I was privileged to attend the media screening of Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ last week and have been itching to get onto the blog to share my thoughts with you. That said, as you know, I don’t discuss too much about story line or anything that might spoil the movie for you. Here’s what I can tell you, though:
I cried during the first scene of the movie. To see the animals gathering …the ANIMALS…not cartoon-like, but actual animals gathered, coupled with The Circle of Life – and the fact that while that song has always touched me, it touches me even more today as a Mom of four who lost my Mom this past year….paired with the nostalgia of hearing and seeing it all again literally moved me to tears within the first scene of the movie.
I have to clarify something about my statement above regarding the animals: I felt that I was looking at real animals, ESPECIALLY in that first scene before they began to ‘speak’. I was CERTAIN that I was watching footage of actual animals mixed with really well-done digital animation but apparently I was wrong. In actuality, other that one ‘real’ shot, the ENTIRE movie is computer animation and virtual reality with what I will call nothing short of mind-blowing artistry to make it appear that we are watching what I think of as a live-action film.
Obviously, our minds understand that we are not watching real animals speak, but nevertheless, it does not seem like we are watching a movie containing characters and scenery that has been 100% ‘created’ by artists using CGI (Computer Generated Imagery).
What else can I possible tell you? The story and the songs have always been, and remain, powerful. I’ll admit that I prefer certain of the originals to the newer versions, but I still enjoyed the new ones. Speaking of old vs. new, I should mention that I was very pleased to hear the familiar voice of the fabulous James Earl Jones as Mufasa
As I was watching the film, it occurred to me that when I originally saw The Lion King, I was not yet a parent. I noticed this because I think that, as a parent, I appreciate a few aspects of the story differently than I did so many years ago when the film was originally released.
I will also add the answer to the all-important, bottom line question of “Were you entertained?” Yes, I absolutely was and yes, I would recommend going to see this movie.
For parents of kids who tend to get scared: I remind you that there is an element of tragedy in the story as well as fights and fire and scenes that can be scary to younger kids. That said, Disney did an excellent job of not showing any gory details. As I always say: You know your child best and you are the best judge of if you think it might be ‘too much’ for them.
Finally, I encourage you to stay until the last of the credits have been shown. Not because there are any surprise scenes to wait for, but because when I did so and when I saw how many artists it took to create each aspect of the film it really did blow my mind. Beyond the sheer talent…the fact that all of these people had to work together to create this final work of art…it is beyond impressive and while some might credit fabulous technology, I see artistry, cooperation, team work and as I said earlier, the magic of Disney. I encourage you to have your kids take a look as well- show them HOW many names, for each and every aspect. You can use this as a conversation starter later on- about team work, about how every person has something to contribute to realize an extraordinary project.
I don’t normally consider myself an amateur of the arts, but I will tell you that, in my humble opinion, Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ is not only an entertaining, moving and nostalgic movie to see with the family, but it is also an artistic feat to be appreciated.
“The Lion King” opens on Thursday, July 18. Tickets are available for advance purchase: www.thelionkingtickets.ca
If you are interested, you can check out this clip featuring actors as well as a bit of ‘behind the scenes’ of making it happen
Wishing you all a beautiful summer day and Hakuna Matata!