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Latest ‘Lion King’ Reviews Say Disney Has Gone Too Far with Live-Action Remakes

"'The Lion King' saw no room for improvement other than a hyperrealistic overhaul."

Disney; David Ehrlich/Twitter

While initial reviews applauded Disney’s live-action The Lion King as a cinematic masterpiece, critics have changed their tune. Though it’s somewhat widely agreed that the film nails the visuals, many feel the project is just another prop in Disney’s money-hungry schemes. Currently, The Lion King holds an extremely mediocre 57% on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s no secret that reboots are a highly popular trend that Disney has been quick to jump on. Though fans are often happy to relive their childhoods, critics feel The Lion King relied too heavily on the nostalgia factor and missed the opportunity to update the film. Matt Patches, a senior editor at Vox’s Polygon, had this to say: “But unlike with this year’s Dumbo, which pushed past the plot markers of the 1941 movie, or Aladdin, which saw an opportunity for the underserved Jasmine, the team behind The Lion King saw no room for improvement other than a hyperrealistic overhaul.”

The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw had a similar view, saying that the film “sticks very closely to the original version, and in that sense it’s of course watchable and enjoyable.”

IndieWire’s David Ehrlich feels strongly that Disney simply churned out a title that they knew would do well at the box office. He calls the remake a “soulless chimera of a film [that] comes off as little more than a glorified tech demo from a greedy conglomerate — a well-rendered but creatively bankrupt self-portrait of a movie studio eating its own tail.” Wow.

Critics also say that the film’s CGI leaves the characters emotionless. “I missed the simplicity and vividness of the original hand-drawn images,” Bradshaw added.

Despite these harsh words, the film is still expected to rake in approximately $150 million on opening weekend, which begins July 19.