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The Lion King

critic Reviews

  • While it can take pride in its visual achievements,The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved--though for some fans that may just be enough.
  • Ashlie D.
    Despite the superstar talent of the cast and the stunning presentation, it misses some of the heart that placed the original securely in the pop culture canon.
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  • Anthony LaneNew Yorker
    Rarely has brand recognition soared to such fetishistic heights, and I regret to inform you that, aside from the updating of the vocal cast, the most blatant discrepancy between the old and the new is a very slight increase in the comedy of flatulence.
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  • Matthew LickonaSan Diego Reader
    By this point, Disney's do-overs feel a lot like their cash-grabby, inspiration-free '90s direct-to-video sequels, only with vastly better production values.
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  • Claudia PuigNPR's Morning Edition
    Where the animated original had an endearingly cheery anthropomorphism, with wide eyes and cute expressions, this lacks that. You're marveling at the beauty of the animals, but it just doesn't work with the material.
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  • Adam GrahamDetroit News
    It's a remake with roar.
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  • Justin ChangNPR
    Some of these remakes have been more inspired than others, but few have felt quite as futile as The Lion King. This isn't the circle of life; it's more like a creative dead end.
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  • Owen ButlerFilm Inquiry
    It's a surprisingly efficient remake that acts as both a touching tribute to its predecessor and a breathtaking standalone epic in its own right.
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  • Arturo MagañaCine Premiere
    Despite being a great technological advancement, this hyper realistic remake doesn't quite capture the magic of the original film. [Full review in Spanish]
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  • Matthew BondThe Mail on Sunday (UK)
    Even Favreau, however, can't stop the denouement from feeling contrived, complicated and unconvincing. But by then The Lion King has surely woven enough screen magic to ensure huge success at the summer box office.
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  • Anupama ChopraFilm Companion
    The original The Lion King had gorgeous hand-drawn animation, oodles of charm and a great, beating heart. This one is almost a frame-to-frame remake.
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