This evening I went see The Lion King 3D . I haven’t seen the movie in years but I have vivid memories of it as a child and especially the McDonalds toys that were released in conjunction with the film (in fact, I still have them!).
I’ve been excited for this release ever since I saw a poster for it outside Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood during the summer.
Watching it again was just as powerful as when I was a kid, combining my childhood memories with an adult appreciation for the hilarious puns (“Lady, have you got your lions crossed” – Timone). I remembered almost all the lyrics but, to the relief of those around me, I didn’t sing (loudly). I might do what I did with High School Musical 3 though and go and see it again somewhere out of the way and at a time when there won’t be many people around so I can sit at the back and sing along.
For those who don’t know the story, it’s loosely based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but played out by lions.
It starts with an evil lion, Scar, who tries to bump off his older brother, Mufasa, and nephew, Simba, so that he can accede to the throne. The tale is told largely through Simba’s eyes and, as with many Disney films, at the heart is a moral tale wrapped up in an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza.
“It’s just a little lion. Look at him. He’s so cute, and all alone! Can we keep him?!” – Pumba
One of my favourite things about re-watching Disney movies as an adult is spotting house style or in-jokes. For example the hyenas are reminiscent of the weasels in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and when Rafiki starts singing ‘It’s A Small World’ Scar groans “No! Anything but that!” – a feeling almost anyone who has been on the ride will identify with (except me, by the way – I love that song).
Interestingly, the theatrical re-release of The Lion King was primarily meant as an advertising exercise for the re-release of the movie on DVD and Blu-Ray. However, it has quickly defied all expectations by getting to number one at the US box office and, four weeks later, it continues to sit comfortably in the top ten. Really, this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone familiar with the film given the beautifully crafted story, fantastic animation and excellent music.
Those with kids can give them the opportunity to see it on the big screen and those who are big kids get to experience it again! It’s win-win.
Finally, for those of you in London head over to the Disney concept store on Oxford Street (it’s an incredible experience in itself) to check out their awesome Lion King display and, if you see the movie at Vue Cinemas, you can exchange your ticket for a £5 Disney Store voucher.
Hakuna matata indeed!
The Lion King 3D is in cinemas now