Live-action remakes of classic Disney films have been sweeping the box office by reimagining the stories we love with the incredible CGI technologies of today. It was imperative to the fans, old and new, that they got this one right. While critics are skeptical of it, audiences around the world are in awe. The Lion King still reigns King 25 years after its original release.
I still remember when I saw The Lion King for the first time. My parents took my sister and me to the local drive-in theater, with bounds of blankets and salty snacks in tow. Seeing it with my family again on the big screen, in a whole new light, made everything feel like it had come full circle (of life?).
Director Jon Favreau gave this film everything. Starting with an incredible line up of cast members, lending their voices to these beloved character – Donald Glover (Simba), Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Nala), James Earl Jones (Mufasa), Chiwetel Ejiofer (Scar), Billy Eicher (Timon), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) and so many more – to the impeccable CGI that creates a jaw-dropping landscape and believable creatures, to music that perfectly blends the songs we all know and love with new, authentic tunes that breathe a new life into the classic story.
Seeing this film in the theater was one of the most heart-warming experiences I’ve had in a long time. There was every type of person in the audience; Young, old, black, white, couples, children and everything in between. When the title appeared after the iconic opening scene, the audience cheered. After the stampede scene, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Anytime Timon and Pumbaa were on screen, everyone was hooting and hollering. Everyone found something they could hold on to in this film. I’ll hold onto my experience, just as I have held on to the first time I saw The Lion King 20-some years ago.
Forget the critics and listen to a fellow movie-lover. The Lion King is breath-taking, exciting and gives the original film a second life. Its message, all these years later, still holds true. Stand up for what you believe in (against your evil uncle), be true to yourself (especially if you are the one, true king) and Hukuna Matata (it means “No Worries”).
Click here for my podcast with Montez on 99.9 KGOR for fun facts about the film and my 3 reasons why you HAVE to go see The Lion King.
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