Thursday 22 August 2019

The Lion King

Cert: PG; Now showing 

CGI rendering: The Lion King
CGI rendering: The Lion King

You can't have it both ways, Disney. You can't present the story of 1994 animated classic The Lion King in photo-realistic CGI while also asking that we accept a world where animals talk and have complex human emotions. Cartoons let you do these things, which is why we have them.

In keeping with its "hairy Hamlet" plot themes, this shameless remake has this fundamental flaw to ensure its downfall. But besides it looking downright weird to have life-like lions singing pop songs through flea-bitten muscles, it also turns out to lack any emotional resonance whatsoever.

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A CGI rendering of a wild animal is a dead-eyed thing, you see. So when Nala (voiced by Beyonce) is trying to convince exiled Simba (Donald Glover) to come home and avenge his father (James Earl Jones), the voice actors have to do all the work because the images are impotent.

If you do go, you almost have to choose between visuals and dialogue because, if consumed together, they just cancel each other out. Instead, just dust off that DVD of the original and pretend this abominable cash-in never happened. ★ Hilary A White

Sunday Independent

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