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“The Lion King” Movie Critical Review Essay (Movie Review)

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Updated: Jan 14th, 2022

The Lion King sequel comprises of three movies including Lion King, the Lion king II: Simba’s Pride and Lion King 1 ½. In Lion King, Simba is the heir to the Pride lands kingdom and Mufasa his father is getting old, but Mufasa’s brother, Scar is jealous of his brother and so he befriends Simba to manipulate and deceive him. There is a strain of violence as illustrated in the death of Mufasa, Simba’s father in a wildebeest stampede. The aesthetic effect of the animation at this point of the movie is truly impressive and it took two years to create it. The end result is a very intensified depiction of the theme of violence and terror as the wildebeests make the sound of rolling thunder and the viewer ends up feeling the terror and anxiety that Simba must have felt at that point. This effect is also manifest in the illustration of hungry hyenas (including the graphic display of how one is scratched in the cheek) that were scavenging for food and which scared Simba and his friends. In addition, when the lions fight each other, it gets a little scary and the climax of this is when Scar’s throat is split open. There is a series of sad sequences, and evil characters, throughout the movies, for instance, Scar, Zira, his wife, and the hyenas. However, there is also hope, love, and familial responsibility.

Earlier in 2011, there was a theatrical rerelease in 3D, which further intensifies the initial reflections of different effects in the above scenes. The movies teach poignant moral lessons on the need for communication in a family setting. They also provide insight on the general misconception held by youth and children on the ideal nature of living a life without any worries “hakuna matata”. The lesson is that worries are there to motivate people to work harder and strive to achieve excellence. Simba is a nice role model to children. He develops from a deviant, frightened and insecure cab at the start of the movie into a typical youth whose dream is to live a stress-free life, and finally to a responsible adult willing to correct his past mistakes and reclaim his dignity while saving his kingdom. Revenge is also evident throughout the movie. There are several catchy songs throughout but they become excessive such as when one song spans more than one scene at some point. In some aspects, Lion King is almost adult movie disguised by the childish characters. This is so because there are several instances f sexual innuendo, violence, stereotype and gender-role reinforcement. In that regard, it is not healthy for children in their formative years as it may retard healthy development.

In Lion King 1 1/2 Timon, (meekat) and Pumba (wart hog) are hilarious characters. There are also very graphic scenes such as the eating of various colorful bugs including snails and slugs. This third sequel is rather a backdoor leading into the first story. It is Pumba’s and Timon’s version and is quite hilarious. The graphics in this sequel are equally amazing ,for instance, where Timon’s tunnels keep on collapsing right after he completes them and the rest of the meekat always laugh at him. The movie also features amazing voice-overs including Whoopi Goldberg and James Earl Jones. Lion King II: Simba’s Pride revolves around the theme of revenge whereby Zira, Scar’s wife seeks revenge on Simba and conceives a plan to kill him by training her cub Kovu for the task. The idea is to make Kiara, Simba’s daughter fall for Kovu, thus, expose Simba’s vulnerability and then kill him. This plan almost works out until Kovu really falls for Kiara and he cannot go along with the initial plan. At this point, Zira opts to take on Simba herself but she fails as both Kovu and Kiara are there to help Simba to win. The character development in Lion King is commendable. The themes are also very engrossing and they tell of power struggles, love, patience, endurance, growth and maturity. Overall, it was a well-done animation movie.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "“The Lion King” Movie Critical Review." January 14, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-lion-king-movie-critical-review/.

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