Monday, October 25, 2021

Weekend Watch: ‘The Lion King’ Still Reigns Supreme

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala and Donald Glover as Simba. 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Lion King” continues to reign as one of Disney’s best animated films. The current release far surpasses the 1994 cartoon version of “The Lion King.”

The spectacular live-action virtual visual effects made possible with modern technology are captivating. Directed by Jon Favreau, “The Lion King” is the classic story of future king Simba (Donald Glover), who idolizes his father, King Mufasa (James Earl Jones).

Simba must come to terms with Mufasa’s death and his own legacy. Simba’s ascension to the throne, however, is hampered by his power hungry, treacherous uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor).

Childhood friend Nala (Beyonce Knowles-Carter) encounters Simba while he is in exile. She makes him realize his mission in life and how necessary his return is to the majestic Savanna and restore it to its splendor.

The Lion King cast (L- Right) Billy Eichner (Timon), Shahadi Wright Joseph (Young Nala), JD McCrary (Young SImba), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), Florence Kasumba (Shenzi), Donald Glover (Simba), Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Nala), Alfre Woodard (Sarabi), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), John Oliver (Zazu), Keegan-Michael Key (Kamari) and Eric André (Azizi). Photo by Kwaku Alston. © 2019 Beyoncé/Kwaku Alston.

James Earl Jones is magnificent as Mufasa and it’s inconceivable seeing any other actor voicing this character. Such is the case with “Star Wars.” No one could ever duplicate Jones’ voice as Darth Vader. “The Lion King” is such an iconic story, there is no need for star power, just good actors—and there are a number of them in the film.

Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), Billy Eichner (Timon), and John Kani (Rafiki) are scene stealers. Just as important as the narrative is the relevant and timely message in the movie. You get a taste of that in the trailer. As if this wasn’t enough there are the memorable songs like “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” “Circle of Life,” “Hakuna Matata,” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” There are not that many movies I would pay to see, but this is one of them.       Twitter: @thefilmstrip


Marie Moore
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.



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