The Lion King will be released at the cinema on August 21.
The wait was a lot for this live action of The Lion King. Especially after the half disappointment (but not at the box office) of Aladdin and The Jungle Book, waiting for Mulan. Directed by Jon Favreau who, after starring in Spider-Man: Far From Home, returns to directing for a film that began in 2017 and recently ended. Two very long years to develop at best what perhaps represents the best Disney cartoon. Today, in 2019, after 1994. Twenty-five years later, returns to film one of the best adaptations of Hamlet by William Shakespeare. And that almost makes it one of the best, if not the best, branded Disney product. Rightly, the choice was to do a remake s hot-for-shot, shot by shot, for those who do not chew English. And the choice is placed in a limbo that is not entirely definable.
It is useless to tell the story of The Lion King as even the walls know it. Let’s talk about Simba who will have to fight to take the kingdom he deserves and that was taken away by deception (and a murder) by his uncle Scar. The rest is history. Unfortunately, for Disney, the live action related remake policy is sparking much controversy among the public. In a great deal they turn up their noses at what are pointed out, perhaps even rightly, as mere commercial operations without any sense at a purely cinematographic level. And you probably can’t blame him. Leveraging on nostalgia is never good, and in cinema and other fields. Scarcity of ideas and inventiveness? It is a hypothesis on which we can reason. Without wandering about in ruminations about the actual creativity of Disney we talk about The Lion King.
It would be a subdivision of what is going and what is not. Let’s start with the positive sides. In a first instance, we are talking about The Lion King. And everything that revolves around the orbit of Simba and Mufasa is more than good. Especially if we talk about a CGI cured like never before, to the point that, as Marco Mengoni, voice of Simba, reveals, Jon Favreau has inserted two wide fields really taken in Africa and not reproduced in computer graphics. Impossible to find as much the CGI mentioned above is accurate. The technical side is practically perfect and will leave any spectator speechless.
The much-criticized dubbing, with Elisa and Marco Mengoni giving voice to Nala and Simba, did not turn out to be as catastrophic as previously thought. Rather. Being two talents, they behaved very well, although not at the levels of Luca Ward (Mufasa) or Massimo Popolizio (Scar). The couple Smetto Quando clear, Salvatore Fresi and Edoardo Leo, the voices of Pumba and Timon respectively, are astonishing at their first dubbing. A debut with a bang, both because we talk about The Lion King, both because they played the role perfectly.
Third and last but not least, the power of The Lion King as Disney operates. Even the hardest hearts can’t get excited about cult scenes like Mufasa’s death or the final fight between Simba and Scar. Moments that would give strokes to the heart even with stylized designs, so much is their absolute power.
Turning the page, you can encounter problems related to the concept itself of live action and everything that involves wanting to make a realistic story realistic that cannot be for obvious reasons of nature. In the case of The Lion King, there always seems to be a handbrake on. The perennial glossy and deeply realistic image fails to give the same impact that the cartoon had. The color is missing during “I want to become a King soon”, there is no power during “I will be King” this time spoken and not sung by Scar. And perhaps even worse, the end of “The Circle Of Life”, which closes with Simba puppy raised to the sky and then the writing The Lion King on a black background, accompanied by a drum stroke, it does not give the same emotion as the cartoon.
Despite this anonymity, the Lion King remains the best live action done so far. We’ll see if the others will be able to undermine Favreau’s film but right now, it seems difficult. In conclusion, The Lion King is the typical film that did not feel the need but at the same time, it is always a pleasure to see again. Long live the king.