‘The Lion King’ still roars

William Sutton, Staff Writer

“Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase . . . Hakuna Matata it ain’t no passing craze.”

To many this song portrays a simpler time where all we had to worry about was just trying to get through nap time and learning how to write our names. To us, cartoons were a fun fantasy that depicted fantastical images of what could be.

One such hand-drawn film is what we have come to know and love as ‘The Lion King.’ This film was brilliantly written and, at the time, contained beautifully advanced drawings. Based on all of these factors, it was no surprise that the original Lion King was ranked as one of the highest grossing animated movies of all time with a box office value of $968 million.

With the wave of Disney’s live-action remakes of its animated films, it was no surprise that they would remake ‘The Lion King.’ The movie as written, like the other remakes, was relatively unchanged. The real difference is the change in multiple actors and an updated version of the original music. Now, after watching the new movie, the question comes to me “How does this new movie compare?”

This remake gives new life to an old movie and, in many ways, exceeds my expectations that the first movie set. With a smattering of new actors, the film contains multiple heavy hitters from all sorts of pop culture. With bombshell singers like Beyoncé and hilarious comedians such as Seth Rogan, the movie was bound to be something for the ages.

The movie’s high point has to be the updated soundtrack. With Beyonce and Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino) at the reins, the new soundtrack takes the older songs that we knew as children and converted them into new vocal masterpieces that can be listened to even outside the movie. The CGI of Disney’s animators brought the animal’s life. The animals were extremely realistic and changed the once childlike movie into a live-action masterpiece.

The only critique that I have with the movie was something that would have happened no matter how they remade the movie: the animals lacked expression. Most animals lack the ability to show complex facial expressions, and the more realistic that Disney made the movie, the less able the animals were to show complex emotions in the movie. Was this shortcoming significant? No, not really.

Overall, this movie was amazing, and it really did the original justice. It brought me back to being a young child again, and the songs reminded me of a time when things were far simpler.