Review: Live-Action Lion King

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The Lion King was originally released in 1994 and became an instant animated classic, so it wasn’t a surprise when Disney announced there would be a live-action remake. However, the highly anticipated movie didn’t live up to its hype. 

Some of the original cast members from the 1994 movie included James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Jeremy Irons as Scar, Mathew Broderick as Simba, and Moria Kelly as Nala. These cast members put on an award-winning performance 25 years ago, therefore that same expectation was held for the new cast consisting of Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncè as Nala, and Chiwetel Umeadi Ejiofor as Scar. And while fans were impressed with the actors’ performances, other aspects of the film fell short. 

It’s not the first live-action remake from Disney, following Aladdin, Dumbo, and Beauty and the Beast. Critics say the movie is a “rip-off of the original movie” and a “shameless money grab.” This comes from the fact, The Lion King didn’t feel fresh or original, unlike Aladdin which placed a much larger emphasis on Princess Jasmine. 

Another critique is the use of CGI instead of animation. One of the best things about the original movie is the animal’s vivid facial expressions. However, in the remake there were none. Each face resembled the animal exactly with little human features, causing audiences to be less attached to the characters. 

Not all the reviews were bad, however. The movie ended up making $1.4 billion worldwide due to the nostalgia factor fans claim to have while watching the movie. It’s now the highest-grossing animated movie of all time. 

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