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Monday, June 09, 2014

Movie Review:The Lion King

Premise:A lost prince must face his past to save his kingdom from his evil uncle.

Cast:Matthew Broderick as adult Simba, Jonathan Taylor Thomas as young Simba, Jeremy Irons as Scar, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Moira Kelly as adult Nala, Niketa Calame as young Nala, Nathan Lane as Timon, Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa, Robert Guillaume as Rafiki, Rowan Atkinson as Zazu, Whoopi Goldberg as Shenzi, Cheech Marin as Banzi, Jim Cummings as Ed, Madge Sinclair as Sarabi

Directors:Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff

Genres:Animation, musical

Notes:Poster taken from IMP Awards and belongs to Disney.

Pros:The music. The villain. The voice acting.

Cons:Rips off another work.

Young Simba just can't wait to be king. It'll happen as sure as the circle of life. Little does he know he should be prepared to watch out for his scheming uncle. Okay, I'll stop now.

There is a lot of good music to be found here. (I may decide to review the soundtrack at some point, and I'll definitely recommend it to fans of this film.) The voice acting is pretty good as well. With big name actors like James Earl Jones and Jeremy Irons, it shouldn't be anything less.

The bad guy is the hero's uncle, Scar. He's manipulative, power hungry, and just so dang evil, making him the kind of villain you love to hate.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie a lot and think it's one of Disney's best.

Sex:Simba and Nala are told as cubs that they're betrothed. Neither one likes the idea, until they grow a little older, when they nuzzle and interact romantically. When Simba decides he needs bait, Timon wonders "What do you want me to do? Dress in drag and do the hula?" This turns out to be a mistake, because Simba apparently decides that's a great idea.

Violence:A stampede almost kills Simba. Scar grabs Mufasa with his claws and throws his brother to be trampled to death. Characters get tossed into the air by geysers (or whatever they are). Zazu, a bird, gets squashed by various animals. Scar catches a mouse with the intent of eating it. He does the same to Zazu before Mufasa intervenes. Nala and Simba wrestle, with her pinning him three times. Rafiki whacks someone on the head with his stick.
One hyena gets her face clawed, and another has scratches on his flank. Another falls into thorns. Yet another falls into a crevice and presumably dies. Hyenas corner a lion and (offscreen) tear him apart. They also chase young Simba and Nala, and in a separate scene, Timon, Pumbaa, and Zazu. Mufasa attacks them and warns them what will happen should they ever go near his son again. Lions, baboons, and hyenas fight. A lioness chases Pumbaa, only for Simba to fight her while Timon tells him to go for the jugular. Scar throws embers into someone's face.

Language:"Stink", "jeez", "cactus butt", "idi*t", "st*pid", etc. Someone wonders "Why do I always have to save your aaaahhhh!" Pumbaa is cut off before he can say "farted" ("not in front of the kids").

Drugs/Alcohol:None I could find.

Gross Stuff:Simba belches, impressing his buddies. Pumbaa's gas problem is a big reason he doesn't have many friends. Zebras turn around and lift their tails as Zazu comes in.

Spiritual:Rafiki acts as some kind of shaman. He sits in the lotus position when asked if he knew the deceased Mufasa; he replies he knows him (present tense) and says "He lives in you." A deceased character's ghost appears to guide someone. Mufasa tells Simba that the great kings of the past are in the stars watching over the Pride Lands. The opening song mentions the circle of life moving everyone "through faith and love."

So what did you think? Was it the king of Disney movies? Or the king of duds?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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