The Lion King is another of those films burned into the subconscious of a generation. Disney knows it, and that's why he wanted to breathe new life into his work with a version with 'real actors'. However, it is still a 3D animated film in which there are animals that speak, being the big difference the realistic tone of the protagonist beasts, unlike the cartoon tone with exaggerated expressivity of the original version. Beyond this, what we find here is a tape of about 2 hours (29 minutes more than the 1994 movie) with superb animation and a spectacular audiovisual finish, but not a movie with real actors.
We say this with our hearts in our hands because even if the gestures of the human interpreters of each character have been traced, a result is achieved that keeps us from thinking this. In fact, during the footage we will see several scenes with animals running around mute, from here to there, approaching at times the sensations of a nature documentary. Bucolic and VERY beautiful, yes, but not excessively necessary. That is precisely the feeling that we have left with the extra footage, which seems to be concentrated in the first part of the film, with the aim of offering more explanations to the facts of the narrative (the plan of Scar, without going any further, it would be a great example of this).
This first third of The Lion King seems somewhat slow at various times, although it is still emotional, and becomes a necessary preamble to the events that unfold later with Scar, Mufasa, Sarabi, and company. That is to say, the decisions of Jon Favreau at the controls of this production are logical in their majority, although some do not finish working as well as we would like.
And just when you start wondering about the consistency of this new version of The Lion King, they appear, Timón and Pumba, played by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, and everything starts to take its course. The magnetism of this couple was already great, but now it is huge, getting to take over almost every scene in which they appear. Maybe it's magic, that his Hakuna Matata makes us see the movie with less critical eyes, but it is from his appearance when time began to fly, chaining a great rhythm for the story, scenes full of emotion and action, and all those mythical songs that awaken our old memories. Yes, in the first part of the film there are also those songs, but it is from Hakuna Matata when we feel them as something special-this is the song that we liked the most in the whole movie, so it pays homage to the original, without giving up his own identity. Maybe it's because the tone of this The Lion King is much more serious at almost every moment (not even the hyenas raise it) until our favorite warthog and meerkat appear.
And this despite the fact that the distribution of voice and their work is extraordinary. Appointment: Chiwetel Ejiofor is Scar, James Earl Jones is Mufasa, Sarabi in Beyonce, Donald Glover as Simba, John Oliver is Zazú ... They all give their touch to the characters they play, adding little nuances to our old acquaintances, although the way this rests interest for children. At the end of the day, it is a more serious, contained and detailed version of the original, which perhaps remains some potential for the little ones in the house.
To this, we must add the fact that it is one of those movies that trigger memories in our memory, so it is not always easy to judge. The current version of The Lion King does not separate too much from the original film's path, although along the way it does touch up various facets of production, by adding realism to the whole. The message remains and there are details that diverge, what Favreau has done is different from what we saw a few months ago with Aladdin. Where, however, there is no possible complaint or complaint is in the visual and technological virtuosity that this film displays, since it has been generated almost entirely by computer (there is only one scene that does not), and we will often be enthralled by the landscapes and details of the African savannah and its inhabitants. A true delight for the eyes, and an equal story, but at the same time different.
The modern Lion King is one of the most beautiful animated films we have seen, and also one of the most faithful remakes, from the plot point of view, that Disney has made. However it is a more serious production, and trying to explain better every detail of the plot, perhaps to give it more depth, and along the way lost certain nuances that were what made the original film something to remember. At least that's how it is until Timón and Pumba appear, and they make the show whole.
The Lion King Release date July 19, 2019