The Lion King is a visual treat full of nostalgia accentuated by captivating melodies and detailed CGI characters.

When Disney released the 2D animated version of this most beloved fur-filled film back in 1994, youngins and young-at-hearts instantly fell in love with the characters of Simba, Nala, Timon, Pumbaa, and Mufasa. It is no wonder why when Disney announced their plan of doing a movie remake, 90’s kids rejoiced.

The Lion King is a board book adaptation of the movie of the same name. It follows the adventure of Simba, and how he took back his homeland from his wicked uncle Scar. The Lion King also tells a classic coming of age story that incorporates the symbolism of the animal kingdom and its natural hierarchical structure.

As of writing, the film Directed by John Favreau stands at only 58% on Rotten Tomatoes, and 57% on Metacritic, describing the reviews as mixed or average. But what exactly is it with The Lion King that most of its spectators are raving about their excitement to see the film, will this surpass their expectations? Is this reimagined film going to hit the right spot to tackle the 100% notch? We dare say that we’re not even sure if it’s “good enough.”

Find out why we loved or hated the film in our spoiler-free review below!

It was a mesmerizing visual treat

Almost 80% of the movie is identical to the original animated film. It opened with Simba’s presentation atop a pinnacle called the Pride Rock, and as expected the film features different animals from the African Safari that seemed to be so real. It was a memorable scene that everyone who loves the film would truly enjoy.


The visuals were close to reality that intricacy of all the characters was really crafted and made to perfection.


The film lacks the gloss and vibrancy

Comparing it to John Favreau’s The Jungle Book treatment, The Lion King is a muted motion picture of animals doused in sandy brown palettes. The film might have adopted the colors of the animals’ natural habitat. Hence, some scenes lack vibrancy, and most of the scenic views are muted.

Most of the scenes were on point

We are talking about how the iconic film opened. The film is so on point, that when you have a split screen image of the scenes from the original animated film and the new movie you won’t see any difference.

One remarkable scene that you wouldn’t want to miss is the stampede of wildebeests. This specific scene not only makes use of the same framing and positions but also made use of the same musical scoring of the 2D animated film that is both eerie and tragic.


The movie snatched out the appeal of some scenes that it has in the original film

If there is one thing that will make you feel the aghast and wickedness of Scar, that is the part where he sang “Be Prepared” however, in this film it seemed as if Disney and Favreau agreed to cut the dark and haunting auditory scene of the antagonist to a shorter version that is both boring, bland and dull.

The musical rendition were good

The musical rendition of Circle Of Life and The Lion sleeps tonight were close to perfection. Beyonce Knowles and Donald Glover breathe a fresher tune with the memorable song of this film Can You feel the Love Tonight marrying a cozy and R&B vibe. Though others may disagree, the second trailer which Disney has released with Queen Bey’s vocals gives the material a fresh new take and has up the musical ante a notch higher than the usual.


The Lion sleeps tonight is a cool and memorable jam that is easy to vibe with. In this new movie, Timon and Pumbaa did not just stroke the notes all by themselves, but they got a little help from their animal friends. You shouldn’t miss this part!

Same goes with Hakuna Matata, Glover dishes out his cool jam vocals to spike the beats a bit, which made the tune playful yet sticking to its original note roots.


Some versions were still not good enough

Yup! We’re talking about the “Be prepared” rendition of Chiwetel Ejiofor. Take a listen below and compare it to the original.

The voices behind the characters were effective and a good movie hype

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Photo courtesy of Disney
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Photo courtesy of Disney

Disney released good teaser photos of all The Lion King characters alongside the actors and actresses who voiced them.

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Photo courtesy of Disney
Image may contain: 1 person
Photo courtesy of Disney

And no questions must be asked these photos went viral especially the one bearing Beyonce’s visage; It is a good hype-maker for the film which seemed to be a good marketing aid to push the film to the top of the movie hit list by next week.


They should’ve maximized the hype-maker of the film.

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Photo courtesy of Disney

The Lion King hews much closer to the original, which means Beyoncé doesn’t get a whole lot to do in the movie despite Nala’s reintroduction serving as a kind of moral compass to help Simba step up and reclaim his home from his murderous uncle, Scar. (source)


The film is a nostalgic trip down the memory lane.

Our verdict;

Though with missed scenes and unmatched tunes, The Lion King will still hit you hardcore and though the whole movie lacks emotion and just full of intense CGI’s, the movie deserves to be seen and enjoyed. We are still giving it 3 stars out of 5.

The Lion King will hit the local cinemas this July 17.

About the Author

Ed Lorenzo is a PR and Marketing practitionaer who loves fashion, photography and traveling. Follow him on instagram and twitter @edryanlorenzo to get to know more of his sojourn.