Is 2019’s The Lion King being judged too harshly?

The Lion King photo via Disney Media File
The Lion King photo via Disney Media File /

Early reviews of Disney’s 2019 The Lion King live-action reboot have been all over the place but is the film being judged too harshly?

People get serious about their favorite Disney movies. Maybe it’s because of the nostalgia attached to them, but everyone has a favorite or one that they remember loving or rewatching as a child. One film, in particular, has seemed to transcend that and that’s 1994’s The Lion King. It was released during the Disney Renaissance and is touted as one of the best films Disney has ever made.

Whether it be the animation, the story or the songs, 1994’s The Lion King has a little bit of something for everyone. Over 20 years later, the film is being adapted as “live-action” for Disney and is set to release on July 19th. With all the love for the original film, reviews have been lukewarm to say the least. Could it be that 2019’s The Lion King is getting the cold shoulder a little bit too much?

As someone who hasn’t the 2019’s version, it’s a bit hard to answer that question. In looking at reviews though, the answer seems simple and it’s yes. It seems like reviewers are judging 2019’s The Lion King a bit too harshly. Disney has made it incredibly clear that it wasn’t going to be a shot-for-shot remake of the original. Regardless, people still want to see that happen and it’s just not realistic.

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In making it “live-action” or CGI, the studio was limited with what they could do. With animation, it’s a lot easier because things can be done differently. There is a lot more wiggle room than with CGI.

Since the 2019 version is going for a more realistic look, it’s not going to have the same brand of fun as the original. While that’s not a bad thing, it could drastically change the tone of the film from its source material.

Another criticism that’s been brought up is the songs. It’s a valid criticism as the soundtrack is an important part of the narrative. Most notably, fans aren’t happy with how different this version of “Be Prepared” is from the original. As iconic as the song is, it might not fit with the version Jon Favreau had in mind. That simple fact is something that people can’t keep to get a grip on and something that ultimately will set the film up for failure.

What’s hurting the film is that people can’t seem to let go of the past. Yes, 1994’s The Lion King was amazing and one of Disney’s best. That doesn’t necessarily mean that 2019’s The Lion King is “bad.” There is room for both films to exist and even for some to prefer the reboot over the original. Judging the film before you see or even based on a review isn’t always smart as it’s important to go in with a clear head.

Next. 4 Things Disney’s Lion King remake must get right. dark

It’s sometimes impossible with how heavily The Lion King reboot has been talked about and saturated our media recently. Nevertheless, it does feel like 2019’s The Lion King is getting the brute of it when other films haven’t gotten the same treatment. It might not be as good as the original or keep everything the same, but that’s what Disney wanted. Hopefully, the film ends up being good and if it isn’t, then it’s a lesson learned.

The Lion King is now playing in theaters. If you’ve seen it, let us know what you think about it!