Following the same story from the 1994 classic Disney animated film “The Lion King,” this digital version is even more impressive and filled with the same heart and soul of the original.
Little Simba (JD McCrary) is the heir apparent and his father Mufasa (James Earl Jones) is the king of the Pride Lands. Simba is looking forward to his time as king, but his uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) will do whatever it takes to make sure that will not happen.
Scar is not happy being the “spare,” or second in line. And when Simba is born he knows he will never be king. So Scar develops a plan to get rid of his brother Mufasa and little Simba, take over the Pride Lands, and rule with an iron paw.
When his father is killed and Scar tells him he is responsible for his dad’s death, Simba runs off and finds Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) and Timon (Billy Eichner). The three of them become best friends and as Simba grows up (Donald Glover), he is happy with his new family. But one day his old friend Nala (Beyonce) runs into him and their friendship is rekindled, as Nala describes how Scar has ruined the Pride Lands.
It is up to Simba, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa to take back what was stolen from the animals and return the land to its former glory, with the natural circle of life.
There are plenty of bonus features on the 4K/Blu-ray combo pack that take viewers behind the scenes of the creation of this wonderful film. Everyone knows the great songs that came out of the movie, and they are back in this digital version along with a brand new song, “Never Too Late,” which was written by Elton John and Tim Rice specifically for this movie. Hans Zimmer returned to oversee the music in this new film.
Jon Favreau directed the film, which is more like a live action movie than an animated one. He discusses the casting of this film. It was a coup to get Jones to reprise his role as the voice of Mufasa.
There is an interesting bonus looking at the evolution of several scenes from storyboard to animation to the final version. It is amazing to see how far digital animation has come.
And instead of having the actors simply record their lines in a booth, a special stage was created so they could act out their parts while saying their lines. This gave them more authenticity than being in a small room with a microphone.
A final bonus shows how the Disney studio joined with the Lion Recovery Fund to help the protection and preservation of the lion population. Long live these wonderful animals!
“The Lion King” is filled with pop culture elements that have embedded themselves into our lexicon and our lives. “The circle of life” is a phrase that we hear over and over, and also “Hakuna Matata” is another phrase that has become part of our vocabulary.
First as an animated film then a Broadway play and now a digital movie, “The Lion King” has touched the hearts of people around the world. This movie is beautifully filmed and adds a new dimension to the story without the animation we are all used to when it comes to viewing Simba. This story comes to the screen in a visually stunning way. And although the original had many comical elements, this newer version is filled with many more laugh-out-loud moments.
“The Lion King” is available Tuesday on Blu-ray/DVD and in a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack. Both come with a digital code. If you have 4K compatibility, this is definitely a film to get on 4K because of the wonderful colors displayed throughout the movie.