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The Lion King (2019) Movie Review

A breathtakingly beautiful realistic remake of Disney’s beloved classic.

Thank you to Walt Disney Studios for the invitation to the advanced media screening to facilitate The Lion King (2019) movie review.

The Lion King 2019 Movie Review

The Lion King returns marking a significant jump in animation since the original movie came out 25 years ago.

“Photo real animation” is the terminology the studio requested to be used instead of a live action remake which seems like a really odd phrase to use, but may be the first of many movies of this type.

If The Lion King original movie is one of your most beloved of Disney movies, rest assured. This new version just might become your most favorite version.

The Lion King 2019 Baby Simba held by Rafiki

Jon Favreau brilliantly remade the classic into a modern piece while still maintaining the original story, charm, and memorable scenes. Just like he did with The Jungle Book, he expertly takes a familiar story and adds depth and details to make it an amazing experience for audiences to enjoy. Disney made a wise choice with Favreau taking the reins.

Scar with warthogs in The Lion King

When comparing the two versions there is 29 more minutes of length added to the 2019 film. One can naturally assume the credits are a bit longer this time around with the high level of animation and CGI required. While the movie feels almost step by step the exact duplicate of the original, there are some portions of the movie that have been extended with some scenes longer than the original.

Mufasa voiced by James Earl Jones in The Lion King

There are some subtle differences between the movies and die hard Disney fans will undoubtedly notice the differences. Rafiki is seen without his staff through most of the movie, which is very odd. Rafiki also uses twigs or branches of some kind to place a mark on young Simba’s forehead instead of a fruit. The scene when Pumbaa is stuck under a log when being chased and Timon pushes him through is missing in this version.

Rafiki in The Lion King 2019 movie

The voice cast has an amazing line up of talent but the most spectacular one is James Earl Jones. He IS Mufasa. There could have been no other way to have this movie made without his incredibly recognizable voice.

The Lion King photo real movie with Simba and Nala

A grown up Simba and Nala are paired beautifully by the voices of Donald Glover, who played Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Beyoncé in both their speaking roles and their singing roles. Seth Rogen voices Pumbaa brilliantly and provides quite a bit of humor as he maintains the playful nature of the warthog.

Pride Rock in The Lion King remake

The animation is simply amazing. With the combination of live action filmmaking, virtual reality, and animation this truly is hard to believe we do not have a real lion talking on the screen.

Pumba Timon Simba The Lion King movie

If you are expecting a complete remake of the storyline then you will be deeply disappointed with this version. It is almost the exact same movie, just made realistic. If you want to see an original story with something new to enjoy then this is not the movie for you, but if you are a diehard Lion King fan then go see it. You will laugh, you might cry, and your heart will fall in love with little Simba all over again. This is one movie I cannot wait to add to our home movie collection.

Simba and Zazu in The Lion King

Parent Guide: (SPOILER ALERT)

This is a family friendly movie. You do not have to see the original in order to enjoy this movie.

The scene in the elephant graveyard may be slightly scary to really young children. The most difficult part to watch for young children may be when Simba’s life is threatened by the animals rushing through the gorge. Very young children might be scared when Mufasa dies.

Characters are less adorable than their cartoon versions yet a baby Simba still causes the aww factor. Scar’s appearance is definitely scarier.

There are no end scenes or bonus scenes to wait for so you do not need to sit through the credits unless you like listening to the music.

The Lion King is rated G for all audiences.

Simba Nala Zazu in The Lion King

[quote]Disney’s “The Lion King,” directed by Jon Favreau, journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon. Utilizing pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way, Disney’s “The Lion King” roars into theaters on July 19, 2019.[/quote]

The Lion King | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | #TheLionKing

  • Release Date: July 19, 2019
  • Format: IMAX, IMAX 3D, 3D, and 2D
  • Rating: G
  • Run Time: 1 hour 58 minutes
  • Voice Cast: Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Florence Kasumba, Eric André, Keegan-Michael Key, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, James Earl Jones
  • Director: Jon Favreau
  • Producers: Jon Favreau, Jeffrey Silver, Karen Gilchrist
  • Screenplay: Jeff Nathanson
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios


Photos provided by Walt Disney Studios. Used with permission. 

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Wendy Wright

Head Geek at Plugged In Family often found at Comicon, Disneyland, or online increasing her gamer score on Xbox. As a member of the 501st Legion, Wendy spreads her love of Star Wars across the Galaxy in her handmade Jawa costume volunteering for charities with her husband and two sons.

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