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The Lion King Cannoli Send a noteboard - 03/08/2019 12:33:26 PM

Did you ever wonder what "The Lion King" would look like with real animals, instead cartoon versions with facial expressions?

Well now you don't have to.

It's probably the closest to the original script of all the Disney live-action adaptations I've seen (I didn't see Dumbo or Cinderella, because I never really cared for the latter and the crows were my favorite part of the former, which I understand were left out). Except they toned down some stuff. Like Simba's song where he eagerly looks forward to the death of his father, or Scar's song, about pretty much the same thing, are much less stylized and cinematic. Rafiki has almost no personality.

They have all black people voicing the lions and hyenas, although they replaced all but one of the original black characters (to be fair, one of them was a child who has grown up and two of the remaining three have died). James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa, and I had some concern, because his voice in Rogue One has clearly deteriorated since Star Wars, but did not sound different in this one. Maybe he had a cold when taping Rogue One or maybe it's just that not as much time has elapsed between movies in this franchise.

Anyway, Shenzi hasn't a fraction of the personality she had with Whoopi Goldberg, but Banzai, with Keenan Michael Key, was, I think, funnier. Instead of Ed, there is another hyena with dialogue, who is a comic partner with Banzai. They have like two scenes. Shenzi is more of the leader than Banzai, but I think that might be because hyenas are actually matriarchal. Seth Rogen & Craig from Parks & Rec are recognizable as Pumba and Timon and they do a fine job, as does John Oliver as Zazu. Chiwetel Eijofoer you know who I mean, does a fantastic job, considering what he's going up against trying to play Scar. He doesn't quite get there, but almost as good as Jeremy Irons is nothing to be ashamed of. Also, I see Scar mentioned a lot by people who complain about homosexually-coded villains, so The Operative might have been under instructions to play him less flamboyantly. On the other hand, his pose of avuncular friendship with young Simba is more credible and Simba seems less of an idiot for trusting him.

Alfre Woodard is okay as Sarabi, with a slightly expanded role but in contrast to other aesthetic choices in the film ( "Circle of Life" is definitely degraded by its singer's African accent), sounds much less African than Madge Sinclair did. Of course, Sinclair already had experience playing a queen-consort to Jones' African monarch. There are YouTube videos with their dialogue from "Coming to America" dubbed over their scenes in "The Lion King".

The music, as is apparently the norm with the live-action adaptations, is distinctly inferior. I actually forgot how different the on-screen version of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" was from Elton John's version. I don't know if Matthew Broderick & Moira Kelly sang it in the cartoon, but Donald Glover and Beyonce Knowles (Carter? ) do in this, and not as well as the original actors or Elton John. Glover is okay, despite his shoddy track record in singing duets from animated movies, but Beyonce is all over the place. It sounds like she's showing off her vocal range, rather than trying to sing with Glover. I saw a headline on the internet suggesting she might not have posed with the other actors in the cast photo, but I would not be surprised to learn that she recorded "Can You..." seperately from Glover. And by the way, he might be a recording artist, but let's stop pretending that rap is music, or its performers are singers? Glover's not awful, certainly better than me, but his other job of shouting rhymes no more equips him to perform popular showtunes than my own use of a microphone for fun or work.

As I mentioned above, we get much less in the way of facial expressions from the characters, which means we lose a lot although we ARE spared Nala's "do-me" look.

One bright spot is that there is no real SJW stuff added to it, because the source material and ITS source material (nature) just gives you absolutely nowhere to go from its patriarchal, classist, traditionalist, racist, xenophobic and religious values.

It's "The Lion King" with less difference to the original film than there is in the difference between the oiriginal action figures of He-Man and Fakor.

Cannoli
“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” GK Chesteron
Inde muagdhe Aes Sedai misain ye!
Deus Vult!
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The Lion King - 03/08/2019 12:33:26 PM 108 Views
This review is 5 paragraphs too long. *NM* - 05/08/2019 11:24:16 AM 4 Views
Re: The Lion King - 18/08/2019 04:54:05 AM 3 Views

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