Film Review: The Lion King 2019

PUBLISHED: 15:32 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:32 07 August 2019

Simba is back in the 2019 remake. Picture: IMDb

Simba is back in the 2019 remake. Picture: IMDb


Another month into the year and we find ourselves with another remake of a beloved Disney classic

While Jon Favreau's film does not come close to matching the quality of the original it is an ambitious, aesthetically dazzling feature, which showcases the director's considerable talents within this genre.

Destined to become king of Pride Rock, Simba (JD McCrary and, later, later Donald Glover) finds his future destroyed when his uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) usurps the throne, forcing the young prince to flee his home and family.

Anyone even remotely familiar with the original will hardly be surprised by the betrayals and reuniting of key characters, with Favreau following the beats of that film almost to the letter, but it is hard not to get swept up with the drama, especially when such memorable tunes as 'Be prepared' are re-staged with such zeal.

What really impresses is the gorgeous photorealistic animation, making much of the film feel as though one is watching a David Attenborough documentary.

Alas, as beautiful as this CG rendering is it lacks the vibrancy, invention and emotional power of the original animation and leaves proceedings ultimately feeling a little bland and far less emotionally involving than its predecessor. Thankfully this void is filled by uniformly heroic voice work, particularly Ejiofor whose antagonistic Scar, much like Jeremy Irons' previous portrayal, remains the film's most compelling character.

While lacking in emotional resonance this is a visually stunning and consistently engaging, if flawed, remake.

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