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Disney's The Lion King

Opening Date
18 Jul 2019
PG Some Intense Sequences
118 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Adventure, Drama, Family
Jon Favreau
Donald Glover, James Earl Jones, Beyonce, Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key, John Oliver, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, Alfre Woodard, Eric Andre, Florence Kasumba, John Kani
Disney’s The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau, journeys to the African savanna where a future king must overcome betrayal and tragedy to assume his rightful place on Pride Rock.
By Say Peng  23 Jul 2019
An impressive but predictably safe adaption of the original Disney animation that will more than satisfy fans.
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If you have seen the original 1994 traditionally animated version of The Lion King, which is safe to assume that most people have, then you have, more or less, seen director Jon Favreau’s live-action adaptation of it as the story is, shot by shot, almost exactly the same. So I will not spend time going over the story. 

The big difference between the animation and the live-action version is the visual style. There is something almost otherworldly about Favreau’s photorealistic treatment of the animal kingdom and her characters. At times, it feels like one is watching a 4K high definition nature documentary on Nat Geo. And that is a good thing. The characters feel more real, more flesh and blood. The photo-realism seems to increase the characters’ life-and-death stakes in the film. 

Donald Glover is the new voice of Simba and brings a certain depth and maturity that was lacking in the animated version. Chiwetel Ejiofor has big shoes to fill, replacing Jeremy Irons as Scar. While Ejiofor delivers a fairly decent performance, his approach is too straightforward and lacks the playful menace that Irons had. 

Favreau’s Lion King will more than satisfy fans and newcomers to the story, but those expecting Favreau to do something more with the material will be disappointed.
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