The Lion King
Cast: Beyonc, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, James Greer, John Kani, Alfrey Woodard, Billy Eichner and John Oliver
Director: Jon Favreau
Production: Walt Disney Pictures.
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Drama, Family, Musical
Running time: 1h 58m
The live-action remake of the 1994 classic, The Lion King is an upcoming American musical drama film directed by Jon Favreau and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. More than 180 animators brought to life more than 86 species of animals to recreate the inhabitants of the Pride Lands and beyond, which is obviously no mean feat by any standards.
'The Lion King' tells the story of the lion cub Simba (Donald Glover, JD McCrary) who flees his home after his father Mufasa (James Earl Jones) dies at the hands of Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor). While in hiding, he befriends Timon and Pumba (Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen), but soon learns that he cannot run from his destiny forever.
In the African savanna, a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cubs arrival. Scar, Mufasa's brother and former heir to the throne has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba's exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back at home.
Donald Glover and Beyonc duet on Can You Feel the Love Tonight. Welcome comic relief arrives with Seth Rogen as the warthog Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as his meerkat buddy Timon. They bring their own uniquely uproarious comic perspective to their scenes together, especially on the highlight number, Hakuna Matata. No worries when these two are vocally set loose. Eichner just crushes the role of Timon, finding laughs previously uninvestigated on-screen.
Director Jon Favreau scored a hit with 'The Jungle Book', and while the CGI is improved here, there's no denying that having that one human in the middle - Mowgli - allowed the audience to connect with it. 'The Lion King', of course, doesn't have that.
'The Lion King' has its moments and if you never saw the original, this would definitely mean a lot to you. However, the fact remains that it's not an original effort, and it will always be compared to the original and ultimately comes up short against it because nothing can replace the original - not even an all-star cast, a new song, or cutting-edge computer graphics. It suffers by virtue of being a remake when the original was perfect on its own.
The Lion King releases in the UAE on July 18 in English and in India (Hindi version) it is all set to be released on July 19, 2019.