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The Lion King (2019) The King of the Worst Disney Live Action Remake is HERE Grade: D

Source: IMDB


Lion King (2019) is a live action remake of the original Lion King, featuring photo realistic animals. The story is exactly like the original, shot for shot, scene for scene, beat by beat the same. Only in this one you have real animals, one new song, a classic song that has been butchered, and they erased an iconic scene that teaches adults/young children a valuable lesson. Let's start on the positives. The team that was behind the special effects apartment did a pretty good job, there is a couple moments when you can tell there is a green screen background, but for the most part they did well. It took a lot of hard work, time, and effort to get the landscape and animal designs as accurate as possible. For the animals they look pretty real, one animal that didn't stick out to me as being real would be the elephants... They looked really fake. One animal design I liked the most and even the best character was Rafiki (John Kani). Compare and contrast, both looked identical, though lacking a smile for a facial expression, the monkey was still charming in this remake. Before I unleash a storm: If you enjoyed this live action remake, it's ok, we can all be perfectly fine agreeing to disagreeing. The Score/Soundtrack basically was the exact same as the original, sounded good but it had no charm or sort of personality like the original. The musical numbers are atrocious, they feel completely dull, out of sync, sometimes the animals don't even sing in their musical numbers, they just sit there with a blank face while actors are singing in the background... So much fun isn't it?! Don't get me started on Be Prepared, I felt sick to my stomach watching that. The voice acting... It's hard for me to judge, because the voice acting doesn't match up with how the animals are talking. All the animals have the same exact look, when the actors are voicing in a happy/sad/angry voice, I can't quite tell if it's on sync with how the animal looks... Because I'm looking at the same face, they don't have facial expressions or any personality. I will judge only two voice acting, because these two are noticeably bad. Chiwetel Ejiofor playing Scar... He's terrible in this, I honestly laughed majority of his performance because it doesn't capture Scar at all, as to how the voice performance in the original Scar was iconic to the character. We can blame the lack of facial expressions, but when you think of Scar, you think of a character. This Scar feels like he shops at Hot Topic the way he sounds... I mean it's just embarrassing, Ejiofor is a pretty good actor, but he is so wrong in this role holy crap. Seth Rogen playing the scary Warthog wasn't good either, just sounded like Seth Rogen. I'll give Seth Rogen some credit, he does pull a mean Kermit the Frog impression in his musical number. So as we can tell, our major problem is that the animals being realistic takes away personality and facial expressions from the characters. You can get away with this in the Jungle Book, because our main character that is driving the story along forward, as he's the center vocal point in the story is a human being. Since this film is centered around real animals... You can't tell anything apart, because they all have the same face while delivering dialogue, it doesn't work. Also can we just mention that it was a difficult time, to tell each animal apart?! Like when I see a pack of Lions... I don't know which Lion is which, they all looked the same. How about our other antagonists the Hyena's, which are IMPORTANT antagonists to the story... You can't tell them apart either, because they all look THE EXACT SAME. It's a huge blow because the Hyena's are important to the story, they are iconic to the story, when you can tell them apart, they become forgettable fast... In fact I don't even recall none of their names. Another thing it's just animals opening and closing their mouths, as a bunch of words comes out, that don't aline with the speed of the words they're saying. The opening scene where Zazu starts speaking to Scar... I bursted out laughing, it looks so BAD, it doesn't mesh up to what he's saying. You can't tell the animals apart, the words don't mesh when the animals speak, you can't tell if the animals are happy/sad/angry because they all have the same no personality face... HOW IS THIS GOING TO WORK?! IT CAN'T! How about the lack of effort towards the story?! It's literally the writers copying/pasting the original script to their “new: script , as they change two things, then they're done?! IT'S LAZY! This film doesn't has no vision, no creativity, no style, it's simply just do the same exact thing done decades ago all over again. Here's two ways they could've done this Lion King. 1. Don't make it at all 2. Go recreate this film, make it significantly different. Here's a simple example of a good original and a good remake, that story wise have similar beats, but both are doing something different. Hairspray... One is a solid dance film with a good story, the other is a solid musical with a good story. Yeah some elements of the story feel similar, but you can clearly tell both are different and both had their own visions for each film. Why did Jon Favreau worked on this?! Dude make your own Lion King, create something a little similar, but actually feels significantly different from the original, take some risks, show us you have a vision because this is not having a vision. Overall, Lion King (2019) is just a pointless awful remake. I don't recommend this at all, go stay at home and watch the original, where there is a lot more praise to be given. At least I can say that I laughed my ass off for a good quarter of this film, at least I tried to have happiness towards this mess. -Mitch Smietana

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