“The Lion King” garners mixed reviews

Tea Wheat, Entertainment Writer

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One of America’s favorite childhood movies was rebooted this past summer. No, not Peter Pan! Disney’s The Lion King roared back to life this past June, awakening the kid inside multiple generations.

The plot of this new live-action movie has the same overall plot as the previous animated film with a few differences here and there. Simba, the next in line to take over Pride Rock, looks up to his father Mufasa and hopes to be like him someday. Simba likes to get in over his head by first venturing into the “badlands,” otherwise known as an elephant graveyard, and later on getting caught in a wild wildebeest stampede. This later act ends up killing his father due to a trap that his Uncle Scar set. Simba is then tricked into thinking he killed his father and runs away due to guilt.

This causes the young lion to meet Timon and Pumbaa, who help him view the world in a completely different light than he once did. Simba grows up with his newfound friends and grows into a spitting image of his father. However, while Simba thrives, Pride Rock doesn’t. His childhood friend, Nala, sets out from Pride Rock in hopes of finding some help. After finding Simba, she tries to convince him to come back with her. Teaming up with Timon, Pumbaa, Zazu and Nala, it is up to Simba to try and reclaim his place back home and restore Pride Rock.

The cast of this remake is an all-star cast that caused this film to have high hopes when it was first announced. With Donald Glover voicing Simba and Beyoncé voicing Nala, fans were excited to hear the duo sing together. James Earl Jones is the only cast member to reprise their role from the animated film as Mufasa. Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner voice Pumbaa and Timon, respectively. Jon Favreau, who might be better known for playing Tony Stark, head of security Happy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, directed the film. A lot of people were also drawing a lot of comparisons between the actors and the characters they voice, both physically and vocally.

Over the last couple of years, Disney has been remaking their classic films and turning them into live action and CGI animated works. Starting off with the Jungle Book, which was followed by Dumbo, then Aladdin, The Lion King is following right in its counterparts’ footsteps, drawing in crowds looking to relive their childhood. Earning $185 million in its opening weekend, fans clamored to get a seat. However, there have been mixed reviews of the film with some critics saying, “The great circle of life has thrown up a gorgeous, star-studded story, but trading feeling for realism means that we lose something of the original film’s excellence” (Helen O’Hara, Empire). The film received a 53 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes and received a 7.1/10 from IMDb.

I personally recommend going to see this remake. While it leaves not a whole lot of surprises from the original, it is still as heart-warming as before. Go see it with friends, family or both, but no matter what, make sure to bring your inner child along, too!

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