The Lion King (1994)

Movie Title: The Lion King

Year Released: 1994

Rated: G

Runtime: 1h 29min

Genre: Animation, Musical, Adventure, Drama

Director: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff

Writer: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton

Starring: Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Robert Guillaume, Rowan Atkinson, Madge Sinclair, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, Jim Cummings, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Niketa Calame

Review: This Disney animated feature follows the adventures of the young lion Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), the heir of his father, Mufasa (James Earl Jones). Simba's wicked uncle, Scar (Jeremy Irons), plots to usurp Mufasa's throne by luring father and son into a stampede of wildebeests. But Simba escapes, and only Mufasa is killed. Simba returns as an adult (Matthew Broderick) to take back his homeland from Scar with the help of his friends Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella).

The Lion King is one of the most beloved Disney classics to ever grace our screens. For me, it takes up the top spot on the mantle in the pantheon of classic Disney animated films. It has spawned an award-winning Broadway musical as well as a recent live-action/CGI adaptation with an all-star cast (The Lion King (2019)). The Lion King has a way of running you through the entire gamut of emotions. This film will make you laugh, cry, and jump for joy. The animation is spectacular, and really cements itself in an era where Disney was really pushing the boundaries of it's signature style of animation. The score, led by Hans Zimmer and original songs performed by the great Elton John, exhibit many iconic Disney songs that still hold up to this day. The voice work is done perfectly, especially with James Earl Jones' Mufasa, and Jeremy Irons' Scar. These two actors do an incredible job of conveying authenticity and emotion through their characters. I particularly love how this movie is capable of being both lighthearted and fun as well as emotionally complex. This film is truly a joy to watch from start to finish, and a treat for both children and adults. I cannot recommend this film enough. Whether you've seen this film or not, it's never a bad idea to head on over to Pride Rock to experience this visually-spectacular masterpiece of friendship and perseverance!

Hakuna Matata!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: A few weeks before the film opened, Elton John was given a special screening. Noticing that the film's love song had been left out, he successfully lobbied Jeffrey Katzenberg to have the song put back in. Later, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" won John an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1995.


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