'The Lion King' remake is the same as it ever was

The Lion King (Photo: Disney)

"The Lion King"
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Jon Favreau
Writers: Jeff Nathanson, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi (characters), Jonathan Roberts (characters), Linda Woolverton (characters)
Starring: Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones, Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key
Genre: Drama, Musical
Rated: PG for sequences of violence and peril, and some thematic elements

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: Obsessed with power, Scar, the brother to King Mafasa, sets in motion a scheme that will kill the king and his son Simba.

Review: Last year Melissa McCarthy starred in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” a film that explored the life of Lee Israel. Israel was a talented biographer with eclectic taste. Her ability to get inside the minds of her subject and recreate the world through their eyes is uncanny. Learning that there was money to be made from old letters written by the likes of Fanny Brice and Noël Coward, she begins to forge typed letters with perfectly traced signatures. Israel primarily sticks to known facts, but works in one or two tantalizing details that give them an irresistible uniqueness. Even after Israel is exposed, the quality of her fakes and the legend of her exploits give her forged documents an artistic and monetary value.

Disney’s 2019 “The Lion King” feels like the Lee Israel version of Disney’s 1994 “The Lion King.” It’s not an exact copy; some of the finer details have been changed to offer a few surprises. The songs, characters and storyline are essentially the same. The voice actors are different for most of the characters, there’s some new banter between Pumbaa and Timon and, as you may have noticed from the trailers, the traditional animation has been replaced with computer animation. The results are impressive. It’s not quite photo-realistic, but it’s close enough to make you forget that everything you see on the screen doesn’t really exist. When I know something is fake and it still feels real, then the artists who worked on the project have masterfully done their job.

“The Lion King” is a solid remake that boasts some amazing technical work and a Beyoncé song that is destined to be Oscar-nominated. It wasn’t a film we needed, but it is a film that most audiences will enjoy. If you liked “Aladdin,” you’ll love this.

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