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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Movie Review For The Lion King 2:Simba's Pride

Premise:Simba's daughter gets caught in the middle of a growing conflict between prides.

Cast:Neve Campbell as Kiara, Jason Marsden as Kovu, Matthew Broderick as Simba, Suzanne Pleshette as Zira, Andy Dick as Nuka, Robert Guillaume as Rafiki, Moira Kelly as Nala, Nathan Lane as Timon, Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa, Jennifer Lien as Vitani

Director:Darrell Rooney, Rob LaDuca

MPAA Rating:G

Genres:Animation, musical, romance

Notes:Direct-to-video release. Poster taken from IMDB and belongs to Disney.

Pros:Fair animation. A couple good songs.

Cons:Flat and annoying characters. Mediocre plot. Music isn't that great. Rushed romance. Voice acting.

Simba's a parent now. And his daughter is just like him, much to his worry. Particularly when she catches the attention of Scar's former pride.

This movie ended up being too similar to its predecessor. Several plot aspects, locations, scenes, and songs felt like cheap knock-offs of the better version. The story had potential, but wasted it on annoying characters and too-easily resolved conflicts.

Simba ended up being rather irritating. He plays the role of the overprotective father who needs to lighten up. He also comes off as bigoted when it comes to the Outlanders. From what he says, you'd think they're all bloodthirsty murderers. As for the other characters, Nuka is defined by his desires to rule and his incompetence. That's it. His sister doesn't get even that much. The voice acting and dialogue did little for the characters, even with the same actors from the first movie.

The music often feels like it's trying to imitate songs from the original. And while they aren't terrible, most of them just can't compare. One exception is the villain's song "My Lullaby". That is easily the best song in the movie.

The romantic relationship between Kiara and Kovu ended up being rushed, as well as the villain's plot as a whole. It takes a couple of days and suddenly they're in love. And it's not like they were close at some point the way Simba and Nala used to be.

On the whole, Disney has made worse direct-to-video movies. But that's not saying much.

Sex:Lions cuddle and rub against each other. Animals kiss. There's a subtle issue of incest, with Kiara getting snuggly with her adopted second cousin.

Violence:Simba warns Kiara about the dangers of leaving home. She falls into a pond and Pumbaa falls on her. Timon is pecked on the nose, which comically throbs. Kovu sees a constellation that to him looks like two lions killing each other.
A plain is set on fire. Lions fight each other. One is crushed under logs, while another falls into a roaring river. Zira sings about wanting to kill her enemies, liking the thought of bloody battles and death, and claws her own kid's face. Simba has a nightmare about Scar killing him, then the image changes to Kovu. A lioness passes out from smoke inhalation and is dragged to rescue. Crocodiles nearly eat a pair of cubs.


Language/Insults:Cubs trade childish insults. Timon and Pumbaa shake their butts and go "na na na na na!" The former makes the latter admit he's a "fat, fat fatty."

Gross stuff:Timon is eager to teach the newborn cub how to belch and dig for grubs. He and Pumbaa eat bugs and offer them to Kiara, much to her disguist. When someone says "What a blast!", Pumbaa apologizes. When he and Timon are cornered by lions, the latter cocks the former's tail like a gun and says "This thing's loaded!" Then the lions scream and run away, causing Timon to say "Talk about your winds of war."

Spiritual:More or less what was in the first movie. The great kings of the past are in the stars watching down on them, yadda, yadda, yadda. The deceased Mufasa is shown in the sky smiling as Kiara is presented to the Pridelands. A couple of characters talk or pray to him. There are songs about someone living in you and watching over everything, and all being one. Kiara wonders if she is just a part of one big plan. Zira claims Kovu shares the blackness in Scar's soul.

So what did you think?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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