The Lion King 3-D
The Lion King Trailer 3-D
The Lion King
Directors: Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff
Writers: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, Linda Woolverton, Brenda Chapman, Burny Mattinson, Lorna Cook, Barry Johnson, Thom Enriquez, Andy Gaskill, Gary Trousdale, Kevin Harkey, Jim Capobianco, Jorgen Klubien, Chris Sanders, Tom Sito, Larry Leker, Joe Ranft, Rick Maki, Ed Gombert, Francis Glebas, Mark Kausler, J.T. Allen, George Scribner, Jenny Tripp, Miguel Tejada-Flores, Christopher Vogler, Kirk Wise, Noni White, Bob Tzudiker
Voice Cast: Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jim Cummings, Niketa Calame, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Jeremy Irons, Cheech Marin, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Frank Welker, Rowan Atkinson, Robert Guillaume
Synopsis: Tricked into thinking he killed his father, a guilt ridden lion cub flees into exile and abandons his identity as the future King.
MPAA Rating: G
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You know how some films that you love when you're a kid don't often have the same impression on you when you get older? Granted, when we're kids, our expectations for movies aren't really that high to begin with. But, as we get older, some things just aren't as great as we remember them. Fortunately, "The Lion King" isn't one of those films. No if anything, "The Lion King" seems to be one of those timeless tales that not only manages to survive the test of time, but it's actually one of those rare kid's movies that actually seems better than many might remember it. The reason I say this is because when we're young, we don't often pick up on the subtle symbolism behind every movie we grow up watching. However, as we get older, we not only start to notice those symbols, but we grow to appreciate the original story more; hence making our once favorite films into timeless classics.
A great example of this would be a classic movie like "Star Wars: A New Hope." Granted, when we're kids, it's easy to fall in love with the story as it features loads of excitement and adventure; with it's epic light saber battles and special effects. However, it's as we get older that we tend to realize some of the symbolism behind the story that makes us appreciate it even more, like the "force" being an elaborate metaphor for confidence. Or how the "dark side" can often serve as a metaphor for temptation in life.
In "The Lion King", it's basically the same situation. Sure, it's easy to fall in love with the story as a child, as it features colorful animation, beautiful atmosphere, unique characters, and an easy to follow story structure that touches on the emotional strings of it's audience. However, it's as we get older that we tend to appreciate "The Lion King" more. Not just because it's a well told story, but mainly because we pick up on subtle messages that many of us might've missed as children. Little messages like believing in ourselves when all hope seems lost, or learning how to move on from a tragic occurrence. These messages are great messages to preach to children that still hold up to this day. Is it safe to say that "The Lion King" is possibly better than the last time I saw it? I would have to say yes, as all great films seem to have that effect, and "The Lion King" is certainly no exception to the rule.
For those that don't know, "The Lion King" is loosely based on William Shakespeare's "Hamlet", along with various stories from the "Bible" that followed Moses and Joseph. Of course, animators also admitted that the other classic Disney film, "Bambi", played a heavy influence into the movie's basic story line as well. Although, recent reports suggest that another key influence also came from the classic anime, "Kimba the White Lion." Needless to say, the animators had an excellent source to work from, and the amount of effort they put into this film definitely shows. Although it's in traditional 2-D format, the scenery and atmosphere is simply breath taking in this movie. The movie essentially follows a young lion cub named Simba, who is destined to take over his father's kingdom someday.
Unfortunately, not all the animals are pleased by this news, as his Uncle Scar schemes to not only overthrow Simba's father, but to take the throne for himself. Somehow convincing Simba to believe that he's the cause of his father's death, so he banishes himself into exile. Running away from his past, as he takes refuge with a couple of oddballs in Timon, a weasel like creature, and Pumba, the warthog. As the years go by, he's soon faced with a couple of familiar faces that help him to realize that the only way to truly move on with his life is to confront his past.
In terms of story value for an animated Disney film, I don't think you'll find a deeper story than "The Lion King." It not only touches on aspects of life that'll touch the heart of it's audience, but it does so without ever rushing past developing it's key characters. In fact, one could argue that "The Lion King" has the most developed characters out of all of Disney's animated films thus far (excluding the Pixar ones). Plus, the songs are highly memorable too, as they're definitely on key with the character's feelings and situations.
As for whether or not seeing it in 3-D is worth it, I'm just going to say that it's worth seeing regardless. Sure, you can see it in 3-D, and you'll definitely get your money's worth, as I was quite surprised at the quality of it (in spite of the fact that it's converted 3-D footage). However, if you get a chance to see this movie, then I'd highly recommend it. Sure, you're kids will love it, as the story is fairly easy to follow, and it features a unique cast of colorful characters. But, I think adults will appreciate the film's underlining themes a lot better than most children will, as it's definitely one of the best animated features ever created.
Although, the film does have a tendency to be a bit dark at times for it's target audience, but it's never to the point to where it ruins the movie. Overall, I'd give "The Lion King" a four out of four. Truly, one of the greatest animated films ever made.
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