Just a few months after having released the colorful, though strange, remake of the famous Aladdin, the Disney studio is completely committed to The Lion King. It looks like they were a bit afraid of changing almost anything in the story, Jon Favreau, the movie's director tells the audience exactly the same plot of the 1994 original, making little to no changes to avoid negative reviews. Despite the feeling of being in front of a rehash, the amazing animal's hyperrealism and the scenarios, together with a duo of comical characters that show off, help the The Lion King to preserve some freshness that is worth experiencing.
In The Lion King we get to know lion prince Simba's story (Donald Glover when he is adult, whereas being played as a puppy by J.D. McCray). Simba is prepared from the earliest stages of his life to, one day, become a king, just like Mufasa, his father (whose voice is played by no less than James Earl Jones). Soon in the movie, Mufasa is murdered in his evil, jealous brother's hands, who goes by the name of Scar (and yes, he actually has a scar in one of his eyebrows). Scar tricks Simba into thinking that he's responsible for the targedy of his father, which makes him feel so guilty and scared that he flees the kingdom, leaving his entire life behind. The movie follows the emotional trip Simba has to face throughout his life as he becomes an adult, and eventually pursues his true destiny of becoming a king.
Since Disney began its new interesting goal to remake as real-image films (or realistic animation, in some cases) almost all of its animated films from the Renaissance era of the studio, many have wondered, why do they do it, what is it? the objective? Is improving these movies using technology that did not exist in the early 90s the goal? Do you want to give more depth to marginalized characters? Improve diversity? Maybe it's something as simple as "reminding us why we loved them." The Lion King could be easily of the most popular Disney movies.
Some moments are different, extending certain scenes or the development of some characters, but they are few and very poorly developed. A secondary plot for the hyena Shenzi (interpreted in a threatening way by Florence Kasumba, of Black Panther), which involves a war between hyenas and lions, in the end does not reach anywhere, and this is so sad because this time the hyenas are not presented as obedient fascist soldiers without their own intelligence; instead, they are a group being marginalized bothered by the lion's dominion over the land that's rightfully theirs. It is a hardly missed opportunity for the creators to give more depth to these three characters that originally had no context or history. It is logical that the study wanted to avoid any political similarities and controversy, but it still feels like a perfect opportunity to make a great point with a great movie just passing byb. However, the film needed to follow both the moments and events of the 1994 film, which leaves the story of the hyenas without resolution.
It seems that the mentality of the film is that you don't need any depth in the plot if you have 2019's incredible CCGI. Sometimes, you feel like you're not watching a fiction story, but a documentarie on the nature of Disney or BBC's. The characters look just like actual lions, this is a spectacle worth contemplating, but it also has one real disadvantage, it is possible to tell the differences between the characters. For example, it is practically impossible to tell the difference between female lionesses.
The Lion King is an extremely beautiful movie and worthy of being seen on the largest possible screen, but like some of Disney's latest remakes, it can't help feeling completely unnecessary.