Writer: Elaine Ewe
Overall: 5.0 Out of 5
Cast: 5.0 Out of 5
Plot: 5.0 Out of 5
Effects: 5.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 5.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: “Aladdin”, “Pocahontas” and “Mulan”
It has been 18 years since the classic Disney movie roared into cinemas, and despite being 3D; "The Lion King" has not lost its magical ability to charm.
From the moment the opening chant of the "Circle of Life" began, right on to the Prince Simba's exile from Pride Lands and his journey of discovery, culminating in his eventual return, directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff weave an epic tale with themes that easily finds ground in society. It is about the ability to be brave because you have to be, as opposed to a mere desire, as is the motto 'Hakuna Matata'.
Contrary to most Japanese movies being dubbed in English that suffers from the inability to properly convey the spirit of the animation, "The Lion King 3D" does not suffer from these problems. Each character has their own distinct voice that fits the stereotype, from King Mufasa's (James Earl Jones) commanding, yet warm tones to young Simba's (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) playfulness and eagerness, to Zazu's (Rowan Atkinson) high-pitched yet bossy demeanour as the Southern yellow-billed hornbill who serves as King Mufasa's loyal aide. This is not necessarily a bad thing, given that it caters for a general audience, and also helps to improve the movie's flow.
The dialogue has definitely not lost its humour or its novelty despite the huge gap between releases, and fans of the original will definitely find themselves reciting lines under their breath out of nostalgia.
"The Lion King 3D"'s transition from its original traditional animation is smooth, albeit a tad unnecessary, seeing that it is not really made for 3D in the first place. However, it does make for a better experience, seeing as the colours are brighter and the frame-rate much smoother. The cinematography really gets to shine after being given the 3D treatment, from the dark scene of the hyenas singing "Be Prepared" to the Simba's introduction to the beauty of Timon and Pumbaa's wilderness home.
The highlight of every Disney movie, besides the animation, must be the songs, unless it is not a musical to begin with. "The Lion King 3D" is back with all the tunes you know and love, like the spine-tingling "Circle of Life"; the feet-tapping "I Just Can't Wait to be King"; the complementary villain theme, "Be Prepared"; the one that makes you want to do jazz hands, "Hakuna Matata"; and the Oscar-winning ballad "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?". Besides those five original songs written by Elton John and Tim Rice, Hans Zimmer is behind the movie score and what a fitting role it plays.
In conclusion, if you are here to find out whether this film is worth watching again in 3D, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so, if not just to relive your childhood, or, if you have not watched it before, to obtain a second chance at childhood. "The Lion King 3D" is just that good.
Cinema Online, 19 October 2011