The first reviews are in and it looks like fans aren’t ‘roaring’ about Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King. Despite an all-star cast of Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles as Nala, Doctor Strange‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, and the triumphant return of James Earl Jones as Mufasa, it sounds like Jon Favreau hasn’t managed to recapture the magic of the 1994 cartoon.
Those who loved the original were already divided on remaking The Lion King in live-action. You’d struggle to find someone who doesn’t like the colourful cartoon. The Lion King was hilarious and tragic in equal measure. It still brings a tear to my eye to think of the aftermath of the Wildebeest stampede and THAT big Mufasa moment.
The critics have passed judgement on Favreau’s movie, and safe to say, the reviews aren’t particularly kind. On review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, The Lion King hasn’t quite climbed to the top of Pride Rock. As it stands, the movie has a pretty average 59%.
However, it seems even the professionals don’t know what to make of The Lion King. Reviews brand the movie everything from a “creatively bankrupt self-portrait of a movie studio eating its own tail” to a “masterpiece”. Either way, it’s not exactly a glowing report.
GQ’s Josh Rivera said: “As visually singular a work The Lion King is, it often presents itself as plainly as possible, causing many of its most powerful scenes to ring hollow as it fails to sustain or build any sort of emotional foundation in any given moment.”
Vanity Fair’s K. Austin Collins writes: “The new Lion King isn’t a disaster… But this film favors technological wizardry over its story – and its songs.”
Den of Geek’s Don Kaye says: “This entertaining but eventually forgettable remix starts to feel as pointless as the rest of Disney’s recent remakes.”
All isn’t lost though, Daily Mail’s Brian Viner declared: “This is a terrific film in its own right, and fully deserves to be lionised.”
Elsewhere, fans were already unconvinced by the ‘new’ version of “Hakuna Matata”. With Yoncé part of the ensemble, we were expecting some pretty impressive vocals for Nala, but what about the rest of the cast? Although it just wouldn’t be The Lion King without songs like “Circle of Life” and “Be Prepared”, “Hakuna Matata” is supposed to be a fan-favourite.
Although “Hakuna Matata” is performed by an all-star trio of Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, and Donald Glover, that’s not enough to appease those haters out there.
The new Lion King is going to make me upset isn’t it. pic.twitter.com/i4637Pmem9— Kofie (@KofieYeboah) July 11, 2019
Just take the new singing and re-animate it why is that so hard? It was right there— All(Star)cántara & BiscayneBucketsSzn🇵🇷 (@demorizi_eudy) July 11, 2019
Oh my god it looks pathetic when you put them side by side 😭— Isaac Gutierrez (@ByIsaacG) July 11, 2019
I’m still gonna see/review it but oo man— Kofie (@KofieYeboah) July 11, 2019
They took the sauce out of it— Mathias Lulu Pennington (@sideniggajojo) July 11, 2019
Oh no. This makes me sad. The original Lion King is my favorite Disney movie. Mulan is my second favorite and I hear they changed the storyline on that one. Disney, please stop!! 😥— Gothic Valentine (@Gothic_Valentin) July 11, 2019
At this point id rather have Snoop Dogg do commentary over the whole movie .— John. (@JohnWorldTour) July 11, 2019
When Disney released a clip of “Hakuna Matata” to promote the movie, the marketing move spectacularly backfired. One angry fan posted a side-by-side of the two versions, and it didn’t take long for the internet to explode with outraged 1994 Lion King supporters.
The recent hate of The Lion King echoes people’s views on Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin. Similar to Will Smith’s blue genie, it seems Favreau wasn’t able to top the original as he tried to cause a rumble in the jungle.
[Featured Image: Disney]