Movie Review: The Lion King 3D

(You’ve all seen this movie before, so I’m not really going to bother avoiding any spoilers)

The Lion King was perhaps the greatest animated movie that Disney ever made. The controversy surrounding it was a bit interesting at the time, but considering Disney has never been much about brand new ideas so much as taking stuff and making it great, I think at this point it is safe to say that no one really cares whether it was a rip-off or not.

As a kid, I thought The Lion King was pretty great. I liked Scar the best, because he was the dark and sinister villain, and he had (in my not so humble opinion) the best song. The hyenas were a close second, especially since they basically ate Scar at the end of the movie. That is some hardcore stuff.

Anyways, last night I went with some friends to see the 3D theater re-release, which in retrospect must be some kind of gigantic ad campaign for the upcoming super deluxe blue ray edition thing, which was a pretty smart move on their part. The Lion King has an essence to it that would let the property make money no matter what they do to it. Luckily, Disney didn’t take shortcuts and decide to make an easy few million on this re-release.

I think that, if anything, I appreciate this movie a great deal more as an adult than I did as a child. With my more mature attention span and intentional focus on catching what I may have missed, I got a lot more out of it this time around. It was simply a fantastic movie, and that’s about as close to objective truth as you can get with an opinion. It deserved all the praise heaped up on it in the 90s, and continues to deserve it today.

One thing I was slightly concerned about was how they would handle the 3D-ifying of a 2D movie from the 90s. I have seen excellent movies that did a great job with 3D (like Up), and I have seen some decent movies that did an excellent job with 3D (like James Cameron’s Avatar), and I have seen some pretty bad movies do a terrible job with 3D (like the recent Conan the Barbarian). Thereforem I think I know what I’m talking about when I say that they did a really great job making this movie into a 3D movie. In fact, I’m pretty sure they did as good a job as can be done for such a thing without just remaking the movie from scratch. At no point did I find it gratuitous or notice any flaws in the perspective. And all of this while wearing the 3D glasses on top of my normal glasses.

Another part I feel like I really need to bring up is the sound. As a kid, I certainly remembered the songs, and even memorized the lyrics of a few, but it was only watching this movie in the theater as an adult that I could really pick out all of the background music that was constantly going on, and it was a perfect fit every time. Hans Zimmer, I love you and would like to buy you a candy bar.

If you liked The Lion King as a kid, go see it. If you never saw it before, go see it. If you didn’t care too much for it but have kids, take them to see it. With the possible exception of the last group, I will guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.


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