the theater getting chills watching the spectacle unfold on screen. Every time the gorgeous score would rise, the nostalgic feeling would grow within me and I would feel like I did when I was a kid watching the original for the very first time.

Disney has more money than they know what to do with. From the income they get from the Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe films alone, recreating their classic animation films will not put a dent in their pocket. If you don’t like it, then don’t watch it. I loved what they did with it, and the Lion King delivered exactly what I wanted.