The Lion King 3D
- Director:Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
- Cast:James Earl Jones , Nathan Lane , Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons
- Release Date:September 22, 2011
- Distributor:Walt Disney
- Running time:89 minutes
- Film Worth:$16.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
It’s a wonderful treat to revisit and the 3-D is beautifully utilised, but it’s perhaps not the classic that Disney purports it to be.
Originally released in 1994, The Lion King surfaces from The Disney Vault in 3-D, giving us a chance to reappraise its classic status. The idea behind the vault is that Disney resurrects certain films, sometimes for the big screen as well as the small, ostensibly as a gift to new generations. After a limited period, the film goes back into the vault - all remaining DVDs and Blu-rays are pulled from the shelves. Nifty marketing.
The Lion King is much-loved. Along with a stellar voice cast, it features one of Disney's better soundtracks (co-penned by Elton John and Tim Rice), and the coming-of-age/good-versus-evil tale is involving. The hand-drawn animated story begins in an idyllic African landscape with the birth of Simba the lion - new heir to the Pride Lands. The happy scenery, however, is tarnished when Simba's uncle, the malevolent Scar (voiced with relish by stand-out Jeremy Irons), plots to overthrow the crown...
With an excellent Matthew Broderick voicing the adult Simba, and the voices of a regal James Earl Jones (as Simba's father, Mufasa), Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin amongst others, there's not a flat moment in the entire film. Funny and entertaining, it's also great to look at, and the added 3-D layer is beautifully rendered - it doesn't feel like the afterthought that it is, and it's been more imaginatively utilised than many releases made for the format.
The Lion King is undeniably wonderful. But nostalgia aside, is it really a classic? The plot - partly inspired by Bible stories and Hamlet - is a big, sweeping, life-and-death tale. Yet you can see the contrivances - all these films are contrived to some degree, but it's all about how well the contrivances are disguised. Here you can see their shadows. It is a great film, but not quite the classic that Disney reckons it is.