In 1994 I saw the animated film of "The Lion King" and was impressed. I was even more impressed seeing the Broadway musical version 3 times including just this past May 9, 2019, in Miami and each time my jaw dropped to the floor with the opening number. Now we have a live action/CGI version. I admit I haven't the slightest idea what that means except the talking animals really seem to move and talk just as human actors do!
I very seldom have good things to say about a remake but in this case a remake of a remake of an original held my attention from beginning to end even knowing the story forward and backwards.
The cast voices fit perfectly and Billy Echner as Timon the meerkat almost, almost, makes me forget Nathan Lane's voice in the original animation and Seth Rogen gets all the laughs he can as Rumbaa the warthog. It is good to hear James Earl Jones reprise his roll as King Mufasa while the new voices of Chitwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Donald Glover as grown-up Simba and Beyonce Knowles as Nala are equal to the best. By the way the cubs playing Simba and Nala will make anyone a cat person!
The direction, (how do you direct a live/CGI animal?) by Jon Favreau, the photography by Caleb Deschanel with the visual effects by Robert Legato and Adam Valdez all combine to make this version of "The Lion King" a clear winner!
From Disney Live Action, director Jon Favreau's all-new -The Lion King- journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub's arrival. Scar, Mufasa's brother -and former heir to the throne- has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba's exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.
1 hr. 58 min.