We went as a whole family to see the new Lion King movie the day it was released. It is a movie that my kids had been talking about ever since they began advertising it. The original Lion King is one of my youngest daughter’s absolute favorite movies and is probably still my favorite Disney movie of all time. I grew up with all the stuffed animals from the movie. My poor stuffed Simba got carted everywhere with me, and even a had few haircuts along the way 🙂
Needless to say, the expectations for this movie were high. I think the movie met our high expectations but more on an adult level than for the kids. My youngest was completely amazed by the talking animals. Which actually posed a problem for me. Since this was billed as another “live action Disney remake,” and she understands what that means since we had just seen Aladdin, she actually asked me where can she go to see the talking lions since they are real? That led me into this long discussion of how yes, they are real animals, but Disney still had to do some “cartoon magic” to make them talk and that there is really no place to go see the talking lions. She was slightly disappointed since talking to the actual Simba is probably #1 on her bucket list at the age of four.
As a parent, and as someone who had grown up watching the animated version, this was a little dark in my opinion. I thought the fight scenes, although amazing to watch, might have been a little too much for the vast majority of young children that will flock to see this movie. I understand that Disney is looking for impressive visuals to shock and awe the audience, but some of those fight scenes were more than what I had expected. My daughter appeared to be unfazed, but I am not sure she would have admitted otherwise. But the fact that I had to check on her a couple times to make sure she was okay, made me realize that some of these scenes were a little to adult for her.
All in all, it was a great movie. However, the one thing that still bothers me is that Zazu did not look anything like he did in the animated version. I think it was the different color – blue vs white – that threw me for a loop. I know it’s silly, but since the animated version is what I have seen dozens of times, it will always be what I compare the live action movie to. Out of all the Disney live action movies, the Lion King is my favorite. It was fabulously produced and they really did a great job of sticking to the original script. My entire family enjoyed the movie and how Disney managed to make the “real lions” talk and sing was amazing!