When I first saw the animated film THE LION KING, I thought it was the cutest and funniest film and it was also deep in meaning.
The stage play blew me away. I immediately fell in love with the costumes, staging, songs and voices. I remember my nephews’ eyes in looking in wonder as the animals came down the aisles and on to the stage. In both cases the music is in the forefront and you leave the theater singing all the songs.
The 2019 film THE LION KING brings the story into reality. The characters are actual lions, hyenas, warthogs, and the animals of Africa. The songs are there but, for me, they weren’t the stars of the film but more the seasoning. The story and the integration of characters drew me in and even though I already knew the story, in this film I experienced it for the first time.
What is made the difference? The film was shot photo real which has a more authentic feel than live action.
Director and producer Jon Favreau went over and beyond to bring the movie goer into the center of the animal kingdom. He also hired strong actors to be the voices of these characters. Its funny but I have a hard time referring to them as characters. These animals felt real. Anyway, one of the reasons is because of the voices.
The King of the Pride, Mustafa, is again voiced by James Earl Jones. Who else could do it? No one! The richness of Mr. Jones voice screams wisdom but also a father’s fear and love for his son.
Chiwetel Ejiofor brings a different and more sinister voice to Mustafa’s brother Scar. You know he is ruthless but his young nephew trusts him
There are many great actors that bring this film to life, but the feeling also comes from the way it was created. The art, animatics, visual effects, and all the other crew members that breathed life into this film and kept it true to the original film.
All the original songs and a few new ones are in the film and you will probably still hear “Hakuna Matata” in your head of a long while.
I say SPEND THE MONEY and see LION KING in theaters. It truly is an experience you don’t want to miss.
Until next time, keep your EYE to the sky!