It’s time to look at a pretty well known film here. The Lion King is a movie that almost everyone has heard of and deservedly so. It’s a solid movie with good characters and it manages to be centered around animals while avoiding the animal violence angle pretty well. I’m definitely expecting a big remake of this film soon and we’ll see how that goes. It’ll be difficult to beat the original here.
The film starts off with Mufasa having a son. His name is Simba and he is destined to one day lead the Lions. Naturally, Mufasa’s brother Scar is not happy with this since it means that he will never get the throne. This inspires him to hatch a plan to destroy Mufasa once and for all while also tricking Simba into abandoning his village. The plan succeeds and Scar becomes king. Nothing can get in his way now or so he thinks. Simba grows up in the wild, but eventually heads back to his land to make things right. Can he stop Scar and his diabolical plans or is it all over?
Mufasa is definitely a fun character even if you know that he’s doomed from the start. He’s a very capable leader and one who clearly helped the lions quite a bit during his tenure. The sheer size of his kingdom is evidence of this. Everyone has a lot of food to eat and whenever there is trouble he is quick to resolve it. He’s basically the perfect leader. His bird sidekick also does a good job of always keeping an ear close to the ground. If anything I don’t think he gets enough respect as the bird does do his job well. He may not be too subtle at times, but he gets the job done.
Simba isn’t quite as good a lead. Of course he makes a lot of mistakes when he is a cub so we can’t be too harsh on him but even when he grows up he doesn’t always make the right calls. It takes a considerable amount of convincing to get him back into the village including a conversation with Mufasa. He was very close to just letting the rest of the lions die out so it’s hard to respect Simba as a leader. I just don’t think he has the same level of leadership that Mufasa had.
Nala is a solid heroine. She’s definitely a very proactive character who takes it upon herself to find some help for the village while the others simply become resigned to their fate. She was always a good fighter even in her youth so it makes sense that she would be pretty tough. Then we’ve got Scar who is effectively her polar opposite. He’s not all that tough in a fight but he’s all about being crafty in the background. He certainly knows how to manipulate everyone pretty well. Everyone leaves him alone so that leaves Scar free to really do whatever he wants tbh.
Timon and Pumbaa are more fun than I remember. Timon is your classic wisecracking character who always knows just what to say. He’s a good guy for Simba to have at his side. Pumbaa brings in the muscle and he is certainly a lot more heroic than Timon. They’re fun supporting characters who never get annoying and are pretty entertaining the whole time. They help round out the cast pretty well I’d say.
It’s definitely a pretty fast paced movie so you won’t get bored at any point during it. There really aren’t any big negatives to speak of. The scene of the main characters eating the insects can certainly be a little gross, but fortunately it’s a very quick moment and the film doesn’t choose to drag it out which is a good move. Solid films know when to breeze through a scene rather than extend it and it’s definitely a crucial skill to have.
The animation holds up really well here. The animation is as sharp as ever and the characters are very detailed. There was clearly a lot of care put into the movie and I suspect 20 years from now it’ll still look good. While the songs aren’t quite Frozen level they aren’t bad. I think they aren’t quite as good as the average Disney film, but so long as they are catchy and still solid then they’re good enough for me. As expected the writing is also pretty solid. Even if not all of the characters are super likable it’s not as if any of them are super annoying or unrealistic. Scar is nice and sarcastic without being super obvious for example.
Overall, The Lion King is definitely pretty good. I have to admit that I was a little worried that the film would step in some holes along the way, but it actually rode between the line of action and animal violence pretty well. I don’t remember the sequel being nearly as good, but maybe it’ll be better than I remember. If you haven’t seen the Lion King yet then I’d recommend changing that. it’s definitely a classic that really lives up to its reputation and that can be quite rare at times.