I didn’t plan to review The Lion King 2019 remake. I did my collection of looks inspired by the original movie a few weeks ago and that was going to be it BUT after watching the new movie, I had some thoughts. I actually made notes during the drive home from the theater so I wouldn’t forget any points I wanted to make, lol. This is not going to be a glowing review but it’s also not going to be completely negative. I’m going to split my thoughts into bullet points, what I loved and what I hated. They won’t be in any particular order. Let’s get into the review!
- The music was breathtaking. It was basically the same as the original with a few minor changes. I was emotional as soon as the “Circle of Life” started playing.
- I absolutely adored Timon, Pumbaa and Zazu. I’ll always love the originals the most but the new voice actors did a phenomenal job bringing them to life. They were also hilarious. I laughed at almost every scene they were in.
- I actually didn’t mind the realistic animation style and felt that the characters were still able to show emotion. Many reviews I’ve seen do not share that opinion, and that’s fine, but I personally wasn’t bothered by the animation.
- The addition of other animals that actually had small speaking roles made the movie feel more alive. The background characters became more than just props.
- I do have some issues with Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, which I’ll get into below, but I did like some things about them. I love that Shenzi’s role was expanded on and the banter between Banzai and Ed was hilarious.
- Mufasa’s death got to me more than I thought it would. I think this was partly because the characters look so real and I’m an animal lover, but it’s just an emotional scene regardless.
- I thought Scar having feelings for Sarabi was an interesting choice that I neither loved nor hated.
- I feel that Scar’s character was completely ruined. His epic song, “Be Prepared”, was basically removed and I just don’t feel that his lines were written well. I love the original Scar, he’s my favorite misunderstood villain, but remake Scar is a pale shadow in comparison.
- I LOVE James Earl Jones and I’m so glad that he was able to reprise his role as Mufasa but it wasn’t the same. In the original, Mufasa just oozed majesty and power, mainly due to James Earl Jones’ fantastic voice acting. However, in this one, his voice just isn’t as strong. He is quite elderly now and I’m sure that’s the cause of it but I wish they would’ve just reused his recordings from the original. Like with Scar, this Mufasa is a pale shadow of his former self.
- In the original, Rafiki is goofy but unbelievably wise. In the remake, he just seems average. They removed the most important scene involving Rafiki where he teaches Simba that he can either run from the past or learn from it. Removing that scene made Rafiki seem insignificant.
- Shenzi was pretty much in charge in the original and still is in the remake but she’s completely unlikable now. She’s not friends with Banzai and Ed, she controls them. She’s much more aggressive and cunning. I prefer the slightly stupid hyenas of the original that weren’t particularly evil, they just wanted a better life with more food.
- Speaking of the hyenas, they changed the line “If you ever come back, we’ll kill you!” that was screamed at Simba as he ran away after his father’s death. In the remake, it’s just Ed and Banzai joking with each other as Simba runs away. It is so much less impactful and turns a serious moment into a lighthearted one.
- Color plays a big part in conveying emotion and since the setting of this movie is based on the African savanna and desert, there’s not a lot of color. The atmosphere is bland and the characters just don’t convey enough emotion to make up for the lack of color.
- There was way too much time spent on shots of rodents and bugs just walking around.
- I absolutely HATED that they changed how Rafiki realizes that Simba is still alive. Simba’s hair is picked up by the wind, gets eaten by a giraffe, crapped out, rolled into a ball by a dung beetle and then blown through the air to Rafiki. It was so stupid and took way more time than it should have.
- There was no where near enough time spent developing Simba and Nala’s romantic relationship. She shows up and the movie jumps into “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” almost immediately.
- I like Beyonce as Nala but I felt she sang as Beyonce, not Nala. What I mean is, I don’t feel like Nala would have really been doing the absolute most during “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” but this version did…
- I like Donald Glover but I did not like him as Simba. His voice is just not powerful enough.
- The tone and pacing felt off a lot of the time. Often when the characters would speak, it was like it was the first time the voice actors were reading the script. Their lines just felt stiff and came out sounding awkward.
I didn’t hate this movie but I don’t like it. It’s just… not good. It completely missed the mark. The Lion King is an epic and emotional tale and this remake lacks those things so therefore, it’s missing the true soul of The Lion King. However, different opinions are always welcome and I would love to know what you thought about the movie! Thanks for reading and have a great day!
I thought I’d add in what I wore to the movies! You can find the makeup details over on my Instagram and the shirt was from WalMart. I didn’t like the movie but I did like my outfit and makeup so it wasn’t a total waste, lol.