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Review: The Lion King – “It’s a nostalgic kick”

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Long before the (frankly embarrassing) reaction to CATS, the general public had been bullying THE LION KING (2019) instead.

It’s a rehash. Why bother? Stick to the original. What’s the point? They screeched, as they raised their pitchforks. Interestingly, whenever I then ask if that means if I shouldn’t bother watching THE THING ever again, they don’t have much to say.

Of course, there’s a place for both versions. I think, on first viewing at least, I prefer the film. So if I’m going to pick one, I’ll pick that. You prefer the cartoon? That’s absolutely fine.

The truth is, I came to the original late. In 1994I was more interested in seeing Arnie launch terrorists into skyscrapers via missiles. The magic of the original didn’t get to me until I had my first Son. His nickname soon became Kinba, as heir to my throne. Then, on Son #2, we got involved again. With countless trips to Disney resorts in between, the music, the one-liners, the colours… they just became part of our story.

Mrs T would always lean towards BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. I love TARZAN – almost certainly for Phil Collins’ soundtrack. The very reason many hate it. Because, again, I grew up on Genesis. The boys? I guess hypothetically, they could call out latter MCU. But THE LION KING will be right up there because we just had a blast.

I haven’t seen a cinema react to a film like that in age. And, as jingoistic and American as it all was, I was quite happy with the lady opposite clapping, and getting her tissues out, when the stampede kicked in. Who wouldn’t want to hear Zimmer’s soundtrack loud and proud again? Loads of you, based on my twitter feed.

Your loss.

The films a technical marvel. At the very end, when it needs to rain, it just feels like they’re showing off. The CGI is jaw-dropping, audacious stuff. When Rafiki screamed that Simba was alive, I get genuinely emotional. When Childish Gambino and Beyoncé sang their duet…. the same.

Whether it’s a nostalgic kick, taking me back to 1994 – a simpler, less political time – or just the drop-dead vocals, I’m not sure. But life’s a bit tough at the moment.

We haven’t even gone full-Brexit, yet. Trumps just getting started. And Liverpool are winning trophies again. So look for the good, surely? Go seek some joy? And, for the second time this week, (after he annihilated the superb LONG SHOT), Seth Rogen is great company, here. They all are.

Saying it doesn’t have to besmirch the hallowed original. The world’s big enough for both.

Maybe we’re all realising we’re getting old, so that ignites the backlash. But lash out at the ones that deserve it. Not Favrau, who could be about to be in his third billion-pound grossing movie this year. Who knew he was only getting started with the wonderful, underappreciated JUNGLE BOOK?

Go see. Relive your childhood. Remember wearing down that VHS, and how poor the picture quality was – let alone the fact you had to rewind it.

1994. Simpler times, eh?

P.S. The CATS trailer plays far better in the big screen. Give it a chance, before eating it alive – like filthy hyenas.

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