In the height of what I’ll refer to as “the reboot era”, Disney announced the return of a beloved 90s classic: The Lion King. What resulted was an onslaught of both excitement and apprehension, but perhaps most of all, a fervent curiosity at how they would tackle the “live-action” interpretation. While the trailers were promising, you never really know until you see a film in its entirety. Now, the early reviews from last night’s Hollywood premiere are in, and it seems like the creators did the OG film justice.
Though remaking a classic is a huge undertaking, the creators had already set themselves up for success with a star-studded cast that includes Beyonce in the role of Nala. The rest of the cast is equally impressive: Donald Glover plays Simba, Seth Rogen is Pumbaa, John Oliver as Zazu and James Earl Jones even revives his tear-jerking role as Mufasa. As to be expected, these stars held up. “Oh man #TheLionKing delivers. Timon and Pumbaa steal the show,” one reviewer wrote on Twitter. “And BEYONCE!!”
Oh man #TheLionKing delivers. It’s a visual masterpiece that will leave you smiling and crying the whole time. It’s a true testament to the lasting effect Disney movies have on all generations. Timon and Pumbaa steal the show. And BEYONCE!!! #LionKing
— Beatrice Verhoeven (@bverhoev) July 10, 2019
One of the biggest takeaways has been how breathtaking the visuals are. “The Lion King is a dazzler,” one user wrote. Another even called the film a “landmark visual experience.” “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he continued, “and I think it’s going to change how we look at movies forever.”
#TheLionKing is a landmark *visual* experience. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I think it’s going to change how we look at movies forever.
As an *emotional* experience, though…I’ll put it this way: It turns out lions can’t really emote.
— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) July 10, 2019
The Lion King is a dazzler. Gorgeous score, spot-on voice acting, but mostly, yeah, those visuals. 😍 #TheLionKing
— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) July 10, 2019
Much like the original, the new Lion King film is going to make you sob. “I’ve only ever openly cried in 4 movies in my life. It’s now 5!” a Twitter user shared. “…Opening scene had me bawling like a slobbering baby.”
But not everyone was hit right in the feels. The same reviewer who called The Lion King a “landmark” moment also said that the emotional factor wasn’t there for him. “It turns out lions can’t really emote,” he said. Another critic noted that “some of the song/choreo arrangements don’t work as well as the original.”
I just got out of #TheLionKing and really dug it. My fear was realistic animals wouldn’t have the charisma of the cartoon, but they’re very good. Timon and Pumba steal the show. Some of the song/choreo arrangements don’t work as well as the original but still a really fun flick. pic.twitter.com/mOrODQ0vHI
— Chris E. Hayner (@ChrisHayner) July 10, 2019
Oh, well. Can’t win ’em all. The Lion King premieres everywhere on July 18, 2019.