Sunday, 2 November 2014

Review : Disney's The Lion King


Join the delicate balance in the circle of life as Simba a new future king, learns the true meaning of what it takes to become a good leader and over throw the power of vicious evil Uncle, who seeks the throne for himself.

The Lion King, is indeed highly regarded as being one of the greatest Disney movies of all time. I can understand why in every detail that this film achieves its best. For me, I was the right age to like The Lion King, the story was very well done. It has the exact premise of Shakespeare's Hamlet. Young Kid on the block who is next in line to be king, his Uncle kills the King so he can become ruler, The young kid challenges his Uncle, defeats him and takes back his home land. The end.

So there are two things to consider here, 1) I know the play Hamlet well enough to reference it's storyline. And 2) It's presented in such a format that is good for both Children and Adults combined to make it a good family film. There's conflict, laughs, songs and dances, it's all very festive and has the right balance of emotional depth to it to make it all the more sincere. That's the magic of the golden age of Disney, it makes good films for families.

I think that most parents know that The Lion King is considered one of Disney's greatest animated musicals, but it does have some scary moments. The most disturbing violence is the death of Simba's father, Mufasa, by a stampede of wildebeests. The bloodthirsty hyenas, who scavenge for food and threaten Simba and his friends, are also frightening. But despite a few sad sequences and a few evil characters, the overall message is one of hope, love, and family responsibility.

In terms of quality The Lion King has echoes of Shakespeare, bringing to mind the plots of both Richard the Thrid and Hamlet, as I've said before. What's so good about The Lion King is that it's not just a film but a marketing phenomenon: This blockbuster was the highest grossing film of 1994. Of course children won't know or care about that; they'll just be enthralled by the memorable songs and the colourful settings and of course the great characters.

As a word of caution the scene in which Simba's father, Mufasa, is trampled to death, is both sad and genuinely scary. And some of the fights between animals later in the film can be frightening as well. But the lesson that Simba learns is that you have to stand up to your problems instead of running away from them is a solid one. You stick with things, you see it through to the end, and never give up! That's the underlining message of this.

It's an all round very well constructed film. 9/10

NEXT : Disney's Beauty & The Beast

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