Review Round Up: The Lion King

Is Disney’s latest live action remake a roaring success with critics? Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews.

The Guardian: *** “As for the savanna landscapes, their apparent tangibility seems perfectly suited to the phrase that echoes throughout The Lion King: “everything the light touches”. It’s as if cinematographer Caleb Deschanel had physically ventured into another world, bathed in the honeydew glow of an everlasting “magic hour”. Equally well evoked are the haunting hues of the expedition to find the elephants’ graveyard, and the barren landscapes of the post-Mufasa pride lands, “heavy on the carcass”.”

Roger *** “The worst thing you can say about this movie, and perhaps the highest compliment you can pay it, is to say it would be even more dazzling if it told a different story with different animals and the same technology and style—and maybe without songs, because you don’t necessarily need them when you have images that sing.” “It all speaks to the uneven impact of this glossy, no-expense-spared version of The Lion King: It’s a stirring reminder of what can be achieved with all the talent (and money) in the world, as well as a cautionary tale of what can happen when there’s no vision to bind it all together.”

The Telegraph: **** “ay what you will about Disney’s ongoing fracking of their back catalogue: as a business decision, it makes a lot of sense.”

Empire Online: *** “It’s all beautifully crafted and carefully conceived, without ever entirely justifying its existence. A few new songs increase the running time and chances of an Oscar, yet mean it sometimes drags before the lost prince returns to reclaim his throne. So, you might feel the love tonight, but perhaps not quite as much as before.”

Den of Geek: *** “As a film in its own right, then, this new Lion King is still enjoyable – especially for those who are new to the story – and its staggering visual achievements should rightly be celebrated. But for anyone who’s seen and loved the original animation, it inevitably suffers by comparison – chiefly because it sticks so closely to its source.”

The Independent: **** “As much as this new version can never hold a candle to its predecessor, there’s never a sense that it’s trying to. If anything, The Lion King uses nostalgia as a springboard for experimentation, finding new ways to tell old stories, while reminding us what makes those stories feel truly timeless in the first place.”

The Wrap: “Jon Favreau’s remake looks incredibly literal, but the digital animal performers lack the facial expressions and body movement to tell the story.”

Digital Spy: “what The Lion King remake is, is a technically impressive retelling of a classic tale, but one that holds nothing particularly new to fans.”

The Lion King is out in cinemas now.

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