Nineties’ kids – or more specifically, the tribe of the pride lands – met again at the theatres on July 19 after 10 years of re-watching the iconic childhood favourite and several months of impatient waiting. However, it was not a mere trip down the memory lane – to some it was passing on a legacy to their children and to some, it was reliving the experience with their parents. The Lion King is a must watch for the sheer number of people who view it as a masterpiece. Here as some other reasons why you should be heading to the theatres for Lion King:
Just in case there are netizens who do not know the story of The Lion King, it is the story of a lion cub (Simba) losing his regal father (Mufasa) to the schemes of his uncle (Scar) and later growing his mane and taking his rightful place back from the scheming uncle. As a runaway, the cub finds his own best friends – the unlikely pair of a warthog (Pumba) and a meercat (Timon) – and as an adolescent lion, he is guided by his childhood sweetheart (Nala) and his father’s old friends (Rafiki the baboon and Zazoo the Puffin). The main components of the storyline are untouched in the new movie. However, the characters themselves have undergone changes as most of the voice artists; the different renditions made for an interesting watch. The way some of the events happen has also been re-imagined with commendable results. Let’s talk about the deliberate changes made in the storyline. For one, we all realize that a pride in the jungle and actual lions do not behave in the way humans – or our movie lions – do. The changes mostly try to take the events closer to big cat behavior, which we appreciate. The songs have been cut shorter to make the original-looking animals stay authentic, and the way Scar’s ambitious song is precisely shortened was very impressive. Dialogues have been rewritten; they’ve removed some real gems, but some of the new jokes work really well. While most scenes have been reanimated in the same exact angles, the new movie displays the lions, hyenas, and all characters in real animal behavior: cowering has flattened ears, hyenas aren’t laughing their heads off because we have that misconception: for the most part they have tried to conform to animal body language and behavior, and there are some additions in the script to get the facts right. Nala’s escape is shown here, to explain her sneaking out without being spotted or sniffed out. Serabi (Simba’s mother) is being forced by Scar to mate with him and when she refuses (because this is a movie and the villain lion does not want to force himself on her) he has the lionesses eating after the hyenas. His gesture - asking Serabi to share meat from a carcass – is how a lioness accepts a new male lion in the real jungle. And unless the leading lioness accepts a male, no lioness in the pride will accept him. However, we are eternally displeased with the way how lionesses like Nala and Serabi are not given their share of character value while the real, lionesses are the active herders of a pride who do everything from hunting to child rearing. We’ve been excited for the brand new Scar (uh, the villain lion) and our expectations are well-met. The brand new scar is a hunting-worn, with a different, matching voice. The mane – a becoming black that usually indicates a lion looking for a mate – is beautiful and the threateningly soft, sleek diction of Chiwetel Ejiofor is stellar. Beyonce as Nala is a well-spoken sultry lioness, which doesn’t sit well with us – we are used to a gritty Nala who can give some straight-speak without blinking and kick some ass in battle. The other characters have not undergone any drastic changes; they’re mostly sticking to their story from 1994. We saved the best aspects of the movie for the last paras. The one single reason why the Lion King (2019) becomes a MUST WATCH in theatres is for the CG effects. We saw the veins running down Mufasa’s well-defined hind legs; a lion cub walking along a sand dune as a visual that brought audible gasps, fire smoke and depths of rivers are all spectacularly realistic - even butterflies have real tints and wings catch light as if they’re really fluttering about in the sun. All lions have the African white strips under eyes, Pumba literally looks like just another warthog and have lost facial traits hinted in the 1994, the new Pumbaa is so much more palatable. Watching the old favourite in such painstakingly worked visuals is going to be a treat in itself and the sheer amount of effort the visual artists have put into the making of most scenes is mind blowing. If you love animation flicks, enjoy really good 3D work and feel IMAX is the only way to watch such movies, you are going to love the Lion King.
Verdict: Lion King: Disney Pride lands’ tribe reunion is a stunning visual treat