“The Lion King”: live action, but unlively results


Jake Allonar, Media Manager

Without a doubt, nostalgia can be a positive attribute in certain instances, like reuniting with long lost friends at a high school reunion, or celebrating a wedding anniversary. However, there eventually comes a point where too much nostalgia becomes too much, like Walt Disney’s increasingly depressing parade of live-action remakes of classic 1990s renaissance films. 

The latest remake of “The Lion King” is where it reached the breaking point for me, where it seemed like a creative dead-end rather than the circle of life for Disney.

This remake of the 1994 renaissance classic was so realistic-looking that it’s too difficult to believe every moment of it. Although it was produced and directed by Jon Favreau, famously known for helming the “Iron Man” series, it simply doesn’t have as much imagination as the original, hand-drawn animated film had.  

Sure, let’s give Disney credit for making the movie look so realistic, but what’s the point anyway? Why animate animals with computer graphics to make them look real when they can, well, use real animals? 

What was magical about the traditional-style animation of the original 1994 film was the overwhelming amount of emotions viewers could delve into. 

The facial expressions of the animals played a huge part in the original and that is how I knew when the plot got serious. The CGI in the remake didn’t take me into the characters’ emotions.

Another issue that was prevalent was the voice acting. Beyonce Knowles-Carter is a legendary performer, but her playing the main lioness, Nala, didn’t solidify the character. The problem was that the mainstream media made this all about Beyonce. 

Beyonce was all over the advertising and promotions and, unfortunately, her involvement did not live up to the hype. 

Beyonce was given more to do in this movie, but Nala remains a sidekick role at best. Also, certain dialogue did not match well with scenes that were supposed to be serious and were made out to be cheesy. 

Donald Glover was a decent Simba, but felt inferior to the depth that Matthew Broderick placed in the original movie. 

Even though Disney might have had the best intentions in this live-action remake, just like all their other reboots, again, what’s the point? Even if it were good, this movie only resulted in a cheap imitation of something that was already perfect. 

Just like the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”