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  1. Published on: 11/08/2019 06:33 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: After the murder of his father, a young lion cub flees his kingdom and rediscovers his destiny to over-throw his dastardly uncle.

    The third Disney live-action re-make of 2019, and it's one that while some people may not call live-action, it involves one of Disney's most successful animated features.


    The Lion King has become one of the most highly praised films of all-time, not just within the animation genre. It's broadway musical has become a worldwide phenomenon and it is back on the big screens.


    I was somewhat excited for this as despite me not thinking that it needed a re-make, it had Jon Favreau as director,who gave us the best Disney live-action re-make to date in the form of, The Jungle Book.


    I avoided all the trailers as it didn't need anything for me to want to see it. So I went in knowing very little except what I imagined in my head. I knew I was expecting the visual effects of animals to be as real as possible. But I did not expect the entire world to be so worryingly authentic.
    Now that I've seen it, I truly that if it wasn't for the animals talking and singing, it would look more like a David Attenborough documentary.


    This film has shown that we have gone beyond the world of CGI, it is now photo-realism that has taken its place within the visual effects department of film-making.
    In terms of the story, there is very little difference between this and the 1994 animation. In fact, this is probably the least changed out of all of the Disney live-action re-makes to date. There was one small difference in one scene which was very funny and unexpected.


    You would think that would mean that that would make it as great as the original. However, it seemed the films biggest strength, also prevents it from being a great film.
    With the animals being as real as possible, the expressions animals give are restricted and down-grade the emotions that they give off in their face. So during some of the films most iconic and pivotal scenes, the characters don't seem to be expressing their faces enough to relate to what's just happened. Unlike the animation, where they can express their characters to a more human quality that makes the audience relate to the emotions of the characters.


    I have to keep echoing the visual effects department, because they have created a world that is as real as it can get for CGI. The design of the animals is spot on and the level of detail is unmatched. I especially liked the design of Scar. That torn and withered look was there for all to see and it was great to see in its completion. If they don't win every major award going for Best Visual Effects, then there is something wrong there.


    The voice work was very good overall. JD McCrary and Donald Glover were great as Simba, Chiwitel Ejiofor maintain Scar's reputation as the best character of the story, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen were great scene-stealers as Timon and Pumba and it was great hearing James Earl Jones again as Mufasa. I didn't feel the need of casting Beyonce as Nala, except to just use his singing to enhance sales in the soundtrack. To be honest, I didn't feel her versions of certain songs bettered the originals. The modern style and edge to them didn't necessary in my opinion.
    Elsewhere, I felt John Oliver was basically doing a Rowan Atkinson impression as Zazu instead making it his own.


    Despite enjoying it, there were a fair amount of problems with it that just made it a solid film and nothing more. In a nutshell, I could call this film an oxymoron as like I said earlier, it's biggest strength down-graded the quality.
    But thankfully there's plenty to enjoy and enough well executed moments to take you back to those days as a kid of constantly watching the animated original.


    As usual, I am going to end with the one question I always leave myself with after each Disney live-action re-make, did this need to be re-made? In my opinion, not quite. I felt that this films existence was basically to showcase the technology they had. Favreau and his team showed where this technology can go in The Jungle Book and it has been fully realised in this latest feature.


    So far, the Disney live-action re-makes have been solid overall. We have two left in the form of Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil and Lady And The Tramp. I'll be particularly interested to see if this technology is used in a similar way in the latter of the two.


    Rating: 7/10
     

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