The Lion King
Let's get something straight right now. The Lion King is a perfect movie. Be it live action or animated, there are few others I can list that reach its level of quality. Seeing it in theaters back in the mid-90s was a great experience. Even if I wasn't old enough to understand some of the darker issues in it back then, I enjoyed the movie, like the millions of other kids. Now, at almost 20, watching the movie really gets to me. This is one of Disney's more grown up movies. I'm not saying that to make it sound like it's too violent or there's any hinting at mature themes, but all the talk about death in the beginning, about the Circle of Life, that's some pretty powerful stuff to be talking about in a family movie. With this re-release of the movie, hopefully more parents or future parents will keep it around and show their kids this piece of movie history.
The movie opens up with possibly the most grand of Disney openings- a sunrise. An African song plays, and the animals look towards something that we can't see. Every type of animal in the area starts heading towards something. Birds, elephants, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, you name it. Soon, we see a great rock formation- Pride Rock. A lion stands atop, overlooking everything in his kingdom. Then, a mandrill makes his way through the crowd of animals that waits. He hugs the lion, and makes his way to the lioness behind him. They've had a baby. The mandrill takes the cub, and holds him high up for all the animals to see. They cheer in unison- they have a new prince. Some opening eh? After this, we're introduced to another lion- Scar. He's the king's brother, and obviously jealous of the whole deal. He didn't even show up to the ceremony. Mufasa, the king, makes a note of this, telling Scar that he should've shown up for his own nephew's birth. Scar walks away, as it's no big deal to him. Time passes, and Simba grows up a little. He's still a cub, but capable of doing things on his own now. Mufasa tells him about the Circle of Life. How all living things are connected. Lions eat the antelope, but when they die, their bodies become the grass, upon which the antelope eat. Simba is also shown his kingdom, which is everything that the light touches. Unfortunately, the light doesn't touch one spot, which sparks his interest...of which Scar helps him get even more curious about. It turns out to be an elephant graveyard. Simba heads toward it with his friend, Nala, and they almost get killed by heyenas. Mufasa saves them, is disappointed that his son disobeyed, but understands. Scar, who's working with the heyenas, is also disappointed, and takes matters into his own hands- since they failed in killing Simba, he's going to kill Mufasa. In doing so (in a very tragic scene), Simba goes into exile, and Scar takes over. Simba finds two new friends in Timon and Pumbaa, who teach him to take life easy. But with time, the true king realizes who he is through his friends, and there will be justice.
As you can see, this is a pretty big movie. It's not complicated by any means, but just the overall picture is a lot to take in. A dad telling his son about life and death, only to die in saving his son who hasn't reached adulthood yet, was always touching. The music playing during that scene adds even more dramatic touch to it. Scar, as I've mentioned, is an absolute treat. He's probably my favorite Disney villain.Read full review